As many of you know, I’ve beent taking Tae Kwon Do since I was about 26 years old… that’s almost 16 years. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art and competitions are almost entirely kicks. In 2000, I got a black belt and in 2005 I got a 2nd degree black belt. I competed in two tournaments, got a gold medal both times, but was never really a complete ass kicker. My technique was very good in some areas and very poor in others. I was always a bit pudgy and my attendance waned over the years. For whatever reason, I hit a wall and was losing interest. Plus, I was doing triathlon training for the past two years and a guy only has so much time in their calendar. I’d like to one day return and get my 4th degree which is a big milestone where you’re considered a master, a title of considerable respect. But for now, me and Tae Kwon Do are taking a break.
In the meantime, I figured I’d try something new. While on a boat trip with my brothers and a few friends, my brother Tom’s friend Ken was talking about Judo. He said it would be an excellent martial art for Marco since if can compliment wrestling rather well. I was intrigued as well so I figure I’d take a couple classes myself and bring Marco in once I’d gotten familiar with the school. As it turns out, Marco has a very busy calendar since Football is keeping him pretty busy, and I’ve only been able to get him to one class. Sera and Antonio also took a class. Everyone liked it and I’m sure I’ll have them al-l going once a week once school starts.
As for me, I’m pretty hooked. Judo is taught on some days and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu on other days. The classes are far more brutal than I’m used to. I’ve been choked, stretched, and contorted in ways I didn’t know were possible. The classes are all over an hour and a half and I typically stay for almost two hours for open mat. All of the technique is totally new and foreign to me. Its harder. It hurts. The other students are all strong and experienced and I’m basically getting my ass kicked ten times over.
But it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been feeling my flexibility come back and feeling my strength come back. For the past two years, I’ve been doing these crazy triathlons and while the training definitely helped improve my stamina, the training is not something I love to do. It’s not something I look forward to. Right now, I look forward to these classes and they seem like the right thing for me to be doing right now.