Not enough time for a long post, which WILL come. Each school I visit WILL get its own entry, but for now I wanted to share just a little!
In the last five days I have visited five BJJ academies!
I landed in San Diego at 3:45pm on Friday and made my way over to University of Jiu Jitsu for a 6pm class from Saulo Ribeiro, a 4th degree black belt. Honestly, I was a bit star struck. He showed such great teaching methodology. I was absolutely impressed with his teaching methods and the feel of the class.
On Saturday I made my way over to Fabio Santos’ academy and was taught by Fabio Santos, a red and black belt, and Alex Brandao, a 3rd degree black belt. I had the honor of meeting my very first female black belt, Jeanne, and Caleb from The Fightworks Podcast. It was really amazing to have such high level training partners! I got a little lost on my way there, so I called Dagney, who was working and couldn’t roll with me. HELP ME! I’M LOST, I said to her. She tells me, “No problem. I’m on the same street as you are.” I was a bit confused, as she said she was working. “Don’t panic, but I’m a police officer.” lol–I looked left, and sure enough, there was her cruiser. So I tailed a cop to the BJJ academy. It’s not every day you get a personalized police escort! 😀 I didn’t get to roll with her, but I DID get to have dinner with her!
On Sunday I went up to Tinguinha’s in Yorba Linda. My true confession: I went here because it was literally the only place I could find that was open on a Sunday, AND it was near my friend’s house. I was taught by one of his students, Alex, a black belt, and our class size was tiny–just the 6 of us, including the instructor and me. It was nice getting personalized attention from a black belt, including sparring time! 🙂
Monday I visited New Breed Academy in Santa Fe Springs and took a class from Val Worthington, a black belt AND a BJJ blogger! Hers was one of the first BJJ blogs I ever read, so this was absolutely awesome for me. It was also my first time having a female BJJ instructor, and my first time in a white belt class. I had a great time!
Tuesday I went to Gracie Jiu Jitsu-San Diego and took a 7am class with one of the owners, 2nd degree black belt Joao “Johnny” Faria. I took my friend Aimee, who knew absolutely NOTHING about BJJ and we had an awesome time. The mood was excellent, and hands down this had the nicest bathrooms! Separate bathroom for women, towels, shampoo, body wash, and lockers. Two big thumbs up. Plus, the instructor gave my friend personalized attention and overall the BOTH of us felt VERY welcome–her as a newbie, and me as a visitor.
So, the first leg of the journey is complete. Tomorrow, BAY AREA JIU JITSU! 🙂