It’s ok to die in here

Saturday was the funeral and although it was incredible painful to bury our friend, it meant the world to spend the afternoon with everyone from the team.  We had three or four booths/tables filled at O’charleys. 

rest in peace Brandon Kessinger

There was a private reception at Kessinger’s family house after the funeral as well.  Promptly once everyone got their drinks “Ig” aka Adam Munzinger (blue belt) proposed a toast to our lost friend. It was sad, but I think we were able to comfort each other with laughs and a few distasteful jokes. One thing that really touched me at least was that I had thought that the blue belt that was laid across the casket was kessinger’s and that they couldn’t find his purple but apparently it belonged to Ig (Adam).  He surrendered it in his memory at the visitation.   

Sunday it was back to business.  Mooney led a high energy and grueling class. I say grueling because I hadn’t pushed my cardio very much in the week prior so I was exhausted by the end.  We worked off the wall and on the mat, rotating between the two.  Those of us that had fights coming up alternated between against the wall, and pinning an opponent to the wall and working to the takedown.  Luckily before the drill Mooney showed na arsenal of takedown techniques that work great against the cage (or in our case, the wall).  He even showed a few tweaks to executing a clean and effective single leg and double leg.  He mentioned that when going for the single leg instead of simply clasping the hands together for grip, try to grab hold of your elbows.  He said that it proved to be a more effective grip and there wasn’t as much space so it was harder for the opposing person to defend.

At one point one of our teammates was getting pretty tired and Mooney responded to him, “It’s alright man, It’s ok to die in here.” For some reason that really stuck with me. I mean we all have our ups and downs and we’re pretty hard on ourselves if we don’t do as well as we think we should. But i liked the fact that he was really reassuring in the fact that it’s ok to be tired, that’s what we’re working to offset and we’re not going to judge you otherwise for it. Quite the contrary, the gym is where you can ‘die’, where you can shed your tears, and spill your blood.  Like i said before it was a great class and i had some great rolls. Big thanks to Paul Tipton and Landon Morgan for pushing me on the wall.  I think it helped me mentally prepare for those moments when I have no energy but just have to finish that last takedown. I look forward to the next class.

From Left-right: Michael Cayo, Joe Baize, Brandon Kessinger at Nice Guy Submission Fighting in Owensboro, Ky.

We’re all getting along the best we can at the gym.  Early this morning Debandi and I were picking around on facebook and he stumbled across an old belt promotion vid and as we were watching the blues go through…and then the purples we saw him, the massive man that he was go through his gauntlet. It just hit me the other day that he was our highest ranking belt at the Bowling green school. He was the only purple belt…now it’s just us blues.

*** You can view that gauntlet HERE. It’s pretty funny one of the blues Laith wrote with a sharpie on his back, “Hit me you sissy’s”. I love our guys.

P.S. Thanks to a generous sponsorship offer from my boyfriend 🙂 I’ll be competing at the Extreme Grappling Open in Nashville July 16!! I’ll let you know how it goes.


One Response to “It’s ok to die in here”
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