Crazy Guy Tries Stealing This Street Performer’s Money

What a day. Some crazy homeless guy possibly on drugs tried stealing my money as I was street performing on Grant in Chinatown, SF. I do a hybrid kinda street performance that entails a costume (see the latest), some miming, story telling, goofing around, and beatboxing.

I divided this post into 2 parts as there were 2 altercations with this same guy within maybe 10-20 minutes.

Part 1 – Guy tries to steal my money

So I was sitting out on Grant St. in Chinatown doing my pink man show and waiting for someone to push play. Then this guy who wasn’t wearing a t-shirt or shoes comes by and picks up my money can sitting between my legs and starts walking off.

At first I thought is this guy joking?

I told him to stop and he kept walking. So I threw him with a judo throw. It happened fast and I can’t remember what kind of throw it was, it was something like osoto gari or o guruma or harai goshi.

He hit the ground, my money went flying and then there was that moment of thought…

“Arm bar him, get on top or this guy is probably going to go away…”

That was my mistake. He got up hit me in the side of my temple and than ran over to a store across the way and grabbed a bin of umbrellas.

Then he tried throwing them at me and eventually ran off.

After that I was thinking about my mistake. I was telling myself… “You got to get on top of the guy and finish him with a submission. That’s why he got up and hit you. That happened cause you didn’t control the situation. Don’t assume he is going to go away.”

Luckily most people are good people and a few people collected my money that had flown everywhere and watched it while this was happening.

Weird too, after that the woman who works next door gave me $20 and another guy $5. It’s weird how that works. The same thing happened another time when a guy was being a jerk throwing these loud firecrackers near me and then I got angry and went over to him and said some things.

Drama.

Maybe people like drama or maybe it’s compassion. Maybe some people feel a sense of compassion for this pink or blue dude who people are messing with.

Anyways back to the story…

Part 2 – He comes back

Then he came back.

He started saying I took some of his stuff. This guy was crazy. He wouldn’t go away and kept walking around me. This time I took off my sign that I wear. Then he took his shirt off the ground and started whipping me with it.

This is all happening on the sidewalk and middle of the street.

There was that thought (a moment) of, “do I back off or attack?” I actually attacked him and grabbed him and got him up against a car from behind in a rear naked choke.

But his chin was tucked and I couldn’t finish him. Later I thought how I could have got that choke… more on that later.

Then another guy comes and asks if we could get off the side of the car. So I threw the guy again on the pavement and got on top of him. He was pulling on my shirt and pushing towards my face.

I was going for the americana. I was thinking of a choke, but he had no shirt on and I’m less confident about my arm triangle chokes. So I went for the americana.

The guy is fighting, but eventually I got his wrist to the ground. I kept my elbow by his head to keep him from biting me. I was thinking this guy could bite, try grabbing my balls or any other dirty thing.

Once I got my grips I pulled it down and up toward his hips. Then I heard some pops and cracks in his shoulder or elbow, the guy yell and then suddenly he became limp and apologetic.

“Sorry. Sorry.”

“I am sorry”, he said.

“Sorry.”

He stopped moving.

If I wanted to be mean or really destroy his elbow or shoulder I would have done it again even deeper. But he stopped fighting and started saying sorry.

So I just held him there in that arm lock.

I was thinking, “do I let him go or hold on or what?”, but I held on, the cops eventually came and handcuffed him. I guess he was causing problems up and down Grant.

Things I learned from that fight

So that’s my story about using judo and jiu-jitsu in a street fight. I always wondered if it would work. I mean it should right? I had been training in jiu-jitsu for maybe close to 3.5 years frequently and in judo for a few years less often.

But you never really know until you are in a fight.

Even after part 1 I was thinking about that mistake and well like most things in judo or jiu-jitsu there are no mistakes.

I know it sounds a little cliche, but…

There are only learning experiences. You may have heard that if you have been practicing jiu-jitsu. It may sound cliche, but it’s the truth.

And I got the chance to immediately apply what I had learned from the first episode. I knew this guy was a problem when he came back so I took my sign off. He took his shirt off the ground and was whipping me with his shirt and then I attacked.

In the end I submitted the guy until the cops came. But learned a few things along the way.

  • Don’t just throw the guy and think the fight is over. Get on top and/or submit.
  • I think I could have gotten the rear naked choke had I used my other bicep on his fore head to open up his neck more for my other hand. Probably hard for some to visualize what I mean.
  • Be aware of your vulnerabilities because the guy may try the dirtiest stuff.

But that’s jiu-jitsu.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a real fight, rolling at the gym or a competition.

The same sort of reflection happens every time you roll with someone. When you fail you can look back on what you did and think about what you will do next time.

The damage

My performance glasses got f*cked up, I got a bump on my temple from getting hit, scratch on my forehead and a bruise on my knee – mounting on the pavement is a lot harder than a mat in the dojo, but otherwise I am o.k.

I noticed that guy had a bloody hand when I had him in an arm lock and I am pretty sure by the sounds of things mentioned earlier that something tore or broke in his elbow or shoulder.

I didn’t punch or kick him I just did what I learned.

In the end

I wanted to get a video because I saw some people recording it, but left by the time the altercation was finished. So hopefully one will surface on Youtube or somewhere else that I can use in the next week or so.

Seeing some pink street performer dude fighting on Grant Street in Chinatown, San Francisco is a little unusual so maybe a video or two will surface somewhere.

Before I got into jiu-jitsu I heard people talk about how it can make you more confident. I always wondered if it had made me more confident. I still don’t know, but had these things happened 4 years ago I think the outcome may have been different.

The cops were actually pretty cool to me which was surprising considering I had known one of the cops for a long time. I think that same cop seems to respect me more now for whatever reason.

The “Pleasure” Of Getting Promoted To JUDO Green Belt

I got promoted to green belt in judo yesterday at CCSF. And I am being a bit sarcastic when I say “pleasure”. When you get promoted there is a certain sort of ritual and part of the ritual is that you line up and get to throw the people who got promoted 3 times – once for yourself, once for the teacher and once for the person promoted.

Me about to get thrown by a big black belt

Me about to get thrown by a big black belt

Last week Jackson got promoted to 3rd degree brown belt. I thought it looked a little brutal when I saw some people throwing him pretty hard. I was thinking that maybe that treatment was reserved for the higher belts and maybe newly promoted green belts wouldn’t get thrown.

I was wrong.

The moment before getting thrown

The moment before takeoff

The four of us promoted got thrown 3 times by each classmate (16 classmates). So that means we got thrown 48 times in about 10 minutes or so. This isn’t like randori. You have no fair chance. You just have to accept it. You let the other person throw you.

And some won’t throw you that hard and others will. I was a bit worried about that.

But I survived.

The four of us in the front row were promoted to green or brown belt.

The four of us in the front row were promoted to green or brown belt.

I have been practicing judo since around 2015. I started with jiu-jitsu and gradually got into judo. I didn’t take it as seriously as jiu-jitsu and didn’t practice as much, like 2 half classes a week.

I realized that it was important to learn judo because if you don’t know any take downs or throws then how are you going to get your opponent to the ground?

So from a self-defense perspective I think you have to know some judo to be a better grappler.

Jessica getting thrown with the osoto gari throw

Jessica getting thrown with the osoto gari throw

I didn’t really do a lot of randori (sparring) with judo. I would often go to jiu-jitsu Tuesday and Thursday at 6 and then stay for the first hour of judo which follows jiujitsu. I would do some technique and then go home.

Then I tried to add a little randori with a few people before heading out. And I recently started to stay a bit longer to do some more.

I don’t think my judo is very good, but you know it’s getting better, slowly

Learning to fall is part of it too. I try to work on my falling. Sometimes it’s fun to fall like when you have it timed right and you break the fall with your arm(s) just right.

Then…

Other times it’s not so fun especially when you don’t see it coming or you get the wind knocked out of you.

The photos are from the CCSF judo page.

Related:

New Judo & Jiu-jitsu gi Size A3 [For Sale] CCSF

This is a brand NEW judo gi that I have for sale. It’s cheap and it’s good quality. It includes a jacket, belt, and pants.

Works fine for jiujitsu too, yet it just has a bit longer jacket. I tried it on, but it was a bit big for me (5’11, 155) and they wouldn’t return it for free.

judo-gi

Guess it would fit someone about 20-40 pounds heavier and/or a bit taller. I normally wear an A2 yet this was a bit big and may be closer to A3. It has a different sizing which is 4/170.

If you are a student a CCSF [or not], in San Francisco and are looking for a new gi for judo/jiu-jitsu then let me know and I can bring it in sometime.

You can buy it on Ebay too for $59 +shipping or directly through me for $50 which is what I paid for it.

 

My 3rd Jiu-jitsu Competition At CCSF

The beginning of the match. Vincent and I starting on our knees.

The beginning of the match. Vincent and I starting on our knees.

This video is of my 3rd jiu-jitsu competition at CCSF on Friday Aug. 21, 2017. This one we started on our knees as some of the students didn’t have much training with falling.

There were a few divisions based on weight and then one division he called blue belt which is the one that I completed in. There were maybe 5 other people in that division that included white belts like myself with quite a bit of experience, 2 judo brown belts and one jiu-jitsu blue belt.

Me doing a collar choke on Vincent. I won with a collar choke like this, however I don't think this one was the one. It doesn't look quite deep enough.

Me doing a collar choke on Vincent. I won with a collar choke like this, however I don’t think this one was the one. It doesn’t look quite deep enough.

Matches were 3 minutes long. I had one match that finished with a tie and then we went like another 4 minutes until I got a submission.

This took place at CCSF city college in San Francisco.

I won three by submission: collar choke, armbar from guard and kimura. I lost 2 by points. Sensei said I lost my last match because I didn’t attack… I played defense.

Triangle choke from the side. I let go of his arm you can't see and did a kimura on his arm you can see.

Triangle choke from the side. I let go of his arm you can’t see and did a kimura on his arm you can see.

When I watched the video I look pretty half there. Friends said I looked pretty gased out.

Richard taking my back.

Richard taking my back.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to compete in this one as sensei asked on wednesday if I would ref. I also tweaked my back and thought it might be wise to rest, but then come Friday sensei said Robert would ref and I should compete.

Me going for an armbar and Richard defends.

Me going for an armbar and Richard defending.

So I did.

It seemed long. I did 5 matches and one lasted nearly 7 minutes.

I edited this video to make it short and just focused on some of the techniques being done.

Getting promoted to blue belt. Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Getting promoted to blue belt. Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

At the end of the match sensei promoted me to blue belt.

Jiu-jitsu: The Road To Blue Belt

My white belt for jiu-jitsu

My white belt for jiu-jitsu

Wondering how long it will take you to get a blue belt in jiu-jitsu? Funny I was thinking of writing this article “the road to blue belt” about a week or so ago and then I got one.

I remember when I first started I had a goal where I wanted to get a white belt in a year. I wrote it on my wall. I was kinda destination driven. Then there was a bump in the road that knocked me out for 6 months or so.

I hurt my knee. But I got back into it. As time progressed and when the year started to come to a close I started to think I wasn’t a blue belt and I scratched the goal out and replaced it with something like “have fun learning jiu-jitsu”.

That became my goal. Sure I still wanted to get promoted, but it wasn’t the main thing. I thought I’d rather be a good white belt than a bad blue belt.

I had learned that intrinsic rewards were better than extrinsic ones too. In other words you should do something because you enjoy it not because you want the carrot, paycheck, black belt or whatever.

So anyways…

The road to blue belt in jiu-jitsu was a pretty long one for me. I looked back over my history and added up the time that I spent on the mat practicing jiu-jitsu.

I practiced in 3 different schools. Here’s my technical answer to how long it took me to get a blue belt in jiu-jitsu…

About 35 months of training on the mat

  • 14 months with Romulo Melo
  • 4 months CCSF Aug-Dec 2015
  • 4 months CCSF Jan-May 2016
  • 2.5 months Caesar Gracie May-July 2016
  • 4 months CCSF August-December 2016
  • 1 month Romelo Melo December-Jan 2017
  • 4 months CCSF Jan-May 2017
  • 1.5 months CCSF June-July 2017

Normally I practiced 4 days a week. That translates to 16 days a month x 35 months = 560 days. There were times when I managed 5 and others when I did 3. Over the recent summer session at CCSF I did 2 days. But again normally I did 4 days a week.

At Romulo Melo I normally did hour long classes. Occasionally I would do an hour and a half. I’d estimate 4.5 hours a week, 18 hours a month for 15 months = 270 hours.

At Caeser Gracie I did a mix of classes that were 1-1.5 hours long. I’d estimate 4.5-5 hours a week. I’ll round down to 4.5, 18 hours a month for 2.5 months = 45 hours.

At CCSF I probably spent more hours a week on the mat. I also took judo classes there a couple hours a week. Jiujitsu classes were 1-2 hours depending on the class. I’d estimate 6 hours a week doing jiu-jitsu, 24 hours a month for a total of about 17 months = 408 hours.

I actually started at CCSF when I was still going to Romelo’s. I didn’t go there much my first semester so I didn’t include it above.

So between the 3 schools that’s about 705 hours of jiu-jitsu.

So that white belt above saw quite a few hours. In fact I replaced two of the stripes that fell off. The only original stripe on it is the really dark and dirty one. Those stripes were from training with Romelo Melo. They were from 2014-2015.

These numbers are just my experience and are kind of arbitrary

For you – if you’re wondering I have no idea how long it will take.

For me I think it took longer because I changed schools and had a few injuries. Had I stayed with Romelo (my first school) I think I would have gotten it a while ago. 

But…

I couldn’t afford to keep going there and also I wanted to learn some judo. So I went to CCSF.

Obstacles and pain on the path

I hurt both of my knees (bone bruises and a torn meniscus). They seemed to heal pretty good though. I had a rib that bothered me for a long time.

A couple of armbars. Yes, I tapped, but not fast enough as in both cases the person didn’t let go immediately. Tap hard and tap early. Nothing ever popped, but the joints locked.

The only thing that ever popped was my ankle in a toe hold. I didn’t see that coming and then the next thing I knew I heard and felt a pop. It bugged me for a while, but it’s o.k now.

There were a lot of bruises, jammed toes and fingers and I recently cracked the enamel in my tooth. I wasn’t wearing my mouthpiece when I got kneed in the face…

Ahhh…

White belts;)…

Funny some say white belts are sometimes the more dangerous ones. They are a bit more unpredictable and spastic as they haven’t learned much technique so they rely more on strength.

As sensei says, “do the technique”.

CCSF summer 2017 jiu-jitsu class

CCSF summer 2017 jiu-jitsu class

Fun and friends on the path

I have made a lot of friends through jiu-jitsu. Most of the people that I have met have been pretty cool. And despite the pain I have had a lot of fun.

There’s been ups and downs when you don’t think you’re learning or your getting tapped out, but mostly it’s been fun.

I think jiu-jitsu gives you energy too. There have been times when I went in there not feeling very good and then I’ll leave pumped up.

Fear

Jiu-jitsu is scary. Competing is twice as scary. I still get a bit scared before every class. I would get scared of getting hurt. Sometimes it’s scary sparring with new people too.

But I remember and say to myself something sensei Palacio said, “Do the technique”.

I think I also just imagine dark sh*t happening sometimes too. Maybe I have a dark mind. It’s not just jiu-jitsu. Walking over the bridge to the competition the other night I just thought what if I fell of that bridge? And got hit by a car.

Game over.

But actually what’s really scary is not jiujitsu, but the anticipation of it. When you are doing it all the fear pretty much goes away.

It’s a weird mix of excitement, fun and fear.

Sensei promoting me to blue belt

Sensei promoting me to blue belt

How long will it take to get promoted?

Probably longer than you think.

I guess it depends on a number of things, but based on my experience you’re more likely to get promoted if you stick with one school.

Although I think moving around was actually good for me. I got instruction from different teachers, but as far as getting promoted goes it probably didn’t help.

Different schools have different ways of promoting. Guess it’s up to the teacher.

Romelo Melo only did promotions like twice a year or so. During those times he would promote a bunch of people at the same time.

Caeser Gracie seemed to have no formal promotion. I saw Alessandro promote someone at the end of class once.

CCSF doesn’t seem to typically do jiu-jitsu promotions. I only know of one other person who got a blue belt there. CCSF is more focused on judo. They do promotions once or twice a semester for judo.

Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Getting promoted

I actually got my blue belt after the recent competition on Friday July 21, 2017. That was unexpected. Funny I got a little choked up too. I don’t know it just kinda seemed like an abstract thing.

At times I thought maybe I am doomed to be a white belt forever. Self doubt…

But…

Most of the time I just figured I’d get it eventually and just tried to focus on doing it and having fun. I know other people who trained at CCSF who were white belts for a long time. Some even longer than me, like 4 or 5 years+.

At one time I wondered how long it would take.

It might take longer than expected or it could come sooner. So I’d just say enjoy the ride.

What’s your Kung fu?

When I lived in Tainan, Taiwan I took some kung fu classes. Downstairs was a guy who owned a t-shirt shop. He said his kung fu was making t-shirts.

That’s actually the real meaning of the word. Kung fu can be pretty much anything. It can be skill like a martial art, making t-shirts, coding, writing, teaching, playing golf, etc.

I find myself sometimes in awkward positions reaching for something sometimes and then ask myself, “how’s my kung fu?” or just notice that my kung fu is bad.

What’s my kung fu?

Nowadays it’s jiu-jitsu, art (scratching records, beatboxing, performing, etc.), yoga, meditation and ESLinsider.

What’s your kung fu?

Jiu-jitsu: 2 Ways To Help Stiff & Sore fingers

If you are doing jiu-jitsu or judo then chances are at some point you will get sore fingers from all the grabbing of the gi.

In this video I’ll show you 2 ways how I deal with finger pain and soreness.

I used to dunk my hands in cold water and that helped for the pain. Yet I didn’t think it did much for helping them heal. I also used to tape my fingers a lot. But I am not sure that it did much.

Then I started soaking my fingers in warm water and that helped. Your fingers like your toes are on the end of your body so they get less blood flow than other parts of your body.

So I think the warm water will improve blood flow to them and help them heal as they sometimes get micro injuries from the grabbing.

You can try it out whenever your fingers are sore. You can soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes a time.

I also combine this with meditation. So I am doing 2 beneficial things at once.

The other thing I do is use DMSO. You can apply this to your fingers after you have showered or at least washed them.

I notice less stiffness and soreness after doing this.

Jiu-jitsu wear and tear you’ll probably get

In this video I cover the different kinds of wear and tear most people get from jiu-jitsu (bjj) and judo. The topics I cover are fingers, bruises, scrapes and cauliflower ear.

Your fingers will get beat up a bit from grabbing the gi. They will get a little raw around the knuckles at first. Over time you will develop calluses on your top knuckles.

I think everyone will get this unless you do no gi.

Some people don’t bruise, but I do. I tend to get bruises on my legs and arms.

Toe injuries are common too and one thing you’ll probably get are scrapes on your feet from the mat.

Cauliflower ear is also common amongst grapplers. I noticed recently that I have a little in my right ear and I wear a head piece most of the time.

My 2nd Jiu-jitsu Competition – Facing fear

It’s kinda scary. You feel those nerves starting to twitch days before the competition whenever you start to think about it. Come the day you start to think why am I doing this? I don’t have to do this.

But you do it. And it’s pretty intense cause the other guy is probably just as scared and is trying to throw you, choke you or get you in a shoulder or arm lock.

Here’s a video of some of the highlights from the competition.

I got 3 submissions (armbars from mount). If you get the guy to tap out by arm/shoulder lock or a choke then you win.

You can also win by points, but they are secondary to a submission. Certain positions are considered more dominate and you can get points from those like mount, back, side control.

Then you can get points from sweeps (going from bottom to top) and guard passes (getting out from between the guys legs).

I just focus on trying to get the submission as I think that is more martial art like versus a sport.

I won 3 and I lost one by points.

The guy I lost to had a wrestling background. He was pretty athletic. He won because he got 4 points for a mount position, but I got out. I had only 2 points from a hip sweep.

My friends said I was only a second away from winning. I just got my leg out but just a hair of a second too slow as the buzzer went off.

I guess losing is not really a loss. For one he didn’t submit me. So losing by points is not like losing from tapping out and avoiding a broken arm. It’s a game.

It’s still not quite as tasty as a win, but there’s something to learn from it. I saw my technique for guard passing towards the end to be pretty sloppy and there were a few things I would do differently.

It’s more intense than practice. You get tired really quickly if you are going 100%.

It’s cool to watch the matches over and over again. You can see what you did wrong and what you can do better next time.

My judo throw

I did do one judo throw called harai goshi and followed it with an armbar. You can see it in the video above at 1:36.

Harai goshi judo throw

Face your fears

That’s why I did it. That’s what my teacher said was incentive to do it.

It’s a lot more intense than class. It’s more like a real fight with a few rules.

It’s scary, but fun.

I got nervous, but being around your friends makes it fun too. And then after our teacher took a bunch of us out to Chinese. It was a great time.