So what you’re about to read is a very emotional response to a video I watched earlier this morning. This video is one of Ronda Rousey grappling and well teaching a child at a academy. The video is so priceless cute and humbling something I will touch on. First off most folks know that I started judo because of my dad right around the time I was doing TKD and I loved it even being smaller I was strong even then but didn’t care for a lot of techniques then (meanwhile speed up a few years and I’m studying every in and out of the deep half). I was stuck in ways lived by the Uchi and died by the Uchi or Te- guruma, being super athletic at a young age and body awareness because of a lack of height made matching hips and pulling people off balance in fast transition pretty simple for me. I had the Te- guruma and Uchi down unless you outweighed me by a substantial amount or stood as a skyscraper over me. I thought I was hot stuff until the day I got rag dolled at a competition in Columbus Ohio where I’m from. I cried was upset and pretty much threw with Judo in my mind because the only time I got rag dolled was by my dad which was understandable in my mind because everyone’s dad is superman in a kids head so whatever dad beat me. My dad wasn’t having it I wasn’t allowed to quit but I sulked at the gym and was noticed by a young woman who was a black belt and in college I think at the time she later became my brother and I’s babysitter. She was the first person other than my mother to realize that I harbor thing a little too strongly I dwell and stew on things at least back then for weeks on end, whatever though that’s not important.
Now this woman broke Judo down to me and athletics in general too me, she explained that more people than I could count practice judo and the amount of kids just like me could be training in judo just as fast and just as strong or more so. That really stung my ego but I had been getting humbled by my little brother and father all my life so I took it in stride. She then explained that a big reason I lost was because I had like one technique that I would use because it was easy for my dad taught it to me before I could walk basically. More technique got it, she made it clear that it wouldn’t be easy as many people know learning something new is very difficult and she made it clear that I couldn’t do it lol. In my head she challenged me back then be it anyone who challenged me I was going to go all out to prove you wrong lol it was just easy for me to turn a switch and just prove them wrong.
Now here’s a very important mark to make it wasn’t because she was a girl or the typical stereotypical reason for why I wanted to win against her I had been losing races to girls on my little brothers track team card games with my cousins and everything against my mom. I knew women were just as capable as men from a young age. I just wanted to win and prove I could so we practiced and in that one day my life changed I learned technique after technique and started to see how having options in Judo was just like having a variation of kicks in TKD and Kickboxing all that thanks goes to her. She threw me around like I was a teddy bear, and exhausted me with spring hip throw after spring hip throw and then switch it up to a sweep where she would drop all her weight on me lol fun but not fun then. Something needs to be said for the relationship bonding that happens when a kid gets just schooled by a big big kid in there eyes, that person is the coolest person ever lol it’s kind of cute like a crush. I loved her from that day on and still do, the idea is that one day I’m gonna be as good as them in basketball you see it, football you see it, band and theater, etc. My parents so the change in me as well I wasn’t mad when I would lose in a competition I wouldn’t get all bent out of shape because I didn’t know enough all that stopped. I became her little brother in a way, and I watched her throw grown men and realized back then that no matter what women were just as capable. Given all that stuff you can see why I started to cry this morning watching Ronda roll and teach to this kid on that mat.
This is really just a call to action for a lot of gyms out there, the martial arts community needs to acknowledge and endorse the presence of the big brother and sister dynamic in the gym. I know I’m placing a lot of responsibility on the young ladies of the world and don’t mean to just brush it off to you. What I really mean is just a play on a societal structure be it one of nature or nurture who knows but it’s just too good all around for me to really care about the specifics. For young boys and young men the only humbling they get from a women is at home maybe, and they may get reinforcement from a insecure dad or other male figure that girls are just weak and this or that who knows. In the gym is where we can correct that problem and because little ones (as my mom calls her little students and kids) gravitate to the women in the dojo because women in their minds are synonymous with being nice, loving and understanding or just patient and nice. Now for guys it’s different I can speak on this most guys in the gym are seen as just authority figures and powerful, that’s why I go out of my way with the little ones and new women and students to show my soft side with them constantly where I just become a teddy bear in there eyes. Now gym’s need to embrace the older taking the little ones under their wing and it doesn’t just have to be my relationship with my big sis it can be big sis little sis, big bro little sis, big bro little bro, whatever. Every kid needs a mentor outside of the head instructor for support because they know what they’re going through or have a understanding. This goes for every martial art MMA, BJJ, Judo , Kickboxing, Boxing, whatever really. It has the capability in my eyes of changing the dynamic of a generation.
I called my big sis up this morning she was getting my little nephew ready for school and I had a long chat with her as she was dropping him off. The gist of it was really just how grateful I was for her to take me on and create a relationship with me. It wasn’t just Judo it was for being my big sis during my first break up when I started liking girls when I hated my body everything I wasn’t ready to talk to my parents about. She hit me with the audible ahhhs, and the “you did the same for me”. I told her she was going to make a great mom and we cried some more on video chat, she later explained how her son couldn’t wait to start training with his uncle and become a little ninja and again I laughed and cried.
I cry a lot more then I’m proud to admit thanks to this women lol. This was just a tangent based article on the feelings I had instantly as a result of this video and how those feelings from sitting and thinking about it in a cafe before teaching a class, then me watching the relationships my little ones have with some of the older kids in the class. So take from this what you will, I’m gonna finish my book and send a copy to my big sis who’s reading this and either laughing crying or a combination thinking about hitting me and then embarrassing me with a hug and kiss like she did when I was six lol the next time I see her in Columbus this weekend.
-Later Folks and Family,
I hope you can think back on a surrogate older sibling like I did today.