Buffalo Wild Wings, Black Belt Training and more!

Arrived safely in San Diego after a awesome drive from San Jose which means that once again it got time for a late night blog post, this time looking back at my last few days in San Jose. As I wrote in the last post I met a super cool guy, Dominik Cruz, from Switzerland who me and Anders hooked up with after almost every training session to go for some Jamba Juice and just talk about Jiu-Jitsu. It was also really nice to hear about Dominik’s experience as his background in Jiu-Jitsu is much different than mine, where I came from a past with lack of confidence, self-esteem and other “silly” things a young kid should not really have to deal with, Dominik has been training Karate and has this never quit attitude towards the training and basically got dragged along by a friend to a Jiu-Jitsu school in Switzerland and ends up getting his ass kicked left and right but somehow just kept on pushing forward, day after day, with this Karate mentality but yet really humble and down to earth just sucking in all the information and getting hooked like the rest of us who have been through the same experience, and then he just decided to save up for a 6 months trip to the US to train Jiu-Jitsu full time. Now that’s dedication and something worth respect! My hats off to him. There is many gold medals waiting to be won for him and for sure his training partners back in Switzerland is lucky to have a guy like him at the gym.

He spend his last evening, Tuesday, in the US partying with the whole crew from Caio Terra’s academy at something called Buffalo Wild Wings. A nice barbecue restaurant where me and Anders was also invited. For those who follow on facebook they probably already saw my update, it was just a perfect evening with plenty of good greasy barbecue food in a really good atmosphere with awesome people. I got to know a few guys from the academy that I haven’t had the chance to talk to before, so that was great also.  
On Wednesday he showed up at the academy and spend the last few hours with me and Anders getting a smoothie at Jamba Juice (what else, that place is amazing!) before he left for the airport. 
Again, I appreciate all the good tips he gave us and for the good company! I will look forward to meet up with him at the London Open and European Open.
Here’s a picture from Buffalo Wild Wings and a picture with Dominik, Anders, Flavio and myself 🙂

Now finally to some Jiu-Jitsu updates, as I obviously have been training as much as possible in San Jose and on one side I have had some good training sessions over there and got crushed more than once by a really good guy called Manuel, who is a purple belt world champion and now a brown belt. A super tough guy that I really enjoyed training with, on the other side I still have to say i’m a bit disappointed in myself, that I never got to “break the ice” with Caio Terra, since I later got the chance to talk to talk to him I now see that I obviously got the wrong impression of him and I perhaps was way to fast in my judgement, which is something i genuinely apologize for and hopefully I will get to share the mat with him again and listen to his views on Jiu-Jitsu. I am afterall a huge fan and I love watching him when I buy the pan-am and world championship dvd’s and livestreams.

I got to train with Caio two times and he caught me in a triangle choke both times I trained with him and he’s a rooster weight world champion and has won numerous absolute titles beating some huge guys, so I obviously have huge respect for his accomplishments on the mat and it was also crazy to feel how he would climb his legs from the closed guard and up to the triangle choke, without me being really able to stop it although I saw it coming from a mile away. Very good technique indeed and i appreciate he at least took the time to kick my ass.
In the two classes he taught while I was there he showed two awesome ways of passing the guard, one spiderguard pass and one halfguard(shin block) pass that both ended up in the leg drag position. Very solid techniques.

After thinking about it I will most likely not go back to San Jose to train again, as I will have to do the drive back to San Diego to get on the airplane early morning August 15th, so it just doesn’t make sense to go there again, although I met some awesome guys on the mat and Flavio, the head instructor, was super cool and really has an awesome personality and a guy I would love to train with again. And also Samir Chantre was a super nice guy and although he had and injured thumb, which sucks bigtime, he still passed my guard more than once with some slick guard passes and after asking him about a position, he showed me a nice little sweep to a leg drag pass from the knee/shin block halfguard position, something I look forward to playing with when I get back home.

The best training sessions I had at Caio Terra’s academy was the 3 black belt/competition classes that consisted of 5 minute rounds followed by 30 sec breaks in between, which we kept on doing until everyone had rolled with everyone. Usually it was around 7-8 rounds like that. So looking back at my week of training at the academy I’m really satisfied with the sparring I got in San Jose, so now there’s nothing left than to look forward to getting to San Diego to train at Gracie Humaita and perhaps Andre Galvao.
Here’s a picture from the last black belt/competition session. Some guys had left before the picture was taken so that was a bummer, still a good picture though 🙂
Now as I wrote in my previous blog post, my girlfriend Sabine arrived on the 25th of July to accomplish me on my way to San Diego and in my training down here. She is just as hooked in Jiu-Jitsu, if not more, and is also a beast of the mat. Very technical with a super good defense, and a great personality to go with it so I’m looking forward to spend a lot of time with her here in California. My next blog post will be about our awesome trip from San Jose, down the coast line to Los Angeles and then to San Diego.
I have already arrived in San Diego and I got to experience and absolutely amazing nature and landscape, the mountains which are never ending are so beautiful its really hard to explain in words so I will just post some pictures here so you can see what I’m talking about.

And once again thanks to everyone following my blog, I appreciate you taking the time to read and if you have any questions about my trip feel free to ask me here or on facebook. I’m happy to know that my family is reading also and I will be looking forward to share the experience with and show all the pictures to my grandmother’s and grandfather when I come back home, as they have no clue about the internet. I’m sure they will be so happy to hear about it 🙂

So to everyone back home and whoever is ready, take care, eat healthy and train some Jiu-Jitsu PORRA! 🙂

Michael

UFC 149 and Chilling in San Jose with Dominik!

Okay, so I’m back again with another blog post from San Jose, California. I will try to summarize the last few days, actually just our weekend now that I’ve finished writing it. I will save the last few days for the next blog post 🙂

We’ve meet a lot of cool people on the mat and gotten the chance to hang out with them as well, its just been a really great time here so far!

This past weekend we had a plan of going to the beach Saturday in Santa Cruz which we were told is an awesome surf spot and a really nice beach and Sunday our plan was to go to San Francisco to check out out the city as its only located like 45 minutes drive from San Jose (without traffic jams), but it turned out to be a completely different weekend than what we had planned.
Saturday we started out with the morning class training at Caio’s academy which was, as always, drilling a few techniques and a lot of sparring. After the class we went to something called Jamba Juice which has become our regular place to visit after each training, as they serve some absolutely amazing and HUGE acai smoothies. There’s just nothing better after a hard summer training than getting a big delicious smoothie and the menu at Jamba Juice is much more than just an acai smoothie. You can get whatever you like with the classics fruits like strawberries, bananas, rasberry, peach, lime, oranges, passionfruit, mango, pineapple, blue berries and it goes on. To give you an idea here’s some of the names of the smoothies, Caribbean Passion – Aloha Pineapple – Peach Pleasure – Strawberries Wild – Strawberry Surf Rider – The Protein Berry Workout – Acai Super-Antioxidant. 
It’s just super nice and healthy stuff just the way I like it. I’m in love with Jamba Juice! 🙂
Anyways, we went to Jamba Juice with Jeff who is a Black Belt and just an all around genuinely nice and super cool guy who lives here in San Jose and Dominik who is a blue belt from Switzerland, who’s been spending a lot of his last time in San Jose with me and Anders giving us tips about the restaurants and other good information, and also he’s just a super cool guy that we also have plans of hooking up with at the London Open later this year and the European Open next year. 
Our plan was to get some smoothies and hit the road towards Santa Cruz beach, but after hitting a traffic jam towards Santa Cruz we decided it wasn’t worth going there and instead Jeff invited us to his house to see the UFC149 which was a super nice gesture that we obviously accepted, so we went to Jeff’s house which is, to put it lightly, f******* amazing! He had the biggest kitchen ever and plenty of space for all of us in his living room and probably enough space for the whole academy to live 🙂
So we spent the whole evening at Jeff’s having a kickass barbecue and homemade salad while watching UFC 149. Unfortunately it was super boring so I wont even get into the event itself, you’ll just have to check out for yourself. But thanks to Jeff for the hospitality! So awesome, and did I mention he has 45 square meter of mat in his basement? Yea, so sick!
Here’s a picture of me preparing the salad and us watching the UFC. An awesome evening at Jeff’s house!

On Sunday the plan was as I wrote above to drive to San Francisco, Me Anders and Dominik, but after the morning training at Caio’s academy both me and Dominik was feeling too wasted to go there so instead me and Anders decided to check out downtown San Jose and found a pretty cool Chinese restaurant which served some really awesome food. The most noteable about this place was the fortune cookies we received afterwards. At first I was a bit skeptical because I don’t really believe in stuff like this and that it could actually tell anything about my future or any nonsense like that, but I have to say that after we opened each our own I’m starting to think there’s actually something to it, as both fortunes actually told something that was very true. Let me just say that Anders at time does come across of being a bit lost at times, ment in an positive and nice way 🙂 heheh… He doesn’t remember anything about the places we’ve been and without me and the GPS in the car I really think he would be completely lost in this city, hehe! As I, without giving myself too much credit, always know where I am, have been and where I want to go, I make sure to take notes of important buildings and signs and other stuff… I just take notice of stuff like this.

Take a look what our fortune cookies had to tell us. Anders is the top one i’m the bottom one. So freaking amazing and in many ways so true! 🙂  Sorry Anders, i know your reading this.. I still like you a lot and I’m having an awesome time with you here in San Jose! <3

After our early trip to downtown San Jose we decided to hook up with Dominik in the evening going for some Sushi at a nice little Japanese restaurant that Dominik recommended, and after that our plan was to go the cinema and watch a movie and just chill around a bit. Although we didnt get to watch a movie we had the chance to walk around this really nice and cool area with tons of cool shops and restaurants and people driving around their fancy cars thinking their all cool, which they probably are. We had a really nice frozen yogurt with lots of fresh fruits. It was probably the best yogurt I’ve ever had to be honest! Here’s some pictures from our trip to the area of San Jose where the “cool” people hang out 🙂

Now it’s getting late and its way over way over midnight Tuesday, actually its Wednesday. I’m really excited about tomorrow as my girlfriend Sabine will be arriving from Denmark, she will spend the next 3 weeks with me checking out and training in California. I’ve been missing her a lot so it will be so awesome having her here! I’m really happy she enjoys training just as much as me, if not more for those who knows 🙂  It will be amazing to share all these cool experiences with her! 
My next blog post will be about the black belt competition training that we went to the other day and Dominik’s last day here in US. It’s so sad that he’s leaving, but his visa expired and he’ll be leaving Wednesday afternoon. He’s been a great help and really made our stay here much more pleasant and convenient. My blog post will also be about our visit to Buffalo Wild Wings where we celebrated Dominiks last day in the US.
Again, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I really hope it’s worth reading. I know there hasn’t been much Jiu-Jitsu in my blog yet, but so far there has not been much Jiu-Jitsu to write about as it’s been more about the great people we’ve met over here, just by being on the mat at Caio Terras academy and we’ve only had one black belt competition training so far. But tomorrow Wednesday (which it is already) I will go to another black belt training at 15.00, before I have to leave to the airport to pick up Sabine.
So to everyone reading, take good care of yourself, eat health and train some Jiu-Jitsu PORRA!
See you on the mat!
Michael

California love, The Cheesecake Factory and first training session.

So I finally arrived in San Jose together with my good friend and training partner Anders. We had a pretty good but also very long (24 hours) and uncomfortable trip that saw us stopping over in Amsterdam and Seattle before landing in San Jose International Airport. After arriving, the first thing we did was to go get our rental car which is a pretty awesome Ford Fusion with all the equipment you can imagine, and to use Rener Gracie’s expression, DAAANG, the car drives like a dream… I can’t wait to hit the streets of California in this baby that’s for sure! Here’s a picture 🙂

After settling down in the hotel and getting some decent food, although the food we got in the plane was surprisingly good, we decided to go visit Samir Chantre’s academy which is located 5 minutes from our hotel. After meeting Samir I can say that he’s comes of as an extremely cool guy and I’m looking forward to get the chance to train with him.
Samir invited us to go eat with him, Caio Terra and their good friend Vitor, who is a brown belt and also trains at Caio’s academy. We went to The Cheesecake Factory which is an absolutely awesome and yet disgusting place all together. Whatever you order you can be sure is like 50% cheese.
I ordered a Chicken menu with mashed potatoes which was actually some chicken with a huge peace of melted cheese on top and the mashed potatoes must have been 50/50 with potatoes and cheese…  I have a small battle inside if this was actually disgusting or extremely awesome 🙂 I do like cheese but it can get too much. And another thing, the plate servings was HUGE! My stomach was feeling really bad afterwards. That said it was cool to meet Samir, Caio and Vitor whom Anders and I will be training with for the next 8-10 days.
Anyways, after The Cheesecake Factory we decided to just go back to our hotel and sleep as it was getting late and we had been travelling for 24 hours and I dont think I had a decent rest for well over 30 hours.
Here’s a picture from The Cheesecake Factory. I apologize for the bad quality 🙂 Later on Caio’s son and girlfriend and her sister joined us. Was a good ending to a long day!
After a not so good night of sleep we woke up Thursday morning feeling the jet lag and difference in time zones, meaning we did not get much sleep 🙂
We decided to hit the streets of San Jose to check out the area and visit some different shopping malls. We went to Target which is a HUGE super market with everything you can imagine and after that we went to BEST BUY which is a electronics store. I really want to buy a video camera here but it’s not really as cheap as I had hoped and the selection at BEST BUY was not what I had hoped. Basically the same as in Denmark.
After checking out San Jose for a while we went to the first training session of our trip at Caio Terra’s academy, Institute of Martial Arts, which was lead by one his friends/training partners, a black belt called Flavio. A super cool guy that I got the chance to roll with at the end of the class. Unfortunately I somehow busted my chin so it started bleeding pretty bad so I had to sit out for some of the class 🙁 very bad luck. As this was our first training session we spend a lot of time shaking hands and talking to the students and they are definitely a really cool and down to earth group of guys and girls, they are all super friendly and really this is just the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mentality. It doesnt matter where in the world you decide to train, Jiu-Jitsu is an international language that if you speak it and you have a humble and ego-less approach, you will basically fit in in’ any academy in the world and it was the same at Caio’s Academy. It was just an awesome feeling finally putting on the gi and training 🙂
After the training it was just straight home to relax and going to bed early as we/I still feel the jetlag and difference in time zones.
I will try to get some pictures from the academy today (friday 20th) with some of the guys. Caio will be away on seminar for the weekend and won’t be back before Monday.
We also decided to check out downtown San Jose today and tomorrow (Saturday) we will drive to San Francisco and see what that is all about!
Before I close this blog post I just want to say thanks for taking the time to read my blog, i hope you enjoy it! Feedback is more than welcome in the comments section. Any feedback is appreciated, good or bad!
You can also follow me on twitter @MMPBJJ or youtube where I will be posting videos. My username is MMPBJJ 🙂
Michael

Less than two weeks to go + Nordic Open 2012 footage!

Okay, so in less than two weeks I’ll be in San Jose training with Caio Terra and Samir Chante which I’m starting to be really excited about as I have no idea what to expect from these two guys. I’ve seen plenty of footage of both of them and they are obviously awesome competitors and in my opinion they both have a sick game.. It will be awesome to learn from two lighter guys and to be honest I will be happy to learn more about the berimbolo and the other fancy guards that the high level guys are using now.

I’m trying to play around with it in class but to be honest I dont master the berimbolo or the inverted De La Riva all to good so will be nice to have it explained and to hear their views of how to defend it. I have been checking out some videos on youtube and so far the only counter to the berimbolo that I found usefull is this technique, taught by Carlos Holanda. I havent tried it with bigger guys or generally guys that are much better than me as that’s something I really miss in my everyday training.

Personally I have always been a fan of basic Jiu-Jitsu and the way the Gracie Family would teach and practise it, as that was really the skills I felt I needed to learn when I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That said I have always been a fan of sports BJJ and I’m a regular buyer of pan-ams and mundial streams from budovideos whenever they offer it.
With two week to go I’m also still very much in doubt where to train in San Diego as the city has so many good BJJ academies. So far I’m thinking about having my base at either BJJRevolution team or with Andre Galvao and from there I’d visit a few different academies in the area. As I’m arriving on the 1st of august I really want to have a good place to train in the 10 days leading up to the Las Vegas International Open (11th of August).
Besides finding a place to prepare for the tournament I’d like to see if I get the chance to visit Saulo Ribeiro, Fabio Santos, The Undisputed gym and perhaps a few other places if time allows it.

NORDIC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 2012

Back in March my girlfriend and I went to Stockholm to compete at the Nordic Open Championship 2012 and with good success. My girlfriend already posted about her experience at her own blog, cick here to read – Juvlai BLOG.
My own experience at the tournament was good and I think I fought quite good although I did end up in some positions I should have avoided. I only had two fights and the first one is the semifinal where I fought a guy I had fought before and won against. He had a tricky game and from our first encounter I knew he was good but also if I fought with patience and using basics and not trying anything fance I could and should win again.
Here is first fight, semifinal in the -76 kg. brown belt division.
In the final I met a guy I never heard about but the word around the competition area was that he liked to squeeze or crank leg locks hard and hurt his opponent. It did get a little heated during the fight as I felt he started to get annoyed quite fast and was kinda trying to headbutt me so at one point I looked him in the eyes and told him something like “Okay man, let’s go then!”.. not that I’m really proud of it, I also had to appologize to the ref afterwards. Anyways, I ended up pulling to closed guard and going for a move I learned from Roger Gracie and it ended up working quite good, although I made a huge mistake that is actually still giving me pain in my foot sometimes, and I was even warned about it 🙂
Final fight in -76 kg. brown belt 

Training at FIGHTZONE.SE in Malmø

Wednesday 4th of July I went to visit some friends of mine at Fightzone in Malmø, Sweden. They have an super cool academy with plenty of mat space and a big and good group of guys to go along with it. We did some warmup and some cool drills before we went into 5 * 10 minutes of relaxed and slow rolling which is pretty nice although I do prefer the hardcore sparring, but I am well aware that’s not possible 5-6 times a week so this is a really nice approach that I rarely get to do.
Here’s a group picture. So thanks to Stephan, Gabriel, Richard, Toni and all the other guys!