So, to be honest, I am not sure what I expected. I went this morning with Karl to a gym uptown where they have BJJ classes. Friday morning is listed as an ‘open mat’. I had tried to call the instructor ahead of time, left a message, never got the call back. So we just showed up. There were three guys warming up. They were working basic drills on the mat and all were real friendly and nice. We sat and watched for about 20 min when one asked if we wanted to join in. I was about half way on my feet before they said they were only joking and suggested I wait for their instructor to show up. About 10 min later he came in. We introduced ourselves and inquired about the possibility of joining in. He said we would have to sign up for classes and work up to it. We thanked him for his time and left.

Now I can understand his stance. I think it is reasonable on many levels. Obviously, no one wants assholes coming in their class trying to prove something (which I don’t think I am). Also, maybe they are just in to their own trip and don’t have an interest in working outside of that. Still, I feel disappointed. I believe two person exercises (such as tuishou, chi sao, hubud, sambrada, etc…) are essential to developing fundamental skills. The local pool of pushhand players consists mainly of the people already in my group. That gives me maybe 3 hours a week. Not nearly enough. If I could train 8 hours a day, I might be happy. That would, of course, require that I find partners outside my group, outside taiji even! Now I’m not adverse to the idea of signing up just to get the experience. The problem as I see it, is time constraint. It would take time and money I don’t have. Plus, I firmly believe, that while doing taiji would give me an edge doing BJJ (or judo, or boxing, or painting, or ‘your art here’), I don’t think any of those would help my taiji.

“Why not just do taiji then?” you might ask? Well I do. All the time if I can help it. Sitting, standing, walking, brushing my teeth. Why not while rolling on the ground? Granted it’s not ideal, but what is? Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. I am just stumped as to how I can increase my pool of practice partners.


~ by aedhcarrick on September 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “Scouting”

  1. Maybe it’s an insurance thing. Maybe if you offered to sign a waiver or something.

  2. I’d have been more than happy to have signed a waiver. I just didn’t get the impression that he felt it was worth the trouble. Perhaps if we had told him we practiced something else. The way some people roll their eyes when I say taiji, while amusing, is pretty much a conversation ender. It’s hard to have a serious discussion with other martial artists, when they are convinced that what you do, doesn’t have anything to do with martial arts. I’m not saying that was the attitude at the bjj school, but it is a very common one.

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