Monster Assault + Oso Energy = Oso Assault Monster
Master teacher taught some advanced moves saturday. I've been the only one in our little group who has seen him every saturday since February, so the lessons have started to feel like they are tailored to me. The warm ups, the component drills, the new movements, the pacing. It's like putting on a great, expensive suit. It's armor, yet weightless. Master teacher has started to say "faster" before each progression of the warm ups. He's using me as the pace car. When we did my solo lesson a few weeks ago, he pushed me to my absolute limit like this, and it has spilled over into the group lessons. The movements he has been teaching are pretty advanced; he never taught anything like them when he was at our school. They are siblings of the spiral-space moves I wrote about a month ago. All of a part. A new realm to play in. I love this place.
While doing one particular movement, he said in portuguese: "you learn very fast".
Yesterday after class at my New York school, I left with a couple of my good friends. One was amused at how I had gotten distracted mid-conversation by this new guy who walked across the mats. I interrupted my friend and had said helloooo who is that? He said "is that your type?". Apparently so because he got my attention. I said with surprise in my voice. It was a first for them, seeing me like that, but a second for me: they'd missed the first time it happened. My gay friends think it happens more often than it really does, but my straight friends at the school know that I go there to work. Sure I'll notice someone here or there is handsome, or has nice eyes or whatever, but other than those rare exceptions my jitsu time is for getting good at the jits.
The first time it happened was during a seminar this spring. I have been in full immersion mode this spring, so it was, quite simply, a complete surprise to be in the middle of learning a drill and having the guest teacher show me something and me step out of it mid-drill. Like I was cooking for friends and suddenly I drop the whole stew pot on the floor of the kitchen, contents spill everywhere, while I go make the bed. I could break down the components of what happened, but I will save that for another time. A female friend noticed this: "Chad...what was that?". It wasn't a passing notice. My mind went into planning mode. It went very far into a particular future: how to meet him later, what to say, who to be. And somehow jiu jitsu was in there too.
I told my friends yesterday about this, letting them know that the other time I'd gotten distracted was in the most unlikely of places. The couldn't get around who it was that caused the distraction. Of course I have made a terrible mistake in telling them, because now they will tease me mercilessly about it. They did it once before, in a general way, and I knew at the time we had gone to a new level in friendship: we now trusted each other to find every weakness and exploit it by twisting the knife at every turn. It's something I do with all of my fight friends, we trust each other enough to fight safe. But they now had something specific, and they were certainly going to run with it. They learn very fast.
"I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop," he said in an interview on Captiva in 2000. "At the time that I am bored or understand — I use those words interchangeably — another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I'm not one. I'd rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can't ignore."
Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008
Aaron threw a pair of large sharp scissors at Kimble, in an attempt to hit a moving target, and kill an innocent living thing.
My temper flared up. I've grown really comfortable with my temper in the last year. There's a lovely fire inside, and it's quite a sight to be with. This time, it came up in full flower. The lawn was hot, the air was hot, and I shouted a really great stream. It was a brilliant insult that worked on both intellectual and profane levels.
Aaron's shot had missed, and Kimble realized he was in danger after the scissors flew past his head. He cowered and I jumped. For the first time Aaron was not my superior. The physical had been taken out of the equation, which meant he could be beaten physically. I flowed, and beat the crap out of him. There was blood everywhere.
Then I demanded that he leave his blue belt and get off the farm.
I love energy drinks.
First of all, the packaging. It's just so wrong. How does one represent the high of a stimulant in liquid form? It needs to look more adult than a soda. It needs to be serious. But not too old. And not too 'together', otherwise it looks like you'll have more composure after you consume it. You are looking for the opposite of composure, yo.
Second of all, the flavors are just all over the map. Most of them are terrible. But there are a few delights. I cried a pink tear the day the gorgeously berry flavored Tab Energy stopped production. That stuff rocked the party hard.
Third, it's the evolution of a hobby. I collected beer cans as a child. My dad built a dozen shelves for my collection in the garage.
I feel the need to record some of my musings here. This will spare my friends from receiving unsolicited emails about a topic which probably interests only me.
Monster Kaos: tastes like a juice mix that is attempting to approximate the flavor of Tang. With the Monster blend of wow, which they just put in everything. This is by far my favorite Monster so far, mostly because I felt really high after I had finished it.
Monster M-80: another "juice" blend, except this one tastes like guava/pineapple popsicle that has melted. Terrible.
Monster Original: Tasted like Mountain Dew or whatever. If it's all that's available, it's serviceable, but I honestly can't tell you what it actually tasted like. Forgettable.
Monster Java Mean Bean: my first foray into the Monster Java line of energy drinks. It's like a liquid toffee candy. Or one of my favorite Japanese expresso shot drinks I would by by the dozens each day while in Tokyo: too much sugar, lots of caffeine, and just a touch of cream, and something of an echo of coffee flavoring. But at 16 ounces it's kind of a project to finish it all, irresistible as the overload of sugar seems at first.
"Shad, when you know jiu jitsu?"
I took him to mean when did I first know jiu jitsu. There is an implicit compliment there. Was he saying that I know jiu jitsu? After eleven months of focused training, I would never venture to say more than that I know a few bits here and there, but that I have only just met jiu jitsu. Never mind that I tapped a blue belt three times this week. I was honored, confused, secretly thrilled, and trying hard to look modest. All at once. I was stopped.
I dug deeper, as I do. When trying to look good, instead look profound, because most people just think you're really smart and thoughtful, not avoiding looking immodest or cheeky. I've got too many friends who call me on it not to know outright that this is a technique I'm skilled at. And so I had an answer to the question: I knew jiu jitsu, the way I have known enlightenment, in the space of a blink. Which is to say I am aware that I can access it, but cannot stop it, name it, or even realize I am perceiving it without banishing it from the present. The first time it happened was probably last November or December. Now I glimpse it quite often. The trick is to put my life into my jiu jitsu training. Make everything work in service of the jits. Everything I do becomes part of the flow, and I'm rewarded with being inside jiu jitsu more often. Occasionally I will focus on doing this and it all goes to shambles.
Master teacher immediately rescued me from going down my incredibly profound little rabbit hole, the way he does when we roll. After all, jiu jitsu is the efficient art. It cuts through the stuff. He was simply asking how I had become aware of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after playing rugby and lifting weights for four years.