Today, Little and I traveled with our coaches and teammates down to the Philly area for a submission-only BJJ tournament.
Little gets anxious about competing. When he was dragging his feet about registering for this one, the coach said to him, "BJJ is about learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable positions. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. That's what this is about."
He agreed to compete if I didn't take pictures or video of his matches, and he agreed to both gi and no-gi divisions, even though he doesn't train no-gi and he prefers the grips that the gi affords.
He did incredibly well, taking a second-place medal in gi and a first place in no-gi, where he was matched up with a girl who was two years older and 15+ lbs heavier than him. He stayed heavy and patient and waited for her to make a mistake, then went for an armlock and won.
Much like Middle had throughout his youth at the dojang, Little has a terrific group of peers at BJJ. They're good kids, hard workers, and lots of fun for him. They keep him motivated and have made this first year of his training so much fun for us both.
It was a great day overall, wrapping up with dinner out and a lot of laughs in the coaches' van on the 2 hour ride home. I'm back bright and early tomorrow morning to volunteer with the teammates, handing out water at the Harrisburg Marathon. Then Judo / BJJ in the afternoon as always.
Good, good stuff.