My BJJ Beginnings: Blind and Tapped but Never Quit

My BJJ Beginnings: Blind and Tapped but Never Quit

To understand why I fell in love with the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we must travel back over a decade to when I was in the sixth grade. During one recess, I was smashed in the face with a soccer ball which detached my retina. This is a semi-common injury in any sport with MMA fighters like Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping having suffered from it. Unfortunately, I was not as lucky as them. My eyesight never returned and I was left with my right eye measuring in at 20/2000 as opposed to 20/20. This injury left me out of all contact sports throughout high school; that lead me to my first athletic endeavor of distance running, but after completing two marathons there was no challenge left.

I looked into the world of BJJ. It is a contact sport, but I knew I could roll with my eyes closed as protection and train by movement and touch. The negative part was I was in college and on a relatively meager retail job I could not afford the $100 gym fees. Luckily, one of the first full-fledged UFC Gyms opened near my town which came with lower gym fees.

To understand why I fell in love with the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we must travel back over a decade to when I was in the sixth grade. During one recess, I was smashed in the face with a soccer ball which detached my retina. This is a semi-common injury in any sport with MMA fighters like Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping having suffered from it. Unfortunately, I was not as lucky as them. My eyesight never returned and I was left with my right eye measuring in at 20/2000 as opposed to 20/20. This injury left me out of all contact sports throughout high school; that lead me to my first athletic endeavor of distance running, but after completing two marathons there was no challenge left.

I looked into the world of BJJ. It is a contact sport, but I knew I could roll with my eyes closed as protection and train by movement and touch. The negative part was I was in college and on a relatively meager retail job I could not afford the $100 gym fees. Luckily, one of the first full-fledged UFC Gyms opened near my town which came with lower gym fees.

That changed since 2013 can be known as my year of injuries and epiphanies for me. A busted up shoulder, a pinched nerve, and a pulled groin reduced my time on the mats. That time off lead me to becoming a better teammate and teacher to the less experienced in my relatively young BJJ team. Healthy but overweight, I will be returning to the competition mats this January in hopes of lighting a fire in me. If all goes well in a month you should be reading an article about that experience.

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