“The Cartwheel Story” by Mike “spiderninja” Bidwell, BJJ Black Belt
When I was 19 years old I had already been training in the martial arts for about 8 years. I had switched martial arts schools because my old school closed. When I attended my first class the instructor had us doing cartwheels during warmups. Unfortunately for me and everyone else’s eyes… I was the worst ever at cartwheels. When I say bad… I just didn’t know how to do one. And if you’ve ever seen someone do a cartwheel wrong…well its ugly! So because I couldn’t do it, he had me on the side being instructed by a 12 year old girl! Eventually I figured out how to do a decent enough cartwheel. Fast forward to a few years later and I see Renzo Gracie do a cartwheel pass in MMA. I was in awe of it and imagined one day doing one in competition. To me it was so badass and ballsy to see someone pass guard like that. Two years ago when I was 44 years old I lost 47 pounds and made my return to competition after almost 10+ years. I set a goal to hit a cartwheel guard pass in competition. I’ve hit it 5 times in the past two years… Don’t let age or anything stop you from reaching any goal – whether its learning how to do a cartwheel or get a BJJ black belt!