To the right you'll see my two travel companions, some brief biographical information follows:
Name: Kris Novell
Blog Name: Spider Guard
Gi Color: Blue
Style: Strong guard, good sweeps, really really mean
Scouting Report: Born in the Philippines, Novell is covinced he is Hawaiian and enjoys his poi nearly as much as a good acai berry. Surrounded by martial artists for most of his life, Novell has amassed an encyclopedic repitoir of sweeps and submissions.
Name: King of "Duke" Crazy
Blog Name: King of Crazy
Gi Color: White (with shoulder flags)
Wt: 185 (before lunch)
Style: Methodical, few errors, it insists upon itself
Scouting Report: Raised in the north woods of Minnesota, Duke has channeled the shame and rage (so much rage) of getting cut from the JV Hockey team in 10th grade into a successful fighting (and project management) career. His "aw shucks" exterior belies the heart of a warrior....or a soccer mom (finding out which is part of Duke's journey to Rio)
Blog Name: Grover
Gi Color: Diamond encrusted platinum
Belt: Belts are for the weak...ok blue, but barely
Wt: Appropriate for my frame, jerk.
Scouting Report: The skills that served Chirs well in his previous athletic endevors such as a total disregard for his body and..., so the skill that has served him so well in the past is not terribly applicable to BJJ, but he tries hard and that's cute.
The three of us have come up with several lists of things we'd like to do in Rio, but all of us want to improve our games in the next two weeks and I think we're set up nicely to do that. We're training at Gordo's school (here's a link: http://www.gordobjj.com.br/, good luck with the Portugese) which has a great reputation - you can read more about it in Novells post below; but they're known for their half guard game. (Aside: I'm pretty stoked about this, most of my half guard comes out of Eddie Bravo's fantastic book, Mastering the Rubber Guard, it's good stuff but I feel a little like Daniel-San before he met Mr. Miagi). We've also discovered some blogs from other guys who have trained in Brazil - some issues they mentioned: our gi's will always be damp...and I can't remember any more right now. I am sure, however, that my gi will be damp.
Other than BJJ, we're heading to a soccer game Wednesday, intracity game that starts at 9:30pm - no idea what to expect here, I did see a Rangers / Celtic game in Edinburgh and it was ridiculous; but since the Brazilians are widely known to be much more reserved than the Scottish I think we'll probably be in bed by midnight. We also want to get some surf in while we're there We've heard rumors of a spot on Faranopolis and I'm thinking a day trip is in order.It will be dead of winter down there, but the weather should be between 60 - 70, which should make the speedo look extra good.
I think we've established some rules for the trip: If one of us wants to do a (reasonable) activity the other two are on board (so when you see the cheesy pics of us in front of giant jesus, NOT my idea!), and we will make as many of the "hang-ten" gestures as we can in pictures to honour the proud traditions of our host country.
I'm totally unprepared for this trip: I've been training about 1 day a week for the past three weeks, my ipod broke, and I've been slacking on my Portugese (right now all I can say is , "excuse me miss I speak a little Portugese." Oh yeah, I can also say "red wine", I can't actually ask for it, but I can identify it.) I am however, acutely aware of all the flight statiscics for American Airlines for the past 10 years. No accident related fatalities on an AA flight since 2001, we are flying on a Boeing (the accidents on Rio flights in the last 3 months have all been on Airbusses), and we're in an 777 for the statistically more dangerous part of the trip. So I've focused on all the important details.
That's all I got for post #1, here's a parting shot of our school. More to come..