Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A (boring) update

I haven't been writing much here lately, mostly because, there haven't been much to write about. I am spending most of my time, writing my book "The BJJ Globetrotter". I have hit more than one million characters now, and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only a few big chapters left, then it is time to try and put everything together.

 At the training camp in Sweden, where I got my black belt, I ignored some signals from my body, that I was about to put too much stress on my back injury. Unfortunately, I have been paying the price since, with pain down my leg. In the first few weeks, I ignored it, but it didn't get better, and a week ago, I made the decision to stop training, until it is gone. I hate watching other people spar without being able to join, but I have to be sensible about this. So at the moment, I am doing nothing but teaching and doing my back exercises.

There is a competition coming up in one month, which I really hope I can be ready for. My preparations will suck, but I am eager to step on the mat anyways, especially in the black belt division. I have set myself a low goal of scoring two points against a black belt before the year is over, so I better get started :)

Saturday, I am going to Oslo in Norway to teach a seminar over the weekend. I am looking forward to a short trip there. It is very close, but I have never been there before. Also, I am planning a trip to Moscow again in a month. So a few trips are on the drawing board at least :)

The last few weeks, I've had some visitors to my gym as well, something I always enjoy. A purple belt from Israel and a white belt from Bulgaria dropped by for some training. It is great to have so many people with different style visit us, that my guys can spar with. It is like reverse traveling :) If you are ever near Copenhagen, make sure to come by!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

347 flighthours

A few rounds from last week :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Got black belt, still no signs of invincibility.

When I started grappling in 1999 and first got interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, black belts were in my mind, someone with superhuman powers and skills. They were basically invincible. I am a bit disappointed to find out it was all just an illusion, since I still feel pretty human today.

I have trained in martial arts, since I was seven years old. This is the first black belt I have gotten, and the only one I could imagine wanting to have. It embodies the sum of all my experiences, during a lifetime of training. Every single training I have ever done, and every single person, who has crossed my path on the way (that includes YOU), has shaped me and lead me to this moment in my life.

One person, in particular, who has had a big influence on me over the last few years, has been Robson Barbosa. Inspired by his down to earth approach to life, Jiu Jitsu and training, combined with a burning passion for accomplishment and competition, he has given me the push I needed, to take my game and coaching to the next level. This weekend, I was pleased to meet his own trainers, Edson and Ricardo Carvalho, who seemed to be exactly like him. It was an honor to receive my black belt from them.

Next time I step on the mat, it is like a fresh start for me. I have graduated school, now it is time to go to work and make something out of my life with the tools, I have acquired. Competition will be like being a white belt again. I am now in the absolute bottom of the food chain, about to fight for survival against primates, who have been evolving for generations ahead of me. Winning seems impossible at this point, but I know the recipe to make it happen. It is the same, simple formula, that got me to where I am now: Just keep trying.

With the accomplishment of becoming a black belt in BJJ, comes great responsibility. Our sport sets extremely high standard, and I feel like I have a lot to live up to, both in terms of my own performance as an athlete and in being a good role model for anyone who choses to train with me.

The work begins now.