Monkeys in a barrel, my 7 levels of nerdiness, and some new tunes…

Monkeys in a Barrel

The last few weeks have been a learning process of a different kind. Instead of getting my butt kicked by my teammates, I’ve been teaching kids classes at one of the MMA gyms I train at. My coach asked me and a fellow blue belt to step in and help him handle the teaching load, so I’m teaching every Wednesday. And guess what I’m using?

That’s right…Gracie Bullyproof.

So far, so good. Bullyproof is an awesome way to involve the kids, teach and have fun…but one thing it doesn’t cover is how to keep a barrel of monkeys in line. That’s the challenge: make a class fun while maintaining structure and discipline. So far all of the kids in the class are under 10 and there are way more girls than boys. I’ve learned a lot about how to maintain order, but I’m not gonna lie; it’s a little challenging. Which is why I’m enjoying it.

I’m working on a new gi review format that I think will really turn some heads. I can’t wait to post my next gi review…should be sometime around the end of June.

On another note, I feel like yammering a little about my life outside of jiu-jitsu.

My Seven Levels of Nerdiness

First, I should disclose that I am not only a martial arts nerd, but also a music nerd, a theater nerd, a computer nerd, a dance nerd, a cooking nerd, an anime nerd and a book nerd. That make seven levels of nerdiness (I could go higher but seven is a nice nerdy number). Don’t worry; today I’m only going to tell you a little about my music and theater nerdiness.

I LOVE finding new music and learning to appreciate it. It’s rare that I will pass judgement on music until I’ve had time to digest it and understand it. I dig most genres, but I am a HUGE classical music nerd (give me a tune and I’ll give you the piece, composer and movement), a classic jazz enthusiast, and an indie rock enthusiast. I dig everything from folk to bluegrass to trip-hop & electronica, but those three genres top my list.

I’m leading up to showing you some music…just give me a sec.

For some reason I naturally gravitate toward music from Europe. A good percentage of my favorite indie artists are Scottish. And I lately, I have really, really started to like a group called Frightened Rabbit. These guys are just phenomenal. I put a few songs that I like a Grooveshark playlist to share in this post. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. It’s not everyone’s bag of tea. I try not to criticize other people’s musical tastes.

Although, I secretly pity people who don’t try to expand their tastes, much the same as I pity people who refuse to try sushi.

Frightened Rabbit

Theater Is For Nerds. Cool Ones.

OK, now on to theater. We have a great community theater…devoid of the snobbishness and nepotism that afflicts lots of community organizations. I have not trained much in the last month, because I’m watching kids in the evenings while my wife rehearses a production of Oliver! (The exclamation point is part of the title, not a sign of my enthusiasm.) It will be nice when that is over and I can go back to regular training, but I am more than happy to support Alina in her hobbies since she is so supportive of BJJ.

My wife and I are part of the company’s new a comedy improve troupe called Improvinators. We use a superhero vs. super villain theme to drive show’s format, and we’ve been rehearsing for a few months now. Public shows start this weekend, and I’m pumped. The public screenings have been really successful – there are some funny, funny cats in our group.

There is also a 50/50 male to female ratio in our troupe, which is awesome. Usually men dominate comedy improv, but the ladies in our troupe rock. They are really, really good; we’ve had lots of comments on how impressed people are with the quality of the lady improv artists.

So, yeah. Total nerdy thing to do. But I love it.

And now you know a little more about what I do outside of BJJ.

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  1. SkinnyD chimed in:

    A side note: any correlation between my affinity for the band “Frightened Rabbit” and my jiu-jitsu game is purely coincidental.

  2. slideyfoot chimed in:

    Ooo, music! Means I can ask my automatic question when anyone raises that topic: do you track your listening on something like I always enjoy comparing musical taste. :D

    The way that it is common practice in the US to lump all European countries into a single entity never ceases to surprise me. Though I guess people in the UK often don’t treat the US as the broad and diverse place it is, or indeed lump together African countries into a single entity. ;)

  3. SkinnyD chimed in:

    I don’t track music on…I’ve been using Grooveshark lately. I’m not sure if Grooveshark has that feature, but I’ll look for it because it would be fun to compare. I might find something I really like.

    You have a point. It’s natural to lump things together when you’re observing from a distance. I’m a tiny bit defensive, though; I lived in southern Spain for a while and I recognize that there is a huge difference, say, between Spanish culture and British culture.

    It’s a blanket statement to say I tend to gravitate towards music from Europe, but I do take it more personally than that. The cultural influences on music fascinates me. I am captivated by the Glasgow music scene, for example, and I’d love to travel there and see why music from there tend to be so dark and thematically heavy. I’d like to hear live “a tenore” singing in Sardinia. I love the flamenco influence on Spanish rock. I like to go beyond the surface in the music I listen to – it’s part of my hobby.

  4. slideyfoot chimed in:

    Heh – Are you REALLY sure you’d love to travel to Glasgow? When most people here think of Glasgow, they think of knife crime. Though that’s probably unfair, as I imagine it has improved since that image was established a few decades ago. ;)

    Having said that, there seem to be a few Glaswegian bands amongst my favourites too, like Strawberry Switchblade (the interview with one of them is somewhat harrowing, talking about growing up in Glasgow) and The Blue Nile. Then of course there’s my top band according to, who are also Scottish (although from Grangemouth rather than Glasgow): Cocteau Twins. Some decent art from there too.

    Barely any Spanish music in my Winamp, except for Alaska y Dinarama. I do like Spain, however, mainly thanks to my gf, who is relatively fluent in the language. :)

    Shame that this widget doesn’t drill down a bit further, as it would be interesting to know if there are any particular cities I’m fond of. I’ll have to keep looking: playing with stats is one of the very best things about tracking everything through (and as you’ve seen my blog, you know I like stats and tracking things). :D

  5. SkinnyD chimed in:

    I didn’t know that about Glasgow’s knife crime…although it does explain a few songs I can think of :) .

    I’m familiar with Cocteau Twins, but I haven’t really explored their music much, and I’ve heard of Strawberry Switchblade but haven’t listened to their music. My all time favorite Glaswegian band is The Delgados.

    I remember you mentioning before that your girlfriend speaks spanish. As for Spanish music, Jarabe de Palo is a favorite of mine.

    I’ll look into starting a account – I love stats too and I’m curious to see what my listening habits are.

  6. slideyfoot chimed in:

    If you like music stats, then after joining and tracking your listening for a while, you’re in for a treat. ;)

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