Thursday, August 6, 2009

The day before.....

Tomorrow we leave for Brazil. Seems like I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and it is slightly surreal that it is here. We got good news this past week that another one of our teammates is joining us. So in total that will be 4 students plus Gerson (our instructor) and his family, should be fun!

The last few months I have been turning training up a notch. Wish I could have done more, but that damn thing called WORK would not allow me! I feel that I have prepared as much as I could given my schedule.

One thing that I have been really focused on for this trip is to make sure that the belt that I earned here (USA) is the same as I would have if I was training in Brazil. I think that this is what really drove me to train so much the past few months. I basically don’t want to get run over by Brazilians that are the same/or lower belt than me. I have been fortunate to train with extensively with a lot of our higher belts. They have pushed along the way, and I am really grateful for this. I know that I am not just representing myself down there but also the school and my teammates. This is an added pressure that I put on myself to not let them down while I am Brazil!

Last night was the last “hard training” session before the trip. Thankfully the guys have been really supportive and wanted to make sure I was “ready” for Brazil. Jeremy (one of our Black belts) made me stay in the middle of the mat and had people trying to pass my guard, this was our warm up. I then was able to roll with Jeremy for a good while and he let me work on some things and at the same time gave me advice on specific positions/situations. I got in a couple more rolls in before I left and am feeling good about everything.

After reading over this post, I realized that it sounds like I am getting ready for a tournament. Though this is a training vacation, I am still down there representing our school. Those of us who train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu know how big of a deal it is to train in Brazil. I mean this is the birthplace of the art we love and practice. So it is really important for me to be able to perform at a high level (well I hope it is a high level! Hahahah).

To end this I want to thank all my teammates ( everyone at Gracie Barra Culver City) who really pushed me to make sure I was prepared for this trip. Big thanks to Duke (King of Crazy), Erwin, Jason, Tino, Lo, Alexandre, and Jeremy. These guys have been kicking my A** the last few weeks and been pushing me hard!

My Goals:

-Learn as much as possible! This is a great opportunity to really learn and I don’t want to take it for granted!
-Gain more confidence with my game
-Get better at Half Guard (We are training at Gordo’s for Christ sake!!!!)
-Get better at Passing Guard
-Solidify my belt
-Have FUN!!!!!!!!!!
-I am sure I will think of more during the flight, but these are it for now

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