These past few days I have spent in Long Beach, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. My time I spent in Long Beach was with Marcelo Perdomo, and his team at Brazilian Top Team. After hearing my fiasco with losing sponsors, my friend, who was supposed to go to Nationals with me, getting to injured to compete, etc. Marcelo invited me to stay with him and a visiting Black belt Diogo for a few days before No- gi Nationals to train and then go with the rest of his team to Vegas to compete. So after everything crazy I agreed and had an amazing few days in Long Beach! I got off the plane Wednesday and it was off to practice immediately. Morning practice with BTT, was a little rough, I didn’t sleep the night before and after the first two trainings I was beat. We went over some open guard techniques, sparred, I went with Kristen, a really strong blue belt, and with Professor Marcelo.
After class Marcelo, Diogo, and I got sushi, ran some errands, and then I got to try my hand at surfing. They had an extra board which was awesome, but the water temp, was a little colder than i was used to… 64 degrees and trying to surf in a bikini? Not so great of an idea… I tried, but unfortunately low waves and cold water sidelined me. After that it was just getting cleaned up and back to practice. Night practice we worked on some sweeps, actually sweeps I had only seen my team practice. It was kind of crazy because normally Marcello Monteiro and de la Riva schools apply it, and I was really surprised to see Brazilian Top Team showing and practingit. I actually practiced the sweeps with a another visiting Black belt named Jefferson, he and I talked about training at other schools. What some of the little details that were different between what was being shown and what he had originally seen. It was cool because while talking about the techniques I pointed out a few details he hadn’t realized and was impressed I had noticed them. Jefferson had taken a little bit of a break and was getting back into doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu he gave me advice, and encouraged me to visit teams whenever possible and that it would be an amazing learning experience. After lightly rolling with Jefferson and Professor Marcello, I finally had to cal it quits. I was too tired and my body wasn’t responding.
Back at the house after practice I got cleaned up, and while Marcelo, Diogo, and one of their friends tried to fix the bed frame to the bed I was supposed to sleep in I ended up passing out on the couch. No sleep, flying in, all the jiu jitsu and trying to surf had me unconscious. Luckily Mopar, and Lulubell kept me company. They did wake me up when the bed was ready though, I don’t remember, but I guess I got myself to the bed and just went right back to sleep.
I wish I would have been able to stay awake later though. Apparently, Marcelo grilled out and made some really good food. Diogo told me about it in a mix of English and Portuguese the next day. That was pretty much it for day one, I know not too horribly exciting but tome it was amazing. I being able to train that much, and make it to the beach all in one day was a dream come true. In all of the down time, we talked about BJJ, some of the history, how the lineages worked, and how different jiu jitsu is state by state. Also Diogo being around was really cool. He had just come to America not too long ago from Brasilia, Brazil. He doesn’t know much of any English so I tried as much as possible to speak Portuguese/Spanish with him. He has such a passion for jiu jitsu that even though he couldn’t completely communicate, whenever he taught, or helped out in a class he got his points across very clearly. He would ask how to say different things, and told us to correct his English because he wants to get it right. Day two will be up soon!
getting the surf boards ready