Tomorrow, I am leaving Montpellier to go to Bucharest in Romania. We decided to skip training tonight, since we were both really tired. Training every night since I left home has made me pretty sore, probably because I had a long (2-3 weeks) break from training before I left.
Instead, we went for burgers with some of Thomas friends. It was a really good burger. They talked a lot about that they were really big, but I am no noob when it comes to eating contests, so I challenged Thomas to order the biggest one for me he could. Even the waiter seemed impressed when he took the order. Needless to say, I finished it in style ;)
Thomas suggested, that as a side project for my trip, I should rate burgers from all over the world on my blog. Since I am losing weight fast when I travel (down to 76.9 this morning!), I thought that was a great idea.
The burger from Burger & Co in Montpellier, I will rate as a seasoned purple belt with three stripes. Good base, hard to sweep and and experienced competitor with some teaching experience.
On the way home, I found some pretty cool shop names. Who wants to be “Forever Seven”?
The title of this post is not about sparring with the French guys!
I decided to cook dinner for my hosts today. Unfortunately I ate too much of it, so getting up in gear in class was a little difficult tonight :)
I had been very sore in my body today after the hard training yesterday. Once I got warmed up I felt great though.
There we more people on the mat today. Florent, the own of the gym, and his twin brother Jean Claude was there, both brown belts. Apart from that, there was a few blue belts and white belts.
The sparring with the twins was really good. They are very friendly and technical and I recommend anyone coming by southern france to go train with them. Check out their website www.artesuave.fr!
Got a long night of sleep and took my time to get up. My three week break from training makes it a little hard to get used to sparring again. The hard warmup yesterday didn’t help either :)
I started the day experimenting a bit with my monkeypod and fisheye lens. The staircase to Thomas and Kristina’s apartment is crazy narrow and it took me some time to get the angle right, but think it turned out pretty good.
Christie, an American girl from the gym, was off work today and had offered to show me around the city a bit. This place is a complete maze with narrow streets and tall buildings, so it is very difficult to keep a sense of direction and therefore a “local” guide was highly appreciated.
Spend a while checking out the beautiful city and taking some photos. Now i am just relaxing before gi class tonight. Should be a bigger class than yesterday from what I’ve heard.
Tonight I went to Arte Suave, which was a fifteen minute walk from where Thomas lives. The first thing that hit me when I entered the door was the humidity, it was crazy. No open doors or windows and no ventilation. Keeping warm would not be a problem, I reckoned.
Six guys showed up for class, and the atmosphere was very relaxed, which was perfect for me. Earlier in the day I had decided to skip training today because I was so tired, but I went anyways and was happy I did.
We did a pretty hard warm up with some card and endurance drills. A little hard for my tired body, I could definitely feel the lack of sleep.
The trainer, Francisco Nonato, was a HUGE guy. He showed some pretty nice stuff from the kimura in guard bottom. One way to finish it if the opponent hides his arm and one way to use it to take the back. Will go in the notebook and be showed to the guys in my gym playing the kimura game.
We did about 30-40 minutes of sparring, and my knee felt fine. I went really nice and easy, no need to take any chances by going hard with strangers. If I get injured (especially in that stupid knee), I will pretty much be fucked :) they level of the guys was pretty high, especially Florent, a brown belt around my size. Very nice roll. I also went a round with Francisco, it was basically like trying to grapple a house.
Now I am back in the apartment and will sleep as long as I can, I really need it. Tomorrow night is some sightseeing and gi training.
This morning, Jerome came by and we took the train to Gare de Lyon, where we had breakfast before I jumped on the train to Montpellier.
Since I came home late from my Eiffel Tower walk, I only got about 6 hours of sleep. That totals 10 hours in two days, which is the minimum I sleep daily. Was really difficult to stay awake in the train (3,5 hours), but I made it and met up with Thomas at the station. He trained in my gym in Copenhagen a while back, but moved here to study a year ago. He was the first person I talked to about coming by on my trip, so it was cool for me to finally get here after so much preparation.
I am right now sitting in his apartment and relaxing after a nice French style lunch. There is training tonight, but I’ll have to wait and see a bit if I have the energy for it. Also, my knee injury was really sore today, so is very nervous about it :-/ it needs to last for another four and a half month!
I was really tired when I got home from training around midnight, but I convinced myself that I should walk to the Eiffel tower and try to get a good shot of it. It is lit up at night and with the rain and fog on my only one night in Paris, I couldn’t let this photo opportunity pass.
I was glad I did it. What an amazingly beautiful structure it is. Especially on a night like this and with no tourists around. I was totally alone there, it was really a cool experience. Got some other shots on the way, but it was getting late, the rain was getting heavier and my fingers started to freeze.
Today was my first training session as a BJJ Globetrotter, and what an experience. I had my first training in Hybrid Team Jiu Jitsu, which is being run by black belt Olivier Millet.
Before I left for the trip, I was sick and had some problems with my knee so today was the first training in over three weeks. I must admit that I was a little nervous about going into this training, because I step into a completely unknown gym, wearing my brown belt (which in many places translates as a target on my back) and just coming back from a knee injury. You never know what kind of guys you run into, and it could potentially end really bad if someone just decides to give it everything and rip your legs off.
Fortunately, the gym I went to wasn’t anything like that. Arthur, who showed me around the city all day, trained there and I brought Jerome with me since his own gym only had MMA training tonight. We met the trainer and he was a super nice guy, welcomed us both with open arms.
The class was a mix of gi, no-gi and mma sparring at the same time. The facilities were very simple, I think it was a room at a public swim hall. We waited for a karate class to end before we could start training. Very informal atmosphere, just like it prefer it :) most guys were not wearing their belts, everyone seemed to have a good time and there was lots of laughs and smiles, always a good sign.
We did some isolation drills from side control and quarters and the instructor showed a way to turn over the turtle that I really liked and will remember for my own game.
We did two or three round of sparring. I only got to do nogi, but I am not in a hurry and should have lots of options to spar with the gi in the next four months :)
Got some good rounds of sparring with some tough guys. No headhunting and technical rolls going back and forth. Had a roll with my host Jerome, who did very well and is quite heavy to move around :) also I got to roll with a brown belt and it was a great round.
No problems with the knee and now I am sitting in the metro going back to the apartment to wash my gi and get some sleep. Feeling really high on BJJ, it was such a rush to roll again and a great feeling to once again walk into a gym and meet some super cool guys. If this is s sign of what will come the next four and a half months, then this trip is going to be epic :)
I am right now standing outside a mcdonalds and uploading this blog post. Really need to sleep, it has been a long day zzz
I recommend anyone in Paris to stop by the gym for some training! Here is some info about it from Arthur (the guide ;)):
training schedule for BJJ :
Monday 21h/22h30 + thursday at 19h30/22h30 at the “cour des lions” 9 Rue Alphonse Baudin 75011 Paris
There’s also courses in the suburb at the Henri wallon gym in Bagneux on tuesdays, fridays, from 18h to 20h and on sundays from 10h 13h : 2, Avenue Stalingrad , 92220 Bagneux
and finally a grappling class from 10 to 13h on saturdays at the marcel cachin gym in Bagneux too : 4 RUE DES CUVERONS 92220 Bagneux
contact : +33677105928
or the facebook group : HYBRID TEAM JUI JITSU
Tomorrow I will have brunch with Jerome and Arthur and then I take the train down to Montpellier to continue the amazing adventures of the BJJ globetrotter ;)
Since Jerome was busy today, I met up with Arthur, who is a guy from the Sherdog forum that contacted me about coming to train when I was in Paris. He is studying English, so while I could help him practice the language, he could be a tourist guide for me in the city :)
I met up with him today at 14:30 and we walked around for some hours and talked about BJJ. Beautiful city even though the weather was really boring. I took some photos, but it was difficult as I am more into blue skies and sunshine. I guess I could use some more practice in taking “sad mood” photos :)
I arrived well in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and took the train to the city. I didn’t have data coverage on my phone so I had to do with my handwritten travel directions. I like that better actually, there is some kind of romantic thing about finding my way in a place I have never been before. Yes, I am a little weird, I know ;)
Made it to the Motte Picquet Grenelle metro station and met Jerome there. In fact it was his friend Sacha, who first contacted me about coming to Paris, but since he is in Japan now, he hooked me up with Jerome instead. I am staying in his small, but nice, apartment close to the Eiffel tower, while he will be sleeping at his girlfriends place.
I must say I was pretty excited to finally meet up with the first BJJ stranger on my trip, who I had met just through this blog. Tonight wee are going to a small gym to train a bit, will be interesting! Especially taking into consideration that I haven’t rolled in three and a half weeks basically.