Gracie Humaita HQ, Seaworld and sightseeing stuff!

Finally got around to write another blog post. We’ve spent 10 days in San Diego now and most of the time has basically passed with training, eating, resting, training and sleeping with a few stops at different tourist attractions.

The training at Gracie Humaita HQ in San Diego has been absolutely amazing and I’ve just learned so many things and getting updates to all the positions I usually use as I’ve just been getting my ass kicked left and right. Overall the training has been done by Professor Regis Lebre, black belt under Royler Gracie, and Zak Maxwell who’s a black belt under Regis and by Joao “Johnny” Faria who’s a black belt under Jorge Patino “Macaco”, and they are all three awesome competitors with a long list of gold medals and I just learned so much training with Regis, Johnny and Zak and they have given me tons of details and additions to the positions I usually use that I can take with me back home and work on, and especially Zak has been really great at breaking down some of the positions and helping me add some details to my guard and my guard passing, it’s been a really humble experience training with Regis, Johnny and Zak.
Besides getting my ass kicked, it feels really good to get some new advanced positions to work with and hopefully I’ll be able to put some it to work at the Las Vegas Open. 
I’ve gotten a whole new look at how to use my guard and I just can’t wait to try all the new stuff and to teach it to all the guys and girls back in Copenhagen and in Århus.
Sabine and I have spent a lot of time writing down all the techniques so nothing will be forgotten, and on a side note there has also been plenty of girls for Sabine to train with and she was even invited to a girls open mat this past Sunday where I was degraded to being a taxi driver and from what I can understand it was a great training session… I wasn’t really allowed inside, not that I asked either 🙂
So overall it’s been a great experience and I have been treated extremely good and I’m really happy I decided to train at Gracie Humaita HQ and train under Regis, Johnny and Zak and getting to know a lot of their students, and I want to give a special thanks to some of the guys and girls there like Diego, Matt, Jimmy (Jimbo), Matt, Arnett, Javier and Tracey who’ve all made the training there even more special. 
It’s not the best picture, but here from left to right is
Zak Maxwell, Sabine, myself and Regis Lebre

Last Thursday we went to visit Seaworld and got to see some cool and funny shows like The Otter and Sea Lion show, the Blue Horizon Dolphin Show and the Cirque de Del Mar acrobatics show. We spend the whole day walking around in the park and enjoying the shows and after we had enough of Seaworld we were lucky enough to catch the sunset at Mission Beach which was pretty awesome and very beautiful to say the least, it’s really rare I get to see a sunset so it was, for me at least, a very special event, next time I want to be there a little earlier to follow the sun all the way down. After the stop at the beach we went to a cinema to see Batman – The Dark Knight Rises which was a cool movie. Overall it was just a really good day and I spend it together with my girlfriend Sabine and it will forever be in my memory, thank you!

A small video from the Blue Horizon Dolphin show at Seaworld
Sabine and I enjoying sunset at Mission Beach <3

Last Sunday we went to downtown San Diego and walked around the skyscrapers and saw some cool and old submarines, the amazing and huge USS Midway Aircraft Carrier and other older US navy ships at the bay area. I hope to get the chance to visit the aircraft carrier again since its a museum and you have to chance to see tho whole carrier. It looked huge from afar so I can’t even start to think about how big it must be to walk on it and see it from inside.
From downtown we went to Coronado Island which is a cool “little” island in the bay of San Diego with some amazing beaches and a beautiful view to the San Diego skyline. I also hope I get the chance to go here again so I see the skyline at nighttime, looking at the postcards you can buy it’s a awesome sight.

Old US Navy ship and submarine

San Diego Skyline from Coronado

Downtown San Diego. USA!

Now we also went to Mount Soledad which is a huge mountain in San Diego that has a 360 degree view of San Diego, and on top of the mountain there is a huge cross surrounded by pictures of fallen soldiers. just makes me hate war even more seeing all the happy faces and knowing they were killed by war. Anyways, from the mountain we went straight to Torrey Pines State Reserve Park which is a huge park with very small hiking trails to different view points around the park with amazing landscape views of the coastal line of Del Mar, La Jolla and the areas around San Diego and California. Of curse there was also pine trees which was kinda cool I guess, as far as i understood it was being preserved because the american people would camp in the area and use the tree for fires and the trees was starting to become extinct. I have some cool pictures from the area that you can see below.

360 degree view from Mount Soledad
View from Torrey Pine State Reserve

Picture from Torrey Pine Beach.
View from La Jolla beach
Ok. so thats it for this time.

To everyone back home and whoever is reading my blog, take care, eat healthy and train some Jiu-Jitsu PORRA! 🙂

Michael

California cruising, outlet shopping, Art of Jiu-Jitsu and San Diego Safari Zoo

Welcome to yet another blog post from California, and let me just start out with saying that, if your looking for Jiu-Jitsu updates you might as well just close down, because this blog post will not contain any Jiu-Jitsu besides a small visit to Art of Jiu-Jitsu that is Rafael & Guilerhme Mendes new academy, they are also known as the Mendes Bros.

Instead of Jiu-Jitsu updates I will try to describe our trip from San Jose down the west coast of California where we stopped by Pasmo Beach, Santa Barbara, Costa Mesa and The Mendes Bros and San Diego Safarai Zoo before we landed at our hotel in Mission Valey, San Diego, California.
Now to start out, let me try to describe San Jose a little bit as it’s basically a city in a huge valley surrounded by big mountains on each side and looking at these mountains I always had this inner voice saying “Man, I really want to go check out these huge mountains”, so I was really looking forward to our trip down to San Diego, as I knew we would this mountain chain surrounding the city.
Before we really got close to the mountains we decided to stop by Gilroy Premium Outlets which is a huge shopping mall with all the premium clothing brands you can imagine, like Calvin Klein, The North Face, Adidas, Nike, Rebok, Espirit, Volcom, Quicksilver, Echo United, Hugo Boss, Timberland, Puma and the list just goes on. And its basically just all these brands selling last years models for absolutely no money at all! I think I got 4 pair of Calvin Klein jeans for 800 DKK and to give an idea I looked up the prices on the internet to check the difference compared to Denmark, and I must have saved well over 2000 kr. just on the pants alone, which is just nuts! So me and Sabine just went on a crazy shopping spree.. well, I did atleast 🙂  I somehow shopped so much that my credit card got closed and had to “borrow” from Sabine and sit up to like 01.00-02.00 am sunday night to do a skype call to the bank so I could get my card opened again 🙂 Good thing I had Sabine with me or I would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere at some point as I couldnt get money for petrol/gas for the car or money to put food in my stomach.

Mountains in California
Pasmo Beach

So after our shopping spree we finally hit the road towards the mountain chain and the west coast of California and I have to say the landscape is just f***** amazing, sorry for my language, but god damn, there is mountains everywhere and new ones popping out in the horizon as soon as you pass one its just to good to be true. And it’s not like we drove for a few hours, we must have been on the road for 12-15 hours total excluding our stops a long the way, as we did stop by highway motels on the way to get some sleep, but everywhere we looked while driving there would be mountains. I even have a small video that I made that you can see below, as I think it explains what I’m trying to say pretty good. There’s also some pictures from Pasmo Beach and Santa Barbara. Awesome beaches and one day I have goal/dream of buying an apartment or house in a beautiful place like this, close to some good Jiu-Jitsu academies and perhaps offer it as a Jiu-Jitsu/beach rental experience. Nothing wrong with having dreams and goals 🙂

On our way to Santa Barbara Beach
Santa Barbara Beach

Me at Pasmo Beach
Sabine next to palm trees at Santa Barbara Beach
Here’s a video of me and Sabine driving through the California landscape (5 minutes long)

Now our last stop on the way to San Diego was, by accident or coincidence, in Costa Mesa which is the same city that the Mendes Bros has their academy, so I was pretty persistent saying I really want to drive by and see their new Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy although we would basically just be checking out a building from the outside. 

A quick side note, before we went to bed in Costa Mesa we did get to visit In-N-Out Burger which Joseph from the academy in Copenhagen had recommended us to check out and it was actually really good. Now I understand why he says its funny how all the crappy burger joints made it to Denmark. In-N-Out burger was surprisingly good 🙂

Rafael Mendes and I in front of their wall of medals

Okay, so we wake up in the morning going to check out the Mendes Bros academy, which was just 10 minutes from the motel, and when we get there, to my big surprise, there is Rafael Mendes walking around inside talking to some guys and when he finishes he invites us inside, super awesome, he’s a really cool guy, and he gives me a 5 minutes tour of his gym and more than that, his brother Gui Mendes shows up also, both dressed in their sponsored Storm Kimonos, and their are nice enough to take a picture with me. I know, complete fanboy, but I couldnt really care less. It was a super awesome experience meeting two world champions especially when the expectations was to basically just peek through the windows 🙂

Rafael Mendes, myself and Guilerhme Mendes
The Mendes Bros wall of medals

After leaving the Art of Jiu-Jitsu academy we plugged in San Diego Safari Zoo in the GPS and started yet another cool drive down the coast, only stopping by Dana Point (see picture below, so awesome) and then arrived at the Safari Zoo around noon on Sunday. The zoo is, as the name indicates, a Safari zoo, so it’s a huge area and not like your typical zoo experience, as they really build natural hapitats for the animals so you had to go on small buses to get a chance to really see the Animals. It ‘was a cool experience and a great way to end a very nice weekend cruising down the west coast 🙂

At Sunday around 20.00 we arrived at our hotel in Mission Valley San Diego and to our surprise our hotel room actually have a nice kitchen so we’ve been able to make good salads and and store decent food in the refrigerator which is pretty awesome.

My next blog post will definitely contain more Jiu-Jitsu as we’ve been training two time every day at Gracie Humaita under Regis Lebre, Joao “Johnny” Faria and Zak Maxwell, with the exception of yesterday Thursday where we spent the day at Seaworld, but other than that tt’s been some really good training sessions and I really can’t wait to get down to Las Vegas to test myself in the black belt division where I signed up in the -76 kg lightweight master division.

To everyone back home and whoever is reading my blog, take care, eat healthy and train some Jiu-Jitsu PORRA! 🙂

Michael