It’s only my fourth class but I’ve been at this martial arts game for over 16 years now. I listen to the instructor and do my job to replicate his movements and ideas. I’m progressing fast. Tonight, I’m like greased lightning. My hip movement is impeccable. Knee bumps and knee escapes. Swivel my hips, butterfly guard. Secure the entire right side and roll my opponent over and I end up in the mount.
The timer buzzes, interval is over and it’s time to switch partners.
Nobody wants to work with him perhaps due to his constant questioning in class. He asks me if I want to roll. Right from the get-go he says, “Relax.” I say OK but he tells me he’s talking to himself because he doesn’t want to hurt me. He tells me that he’s being compassionate. Then he asks me if that’s the right way to use the word compassionate. We start rolling and all I feel is his strength. He leans all his weight on me and applies a blunt choke to my neck. I tap. Now we switch guards. He grabs my wrist and before I know it I’ve got my arm caught in a Kimura. I tap again. And so it goes for five minutes of non-stop tapping on my behalf.
Jonas is ‘slow.’ He has grown up being mentally challenged. He’s been ridiculed by every other martial arts club in the area. He’s been training BJJ for three years and that night he’s the only guy to tap me out.