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Mom: How was your weekend?
JJ365: Good! All went well. Oh, yeah, I was promoted to Blue Belt this weekend.
Mom: Oooh, Congratulations! How’s your shoulder?
JJ365: Thanks! It’s fine.
Mom: Are you still going to the doctor? You should still get it checked out.
JJ365: I’m feeling fine. I may have it looked at when I get a check up. (No plans for a check up./Just trying to change the subject)
Mom: (to father off phone: He was promoted to Blue belt this weekend.) Your father says good job!
JJ365: Tell him I said thanks!
Mom: Ok. — So how far is that from a Black Belt?
JJ365: Uh, um about 4 or 5 years.
Mom: Oh.. (slight disappointment in voice)
And there goes the scenario for many conversations I’ve had about my practice of BJJ over the years. Many of my relatives and friends do not understand why I would go someplace where someone would, as I have heard it described, “beat on me.” Or as my mother-in-law says “Karate class.”
Is Bakari still taking that Karate?
Tell your mom I am not taking Karate.
Or when my father-in-law found out that I was still practicing BJJ after all these years, (he was talking to my wife on the phone) he asked what belt I was.
When my wife told him I was a white belt (at the time) I heard a noticeable pause on the phone and then he changed the subject. If I wasn’t present I’m sure the conversation would have gone something like this:
Father in Law (F-I-L): He has been taking BJJ for four years and is still a white belt?
Wife: (fumbling over response) Uh, well he used to take no-gi and now he’s taking it with the gi.
F-I-L: No-gi, gi? (quickly changing the subject) Uh, Okay.
My wife even calls it Judo sometimes but I forgive her because we were an item during my Judo days and I used to scoop her up from her dorm when I would leave practice.