BJJ in Asheville, #1

29 Mar

I started my Humane Alliance externship in Asheville on Monday, and it’s been great!!  It’s a 2 week externship that teaches students how to perform high-quality, high-volume spays and neuters, and throughout the two weeks we also learn about the other parts of running a program like that, between transporting animals, selecting the right patients, what kind of peri-operative care they get, and so on.  Then I’m staying for an optional third week that’s all about surgery.  This morning didn’t start off so great, but my afternoon spay when a LOT better and with any luck, I’ll be spaying cats in under ten minutes when I’m done here! 

Last night I checked out the first of the Asheville-area BJJ schools on my list.  I went to Ichiban MMA, owned and run by BJJ black belt Erick Jordan.  Unfortunately, he was out of town, but one of his blue belts was teaching.  It was myself and another white belt in the class, which is actually bigger than normal.  Apparently the gi class is usually just Erick and the blue belt (whose name escapes me at the moment). 

The kids class was just wrapping up as I finished, and Blue got me signed in.  He got us stretching some, showed us a bow and arrow choke, and then we just rolled for awhile.  Apparently, the white belt (Ronnie) has done MMA for about a year, and was a wrestler, but this was his first gi class.  He was really nervous about it, but I went with him after rolling with Blue and it was obvious he knew what he was doing on the ground.  There was an accidental slam, and of course the obligate freak-out, but it got sorted quickly and we were both back to rolling.  I was playing mostly defense, and did get submitted a few times, but I think overall I did a pretty good job of frustrating their submission attempts.  Ronnie finally felt confident enough to roll with Blue, and then after that we went over a few gi grips.  I got in one more roll with Blue before the MMA class started. 

While the class wasn’t very structured, I still had a good time rolling.  Obviously when Erick is back in town I expect things will be a little different, but since the class is usually pretty small anyways it seems like it would be informal.  It seems like the school is more oriented towards the MMA and no-gi stuff, so I’ll definitely need to try a no-gi class (or at least a class when Erick is teaching). 

The basics:  There’s a nice big sign on the front, so it’s pretty easy to find.  There’s one bathroom for changing, and the mat fee is $10 (but Blue wouldn’t charge me).  The mat space wasn’t huge, but everything was pretty neat and clean. 


4 Responses to “BJJ in Asheville, #1”

  1. SavageKitsune March 29, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Coolness! I do TNR for the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project in Seattle. If you’re ever in town, I may try to bribe you- Jiu jitsu for cat spays! 😉

    • grapplingvet March 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

      That’s awesome! There’s no need for bribes–I would do it for free (although I wouldn’t mind some BJJ!). I love hearing when other BJJ people are into animal-related things. What part of the TNR-ing do you do?

  2. SavageKitsune March 30, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    Coolness! If you ever come up this way, let me know- we’ll get you into a speuter clinic, then go choke each other on the mats!

    I do the “T” part, although I sadly have not done any in a while because I was running into too many T’s that I was unable to R for one reason or another… I ended up a bit overloaded with special-needs rescue cats. I know it’s a poor excuse, I need to just harden my heart and do what I can. I’m weak.

    My most recent project is feline diabetics. I currently have two- one was a TNR that I couldn’t R because he was diabetic, and the other was a stray that a shelter was going to euth because he was elderly, diabetic and black. I hope you are going to be one of those vets who advocates home testing for diabetic pets! We have too many vets who are either living in the dark ages or don’t give pet parents enough credit to be capable of this. Some of them are still euthing diabetics on diagnosis! Ack!

    • grapplingvet March 30, 2012 at 2:26 am #

      There’s no need to harden yourself. Having emotions is not being “weak,” it’s what makes us human. Quite honestly as a vet if we don’t feel sad when we give bad news, it’s time to pack up and go home.

      As far as diabetic cats are concerned: many cats become diabetic because they’re overweight, and weight loss/diet change (i.e. canned food over dry) can really increase their insulin sensitivity. Obviously not the case all the time, but it is more common as pet obesity is also on the rise. When you say “home testing,” do you mean blood glucose testing? Quite honestly, it’s not always necessary. And as a (soon to be) vet I fully intend on presenting my clients with all the options for treating their diabetic kitties.

      I don’t feel comfortable going into it too in-depth on a public blog, but please feel free to e-mail me (aparna dot k dot modi at if there’s anything more you want to discuss/ask/disagree with.

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