Updated: Sep 14
“What do you mean you can’t KNEEBAH!?”
We’ve all heard this line a million times, and we’ve said it jokingly with our training partners. When a buddy of mine showed me the video over 7 years ago, I laughed to go along with everyone else’s laughter, but I had NO idea what in the world they were doing, why the guy made such a fuzz, and much less what a “KNEEBAH” was!
But we all go through it right? That clueless stage of not knowing how to even pronounce jiu-jitsu. Now I hate to use the word “journey” too (how many times do we hear THAT?).
But if I have to, I will start off a little like this:
Hello readers! My name is Elsa Cardenas, maybe you have seen me at one or two, or ten submission hunter super fights. Maybe you have not, in which case, I apologize for not making a better impression onstage! My jiu-jitsu “journey” began 7 years ago. I was a regular fresh-out-of-high-school college freshman at the university recreation center trying to keep off the freshmen 15. I looked over a window from the second floor, and under were a couple of dudes hugging each other in a very aggressive manner. One of them waved and called me over, and I turned to look at my friend and said, “Why not?” I went down and they showed me a couple of moves ranging from a strange contraption called a “gil-uh-teen”, a couple of takedowns, and a rear naked choke.
I WAS HOOKED.
I went home and immediately Googled what all this was. (Doesn’t everybody?)
I tried a couple of classes here and there, and finally stayed at a little hole-in-the-wall gym that fit my broke college student budget.
To make a very long story short, life has brought me to train at 3 different gyms. Currently I am unaffiliated, unattached, and nonpartisan.
I have met so many insanely amazing people along the way. Like one of my favorite people in the world, Mike “The Truth” Jackson (who provided the awesome picture by the way). Another one of them being our main man, Eric Garcia. He gave me the opportunity to join the big stage a few days into my blue belt, gave me a sponsorship short after, and has been my main supporter for the past 4 years. I would not have been able to do almost any tournament without him, and I would have never met so many awesome individuals who share the same love for the sport.
I am extremely excited to be writing and giving back to the organization that has opened so many doors for me. Thank you for following me in my non-exciting story about how my story with jiu-jitsu started. I will shut up about me for now, and furthermore I will be sharing a bit of my knowledge on nutrition, strength and conditioning, some event recaps and interviews here and there.
For now, wash your hands, train hard, and don’t “KNEEBAH” white belts.