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

Archive for December, 2010

More flight tickets! :)

I am not on a total of nine flight tickets bought for my trip! Recently, I got the following tickets:

Istanbul -> Cyprus
Cyprus -> Istanbul
Istanbul -> Mumbai
Mumbai -> Kuala Lumpur

Especially the ticket from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur was a steal, since I got it from Air Asia for only 785 kr. or roughly USD$140. Not bad for a 5+ hours flight! Air Asia seems to have some REALLY cheap tickets, so I will do some powershopping on their website soon.

My plan right now is to get to Bali from Kuala Lumpur, maybe with a short stop in Kuching and Jakarta on the way. These flights are ridiculously cheap, I found some at around 10-20 US dollars??

Apparently, the apple doesn’t fall far…

When looking through some old photo albums this Christmas evening, I found these photos of my father, when he visited Taekwondo and Karate gyms during a trip all the way to Australia in 1979. It is funny to think, how the world has gotten smaller and I feel like anywhere on the planet with BJJ is easily reachable for me during this trip. Australia must have seemed extremely far away back then. Compared to today where we have google, forums, email and facebook, imagine being in a far away country with your gi in the (most likely brown and orange) suitcase, flipping through the phonebook to find local gyms and walking in there with no knowledge of who to meet or how training would be compared to home. The flight ticket was ordered by phone through a travel agent, handwritten and had seven stopovers on the way. What an adventure it must have been!

I hope to find similar adventure on my trip. I obviously seek that feeling of being far, far away from home, in some little corner of the world that I know nothing about and couldn’t possible read about in a travel brochure. Experience things and meet people who I will remember for the rest of my life and can tell my children about to inspire them to live life to the fullest. There are millions of amazing adventures like that out there in the world, just waiting to be discovered, what are we all waiting for?

One life, one chance.

The official BJJ Globetrotter gi has arrived!

A big thanks to Kauai Kimonos for covering my gi needs for the trip. Their super light weight gi is really a truly unique product, perfect for travelling due to it’s size and very fast drying. I can’t wait to take this around the world!

Cauliflower Chronicles

Just finished reading the book Cauliflower Chronicles about Marshal Carper, who went to live six months in Hilo, Hawaii, where he studied and trained at BJ Penn’s gym.

I found it pretty interesting and relevant to my own trip and it it only took me two days to get through it. I don’t normally read books, but maybe I should do it more, it was a nice break from computer, tv and iPhone. It also sparked my own interest in writing a book about my own trip. Could be a combination of travel stories and tips on training while traveling. If I should ever write a book about something, it would have to be on combining traveling and BJJ :D

Cauliflower Chronicles gave me some good inspiration and tips on training in Hawaii and I am looking forward to go there. I will probably hit the islands sometime late April or early may depending on how long my Asian adventure ends up taking.

I recommend anyone training BJJ to check out the book, it is only $11 or so on Amazon and they shipped it all the way to me in just a few days.

Visit from a fellow BJJ globetrotter

This week, I had the pleasure of getting a visit from a fellow BJJ globetrotter. Simon, a blue belt from New Zealand, stopped by Denmark during a Europe trip and while his friends at home couldn’t understand why he would train on his vacation, we had not problem doing just that ;) We even persuaded him to join our crazy Beachbody/Europeans 2011/Globetrotter workouts in our new CrossFit gym downstairs.

I have gotten so many great experiences from traveling and training over the last many years, so it is a big pleasure for me be able to give some back to whoever comes by gym. If any of you out there are ever in the neighborhood, feel free to drop by any time for a roll :)

Destination: Istanbul, Turkey

On my way from Cyprus to Mumbai, I have arranged a quick one-night stop in Istanbul. I was recommended to check it out and got in touch with Burak from Corvos, who is kind to help me with a place to sleep and also invited me to come train with them. Seems like they have a really good gym going there, so will be exciting to check it out. Unfortunately only for one night, since I have to make it to the weekend training in Evolution MMA in Mumbai, but it is pretty close to my home, so I can always come back another time.

It will be an exciting nine days in Turkey, visiting both Ankara, North Cyprus and then Istanbul. I am really looking forward to it!

Two Christmas gifts for myself

I bought myself two early Christmas gifts for the trip:

First thing is a special tripod for my camera called a GorillaPod. Basically it is a flexible tripod, that can attach to almost anything. Since I am an avid amateur photographer, I am planning to carry my heavy DSLR camera equipment around the world so I am not missing any photo opportunities I might run into. With this tripod, I hope to make some cool long exposure shots. I don’t know yet what lenses I will bring, maybe I’ll just stick to my basic 18-55mm, but I would really like to see if I can find room for my 50mm f/1.8 and my 8mm fisheye too. Might be a little optimistic though.

My next gift to myself was a book about a guy who went to Hawaii for six months to train BJJ. Pretty relevant to my trip so I thought I would check it out and maybe find some info and tips on training in Hawaii, since it is one of the places I really want to visit on my trip. Also, it kind of sparked the idea in my head, that I could do the same and write a book about my own trip. Why not! :)

Destination: Cyprus

I was originally planning to go straight from Ankara, Turkey to Mumbai, India, but in the last minute, I was contacted by Selman from Cyprus, who invited me to come by and teach some classes there. He is a white belt, running the first and only BJJ training group in Cyprus, currently counting around 30 members. I think this is very cool and I would love to help them out with growing BJJ there, so I will go there for a few days before heading on to India.

Cyprus will be a very interesting place to visit and I am looking forward to see how far this group have gone in BJJ without much/any help from instructors. Just like I started myself :)

Soon, I will be surfing in Bali

Ticket for Turkey

Got my ticket from Chisinau, Moldova to Ankara, Turkey today, going there on Thursday, March 3rd. Cost me 1400 DKR (USD$250) so not the cheapest flight on the trip, but will be cool to see Turkey.

Flight on to India from looks to be difficult to find. I can find some cheap tickets but they have 20 hours layover, so maybe it will be an expensive flight there. Is there a bus from Turkey to India? :D

Can’t wait to leave this winter!

Got the ticket to Romania

Just bought the ticket from Montpellier to Bucarest. I will take the train from Montpellier to Paris on february 25th in the morning, then fly directly to Bucarest, arriving around 19:30 in the evening. I should be able to make it to training i Bucarest that evening :)

Total price for train + flight was 100 euros or about 750 DKR. I could get the same tickets for about halft the price, but then I could only stay one whole day in France, which I think is not time enough for me.

Destination: Hawaii

BJ Penn has always been an inspiration for me with his technical and intelligent approach to Jiu Jitsu and fighting in general. And since I am flying from Japan to California, what would be more obvious than to stop by Hawaii for a week or so to train in his academy in Hilo.

I have no contacts in Hawaii, but if I don’t get any before I get there, I’ll just show up at the doorstep of the gym and see what happens from there. If anyone out there trains in Hawaii and have a free couch for a week or so sometime by late april, let me know :)

Destination: Taipei, Taiwan

I got contacted by Isaac from Taiwan BJJ Academy, who invited me to come train and sleep on their couch in the gym. I am looking forward to see what this place is like, since all I know about it is from the many documentaries on the Taipei 101 tower from Discovery Channel ;) Taiwan in april it is!