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Kid Peligro Jiu-Jitsu News . . . Born Grappler by DC Maxwell

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Kyle Maynard and Steve Maxwell, two grapplers on the mat . Photo DC MaxwellDear Kid:Steve and I are always proud of any Team Maxercise student who chooses to compete. We feel privileged to be asked as well as able to support any competitor who represents us directly, or to whose training we contribute. At the Arnold Classic this past weekend our group was small but special: Saulo & Xande Ribeiro, Regis Lebre, Andre Maracaba, Andrew Markoff and Zak Maxwell. This tournament we picked up as an unexpected addition to our team, Kyle Maynard. For those who don?t recognize the name, Kyle Maynard is the young man who was born without legs or hands, and with arms that end just above where his elbows would have been. He was profiled on HBO?s ?Real Sports? last month for his accomplishments in weight lifting, and on the high school and college wrestling mat. Our family, like others all over the country, was deeply moved by the accomplishments of this kid, who loved to wrestle and persevered, becoming a ranked competitor. It was a typical Steve Maxwell moment. We both were exhausted after a day of manic prep and travel to Columbus, Ohio. After checking in to our hotel, we were walking to the elevators, when Steve suddenly veered over to a table in the lobby lounge. He reached out his hand to Kyle Maynard, who reached back with a smile, and there it began. As Kyle and Steve established their common ground as wrestlers, Steve mentioned our participation in the Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Kyle said that he had been watching various submission wrestling videos and would like to try, he was about 121 lbs, what was the cut-off for the lightweight division and here was his cell-phone number. Later that afternoon, I called him from the weigh-ins with the news that the lightest division was up to 155 lbs. ?Fine ? he said. Well okay, but I was starting to be a bit concerned about what we might be getting him into. Sunday morning, Steve spent some time with Kyle on the mat, working on the rules of submission wrestling and how to defend his neck. Then, off and on during the hours that followed, we spent time with this incredible guy. Everyone wanted to meet him, from celebrities like Ah-nold, and Wesley Snipes who showed up to watch the pros, to legions of reporters and just regular folk. Kyle was always generous, treating everyone with respect and dignity, never getting impatient, even when people fumbled their words. Then, as the no-gi pro divisions progressed, I saw a different Kyle, the Kyle who wanted to discuss technique and strategy. At one point I mentioned that his girlfriend Elizabeth, must be terribly bored with the waiting, mainly because I felt a bit responsible for involving him in this event, which, to put it delicately, was not exactly running as punctually as the average wrestling tournament. He turned to me and said something, but I don?t remember what it was, because I saw a look on his face. It was that look that I?ve given and gotten ten thousand times during my 13 years on the mat. It?s the look that a grappler gets when there?s grappling going on and the rest of the world is just going to have to wait. And that was the moment that I stopped worrying about Kyle Maynard.Finally, his match was called and Kyle the competitor who had skill as much as heart, showed himself. I apologize to his opponent for not getting his name, and I could be wrong, but I imagine that when he saw Kyle on the mat, his heart sank at what must have appeared to be a no-win situation. Wussy if he lost, bully if he won. I also beg this worthy opponent?s pardon for speculating that he may have been relieved after Kyle earned his first points with a legitimate reversal. Those points meant that this was a fight that needed to be fought, and fight he did, eventually submitting Kyle. Kyle lost on this mat as graciously as he had won on other mats, accepting the standing ovation that ensued as something that he didn?t necessarily need to receive, but as something others needed to give. Like just about everyone, Kyle Maynard has many facets. I didn?t spend enough time with him to presume to know more than just one of them, but I think I have that one pretty well figured out because every day I live, work and train with people, who like Kyle, have membership in that unique community of folks who would rather smell Resilite than roses. The community of Grapplers. In the short time I spent around Kyle, I heard scores of people tell him that meeting him helped them put their own problems into perspective. But what I would rather do here with my words is to acknowledge and celebrate a soul, who was born into a hugely compromised body, and with the help of extraordinary family and friends, did with that body what he would have done with any other body he was born into. Kyle Maynard is a born grappler.DC Maxwell – www.maxercise.comwww.stevemaxwell.comFor more info on Kyle check out

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