so i’ve lost a bunch of weight. i need to find something tangible besides running and weight lifting to continue down this path and to increase my overall level of fitness. in steps Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

i’ve wanted to study martial arts for a while but my weight scared me. i thought i couldn’t do it, i thought i would get hurt, i thought i wouldn’t succeed and would make a fool out of myself. turns out only one of these is true! nothing makes a big, strong 30 year old man look like a fool faster than losing a wrestling match to a smaller 17 year old kid in about 30 seconds..

i remember watching the early UFC fights and marveling at Royce Gracie’s incredible wins. i remember wondering how that normal looking guy was able to destroy opponents twice his size without hitting them. it was then that i decided i wanted to study the same art some day.

fast forward to a few weeks ago. i was in a slump with my fitness. i was losing focus on food. i decided to look for something to do and remembered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. i also remembered that my wife’s friend from high school was involved in a BJJ gym pretty close to us. we contacted her, i took a free class and i was hooked.

last night was my 4th (maybe 5th) class. it is an incredible art and a humbling experience. i can’t help but think how awful it would be to try to do this 100lb heavier. my fitness is decent these days but the workout still kills me. i never wrestled in high school and i never played any sports, so this is all new to me. boy am i in for it.

the first few classes were tough because i knew absolutely nothing. i didn’t know any grips, i didn’t know what “guard” and “side control” really meant. i had never been choked or put in an arm bar. it was a baptism by fire as i was tossed around like a rag doll. i thought my size and strength would be benefits, but this isn’t about being a beast – it’s about technique.

last night was especially tough. i was the only white belt in class. i was completely worked over by 2 high school kids as well as by my wife’s friend from high school, who happens to be about 5’2″ tall and maybe 130lb soaking wet. i was choked, cranked, thrown, crunched and just plain beat up.

sounds fun huh? some people think it’s crazy, but i love it. i am hooked. it is my path to self discipline and fitness. i’m so excited to be doing this that i’m planning on working my tail off and competing in an upcoming NAGA tournament here in Georgia. lucky for me there is a class for age 30+ white belts with less than 6 months of experience. do i have a good shot at doing well? you bet. my confidence is high because i know most people i’m competing with are in the same boat as me and don’t know much. well i plan to know more, work harder and want it more than the rest of them.

the humility gained from being choked out by a 17 year old who weighs 50lb less than me is quite the lesson. it makes me realize that it’s all about the chess game that is Jiu Jitsu. being mechanically minded has helped as i feel like i can dissect the game and learn how to get to the end in the most efficient manner possible.

follow along here as i blog about my training, my mental state, any injuries (i’m sure there will be some!), and preparation for the tournament. i’m thankful to have intelligent, thoughtful, encouraging and tough instructors to guide me through this process.

if you’re interested in training in the NW metro Atlanta area then check out and come join us!