Currently working on:

Attacking - My tournament results suffered greatly because I was so focused on defense. Now that I have a solid defense, it's time to build my offense. If you are attacking, they are defending. If they are defending, they are losing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Robson Moura Etc. 5/8/10

This weekend I traveled down with Professor Crabtree and Abby to Chicago to attend a Robson Moura seminar at Deterberg academy. Soon as I heard I might be able to go I was on board and moved all plans I had for the weekend out of the WAY. =] Mother understands, I hope.

We left the park and ride at about 6:30 AM, and had a nice ride down to Chicago ahead of us. With professor being the speed demon that he is, we arrived at a much quicker time than expected. Didn't expect to go 90 the whole way down, but hey, gotta do what you gotta do haha. We arrived in Chicago nearly two hours early, and had some time to kill, so professor, Abby, and myself went to some small cafe to get a bite to eat. All I'll say about this is they have weird interpretations of omelette's and they have an interesting crowd, who appeared to all be Serbian, and I am pretty sure they wanted to steal Abby. Anyways, survived that and we were off to the academy to train with Robson.

All changed up we entered the room where we would be training. It was an interesting place, with some interesting people. Had all kinds of different martial artists, some were black belts in who knows what, nothing that seemed that legit to ME anyways. No one really had much of an idea about jiu jitsu though, except for a select few. Robson arrived and him and professor immediately shook hands and talked for a minute. Could tell they were buddy's =]

Robson kicked the seminar off, and we lined up. Most of the black belts or brown belts were stepping in front of me in the line once they saw I was a two stripe white belt, not that I really cared, but I wonder if they knew this was a jiu jitsu seminar, not a knife fighting Hapkido seminar. Anyways, we started to warm up with some shrimpin' and I think me and Abby were the only ones who could really do it proficiently, the rest were sort of flopping around. I laughed, and kept warming up =]

We started with a few basic techniques and drills, keeping hips square with someone while you are on the ground and they are standing, to knee on belly escape to counters to shoulder locks to this and that and the other thing. I wont get into the techniques really, because thats not the point of my blog or this post. The teaching was very good though, and I liked how he handled the class, even the people who have never trained jiu jitsu before were getting into it and learning some basic stuff they could apply. Professor Crabtree helped Abby and I when we had questions, and was always there to make sure our technique was good. I learned a lot and overall it was just a great experience getting to train with a 7 time world champion.

After the Seminar we got dressed and went out to lunch with Robson. He wanted to go to some Thai restaurant, so we walked to one that was supposed to be good nearby. My step dad is half Thai, and thats all we used to eat when I lived with him and my mom back in Jackson, so I had a good idea of what I wanted and what to order and what most of the stuff on the menu was. I was in my "element" I guess you could say. They all talked and shot the shiz, I didn't really get into the conversation to much except for when Robson asked how old I was, hold long I had been training and if I could handle the spicy food. I just ate my food and enjoyed the sit down time thinking. We all finished up, and payed our bills and headed out. We departed, saying our goodbyes to Robson and taking a few last pictures before we left. I thanked him for everything and let him know he did a good job at the seminar. We left and headed on.

Abby had been talking about visiting Carlson's grave site earlier that morning, and she had found the address on Clint's ipod. We decided to punch that into the GPS and go searching for it. After a bit of driving we arrived at the Graveyard. This place was HUGE, and first thought I had was how in the heck are we going to find one small gravestone with Master Carlson on it. After about 25 minutes of searching, we didn't even come close to finding it... hah. We came up with the idea of looking on Hillary Williams facebook for her picture of it with Jr. We found the picture and checked the background, picking out one key structure that would lead to the finding of the grave, some bushes and rocks. We drove around and found the same things and that led right to Carlson's grave. Damn we are good detectives =] We took a few pictures and just stood around for a couple minutes looking at it and talking. It was amazing to be able to visit such a place where a true master was laid to rest. Some real jiu jitsu history and culture right there. It especially meant something to Clint, who had trained with him a few times before but never visited his grave before. He talked about how he would never talk to you while training, but if you were doing a technique incorrectly he would just move your hands/feet or other part of you to the correct position and smile. Thats how professor remembered him teach. What awesome stuff. We left and had a cool little surprise in store for us next.

Clint drove around town and we ended up at FFC. This is where Jr's academy is located. We went upstairs and checked it out. Abby and I had never been there before. we took a few pictures and stepped on the mats. There were a couple of his students there rolling, and we had a couple words with them while there. It was really cool to visit Carlson's academy, seeing as that I had never seen or been there before. Another unforgettable jiu jitsu experience in the books.

We now were heading home after a killer weekend of pure jiu jitsu. Between the training, the emotional aspects and all the other experiences I had it was really an unforgettable time. Spent the weekend with two amazing people, and hope to one day do it again.

I started to really understand this weekend why I do what I do. Why I love jiu jitsu so much. It's not just the training and competing I love. Its not just learning new techniques and the technical aspect of it. Its not even that it takes years to truly master and its not that its one of the hardest sports/martial arts to learn. Its because of the experiences that come with it, the family and friends that I make while traveling and competing, and the overall feeling I get every single day that I step on the mats or learn something new about it. The history behind it, and the history still to be made. Its about my dream to one day become a champion, and the road to getting there. Its about persevering and adversity, failing and trying again. The humbleness you feel, and respect you earn. I empty my pockets on jiu jitsu because I love it. I love learning, and love teaching. I just love jiu jitsu and that's it.

My journey and pursuit has officially started,


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