Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An old friend

An old friend joins me for class tonight at Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel.

Ryan Young, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

After the garage days at Ken's in the mid 90's, we opened Combative Fighting Systems in Westminster, California. I was at the height of my MMA signature years of competition and the school was doing well. There were so many students coming from all over and I made so many friends. 
When Ken and I were in Hawaii for the Superbrawl in '97, Sheldon Young and the Enoue bros. hosted us at their academy, Grappling Unlimited. They were an essential part of our success there.
Sheldon's cousin Ryan came to our school in California from Rickson's. Ken's nickname for Ryan was "Midget." He was no midget when it came to Jiu Jitsu. I recall not being able to not ever get ahold of him. He would ball up and twist out from underneath me every time. It was I remembered him for....
John Mendiola is out with injuries and I needed a new training partner. Ryan messages me on FB and wanted to train the following Wednesday. How perfect I thought. On FB I wrote BJJ tonight. Jason, a former student, a big strong Greek grappler I hadn't talk to in three years messages me and asked if it was open training. Could I join? I asked him if he had a Gi, expecting him to say no, but he did, so I told him to come down and Bring It. 
Ryan and I are warming up with each other and the Greek shows up with his Gi. "Competition Team" embroidered on it from a school in Cypress. Cool logo I thought. I love it when I have a bunch of heads on my mat representing different schools. We train hard. Ryan and the Greek are rolling and we find ourselves having to instruct him. The Greek got the mount on Ryan and I told him to freeze. Now, do any submission you know and submit Ryan. I do not know what the hell it was, but it was some attempt at the basic scissor choke.
I couldn't sleep pondering what happened. Has the level of instruction just been bottomed out? I messages Ryan in the am. He replied "What the heck was that crap he was trying to do Lober?" Hey, you wanna roll with my school this week? I will pick you up. Cool, let's go.
On the ride, I said to Ryan, I am gonna train at as many academies as I could this year across the united states and just see what has happened to Jiu Jitsu. 
Ryan says why don't you load up your ride with Storm Kimonos and rep the brand along the way. It will be an excellent way to fund the trip. 
Great idea Midget.

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