Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Portrait of a KLN-BJJ Member: Mike, a.k.a. Lazy-Mike
Imagine yourself entering the Spartan walls of the little green Kowloon Brazilian jiu-jitsu club. After passing through a wafting haze of sweat and dirty-man smells, you notice something on the ground almost lifeless. What is that? You ask yourself. A heavy bag left unhung? A pile of clothes? Vomit? No, you realize as the form on the floor suddenly begins to move and take shape, slowly raising its head to an ear-to-ear grin. Yep, you say, it’s Mike, or as he’s better known in Hong Kong BJJ circles: Lazy Mike. And let’s just say that he didn’t get that name for nothing.
Nonetheless, being a fervent BJJ practitioner of over seven years, don’t let the nickname fool you. Yes, he might be lazy, possibly even the laziest man on the face of the Earth, next to “The Dude” of the Cohen brother's film, The Big Lebowski, but a man of his experience can be like a deceptive opossum waiting to strike when the time is right, or, at least, when he eventually wakes up.
Upon interviewing the subject of this week’s edition of our ‘a portrait of a KLN-BJJ member’, this reporter had but one answer to uncover: how can a man be so lazy yet be so successful in not only BJJ but life as well? I would find the answer elusive and impossible to pin down. But one thing was clear, ‘lazy’ is more than just a simple and fleeting adjective for this guy, it’s a way of life. Or as Mike likes to say: A Lazy Jiu-jitsu Lifestyle.
KLN-Reporter: Sorry, Mike, could you wake up for a second and answer a few questions for the fans?
Mike: (Rubbing his eyes) Uh, sorry, what? Where am I? Did I fall asleep in the gym again? Shit. I can’t remember. Who are you?
KLN-Reporter: I’m a reporter with the KLN-BJJ Blog. Remember? I talked to you yesterday about having an interview?
Mike: (In a sleepy voice) Uh…(big sigh), oh yeah. Now I remember. You wanted to ask me some…(snores).
KLN-BJJ: Are you asleep again? (lightly shaking him)
Mike: Uh, oh, sorry. Yeah, questions. No problem. Please ask. Man I’m tired.
KLN-BJJ: OK, I better make this quick. So what originally brought you to BJJ?
Mike: Hmm, well, I originally tried kickboxing, but you gotta stand up all the time when you do it which really sucks. I don’t like to stand. Then I saw some video of a guy beating another guy in a fight completely from his back. I couldn’t believe it. How could you just lie on the ground and beat someone up? The announcers kept saying how the guy was a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black-belt. I had never even heard of jiu-jitsu before then, so I immediately, well after a nap that is, started looking for a jiu-jitsu school. Luckily, there was one next door to my house, or I probably would have given up my search in like a minute or so.
KLN-BJJ: Great story. You were lucky. So you mentioned fighting off your back. So I take it you tend to favor the guard over top position?
Mike: Yeah, that’s right. Actually, I only tried the top position once in a competition. The guy was stalling from the bottom so I decided to take a quick nap and hoped he might tire out by the time I woke up. Well, unfortunately, it didn’t work. He realized I was asleep so he rolled me over and swept me and ended up beating me by just two points. From then on, I vowed to never take the top position again.
KLN-BJJ: (laughs) Great story. I also noticed that you never seem to wear a belt. Why is that?
Mike: I don’t believe in belts. I mean what is a belt anyway? Just a color really. Besides, I fell asleep on the bus last year and someone stole my bag with my belt in it. I haven’t gotten around to getting a new one yet. But I’m a purple belt by the way.
KLN-BJJ: So what is your favorite position?
Mike: Well, it used to be the sleeper hold, but then I realized what a crappy move it is because it’s your opponent that gets to sleep and not actually you. But, whatever’s easiest really. I don’t care. Oh, and from the guard too. Remember, I don’t get on top.
KLN-BJJ: So in terms of BJJ, what does the future hold for Lazy Mike?
Mike: Well, I’ve been trying to develop a series of moves from the guard that can be performed while being completely asleep. So far nothing’s worked because, well, I’m asleep at the time and can’t tell, but nothing worthwhile is easy, right?
KLN-BJJ: That’s right. Good luck with that. A set of moves like that could completely change the face of BJJ forever. So, my last question is…uh, hello. Mike? Shit. He fell asleep again. Well, I guess that concludes the interview. Thanks, Mike, I guess. And good luck I suppose.
Mike: (snoring loudly with bits of drool beginning to form on his lips)
PHOTO: Mike (foreground) pictured asleep in the arms of former partner Kei. They have since broken up but still remain close friends to this day.