Silver! Took second at the 2023 IBJJF American National Jiu Jitsu No-Gi Championship.
Back on the IBJJF Podium after missing it for my first time ever at the 2022 World Master event. I lost in the Finals at the 2023 Nationals via referee’s decision. While I did not have a point scored on me during the entire tournament, I did not do enough to win in the end. There is more work to be done. Thank you to all the Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Satori athletes for the preparation.
To this point 2023 (and much of 2022) has been a no good, very bad, *^#% (insert explicative of your choice) horrendous year. Some context: First there was recovering from the pandemic, which caused its share of business related woes; then there was the arson attack at the gym, in June of 2022, which destroyed the mats and burned down a common wall shared with the business next door; this was followed by unreasonable delay and conflict with the real property association where the gym is located with respect to repair of the arson damage, which kept us closed and out of business for over 75 days post arson; worst, just as we finally were able to begin rebuilding the gym, I began to experience vision problems in my right eye; the vision problems were shortly followed by loss of equilibrium and my ability to balance with the unconscious competence upon which athletes rely (indeed, my right foot started to drag as I walked); problems with my vision, my equilibrium, my gait and my balance continued to worsen between the completion of the arson repair, around August 28th of 2022, until Dr. Bianca Greenwood, as my primary care physician, ordered a CT Scan and multiple MRIs, at the beginning October of 2022, after I stumbled into her office, and she suspected I was experiencing some form of brain damage (possibly from a tumor). The CT Scan revealed no tumor, however, the MRIs revealed that I had multiple (approximately 10) active demyelination lesions on my brain and spine which the Neuroradiologist summarized: “There is moderate to severe white matter disease in a…pattern which is highly suggestive of a demyelinating process such as Multiple Sclerosis.” Fortunately, because of Dr. B’s correct and relatively quick diagnosis, I was able to start treatment with a powerful MS disease modifying drug. While the drug tends to stop the demyelination going forward, unfortunately it does nothing to repair the brain damage, the neurological impairment, already suffered, nor does it cure the MS, but it tends to stop the disability progression associated with the disease, so long as you take the drug. Which means, with the help of Tonya Fuller, a talented physical therapist who runs Dynamic Mobility & Balance Center, I have spent most of 2023 relearning how to walk and balance and establish a more functional sense of equilibrium. Vision and mobility problems are not the only symptoms common to MS. So, all things considered, not having a point scored against me at the tournament, a Silver Medal and a place on the podium at the 2023 IBJJF American Nationals, while not the outcome I pursued, is not too shabby a performance. I am diminished, and there is still work to be done, but it appears that my Jiu Jitsu is still pretty solid. I would love to see you on the mat if you would like to help me rebuild. Special thanks to my beyond capable, compassionate, committed, and supportive wife (and Jiu Jitsu Professor in her own right) Teri Stewart, my physician and fellow Jiu Jitsu athlete Dr. B, and all the other CBJJS athletes who help at and around the gym, including but not limited to, Scott Dye, Diego Belardi, Steve Haddock, Steve Gonzo, Stephanie Burke, Shaun Parris, Greg Lorenz, Matt Link, Jim Norman, and so many others: Thank you.
2023 IBJJF AMERICAN NATIONAL JIU JITSU NO-GI CHAMPIONSHIP
Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Satori – CBJJS – Excellent Instruction – BJJ – Martial Arts – Self Defense – Fitness – Community – Fun – Central Park – Denver – Aurora – Jiu Jitsu Colorado