October 14, 2013

Tonight was not a good night.

I lost a TV channel tonight on my hotel room – CNN. Might not seem like a big deal, but I only had 2 english channels, CNN and HBO. Now it is just HBO, and I have already seen everything on it.

Well on the bright side, I have more time to read. 🙂

But the worst news was yet to come. I was getting ready to cook some chicken, and then it happened:

My NuWave oven died.

After 1 year of great service, I killed it. 🙁

I used the wrong transformer, and I noticed that as I was cooking the heating element got way too hot (it was glowing red). At least it went out in a blaze of glory. 🙂

I was pretty upset about this, because I loved that thing. It is not a big deal to replace, but I won’t be able to do it over here. Plus, I just spent $100 in groceries that I will no longer be able to cook. I tell myself it was divine intervention, and that perhaps the chicken I was about to eat was tainted and would have gotten me sick.

I will find a way to make do, but let me tell you about what a great day I had. 🙂

I was looking for BJJ academies here in Bejing, and was happy to find three within close proximity to me. I sent each one of them an email, and then called each academy.

I was fortunate enough to call Andy Pi of http://www.BeijingBJJ.com and he was super awesome! He welcomed me with open arms to his academy, and even had his student nicknamed “Rock” pick me up to take me to the gym. I was happy to see my friend Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu was already there, along with Kron Gracie, and the master himself – Rickson Gracie.

After a morning workout, Andy took us all out to a place that would bring a smile to any meat lover – a churrascaria. Although I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted, I did enjoy the meal very much. It was great to hang out with familiar faces after being locked up in my hotel room for a few days. Being able to pick up some wisdom from Rickson was great, and we all had a lot of laughs shared from old war stories.

After a great meal, our gracious host then took us to a grocery store, where we stocked up on essentials: protein bars, nuts, yogurt, water, granola, eggs, and meats. Then we went to a Starbucks, where we bumped into another BJJ star Buchecha. What were the chances of that happening?

It made me realize that despite being just a speck on this very large world, it is amazing how we can find and bump into people with common bonds and ties. The way Andy took us in was very humbling to me, and made me proud to part of the martial arts family.

We then came back for evening training, where I worked out with yet another BJJ star, Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes. We had a great drilling session at http://www.BeijingBJJ.com – while Cyborg did some rounds with Andy. After the past few days of shadow training, it was great to be back on the mats doing good drilling. I am very happy with my training schedule, as I know I am peaking this week. I haven’t been able to make myself breathe hard yet, despite drilling for an hour straight, or running on a treadmill.

Everything is falling together as I envisioned it.

Well, except for the NuWave oven, but nothing’s perfect. 🙂

  • Bobby A Smith says:

    Wow! I am more impressed with you not being able to make yourself breathe hard after an hour of roll or running on the treadmill. I wanna know how I can get that kind of cardio?

  • I could not live without my nuwave, it is my favorite appliance and I use it everyday.
    My thoughts are with you my friend….awesome post, thanks for sharing! How awesome to be with that group of people.
    BTW, I let my wife read it and she said “oh no!” When she read the fate of the nuwave…she can not live without it either…

  • David Pinon says:

    Among those 3 BJJ academies, what made you decide to training in the Andy’s academy ?

    • I recognized the name of the owner of Gracie Beijing, Andy Pi, as he was the founder of Art of War. He was also very hospitable, and offered to take me to his academy. My friend Cyborg was also there, and I wanted to be able to train with him – so it was an easy decision for me. The academy is very nice, with complete locker rooms and showers, and the floating mat is excellent.

  • You can bet your boots Master Rickson was watching you and analyzing your movement just in case his son Kron goes up against you.I know how fighters think and work they are all the same always looking for that edge to be up one on there opponent.He remembers you beat his nephew.

    • Not to worry, we are not in the same division. And what Jimmy says is true – at this level we know what we can do. If someone is worried about what I am going to do, then they are being pulled away from thinking what they are going to do. I prefer that, as the fight will be dictated by my actions and not theirs.

  • He won’t learn very much about him. You know what the high level guys are going to do but you can’t stop it. Same principle as “flow with the go”.

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