The story of my trip around the world to train, teach and compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other grappling arts.


The amazing around-the-world burger project: Panama City, Panama.

The burger in Panama was a heavyweight. Not all lean and athletic, there was some laziness involved in the choice of that weight class too.

It had a strong base, but a few weird techniques in it’s game. Some of it was a little old school and too easy to defend.

Blue belt one stripe.

Last day in Panama, squeezed in training at Gracie Barra.

In a few hours, I am going to the airport to fly to Medellin, Colombia. I got an invitation to go train with the local Gracia Barra gym here, so I just managed to squeeze in their afternoon class in my schedule today.

I was really tired from last nights hard and sweaty training, so it took me a while to get up in gear. We did isolation drills and sparring, which suited me fine. I didn’t have much mental energy for technique training today anyways :)

Had some good rounds with solid brown and purple belts. Felt tired and my knee hurt a little bit, but managed to do all rounds but one.

That concluded four days in Panama with visits to four gyms. It has been interesting to be here, despite I have spent most of the time sleeping or being in gyms :D

Next stop Colombia and from there, I go to Ecuador on monday. I might go straight to Brazil from Ecuador, but I am also tempted to go to Cusco in Peru on the way if I can find the right flight tickets. I’ll make a decision last minute as always ;)

Saw the Panama Canal, then sweaty nogi training in Spartan.

I managed to sleep 12 hours non stop last night. I guess my body needed it. I have felt really good today, much better than the last week and a half, which has been super hectic with non stop traveling, training and competing. Unfortunately, I slept too long for us to make it to the beach in time, but it is ok since there apparently aren’t any waves anyways.

We took a little tour today, checking out the Panama Canal, then dropping by one of Miguel’s friends BJJ school. I wish I had had time to train there, but that’s gotta be another time unfortunately.

In the evening, I taught a nogi class in Spartan. It was really nice to train in shorts and rashguard in this humidity, the gi has been killing me the last two days. I had some great rolls and felt much more energized than when I rolled there the other day.

Tomorrow is my last day in Panama, before I head to Medellin, Colombia. I have an appointment to train in the Gracie Barra school here at noon. It is going to be a light roll since I am pretty tired from todays hard training and also since I will be flying in the evening.

Sleep, rest, then train in Fightshape.

Today has been a beautiful day in Panama city. Blue skies and sunshine. Unfortunately, I haven’t enjoyed it much, since I really needed to just sleep and do nothing. I spent most of the day looking for plane tickets, trying to find out where to go and when. In the evening, Giovanni picked me up. He saw I was in Panama and invited me to come train in Fightshape, which is a new gym only a few months old.

The place was very nice, looked good and clean. Everything was new and shiny. I made the mistake of eating too much fruit and nuts right before training, so my stomach didn’t feel too good when I started to move around on the mat. The humidity was crazy, it reminded me of one of the gyms in Manila, although not as bad.

The training was good, I got to roll with the instructor Paulo, a giant black belt. One of those technical guys, who are also so big and strong, that it is impossible to move them. It was good fun though and I got to practice my best tapping out techniques.

In the evening, I went out to eat a little bit with Miguel and his girlfriend, and now it is time to sleep even more. Tomorrow, if the weather is good, we will go to the beach and check out the surf.

Deciding where to go, a common luxury problem for the BJJ Globetrotter.

So once again, I sit here for hours, looking at Google Maps and flight ticket sites. A few weeks back, I didn’t really have any contacts or ideas of where to go in South America besides of course Brazil. Now, I have too many places to chose from and too little time to go there.

The flights within South America seem pretty expensive, so I can’t go crazy jumping around like I have done before. Also, some places In the south looks like they are pretty cold now, and I prefer sunshine and nice weather :D

Right now I am trying to pick between invitations from Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay, before I head to Brazil. In some way it will mostly be decided by ticket prices and flight routes.

Thursday, I go to Medellin in Colombia for a few days, before checking out Bogota. From there, anything can happen, but I will try and get some tickets today.

On my way home from Brazil, it seems like flying to Madrid is the easiest and cheapest option, before making my way to Estonia for the summer camp. So if some of you know someone in Madrid I could stay with for a day or so (and maybe train with depending on my jet lag), then please email me on :)

Location:Calle 61 Oeste,Panama,Panama

Overnight flight to Panama, nap then training at Spartan.

I took a flight from Los Angeles at 2 in the morning, arriving five hours later in Panama City. I managed to sleep in the plane, but it was only about four hours total, so when I got here, I took a nice afternoon nap. I am staying with Miguel, who emailed me because he saw on my blog, that I planned to visit Panama.

Miguel is one of the owners of Spartan Jiu Jitsu, where we trained tonight. He is recovering from a knee surgery, so I offered to teach the class. There was a lot of people and the humidity was really high. I was really tired from flying and also from all the training and the competition last week, so I decided to go really easy. I had some nice and easy rounds with some very good guys. One of them had some friends on Equador and Venezuela, so maybe I’ll go there and train a bit if I can find a cheap flight ticket.

I have a few other gyms to visit here in Panama before I leave for Colombia on Thursday, but now I need to sleep as much as I can. My body is screaming for rest and I’ll listen to it for once I think. I’ll see if I can squeeze in one training a day and some surfing Wednesday too, depending on how I feel.