A metal folding chair from a garage in North Carolina has received the first stripe on its white belt in an unprecedented promotion.
The chair, which is somewhere between ten and fifty years old, shared an emotional post on social media celebrating the historic accomplishment.
“This is a big moment for little old me. I’m not in my prime anymore — my hinges creak, I’ve got rust on my legs, and I thought I’d just be a garage potato for the rest of my life. And then I found jiu-jitsu, and everything changed. Thank you to my supportive coach, second-degree blue belt Sarah Hanson, for honoring me with this promotion today. It’s been a long road, and I can’t wait to see how far down it I’ll scoot.”
Hanson shared the story of the first time the chair tried jiu-jitsu.
“I was bored out of my skull in quarantine and was missing BJJ. My dog politely declined drilling with me, and my husband growled and bit me when I tried to train with him. Wait, did I mix those up…? Nah. Anyway. I saw people on social media training with their chairs, so I brought mine out from the garage. I don’t even know where it came from. I’ve never sat on it, I don’t think. It’s metal and that weird tan color — you know exactly what chair I’m talking about. You all sat on it in some elementary school assembly at one point or another. But turns out, it was great for drilling.”
The blue belt has been seeing noticeable improvement in her student since their first class. “Initially, the chair wobbled a lot and knocked me in the head a few times. But as we progressed, it’s been doing a lot better. It’s not at my level yet, but I’ve seen progress over the past month or so, and I wanted to acknowledge that.”
The chair has aspirations of training with others once the gyms open back up again, but Hanson has had to warn it to maintain realistic expectations. “Not everyone wants to train with new white belts,” said the chair. “And I know Coach is going easy on me. She told me that I’m going to probably be sitting on the sidelines and getting sat on a lot before I become a threat.”
That’s fine for the new athlete, though. It has big dreams and plans, and while it doesn’t expect to make it to ADCC, it’s seen others of its kind make it big. “One day I’ll be a serious threat. I’ve seen other chairs making it big in the WWE, smashing those giant muscley dudes over the head. Than can be me one day, but first, I have to start with the basics, like seated guard.”
At press time, Hanson was using the chair for guard-passing drills once again. “I’m sure I’ll get a turn eventually!” said the chair.