Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I checked back into my threads in Sherdog.com and on reddit.com/r/bjj this evening and was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of new replies!

Today's additions to the planning are the following:

BelgiumLeuvenBrasa Leuven
NetherlandsMaastrictGB Maastrict
Pedro Bessa BJJ
IrelandDublinStraight Blast Gym

I've had some interesting replies to the threads on the two websites. Some of which have ranged from "Why Latvia? Why Wales" to "You know that Wales is a part of the UK?" Yes, I get that Wale is a part of the UK, but it's not a part of England. Much like Scotland. If you were to tell my grandmother that she was from England, she would have most likely struck you and told you some interesting obscenities. I'm just going to train and hang out with like minded cool people!

I've been out of training for about two weeks now. I feel it with every passing day. To people that don't train BJJ, I use my dog (a German Shepherd Dog) for an analogy for training. "Anyone who owns a German Shepherd knows that you need to train the dog, and you need to exercise the dog. I love my dog dearly, but she can get on my nerves if I don't give her some training time daily and some time at the dog park on a regular basis. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my training and my dog park. I get restless, anxious, angry, all the bad stuff that comes with being a human without any direction or purpose."

If you're wondering why I've been out of training it's due to ringworm. We have a repeat offender in my gym, which I'm not sure who it is, but I've been infected with it twice this year so far. Our gym washes the mats with bleach daily. The majority of folks wash their gis and themselves regularly (it's hard to not notice when they are smashing you from side control). But it only takes one or two bad apples to mess everything up. The ring worm is almost gone, and I'm looking to be back training on Monday.

There is a competition coming up on December 14th that I was hoping to compete in, and still most likely will. However, I don't feel ready. I'm still a "fresh" blue belt and I've not had much training time over the past couple of weeks. That bothers me. I like to win, who doesn't? My cardio is going to be off, as will my timing. But you know what? I'm still going to do it and whatever happens, happens.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Well, it's been a little less than 24 hours since I've launched this blog, and placing posts about it at both Reddit and Sherdog and I already have 7 gyms in Europe to travel to. Presently here is the list:

Roger Gracie - London, England
GB Birmingham - Birmingham, England
GB Swansea - Swansea, Wales
GB Vienna - Vienna, Austria
Minajevs Academy - Riga, Latvia
Gold Team - Helsinki, Finland
CSA.dk - Copenhagen Denmark

I am looking forward to adding more gyms in the middle and eastern parts of Europe to round things out and make the travelling a bit more fun. If you happen to be from these areas, or know people from the areas, please feel free to contact me!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I was going to travel to Brazil for a couple of months to train last year. You know, the Mecca for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Sadly things change and I wasn't able to go on that trip. During the period that I was going to travel to Brazil I happened across Christian Graugart's book "BJJ Globetrotter", which invoked my lust and passion for travelling. 

Christian chronicles his travels around the world to different, and albeit obscure, locations around Europe, North America, South America, and Eastern Asia to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It was a really great read, especially since I've visited some of the places that he travelled to.

While I can't take off 6-8 months from work, what I can do is expand my world travels and meet some great folks along the way in a matter of 6-8 weeks. And that's the goal. I will travel Europe for 6-8 weeks, from gym to gym. City to city. Country to country.

In the spirit of Christian, I'd like to ask you for your help. Taking a trip like this is an arduous task, financially, mentally, and physically. Are you from Europe and train BJJ? Can you offer me a spot in your home country to train at? Would you be willing to help me with accommodations? Could you point me to good travel arrangements? I can't offer much. I'm just a lowly "faixa azul" (blue belt) under Rodrigo Vaghi (Rickson Gracie), but I do have some glimpses of genius from time to time. Maybe I can offer some IT help or teach a kids class for you? Maybe I can show your gym a technique you're not familiar with? I could even show your gym some drills that I use on a regular basis? Let's barter!

Coming up with a name for this blog, of all things, has taken up the majority of my time. I recruited a Brasileira friend of mine for help in coming up with a decent name for this blog. After much back and forth between her and other friends, I have a name. Translated into English it would be "Tame Man". But, that title is a bit misleading. In Portuguese the word "domar" is typically used for a beast that isn't easily handled. I brought up my concern about this to my friend, and she stated that she felt it was an apt title considering my evolution in the art. Thank you Elis!

I actually asked for help from many people in coming up for a name for the blog. There were some great ideas. A friends wife (who is from Latvia) actually gave me some great insight as to content that I should include here. Some of her suggestions were:
"You will be meeting other fighters, but you should ask them questions while you are there such as: What is the perfect fight for you? What is worth fighting for? Can you win a fight without fighting? How do you fight for life, and all life?". Some great Philosophy from my friends wife (Thank you Liene!).