Dotted lines=flying, solid lines=driving

Time to revisit my West Coast tour, as I finally finished making my souvenir! I realized I didn’t have a single blog post that tied everything together, so this is it! Also a good time to review what happened.

Timeline: Arrive in San Diego Friday, April 8.
Drive from San Diego to the bay area Tuesday, April 12. Fly from Oakland up to Seatac Saturday, April 16. Fly from Seatac back to Seoul Monday, April 25.

My goals were:
1. Visit friends and family. CHECK! I had a new baby niece, visited my very favorite professors, got to see college roommates I’d not seen in more than 15 years.

2. Visit as many BJJ academies as possible. CHECK! I overloaded, as you will see below.

3. Eat boatloads of Mexican food. CHECK! Though more a canoeload than a boatload.

Souvenir idea: When my trip is finished I plan to make a Jiu-Jiu’s West Coast Tour hoodie! It will have dates and academy names on it, just like a band’s touring t-shirt! Great souvenir! ALMOST. Here’s what I ended up with. I converted a hoodie from Black Eagle Martial Arts into my West Coast Tour hoodie. I bought patches at nearly every single academy I visited (I think I’m missing 3 or 4) and sewed them all on. It is over the top ridiculous and I love it.

No, I

Southern California Leg
April 8, Friday:
Landed at 3:45, went to University of Jiu Jitsu 6pm (read the review)
April 9, Saturday: Fabio Santos 10:30am (read the review)
April 10, Sunday: Tinguinha BJJ 10:30am
April 11, Monday:
New Breed Jiu Jitsu 11am white belt class
April 12, Tuesday: Gracie San Diego 7am

Bay area
April 13, Wednesday
Tatami Multi-Arts open rolling 6pm, Ralph Gracie Berkeley, 8pm
April 14, Thursday: Cassio Werneck Sacramento 6:30pm
April 15, Friday: Peninsula BJJ 12pm, Tatami Multi-Arts open rolling 8pm
April 16, Saturday: –resting & flying!

Washington Leg (argh – need to post a general post about this!)
April 17, Sunday:
April 18, Monday: Sleeper Athletics 6:30pm
April 19, Tuesday: Marcelo Alonso Seattle, 9:30am
April 20, Wednesday: –resting
April 21, Thursday:
T-Town MMA 12:00pm
April 22, Friday: Foster BJJ 10:30am
April 23, Saturday:
–Norwescon (no BJJ)
April 24, Sunday: — Norwescon (no BJJ)

Positives: Visiting so many academies was amazing. I got the opportunity to experience different styles of teaching, learning atmospheres, types of classes, types of opponents, meet female black belts and other BJJ ladies. I had the chance to meet my first BJJ superstar, I got to roll with black belts, I did SO MUCH BJJ. It bumped up my game, definitely. Plus, what a wonderful way to network!

Negatives: BJJ was a bigger priority than my friends and family, and as such I didn’t see them as often as I wanted. It meant sacrificing FOR BJJ, and it also meant a crap ton of driving. For example, driving all the way from Oakland to Sacramento and back in one day and then hitting a class the next morning was rough. I had very little recovery time, and my body was ACHING by the end of the first week. Also, I didn’t have much opportunity to practice what I’d been learning, so there was no consistency.

Changes: If I were doing a trip like this again I would make sure to visit more BJJ bloggers from Jiu Jitsu Forums and make sure to schedule in some non-BJJ time with them if possible. This way I’m getting in BJJ AND something social. I would take more consistent notes – have a form I filled out: date/time/class name/instructor name/number of students/number of women/belt distribution, etc. Those details are interesting and they slip away. I also would have had a business card with my blog info on it so I could easily direct people to my blog. I would not attempt to go to two schools in one day, especially in LA where the traffic is HORRIBLE. I would plan my meals a little better – recovery shakes and the like – and make sure to get enough sleep.

Overall: I was thrilled with this trip and I do hope there will be more BJJ vacations in my future. I could imagine spending a full month in San Diego just visiting a different school every day. Amazing. I also love the idea of going to England and visiting schools there. Or the East Coast, or Texas. Now I just need that rich, anonymous donor 😉

I look a bit like the holy kitten lolcat!

6PM – 7:00PM
Beginner Program

My question: What’s YOUR perfect bjj souvenir?