I consider myself a pretty strong guy, but when an experienced veteran like Jacare grabbed me I once again felt like a child being easily pushed around by an adult. It was very humbling and interesting to think about. Here was this man who is a registered human weapon. Somebody who could beat every other person in the room and nearly every other fighter in the world and here he was helping me, Tyler, Shawn and everyone else all become a better martial artist. Also it’s funny to think about how such a physically dangerous man could be so nice. By 2:00 it’s time to do a few “live” rounds of Jiu-Jitsu in. I start with Tyler, just working the moves and allowing him to get better position. Although Tyler is young and I am significantly bigger than him he is very tenacious. He doesn’t seem to tire and constantly tries to move me around in order to get a submission hold. Towards the end of the round I finally feel him tiring and roll him over so now he has lost his advantage. As the timer buzzes, Shawn immediately tackles me before I could even get away from Tyler. The drill calls for this to happen so we can work on recovering faster so Shawn is not doing anything wrong. He takes my back and tries to choke me but I stay calm and roll out of the choke only to catch him on his back. Shawn is much more experienced and six years older than Tyler so he puts up a great display of skill. Jacare seems to be impressed with him too and I make sure to allow Tyler to work his way back to a dominant position that way he can get the most out of the drilling session. I take note that time is about to end and reverse Shawn’s arm bar attempt into my own arm bar. Just as he taps I release the hold and the buzzer goes off again. Shawn and I shake hands and then I and Tyler shake hands. I move on to practice with one of the adult’s members and as the buzzer goes off to start the match I notice Shawn and Tyler immediately going at it and it brings a smile to my face. 2:40 PM The “live” drilling is finally over and now we can all finally rest and grab some water. While we are all sitting down on the mat Jacare walks towards the middle. He sits down in a crouch position, legs crossed and looking at us. He tells us all to breathe and stretch as that is the most important thing after a long workout. I notice Shawn is not performing the stretches with any effort and I make sure to tell him to straighten his stuff out or else he’s going to have a ton of injuries at a young age. I tell him about all my injuries that could have been avoided if I had stretched more and I think he finally gets the point. Either that or he was just annoyed with me because he had a bothered look on his face. Regardless he performs the stretches with more effort now, so that’s all I could ask for. Jacare then proceeds to ask us if we would like to use the remaining time to answer any questions we may have. One of the adult members gets up and asks for a demonstration of a certain move. I notice that Tyler seems to have a certain bright look in his mind as he goes over the move with the other member. After her question has been answered Tyler asks Jacare how to counter an arm bar when you’re on top of someone. I laugh silently to myself. That was exactly what I was doing to him when we were practicing! I find it funny how even at the age of 4 and a half, Tyler was already looking for new strategies to counter my moves and beat me. Its things like this that truly make me happy
and makes me feel good about being a positive influence in other children’s lives. Both Tyler and Shawn say hi to me every time I come into the gym now and I say hi back to them and give them a fist bump. I truly feel like they like and respect me. Seeing that as an adult just trying to help the younger generation progress is one the nicest feelings in the world and that’s how I imagine other instructors, professors and even Jacare feels when they can pass of their wisdom to the world.
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- Fall '11