The next time I trained at Dave Trader Jiu-Jitsu, the class was taught by one of the schools purple belts, Big Jay Corbitt. As you might have guessed by the name, Big Jay is a big guy and (whether it was his intention or not) the thing I learned in this class was mainly how to use my size to my advantage in Jiu-Jitsu.
For some reason, this turned out to be the day my mom decided to show up early to pick me up. Ever the salesman (and probably because he knew the goofy kid up front wouldnt ask) Big Jay asked my mom if she was ready to sign me up. I’ll give my mom credit. She quickly came up will all of the reasons why she shouldn’t, but she wasn’t prepared when Jay turned the tables on her and said that the instructors there would make sure my grades stayed high and that he could already tell that I would definitely stick with it.
I could see that what Jay said had comforted my mom, yet she still didn’t really say anything that led me to think that she would actually sign me up. On our way home, still with no intention of actually following through, but wanting to see if my mom would humor me; I asked if she would sign me up. She told me that it was way too much money, and that I would just quit in a few months in like I had done with so many other activities. I didn’t feel like arguing so I let it go, I was so tired from class that I didn’t have the energy to talk much.
My mom and I didn’t talk much about Jiu-Jitus until it was time for my next class. I remember she wasn’t terribly happy about giving me a ride to the gym, but I convinced her take me. The class went much of the same way this time around, the technique this time was the hand stand pass in butterfly guard (I remember this primarily because I am one of those people who are apparently incapable of doing a hand stand).
That night, after class, I had asked her once again, but got the same answer as before – it was too expensive and I would just quit. But this time I tried to reason with her explaining that I wouldn’t quit, and how it would help me lose weight. She still said it was too pricey, she wouldn’t pay for it unless my grades were high and she thought that I would stick with it. This type of conversation went on for the next two days, she never broke.
As luck would have it, the last day of my trial was also my birthday. I came to the gym that day with 100 dollars in birthday money in my wallet. After class I was talking to Dave about how my mom wouldn’t sign me up. He seemed sympathetic and he assured me that we would figure something out. I kinda figured he was just humoring me. Iwas sure he had heard this same story before. Every high school kid that comes through the gym door wants to be an MMA fighter, none of them have the money to pay for class, and very few can convince their parents to pay for it.
In a last ditch effort to get my mom to sign me up, I waited inside so she would have to come in and get me. When she came in, I immediately started to bombard her prices. She actually seemed to be ready to sign up until the sales guy told her about the 6 month commitment. She said she wouldn’t do it because I would never train consistently. I tried to assure her that I would, but she didn’t believe me at all. After a long awkward silence, Dave Trader, the head instructor, threw out an idea.
Dave suggested that in order to show that I was serious and would really stick with it, I should pay for the first month. Then if I paid for the first month and trained consistently for that month, my mom could sign me up for my first six months afterwards. My mom liked this idea and nodded her head in agreement. The problem was that I only had 100 dollars and the fee was $140. I told Dave about this but he said it was fine, if I was willing to put up the money myself he was willing take the chance with me. It was hard to hand over all of my birthday money, but it was worth it.