There’s no particular premise for the latest installment of Vice‘s Fightland blog beyond Ottavia Bourdain wanting her friends and family (who also happent to be prominent figures in the food world) to try out jiu jitsu. But then again, do you really need a good reason to get Doug Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream in a karate gi?
Ottavia commissioned her yoga instructor, Quint, Sandra Ripert (wife of Eric Ripert), and of course, her husband Anthony to hit the mat and try out her martial art of choice—then answer a few short questions about their experience for the Internet’s enjoyment. Though Ripert was “scared shit” before her session, she reports: “I felt so confident and fulfilled in knowing that I can throw a grown person to the ground, even a man, if need be. I think every woman should try out jiu-jitsu.”
As for Quint, who Ottavia famously pinned to the floor of his own ice cream shop in 19 seconds flat, jiu jitsu is a little out of his wheelhouse: “Obviously I wasn’t surprised to learn that I’m in horrible shape—I know that. I was especially tormented by the gi, though. I understand why you wear it, but my God, let the fat man take if off already!” After his workout, Quint was “sore…But I feel sore after I get up off the couch, so that’s no big deal.”
Last but not least, there’s Anthony Bourdain himself, who Ottavia actually hesitated before enlisting, worrying ”his heart would explode or that all those years of toxins would come leaking out of his ears.” Bourdain, of course, has far and away the most entertaining responses of the group. Presented without comment, his thoughts on the best part of jiu jitsu training:
Surviving it with honor. I enjoyed that moment of realization that I really do understand the rear-naked choke and could possibly use it in a field situation. (Actually, I realized I have used it, in the kitchen once, to restrain an enraged butcher from killing my sous chef.) I’m feeling pretty good about that. If I’m in a bar fight with an enraged vegan and lucky enough to get his back, I’m pretty confident I could stand a chance. It also made a certain kind of “sense” that I didn’t anticipate. There is a technical satisfaction in slipping out of a situation. Geometrically, I’m talking about. Like, a couple of times I found myself thinking, “Who knew? This shit actually works! It makes sense.
Check out Vice for the full story of what it’s like to do martial arts with the Bourdains.