The last ten days in Bali have been amazing. So many fantastic experiences and so many cool people.
I was talking to one of the local professional surfers who we went out with last night, and was amazed by the time and passion they put into this. I have never thought about it before, but this is not just playing around in the water a little bit as a hobby. Many of them are top athletes, who devote their entire life to learning this skill, just like the much inspiring black belts of BJJ. I have immense respect for anyone who puts so much passion into one thing. I think this whole surfing experience has had a pretty strong effect on me, I am excited to see where it will take me. Feeling very inspired for sure.
Today, we went surfing at the beach we live by. The increase in skill level at this point seems pretty fast, as I did much better today than yesterday. At one point, I was riding a wave for what seemed like 20 seconds. It probably wasn’t more than five though :D The feeling of hitting it perfectly for so long was amazing. I can totally see why people compare Jiu jitsu and surfing so much. It was like getting my first submission and for the next 50 years, I will keep chasing that feeling again and again. Danny and Quico from the gym came by and helped us a lot. Without them, I definitely wouldn’t have learned so much, it was super nice of them.
Later, Danny took us to the Kauai Kimonos factory. It was very interesting to finally see it in person after having talked with Jonathan, the owner, for so long. The women working there are very professional and they make some seriously high quality, hand made BJJ gi’s. Erik got one of the super rare BJJ Globetrotter kimonos. He put it on right away and drove around the island on motorbike for a few hours while wearing it. We went to see Uluwatu, one of the most amazing beaches I have been to (I have been to many ;)) and a legendary surf spot. I have a strong feeling I will be back there one day.
Tomorrow morning, I leave for the Philippines. I plan to stay in Manila for a few days, then head down to Boracay. I was there in 2006 and loved it. Found out that a guy from Manila has started a BJJ gym there, so no chance I am not going. I am really excited to go there again. I have invitations from other parts of Philippines to, hopefully I can make it to a few of them too.
Never had the chance to try surfing before, but Bali is the place to do it apparently. My friend Danny from the gym was kind enough to take us out and give us a beginner lesson and to no surprise, I am hooked. It actually went pretty well, we caught many waves and I was standing up successfully at least 8-10 times during the hour or so we were out there.
Today is my 29th birthday and discovering surfing was the best gift I can imagine. This is definitely something that I’ll try and do more – next time tomorrow and most likely all day long :)
It took me two days on this super slow Internet connection to upload this 30 second clip I made from our roadtrip. Don’t know how I will ever be able to upload the five minute clip from yesterdays training :)
Location:Jalan Caplak Tanduk,Kuta,Indonesia
Slept till 1300 today, then went to the gym and met up with Quico. He originally from Portugal, and as most other guys we meet here, he just spends most of his time surfing and training BJJ. His game is really good and I had some great rolls with him. Lots of cool details on finishing guillotines that I will work on. I filmed some video of us slow rolling, will try and upload tomorrow if I can find a faster internet connection :)
After rolling for a few hours, we went upstair and did some weight lifting.
What a great day of training!
The burger in Bali was a total show off. It had just started training, but it was already wearing fight wear clothes all day every day. In school and at work, it would brag to it’s friends and colleagues about how bad ass it is and how many submissions it already knows.
In reality, it had NO game. Told everyone it was heavyweight because of all the bodybuilding it had done in the past, but it was at maximum 83 kilos. Terrible base, bad loser and just an annoying guy people only wanna roll with once. It might have deserved a stripe on the white belt from effort and time served, but based on personality alone, I didn’t feel like giving it anything.
Due to the nature of the amazing around-the-world burgers project, I had to finish rolling with this one, but my friends bailed after two minutes and went for Thai food instead.
At the place we are staying, they have a monkey sitting in a tree. It is attached with a small chain and can only walk freely in a radius of 3-4 meters. It always seems really depressed, thirsty and in lack of contact with others. Every time we walk by it, it wants to be petted or have water. Poor monkey :-/
At least it will now get its 15 minutes of fame here on my blog and on facebook.
As I woke up this morning, Erik and Liam were still sleeping. I was the only one who could fall asleep in the warm room we had rented, so the had been awake most of the night. I got up early and went to the local internet cafe. A guy called Hoky had emailed me and asked if I wanted to train a bit. He was on vacation in Bali for a few days, leaving this afternoon and wondered if we had time to roll before he was going to the airport. We had four hours to get back to the gym, so I woke up the guys, we jumped on the bikes and drove the last stretch back to the city. When we got to our hotel, we had driven a total of 380 kilometers in two days. What an awesome trip!
Hoky had invited a few other guys, so we ended up being quite a big group for a free sparring session. We were all really tired and I had a bad headache from driving behind big trucks and breathing in the black smoke from the exhaustions. We managed to train for a few hours despite that. A few really good guys there, I had my hands full and it was great. Hopefully we can find time to meet them tomorrow or another day and do some more training.
I could really feel how a few days of not working out, drinking a few beers and breathing polluted air had taken it’s toll on my cardio. Hopefully it will be better when I get back in the rhythm of training.
Location:Jalan Drupadi 1,Kuta,Indonesia
Drove for about 150 kilometers today, it was a beautiful trip. On the north side of the island, there wasn’t much traffic. The nature was beautiful and the roads really well build, so it was a pleasure to drive on them.
In the evening, we arrived at a small surfer beach. We are staying here for the night in a hot but very cheap place. Tomorrow we head back to the south!
We drove for 140 kilometers on our motorbikes today from Kuta to Lovina. It was a trip of contrasts, as we started out on sunny, warm coastal road, then through a misty, cold mountain and ended in a crazy thunderstorm rain shower with lightning above our heads as we reached the other side of the island.
It was a very interesting trip through beautiful nature. I saw a guy play guitar by the roadside at his little gasoline shop and I stopped to play a bit with him. His guitar played really bad but it was beautiful and had obviously been used a lot. As we reached the top of the mountain, a ceremony was going on at a very big and beautiful temple. We decided to check it out, which included wearing the traditional sarong and hat thing. Super cool experience and funny photo.
We arrived at Lovina, a small place by the beach, after roughly seven hours of driving. We found a room here and tomorrow we will chill a bit by the beach before we head west.
We have had a great time here in Bali so far. Went to the only BJJ gym on the island this evening to roll a bit. Unfortunately, the matfee was over our budget (about $20 a person), so we decided to skip the training and go upstairs for some weight lifting for $6 instead. I was sad that I didn’t get to roll, but I guess that is how it is to be a BJJ bum on a tight budget.
Tomorrow, we are heading out for a motorbike road trip around the island. Will probably take us 2-3 days in total, depending on how many places we feel like stopping along the way. No Jiu jitsu there, but check in for a few interesting photos I might snap along the way.
When we get back it will be time to surf and celebrate my 29th birthday :)
Location:Jalan Drupadi 1,Kuta,Indonesia