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


Packed and ready

Backpack weighed in at 14.3 kilos. I guess this is actually happening :)

Thanks for the interest, everyone.

Just checked the stats of my blog and was surprised by the large number of visits I get these days. I appreciate everyone’s interest in my project and can’t wait to get out there tomorrow morning.

Got back from an all-weekend competition (news from danish website) and now just getting all the last little things done tonight.

Preparing to pack my backpack, predict smelly socks.

Tonight I found all the things I will pack in my backpack and put it out to get an overview of the situation. I don’t think it will be a problem to fit in everything, in fact I might have a little extra space available. Not going to fill it up with wooden statue souvenirs, but maybe I should get myself some more socks. Sorting through my current ones, I find out that I do not have many thin, light ones. Lots of thick winter socks though, but not gonna work for my trip. Better find some more, so I don’t have too smelly socks on the trip ;)

Leaving in one day and 12 hours!

The official (and experimental) globetrotter competition gi is ready!

I already have the super light weight black gi from Kauai Kimonos and now I have the second one, which is cotton so I can use it in competitions.

It is an experimental model from Kauai not on the market yet, so I will give it a thorough test by taking it around the world to tons of different gyms. The material is quite different from anything I have ever seen before, and takes some time to get used to, but I am getting there and like it more and more. The material is super light and takes up very little space in my backpack (some more than my black ripstop though). It also dries really quickly, which is an important thing to me while traveling.

I have been waiting for some patches to pimp it up before I posted about it here, but now it is finished and I took some photos of it. Also got a Scramble patch that I sew on the pants of my black gi. Looks sweet!

Now officially welcome in India

Picked up my visa at the Indian embassy today. If I had been one day later with my application, I wouldn’t have made it in time. Living on the edge!

Last day in my gym, everyone impressed with my baking skills.

Yesterday, I was teaching my last classes before I leave monday. I am free on Fridays and in the weekend we are going to a tournament with the team.

As I posted yesterday, I baked an awesome cake for the guys. In fact I made two of them, but the other one was too ugly to take a photo of lol

It was a nice evening in the gym, even though I couldn’t really train myself. I rolled a bit with the young boys and was yet again surprised at how skilled they are. I know I am their coach and trainer, so it is “my own work”, but I am genuinely impressed with their level.

It was kind of an emotional evening for me. I see these people many days a week and consider them all my friends, so it is strange to think that I won’t see them for so long. I am definitely going to miss them all a lot, both as friends and as training partners.

Here are some photos where I officially present the cakes to my junior team and adult team.

Saying goodbye in style

This weekend we are taking the team to a tournament, so tonight is the last class I teach in my gym before I leave. Is there any better way to say goodbye, than with a cake?? I think not. So I’ve been in the kitchen all day, working my magic, and of course the result was stunningly beautiful:

Sleeping bag and towel

Bought myself a sleeping bag and a microfiber travel towel today. It was pretty expensive (1138 dkr total) but I think it will be worth it. Really good quality and with two gi’s in my backpack I don’t have much room for other stuff, so these super compact items are necessary.

Visa at Indian embassy

Yesterday I found out that I need a visa to enter India, and I had to go to the Indian embassy to get it. Leaving in six days, so I thought I’d better get it done today (which turned out to be a good idea since it was last possible day for me to do it in time :)).

I thought I was just going to go there and drop off the papers, which I filled out yesterday, but no. There was 35 people in the line in front of me when I got there and one women working to receive the forms and payment, who was NOT in a hurry. About two hours of waiting later, it was finally my turn.

350 dkr paid for a four day visa.

DSLR equipment, what to bring?

Still haven’t decided on what I should bring of my DSLR equipment. I wish I had room for all of it so I won’t miss out on any photo opportunities, but I know that is not realistic.

I think I’ll go for the 50mm f/1.8 for action/competition/training shots, 8mm fisheye for scenery and either my high quality 20-35mm or cheap 18-55mm. I’ll see what I can find room for in the bag…

Weight gain mission failed :-/

So my plan was to gain some weight before the trip, but with all the training I have been doing (up until I hurt my knee at least), it has been almost impossible for me to put on weight. In the summer, I was up at around 83-84, which I wanted to get back to before the trip, but I am still at 78, so not much has happened. I guess I should have eaten even more food :) I feel kind of comfortable around this weight though, the only problem is that I know I will lose weight when I travel (I always do), and I wanna keep a bit padding for all that hard training.

It is not long ago when I was up at 90, but my body somehow just rejects muscle mass if I don’t eat and train like crazy ALL the time, so it was too much work to stay there.

Side effect of this is, that I can’t really fit much of my clothes anymore. In fact, I didn’t own a single pair of pants that fitted me around the waist. So I had to get a new pair of jeans for the trip and found some the other day. Gone down from size 36 to size 33 it looks like.

One night in Paris

I was originally planning to fly to Paris, then spend some hours walking around a bit before taking the train down to Montpellier. A few days ago, I got an email from someone who invited me to come to Paris for training, so I decided to buy a new train ticket the next morning instead (set me back 44 euros). This means, I can stay one full day in Paris for training, sightseeing, etc :)

I will be staying with Jerome, who is training in a gym, I haven’t really been able to find the website for yet. I don’t understand any french, so makes things a little more difficult on google :D

Looking forward to spend one night in Paris!

New clothes arrived!

Today, I got two packages in the mail with clothes for my trip, one from Scramble and one from Nogi.

Got some really cool t-shirts and rashguards from Scramble and some shorts, rashguards and a hoodie from Nogi. Everything fits me perfectly, is super nice quality and (most importantly) looks really cool ;) I don’t like all the in-your-face-kill-you-and-knock-you-out clothes out there, so I think these brands are just right for me.

Huge thanks to Scramble and Nogi for the gear, it is really nice of them to support me on the trip. Please make sure to visit their websites and check out all the cool stuff they have :)

Really expensive vaccination 2/2

Today, I got the second shot of my Japanese encephalitis vaccination. Another 980 DKR ($170) for that, but then it’s done and I should be safe for many years. Also got a prescription for some malaria medicine.

Knee probably not as bad as I feared

Just got back from the physiotherapist. She thinks I might have a very small injury on my meniscus, that can get annoyed sometimes if I do a wrong movement. It most definitely comes from the toehold I was put in at a turnament six months ago. I should be able to train on my trip as long as I ice and rest for a few days it if it hurts again. And I should get an MRI scan when I get home in the summer.

So all in all, it is good and bad. I definitely have problems with my knee, but hopefully not so bad that I can’t train during the trip. Any training before I leave is not happening though.

Two weeks of upperbody training coming up!

Knee pain, not good!!! :,-(

I felt my knee was a little sore today when I started training. I don’t recall anything has happened to it, in fact I have been ill since I got back from Portugal so I have only trained once after the Europeans and that was a week ago now.

I thought I would warm it up thoroughly and do some light rolling. The soreness didn’t go away much despite the warmups, and I managed to do a handful of rounds of semi light sparring. Right after the last round that finished up the class, I rolled off my opponent and sat down in a way that put some pressure on my knee, which resulted in a pretty bad pain from the inner meniscus area.

I injured this knee at a competition about six months ago and it had actually gotten pretty good again with lots of rehab training. It has still been a little sore when stretching and so, but nothing close to what I feel today. How can it get so bad, totally out of the blue?? :,-(

I am sitting at home now with an icepack on and is really nervous about how this will affect my trip. I don’t think I will be doing any training for the next two weeks before I leave to be honest. Really bad timing for numerous reasons, but especially because I get a visit from five swedes to my gym Wednesday and I would love to have rolled a bit with them. I’ll go to my physio/magician tomorrow and see what she says.

Really bummed that this happens now, I cross my fingers that it is nothing serious :-/

Gallery finally working

Ok, I haven’t really been in a hurry with getting my gallery online, since I don’t really have any photos from the trip yet, but for quite some time, I have been looking for a simple, well-functioning and configurable Flickr plugin for WordPress to do the job. Seemed like most of them were buggy or ugly (and I hate ugly websites), but today I finally found one that worked as I wanted it to. Basically I just want it to show thumbnails for my entire Flickr stream with lightbox integration, so people don’t have to go all the way to Flickr to see the full size photo.

Right now, I only have some photos from the preparations online. Check it out on the gallery page.

I will bring my DSLR for the trip and hopefully fill that gallery with some cool photos along the way :)

NYC to L.A. roadtrip… anyone? :)

I am starting to plan the US part of my trip, and my biggest problem with this is, that I have so many invitations to so many interesting places, that I have no idea where to go and where to not go.

My plan so far is to go from Hawaii to Oregon in beginning of may and from there fly to New York on May 5-6 to meet my girlfriend for six days. After that, I will head west and hopefully end up in Los Angeles for the Worlds in the beginning of June. So basically, I have a month to get from New York to L.A. while visiting as many interesting BJJ gyms as possible along the way.

Anyone up for a little roadtrip? :D

First shorts are here

I am going to need a lot of shorts for this trip, and the first ones have just arrived. I got two pairs from Maui Fight Gear, a small company in Hawaii, who kindly sponsored them to me. The quality seems really good and they look cool, I can’t wait to try them out tomorrow in the gym!

They are currently rebuilding their website, so I’ll post a link to them when they’re done :)

Travel test passed :)

Back home from Portugal, and the test is passed :) There was actually plenty of room in my bag, especially when I bring my ripstop gi instead of a heavy cotton one.

Bringing both the small compact camera and the big DSLR worked fine. I could import from both to my ipad with no problem and even video from the small camera works flawlessly on the ipad for editing and uploading to YouTube. Image quality seems great with the small cam too and importing them to iPad, editing and uploading to the blog, flickr or facebook is really easy.

I brought a lot of my business cards for this website and threw them all over the seats in the hall every day, so maybe it’ll give me a few extra visits to this site. Also got to chat a bit with different people, Ryan Hall invited me to Washington D.C. and I also got a contact from Alliance in Atlanta. Two gyms I would like to visit for my preparations for the Worlds in June.

In general, I was pretty excited about how much people knew about my trip. Tudor, who is running a gym in Romania, I will be visiting, came up to me to say hi, super nice guy who I am looking forward to visit. I got a photo with Felipe Costa for the Kauai Kimonos sponsored athletes page on their website and I met someone in the airplane, who was a reader of my blog and told me he just taught my slowrolling “system” in his class the other day. Super nice to hear that :)

This BJJ community is really something special, and I can’t wait to get out there in three weeks and meet everybody :)

Competition wise, I lost my first match 5-2, but was pretty pleased anyways. I will do a post about that on ShogunHQ later today :) UPDATE: Post is online, read it here.

I also found a new iPad application for blogging called BlogPress. It seems much better than the wordpress app and it also supports video uploads, here is a test of that:

Test trip to Portugal today :)

Today, I am heading to Portugal for the 2011 Europeans. It will be a five day trip and I will use it as a test for my globetrotter travel, to see how it will work to bring all this stuff that I plan to bring. Packing my iPad, DSLR add pocket camera to see if it is too much to have with me. Will also try and blog from my iPad there and post some photos from my cameras, to see how it all works out “in the field”.

Having found all the stuff I need to bring for this short trip and put it out on my table, I can’t help wonder how on earth I am going to have enough room in my backpack for all the stuff I need to bring on a four and a half month trip around the world? :)

Got a pocket camera for the trip

Yesterday, I bought myself a nice little pocket camera for the trip. I ended up choosing the Canon Ixus 130, which has a very nice size and also seems to take good quality photos. Even more important, is shoots beautiful 720p video, so I will use it to do some videos from the trip, instructionals and film my matches when I enter competitions.

Looking for rashguards

I am looking for a few rashguards to bring for the trip. I think they will be much better to train no-gi in, compared to tshirts, since they are easier to wash and dry in a short time.

I don’t know which one to get though. If anyone out there have suggestions for what rashguards to get where, please let me know! If you would like to sponsor me some, please let me know as well ;)

Got a backpack

I’ve been looking a bit for a basic backpack to use for my gi and stuff when I will be going to training during the trip. A local martial arts shop sponsored me one of those for the trip, so it was nice to cross that off the list :) Thanks to BudoXperten for the support!