Today I joined the Gracie Barra (pronounced ‘BaHa’) school in Bellevue, Wa. It’s a super famous school that was started by Carlos Gracie Jr. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They have nearly 400 schools worldwide, including 6 within 30 minutes of my house. Although its a Gracie school, it’s from a different part of the family than the school I went to in San Diego and the two are not affiliated. While the school that I previously attended is known for self defense, this school is the most famous tournament jiu–jitsu school in the world so I’m excited about the idea of competing some day. For now, however, I need to focus on getting back in shape and getting up to speed with this curriculum.
Getting back on the mat tonight was great, but it was also very humbling. The Gracie Combatives program that I completed as a white belt in San Diego was all about self defense on the street, and was meant to defeat an ‘unskilled’ opponent. Unskilled just means that they don’t know jiu–jitsu. After competing that program you move onto the Master Cycle, which is much more advanced and teaches you how to deal with skilled opponents. Since we moved right after I received my blue belt, I never really got the chance to grapple with advanced opponents, which puts me at a disadvantage at my new school. I have no doubt that I’ll catch up quickly, but for now I need to be comfortable with the fact that I’m going to get tapped out a lot. It doesn’t really matter though, I’m just happy to be taking classes, meeting people, getting exercise, and learning lots of new techniques.
All else is going well. Looks like we won’t be able to visit with Jim, Brenda, Kristy and Madi this weekend but hopefully we’ll be able to get together with them soon. Still looking forward to the party at Butch and Carol’s on Sunday night. Here’s a picture of Ava sporting her fauxhawk today in the tub.