I have continued to go to the new school and as you can probably guess I am no longer trying to start the jiu jitsu club. The judo label is still strong and those big guys are continuing to give me fits. I mentioned that the biggest guy who is about 6’4 280lbs tapped me about four times in one night. Well the other big guy who says he is between 6’4 and 6’6 (he forgets) and about 225lbs of solid muscle gave me a clinic in jiu-jitsu last week. I did so poorly against him I felt the need to apologize for not offering any kind of a challenge. I haven’t felt that way since I began training altogether.
For the next couple of days after that night (last tuesday) I tried to ponder if he was just too big or strong or was it technique. I finally realized that although he was strong, it was his techniques that was giving me fits and his strength helped accentuate his dominance over me. I was able to figure this out because I was pretty much able to take him down without a problem when we started from a standing position and when we were in the clinch I was able to control the pummeling and arm positioning. I knew that stemmed from judo experience and if my technique could accomplish that when we were standing then I could learn what he knows about the ground game.
But he made me seriously question what I needed to do to improve……It was as if he held up a mirror to my jiu-jitsu self.
My research projects are going well. I am making progress and gathering data for one project and working on the literature review for another. Last Friday my college had a meeting for those interested in publishing. Out of six people that showed up, five were from my division. That is a very good sign for me. It means that I can bounce ideas off of people in my department and have support for my work even if it’s just encouragement. The outcome of the meeting was the idea of a monthly meeting to share our progress with others that will essentially serve as a tool to keep us motivated.
Oh yeah: My wife found a job! She started as a math teacher for a middle school, one mile from our house, last Thursday. She is an accountant by trade and has worked in university and private positions for the past 5 years. However, when we moved here she decided she had enough of the field and said she wanted to work as a teacher. Well, she got her wish.
This weekend my parents and my nieces and nephews visted us from Florida. My nephews (ages 8 and 10) were hungry (as always) so I fixed them some corn on the cob as a snack. Common food, easily prepared. But they loved it. They raved on and on about how good it was. They asked me what I did to it. The youngest said, “This corn is great!” The oldest said I was a good uncle. I kid you not.
Now if I could only get my students to feel that way about my lectures.
We had a good time with my parents and family coming to visit us and they could see that we are well adjusted in our new city. The kids were non-stop dynamos from the time they hit the door until they left and I believe I expended more energy in those two days than I usually expend in one week. I took them to the park, went swimming, played numerous games and taught them some science experiments. My wife seemed like she was holding an arts and crafts workshop and I found out that my nephew (10 years old) can play lacrosse. I have some junior sticks and he could catch the ball from about 20 ft away. Nice….. He says they play lacrosse at his school and they have a game scheduled Monday.
A few posts back I mentioned that I was going to a new gym in a city about 28 miles away for jiu jitsu.
I love the place!!! The place is spacious, has the proper equipment and has qualified instructors. About 10 or more guys have trained both nights that I have attended. The guys training range from about 5″5 – 145lbs to 6’6 – 280 lbs. There are guys coming from quite a few disciplines; a few former wrestlers in the mix; guys that are fighting or training to fight as professionals; jiu jitsu guys and average guys as well. The training is intense, but not enough so that you will not come back. The instructors also stress safety and watch the training closely to make sure everyone is learning and being safe. I like this feature the most. I want to train into my fifties and beyond if possible.
Another feature I like about the studio or gym is that I will be challenged. The main instructor has won many competitions in submission grappling as well as belts in MMA and he has transferred those skills to his trainees. The two biggest guys are monsters one of which is 6’6 – 280lbs and the other 6’4 – 6’6 225 lbs (solid). He said he forgets how tall he is. When I had these guys on top of me I was fighting for my life. The biggest guy tapped me about 4 times. The “average size” guys are also solid grapplers.
I have also already been labled. One of the instructors has been calling me the “Judo Guy.” When we had to do takedowns I think one of the big guys underestimated me so I was able to surprise him with my Judo green belt skills a few times. I also got some lucky takedowns that wowed everone. When me and one of the guys were in the clinch, he ducked under for a double leg but I was able to sprawl and wrap him up in a guillotine. When I dropped back to pull him into guard our momentum flipped us over and I ended up landing on top of him in a mount. I heard someone shout out, “Now that’s some good judo!”
I was just as shocked as they were. But that’s probably the moment I became the “Judo Guy.”
Yesterday I heard my wife giggling in our bedroom. As I walked through the door she said, “This is pretty good.” She was referring to my blog. I have been posting for about 2 months now and she has just gotten around to reading it. I joked with her a month ago and told her the easiest way for me to keep secrets from her would be to put it in my blog.
I still stand by that statement. She probably won’t check it out again for a long time and as the amount of posts are beginning to reach novel length, I doubt if she will read through it for the best material.
I talked to the dean of my department this morning about research I want to conduct concerning video share sites like You Tube, etc. I wanted to find out this college’s process for the use of human subjects. She stated she would get back to me soon. I have been working out the parameters of the study for about two weeks now; gathering the background for the lit. review and trying to hammer out a proper methodology for the study. I am working on a pilot survey instrument right now and trying to work out all of the kinks.
I have also been working out how I am going to fulfill certain requirements as it pertains to my position as an assistant professor. For those who don’t know we have to outline certain plans we have for ourselves in the areas of teaching, professional goals (research or conferences) and community service as a part of a performance review. As far as teaching and professionals goals I have no worries, but I have been trying to think about how to best serve the community. Immediately I knew that I would list my donations of books as service and would join their program for “givers” to the library system. I just have to make sure I donate on a regular schedule. (While in graduate school my wife and I ran a small bookstore so I know the ins and outs of book buying and can get books very cheaply.) I thought about mentorship at a local boys or girls club or community center, but knowing my schedule I don’t know if I could commit fully. I have been in organizations who have sponsored students before and an hour a two a week is just not enough. It helps, but I want to make a significant impact.
My wife solved my problem. She has been talking about doing volunteer work since we moved to our new city and on Sunday she suggested that we volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Perfect! She called and left a message at the branch in our area (through a local church) and hopefully we can begin volunteering in about 2 weeks.
My wife and I also found a new park with a good amount of tennis courts closer to our home. They also have a basketball court, soccer fields, baseball fields, playground and a small workout trail. I will be going to this place every chance I get. We played tennis there twice this week already.