Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Secret’ Diaries Unearthed On Reddit
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Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Secret’ Diaries Unearthed On Reddit

December 20, 2021 Share

BETWEEN 2014 and 2017, revered chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain detailed his journey into the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu on a popular subreddit. In a recent article from Rolling Stone, Bourdain’s secret diaries were published for the world to see.

Under the username NooYawkCity, Bourdain’s entries are as fascinating as they are entertaining. A total of 80 posts written over a three-year period are eloquently crafted rations of Bourdain’s archetypal wit and scepticism – here are three of the best:

Monday, June 30th, 2014 – 58-year-old white belt.

I’ve been training about a year and only recently gotten solidly hooked. From once every few weeks, to once a week to nearly every day.
Now it’s an obsession. I’m in shit shape, gas early, and of course, hurt like hell after training. Given the limits of any reasonable expectations, am I out of my fucking mind?

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Secret’ Diaries Unearthed On Reddit
Credit: Kid Peligro

Despite the doubts expressed by the 58-year-old, Brazilian jiu-jitsu quickly became a key area of Bourdain’s life that he could channel energy into.

Monday, July 10th, 2014 – Chicken Fried Steak

58 years old and getting so gassed during warm-ups, that when we start to roll, I end up sticking my own head into an obvious guillotine –just to take a break. An utterly humiliating class yesterday, yet showed up for a private today with 250 lbs of muscle and bone so I could get pounded like a chicken fried steak. Why am I doing this? I don’t know. I’m like a dope fiend at this point. If I can’t train I start going into withdrawal. Wander around, twitching, restless and pissed off. At least with dope, you feel GOOD afterwards. After training, I feel like a rented and unloved mule. All the other (much, much younger) white belts all seem to be coming back from long breaks because of injury. Strangely enough, so far so good for me. I may feel like a fragile box of stale breadsticks but I’ve managed to avoid injury (if not discomfort). I have never enjoyed pain. Yet I insist on getting squashed on the mats every day and feel bereft if I can’t. This is not normal. When I talk about BJJ , Old friends look at me like I have an arm growing out of my forehead. But I Won’t stop. Can’t stop.

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Secret’ Diaries Unearthed On Reddit
Bourdain won his blue belt in August 2015 – Credit: Anthony Bourdain/Facebook

As time went by and Bourdain improved, the posts became less about how deranged he thought he was and more about the technical side of the martial art.

Friday, October 16th, 2015 – TAPING FINGERS: Does it really help? Or just look cool?

I play a lot of open guard and DLR and I’m not convinced that taping does any damn good at all. My fingers increasingly look like overwintered carrots. I mean..let’s face it… if you’re yanking on a 200lb man’s pant leg with your fingers–and all you have “reinforcing” them against his best efforts to pull away is a few strips of tape, it seems that would hardly prevent or mitigate against damage. Is there ANY science to support this idea? Or am I fooling myself? Seems to me that the days I forget to tape, my hands are just as fucked up–and maybe even less so.

Bourdain competing and winning in a jiu-jitsu tournament in New York, 2016

More of Bourdain’s posts on the subreddit can be accessed via this link.

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