William Nickelson, a recent lightweight NAGA Blue Belt champion, was riding an all-time high Saturday night. It took several hard-fought matches to win that NAGA belt hanging over his shoulder, but the most exhausted muscles in his body were in his pinky and thumbs from throwing up the “shaka” hand sign all night.
Nickelson’s professor commented shortly after the fight that he was proud, but more work was needed to go further and higher.
Nickelson, however, said he “never felt more like a samurai” while eating junk food with all his friends. Indeed, it was truly the height of his brief tenure living the bushido code– a lifestyle that consists of post-training social media pics and excessive use of the term “osssss.”
He wanted to immerse himself into the warrior lifestyle like Miyamoto Musashi and live as the penniless wanderer did until eventually dying deep in meditation on the side of a mountain. So, he did what every good samurai would do: try to chat up a high-level female black belt on the gram. It’s the most significant achievement a blue belt could hope for and an ambitious step to boot.
When speaking to his friends about it, Nickelson said they shrugged apathetically and replied, “go for it.” And that was all the assurance he needed to venture further into the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.
It was in the evening on Saturday, and he saw that one such black belt was online. So, he quickly checked over his profile, ensuring that it was immaculate, which indeed, it was. The latest post was, of course, him with his NAGA belt. But the preceding entries were just as good, abundant with acai bowls and various other BJJ lifestyle-related memes.
Even better were his captions where he expertly explains the virtues of a warrior in a garden being better off than a gardener in a war, and Sun Tzu quotes he copied and pasted from Google.
But, the top of the mountain are the hashtags– affirmations about iron sharpening iron and his rank in Portuguese. Indeed, to the plebs, he was a blue belt, but to those in the know, he was faixa azul.
With his jiu-jitsu cunning and intellect on full display, he was ready to impress this IBJJF world champion, so he clicked on her profile and wrote the following message.
“Hey, what’s up? Big fan. Osssssssss.”
He knew, at that point, he’d stand out from the crowd of gawkers waiting in her inbox. She would instantly see his warrior spirit and immediately feel the compulsion to respond.
But, for now, he would wait.
After checking in every few hours for four days, to his amazement, she hadn’t even read the message yet.
His confidence was slightly shaken but still intact; it would require a few extra Instagram posts, with some recycled quotes to show her he was serious. Maybe she didn’t go far enough back on his timeline. But, surely after seeing Marcus Aurelius’s words coupled with a tacit bicep flex, she would respond.
The following weekend, now 12 days since the original DM, he checked back only to find his worst fears were realized. The message was read, but there was no response.
Panicking, he now decided to opt for the nuclear option, a post he didn’t want to make but now had no choice in light of the current circumstances. A few weeks prior, at an open mat, a photo was taken of him leg-locking black belt Prof. Patrick Murphy who was just getting a warm-up roll in and taking it lightly. However, the context did not show through in the photo, instead only displaying the black belt slayer in his natural environment. Watch out, Nicky Rod.
(UPDATE: Aces reached out to Mr. Murphy for comment, and according to him and several witnesses at the open mat that day, he tapped lightly and then “starch the dufus” in front of everyone.)
This post required an exceptional quote, something that would shatter the paradigm of trite quotes once heralded as wisdom in the pre-social media era. Yes, it was time for the big guns, Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha. He made sure to credit the selection as the former to ensure only intelligent people would get the reference. We reached out to Mr. Nickelson for a comment, and all he had to say was, “Real recognizes real.”
With this post up, he was sure the female black belt would view his profile and change her mind about the snub.
At this point, he did what he never thought a warrior like him would do, give up. He abandoned his quest for a casual online chat with the potential women of his dreams and temporarily walked away from the long-term relationship that would shoot him up jiu-jitsu’s social hierarchy.
When asked how he was dealing with this crushing defeat, Nickelson said, “I just wish she responded, man. But, hey, she’s doing a seminar not that far in a few months. If I can go there, and she sees how sick my inside heel hooks are, maybe she’ll change her mind.”
(UPDATE: Nickelson’s professor reached out to us to update the story concerning his student’s well-being. Apparently, Nickelson hasn’t been in the gym for weeks. Indeed, his Instagram posts have gone from shaka signs and philosophical quotes to… just regular pictures. When asked about his whereabouts, Nickelson’s professor explained he’d received word the blue belt had “become busy” and “would certainly get back to training when he had the time.”)
Jeff Nelson is a brown belt under Danilo Cherman of Team Nova Uniao. He started training jiu-jitsu in 2014, and he always complains about Star Wars on his personal Instagram account.