Author Archives: Josh


The last three weeks have been a real trial. Lots going on in my life other than jiu jitsu, and it’s been weighing on me heavily. I haven’t gone to any classes other than Saturdays. Just no motivation. And not just jiu jitsu, everything. I feel…grey? Bleh.

This past Saturday we warmed up and I felt pretty good during it. Tim told us to group up into foursomes. I grabbed Nick, Mick, and then Vee joined us. We played first to score, but flipping the script, the looser stays in. Made for an interesting dynamic where the winners were well rested every round….so no one wanted to lose.

And…I did great. I can’t say why, but I was in the zone all day. Nick and Mick both commented on it afterwards too.

And for that hour and a half, nothing else mattered. Jiu jitsu really is therapy.

Monday Nooner

First class as a black belt. Never really thought about that before.

Lesson of the day was a mount escape to deep half. Tim showed one neat detail, where he leaves one leg flat to prevent the top guy from crossing his feet. That also allows for an easy entry into half guard or into deep half.

For rounds I had Brian, a new female blue belt, and…Tim got his piece of me that he missed on Saturday.

Well, it happened.

The Black Belt.

Tim told me that Aria and I were getting ours this year back in April. And Saturday was my day. Weird scheduling and secret plans behind my back forced it to happen on different days, but it happend.

I knew that Saturday was The Day about a week and a half ago when Popsicle made an off handed comment about it. I found out that my parents were coming up. One of my sons was skipping his first fall soccer game. And many friends were coming to be part of the celebration.

Skyler led the warm up. Which now, will probably be more and more common, as I’ve “aged out” of that responsiblity.

Tim told us to get into groups of four. Nick grabbed me right away, and I was looking for Mick, Kevin, or someone else similar to fill out our group. Not to be. Tom and Popsicle joined us. It was to be a long day.

1 minute rounds, one guy is in for 6 on his back starting with collar and sleeve. I did alright with Nick, on both sides. Tom and Chris held me to the fire. We took a little break, then self paired for the rest of the day.

I had James next, nice and light. Then JR and Wade, both of which were visiting from Alliance. Nice to see both of those guys again.

Tim said some nice things about me, this blog, how I hated him for a period of time, then belted me. Lots of hugs, pictures, and celebration afterwards.

My dad asked me later that day about how it felt to hit this goal. And I explained to him that getting to black belt has never been a goal of mine. I figured it would happen sooner or later, but it never was a target. I just kept showing up, doing my best, learning what I could and trying to move forward every time.

That’s the goal. Keep on trying. And it hasn’t changed because I’ve been promoted.

Labor Day Open Mat

Still light on people. Oh well, more space for the rest of us.

Humid today, so extra sweaty too. Same format as previous, so very informal.

I warmed up with Nick, then had Blaine of all people which was an adventure and a half. I did better than I would have expected, but he was also holding back. Worked for a couple of rounds with a fresh white belt. Then went with a newer wrestler kid. Quick, but I was able to keep a hold of him and mount and choke.

I watched Popsicle and Cheng do a round and Chris set up this beautiful omaplata from a shoulder crush. I played with it some with Nick and talked to Chris about it. I’ll have to try it out. It was a combo of the shoulder crush grip and the clamp foot positions. Very slick.

Open Mat

Still a lighter than usual group for a Saturday due to a lot of people being in Vegas.

We skipped the warm up, did a light round, and then were self paired. I had Nick, Aria, Popsicle, Mick and then a few white belts to recover.

Popsicle got me three times in a row with a scissor sweep, omaplata combo. I see the sweep coming, and post out to stop it, which opens me up to the omaplata. I asked him about it afterwards. He said “Back up two steps.” Thinking out loud, stopping the omaplata isn’t related to stopping the sweep….but the collar grip he had that set up the sweep in the first place.

Always learning.

Free Form Monday

It’s tournament week for those doing Masters Worlds.

So, today was question and answer time, free drilling, rolling if anyone wanted to, and first grip/take down practice for Alex and Phil.

I rolled with Jordan, Patrick L, and BBPG. Did great with BBPG, and decent with Patrick.

In between, I experimented with a berimbolo back take from headquarters. Answered some questions from some lower belts, and messed around with some DLR guard options. Light day.

Black Saturday

Started off as any random Saturday, but as we neared the start of class, it quickly became apparent that we had a lot of visitors. Like, a lot. And most of them were highly ranked.

Skyler ran the warm up, and then we split into groups of 5 like ranked and sized groups. Starting in headquarters, sweep/submit vs pass. 1 minute rounds. Guy on bottom does 10 in a row!

My group got conflated with another, and then the smaller guys left without telling me. So I got suck with Rob, Drake, and the like. The big boys. And I was in the barrel first.

I survived, then switched groups to something more manageable.

And then, at the end of class we lined up and Aria got promoted to her black belt. Well deserved on her part. We’re all happy for her.

Friday Fun Day

More DLR and guard retention. Plenty of drilling.

Rounds, I had Patrick L first. Things were going fine until his knee landed on my curled up pinky finger. Nice pop and swelling. Finished the round, taped it up and kept on keeping on. Just with less grips.

Had Alex, Andrew, and Gene in later rounds.

Monday nooner

Snuck out again. It’s a never ending quest to find mat time.

Technique of the day was guard retention. Starting in DLR, if our oppenent shucks our foot on their hip/thigh and goes to “headquarters”, we can cross our feet and lift to unbalance them, do a small hip escape if necessary, and regain that hip control, and if needed shift our DLR hook to a shallow lasso.

Drilled away, then…The Chipper. We had Alex, Phil, and Nate in full time, as they’re all going to masters worlds soon. The 4th person, we rotated. I also had a good round with Spencer and Gene.

Good rounds on Saturday. I warmed everyone up, and then it was self paired.

I had Nick, Mick, Andrew, Max, Steph, and a couple of others.

Hot day. Everyone was pretty spent by the end.