Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Mendes Minibreak

On 21st December, we fly back to the UK for Christmas.

Datewise though, our apartment is up on the 17th, when the new tenants take over. Our Atos gym membership runs out today, and our San Diego (crazy)bus passes are done by the weekend.

So for the last four days, we’ve decided to chuck everything up in the air again, and head up the coast to Costa Mesa, and the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy.

For those who don’t know, this is the home of Rafael and Guiherme Mendes, berimbolo specialists and “new jiu jitsu” practitioners. Berimbolos and “new jiu jitsu” are exactly the kind of spankiness I’d love to be rocking on the mat, and whilst four days is barely long enough to watch in awe, let alone learn, we (me and Andy, not me and the Mendes) decided that coming back to the UK, only to look back and go “why didn’t we bother to take a trip up the road to the Mendes’ bros?” would be cause for regret.

They also work out of an all-white building, with paintings on the walls and a “white gi only” ruling, which is worth witnessing in person (even if my own practices are less artful).

As an added bonus, the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy is also part of the Atos family, which bypasses that whole ungracious "pop in and train with you for two months, then head off to your competitor's school" faux pas.

In fact, plenty of the folk at Andre Galvao's academy have also experienced the Mendes first hand. Most of them have assured us that training there is "hard but great", though Manny's "it's like here, but there's two Andres watching over you so even less chance to slack off" has made our "twice a day, including the competition class" plans seem somewhat ominous.

So, the hire car is booked, we’ll be living in a Motel 6, and the only thing I need to do between now and then is brush up on the US highway code.

From walking/cycling around the Cali streets over the past couple of months, I assume this means you can run people over at will when turning right at the traffic lights, but I’d better check…

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