(Ps this should be entitled: EPIC POST IS EPIC). I am EXHAUSTED. When I say exhausted I mean that I feel a bit like Barney after a marathon:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnDZThOcSes]
Exhibit A

I’m proud of what I accomplished. I visited 13 locations in only 17 days. I only missed going to one school because I realized I needed a freaking day off! ๐Ÿ˜€

SOUVENIRS
I picked up a few things along the way. At each location I visited I asked to buy a patch. I now have a total of 9 patches, as some places did not have patches available, and I flat out forgot at one location.

All of these will be going on my BJJ backpack.

I also bought some sweet rash guards and one t-shirt. I was super excited to buy my Saulo shirt! I forgot to put my “Jiu Jitsu Hero” t-shirt to the pile! Curses!

Also, I picked up some bruises along the way. This was definitely the worst. I can’t remember where the FIRST bruise was from, but the second was from New Breed ๐Ÿ™‚ My bruise within a bruise.

We have to go deeeeeper!

Food
Did I mention I’ve been a little crazy thinking about American food? Oh man I’ve dreamed about Mexican food and Chinese food and sandwiches and burgers (yes, I consider all those “American food” because they’re food I can get in America!). I did get my tasty tasty Reubens. OM NOM NOM. I gained about 5 lbs on my trip, but 2 days of restricted calories took it right off.

It's what a hamburger's all about

Sites
I did get to the beach my final day in San Diego. I convinced a friend to go with me to the 7am class–her first BJJ class ever! Then we went for breakfast on the beach and walked around for a bit.

I've heard that in Brazil they sometimes do BJJ on the beach. That's sweet.

This was supposed to be about BJJ! You’re ripping me off!
Hold your horses! There is more BJJ, I promise! But whatever–you get to see a little of my life. Suck it up. Back to your regularly scheduled BJJ programming by the end of this post.

Meet my parents! They support me! My mom even reads my blog! My papa kindly loaned me his truck for the California leg of the tour, including me driving from Oakland to Sacramento and back, and he and I road tripped all the way from San Diego to the bay area. Whew!

My poppy!

Hi mom! Nice to see you!

I’ll spare you the pictures of my nieces. For now.

Jiu Jiu’s West Coast Tour, part 2
Have you read Jiu Jiu’s West Coast Tour, Part 1 yet? Not sure what my West Coast Tour is? Go, read, we’ll wait for you!

See, I TOLD you I'd bring it back to BJJ! This is me SQUEE-ing inside! OMG SAULO!

Once we hit the bay area, I met with my friend, Dave, and we went to this super sweet, non-denominational, open-mat place called Tatami Multi-Arts run by his friend, Adam. That same night, Dave and I hit a white belt class over at Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Berkeley, which is my friend’s main gym. The following day I drove all the way out to Sacramento and visited Cassio Werneck‘s main academy, where I met my friend, Toby, a black belt under Cassio. Then back over to the bay area, lickity split, where I visited Peninsula BJJ during lunch time with my friend Gene, a black belt student at that academy. That evening I visited Tatami Multi-Arts once again with my friend Dave, for my 11th time doing BJJ in 9 days. I was a bit whacked out.

Flew up to Washington, where I took the weekend off! Monday visited Sleeper Athletics up in Seattle, then in the morning visited Marcelo Alonso‘s Seattle location. Took Wednesday off so that I could dig through all my boxes and spend time with my family, then on Thursday visited T-Town MMA, where Coach Rollo is from! I intended to go to Foster BJJ for their women’s only class, but I took a nap and was a bit disoriented and put the wrong address into google maps. Ah well, I did get to their Friday morning, class, however, and was treated like a princess by Coach Foster! Hey! I got to roll with a 2 stripe black belt! Awesome!

And finally
Now you get to see me fly my nerd flag:

Me as WONDER WOMAN!

Which is nerdier? The ears? The corset? The vulcan symbol? Or the Trek tattoos? ^_^

It's WONDER GIRL! Fighting off the evil bird creatures!

What happens when you mix BJJ & nerdiness?

This was totally consensual!

Yep, I couldn’t resist doing BJJ with my civilian friends. Funny enough, a girl mounting another girl at a party = lots of cameras. She said to me: “Wait, we haven’t discussed safewords!” Me: “You TAP, duh!” LOL

Caution: Doing BJJ cosplay may cause your wig to fall off. Four BJJ “demonstrations” and my wig fell off once.

Never fear, the girl between my legs and I are still friends! See, still alive!

To be continued: individual reviews of each academy I visited! Stay tuned!