I received my brown belt in Jiu Jitsu last month. I have been at Maven Jiu Jitsu since 2018. I took a year off to recover from surgery in 2019. In total, I have been doing Jitsu for over 12 year, give or take some time for inactivity, surgery rehabilitation, and laziness.
Whenever you switch academies or move, sometimes you have to start over. In my case, I had to learn the school’s system, ideology towards Jiu Jitsu and the instructors has to reevaluate my skills. My instructor has been a friend, mentor and Jiu Jitsu instructor during my time in Texas. He has been a pivotal role in my growth as a person, Jiu Jitsu practioner, student, and teacher.
What does the belt mean? It contains meaning if I give the belt meaning. Nothing changes currently in my journey. I want to grow, improve and help others with Jiu Jitsu. Hopefully I can still keep doing this martial until I’m an old man.
I know, I know. It has been a long time between posts. It just isn’t on my to do lists.
A few things to report on the past few weeks.
Purpose of the Drawings. I want to get better. I need to work on a portfolio. I think back of Daniel Adel’s Paper drawings. Amazing. It really is practice. I went back to drawing instead of water color because to paint you really have to be a good draftsman.
A failed Comic book. On my birthday I tried to do a 24 hour comic since I couldn’t travel or do anything I wanted to do like Jiu Jitsu. I wanted to do a comic about my travels in 2017. It was a good subject. I just didn’t have enough skill, experience or drawing endurance to complete such a task. It was a major undertaking. I learned a lot from the experience. My curiosity peaked to study the world of comics and drawing more. I read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud again. Then I read Making Comics. Now I’m reading Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner. It is a project I still want to do in the future.
Some provoking questions to ask myself. What do I want to do with my Art? Do I want to make beautiful art. Yes. But that can’t be the only reason to make art. Anyone can make a pretty pictures. How do I transcend the surface of it? Story. Maybe a narrative to connect the viewer/reader with the art. Beauty gets boring. I like to laugh and have fun. How can I steer my work in that direction?
My friends and family came to visit. It felt great to get out and experience Houston with my guests. I have friends here in Spring but childhood friends have a special place. We laugh and reminisce. They are also very creative and doing different things with their lives. Its interesting to hear their stories. We did a myriad of things. We visited the Johnson Space Center, watched a pro wrestling event in a parking lot in Montrose, saw the Fighting with my family movie, ate Texas BBQ at Corkscrew BBQ and tacos at Bigotes. Larry and Fernando are going to start a pro wrestling podcast. I fully support them because of their wealth of knowledge and experience of the industry. I pitched them a travel show where they go to different countries and interview the wrestling scenes in each country. There are subcultures in every country and pro wrestling is no different. I suggested the countries I’ve visited or want to visit. South Korea, Ireland. South Africa or Mexico. I can be their camera man I think its undiscovered territory in the Vloging world.
My mother and sister came. I can’t thank them enough for their love and support.
A few days after the Copenhagen Camp I ended up in Porto, Portugal. I wondered what I would do when I got to Porto. From the start of my trip I knew my family was coming to Portugal. I had to decide what to do before I met them in Porto. My options were I would either walk another Camino from Porto to Santiago, hang out in Porto for a week, or…. wait for it. Go to a surf school.
Porto will be an unforgettable chapter in my trip. I learned to surf and met other beginners from all parts of the world. I trained Jiu Jitsu in the afternoon and nights after surfing. I drank and hung out with cool people whose couches I could use in the future. I was reunited with my family and I had old fashion family vacation.
I booked the camp when I was in Vienna after talking to Tina, from Leipzig post, who described her love for surfing. I thought that I should try it out. One should push themselves outside of their comfort zones. How else can you grow as a person? I found Surfivor on Google. A great place with very comfortable accommodations. Bruno and Albert are very good surf instructors. It seems they still have a lot of enthusiasm for it after many years. There were plenty of beginner students just trying it out. Most nights the students ate dinner together and drank together. This experience has made me really enjoy surfing. I will continue to surf in the future.
I get my recommendations where to train from the BJJ Globetrotter Facebook Group. I simply remember or search where people go to train on the forum. So far every place I’ve trained at has not disappointed me. I account that this is also a very open community that loves the sport and showing people their love for Jiu Jitsu.
Focus Jiu Jitsu in Porto, Portugal was one of the best places I’ve trained. Manuel Neto, the head instructor, was very friendly and welcoming. Focus has Jiu Jitsu three times a day Monday through Friday with one class on Saturday. The location of the gym is located inside a bigger gym/crossfit/MMA place about three blocks from the beach. I rented a bike and it took about 15 minutes from my hostel. A large amount of higher belts, one them just came back from Worlds and was awarded Black Belt. The facilities are clean, showers and a large mat space. The majority of population of Porto could speak English and the gym was no exception. I will definitely return to this place in the future.
My family visiting Porto before they attend a wedding in Lisbon was my favorite part. I love Jiu Jitsu and surfing, but I enjoy spending time with my family. It’s a good recharge from the months of travel I’ve been through. There were many times on my journey where I get homesick. I would call my sister and see how things are doing back home. I did this more on this 4 months of travel than my 7 years in the Navy. I took them to the restaurants that Tiago, the surf camp owner, recommended to me. They enjoyed the Francesinha, Restaurante Ababia do Porto and eating at the grilled fish street. We spent roughly two days in Porto together but I instilled them the love for Porto that I felt.
My plan is to come back for a month to Porto maybe next summer. The surfing, Jiu Jitsu, and the amazing Portuguese food are a few reasons why I will return. I’m already planning my return to Portugal. I want to continue surfing when I return to California so I will be better when I come back. The lifestyle is very similar to something I imagine myself I would be when I grow older.
My first BJJ Globetrotter Camp. When I first decided to travel around the world this was the first thing I booked, it was also one of the cheapest camps. All I had to do was travel to Copenhagen, lodging not included in price. I didn’t know what to expect for my first Jiu Jitsu camp. I kept my mind open and trained as much as my mind and body let me. At the end of the camp I gained many friends and invitations to different gyms all over Europe.
Some of my favorite tips from the Copenhagen Camp Information Guide by Daniel Bertina. Pace yourself, take notes and be social. Six days of 8-9 hours of Jiu Jitsu is a lot for anyone. I didn’t want to burn myself out so I went to open mat at least once a day and I attended an average of 2.5 classes. I would have liked to have attended more classes but it will just be a goal for next time. I took notes for the classes that I did attend. A tip that I will do next time is record myself doing the moves again in sequence with a partner to accompany the written notes. I should have been more social during the camp. This is one aspect that I did not take advantage until the end of the camp which was too late. Next time I will attend the welcome meeting/ Jiu Jitsu speed dating, dinners and a few drink afterwards. The trick is to have a right balance of socializing and rest for the next days training sessions/classes. As you can tell I’m already convinced that I will attend another camp. The next important question is which one?
A rolled with the original BJJ Globetrotter on the last day, Christian Graugart. Many years ago he went on a trip around the world to train Jiu Jitsu in as many different gyms as possible. It spawned into the friendly travel community we now know. He is not the first to make Jiu Jitsu camps but his BJJ Globetrotter brand has the most amount with 10 camps in different locales around the world. I felt honored to roll with him. He rolls like a black belt, relaxed and very composed against a lower belt, like myself. Although very playful and fun. A very approachable guy, it was interesting to pick his brain about the camps and his travels.
I trained everyday during the camp. I didn’t go to every class even though I wanted to. I socialized more on the last few nights. I should have went out more in the beginning especially for the Jiu Jitsu speed dating session to meet people. I should have recorded myself summarizing the techniques I just learned. A Gopro is good but my iTouch with a tripod would have been fine. I met people from all over the world and received many invitations from gyms and gave out just as many. I wonder when and where my next BJJ Globetrotter camp will be?
How I came to visit Leipzig is one of those serendipity moments. I met a girl from my hostel in Vienna and she invited to visit Leipzig after Dresden. It wasn’t on my plan, but why not I thought. At times I think about how I travel before and how I travel now. I make more room to meet different people and have unique experiences. For example, I don’t have a concrete itinerary and I couchsurf through friends of friends. I’m glad that I had room in my schedule to see this city.
Tina showed me around her Leipzig during her off day. We had lunch then we walked around the city center. We went to a museum about the GDR( German Democratic Republic), it was all in German but I had a translator with me. While traveling through Czech Republic and East Germany/ Dresden I am learning more and more about that time. Tina said Germany is a young country when you think about the unification of the West and East sides. Germany is only 26 years old. Germany is a millennial?
She took me to see Völkerschlachtdenkmal, it’s a famous monument that symbolizes Napolean’s defeat in Leipzig. I should read more about Napolean, his legacy is still lingering in Europe. He is one of those historical figures that I studied in History but I don’t remember the details. History tends to be buried underneath new history on top of present day news. For it’s worth learning more about a continents history because in turn it affected the United States become what it is.
Music was everywhere in Leipzig. Not only can you find it walking around down town or in the park, but when I was at the haupbahnhof and a traveling choir started singing in the atrium. It was an incredible experience that I can only give thanks to letting things go and see where things end up. I will definitely come back especially since I didn’t have time to train Jiu Jitsu.
A summary of Bratislava. I arrived on a Monday and I left on a Monday. I stayed in a Botel. I attended my first Polyglot Gathering. I also helped the event as a volunteer. I went on a tour of Devin Castle and a wine tour. I added a few more friends to my Facebook network. It was incredible new experience.
I took a bus from Vienna Erdberg to Brastislava Einsteinova. The worst part was if I just stayed bus till the end of the line I would have been closer to my hotel. Since I got off a bus stop before the end I had to walk an extra 30 minutes to my accommodation. Lesson learned for Bratislava. It wasn’t a big deal, it could have been avoided if I possibly knew German or Slovak. The growing pains of traveling, its almost impossible to not a make a mistake, cultural or logistics during travel.
I stayed in a Botel, not quite a hotel, not quite a boat on the Danube River. It was the more economical choice when it came to lodging options for the Polyglot Gathering. It’s location was the selling point. It was about a 10 minute walk to the bus stop and it was a 10 minute walk from the city center. It was very convenient for the conference. Many other attendees or polyglots were also staying there. My roommate was from Lithuania, he spoke many languages. We mainly conversed in English and Spanish, the only languages I can converse in. Having a roommate made the experience better and put my whole anxiety at ease.
My first Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava, Slovakia. I felt very intimidated because I only spoke two languages, and one of them wasn’t at a high level. There were people there that spoke 4-5 languages fluently, then there were Rockstars in the community like Richard Simcott who can speak as many as 20 languages. I felt at awe when I was walking around and seeing all these people I watched on Youtube. By the second day I realized that these people are just human beings, like me. I started talking more as I got over the intimidation factor.
I helped as a volunteer since I got there a few days before the event started. As I wrote before I was apprehensive of my language skills so I decided to volunteer to help get over my anxiety. By being a volunteer you see more behind scenes and how things operate from a stage left point of view. It’s something I learned in the Navy, by being behind the so called magician’s curtain we can see that some things aren’t that special or magical. I met other people that spoke only three languages, a few didn’t even speak English, they were from Slovakia. I even saw Esperanto exist on a working level with the volunteers. I enjoyed volunteering and had more one on one time with the other staff. I was glad that I was able to help such wonderful event.
I took some tours that the organizers of the Gathering had set up. The first day was non-stop talks in the morning and afternoon, it felt like school. My tour of Devin Castle was in the afternoon of the second day, it was a good break from the talks. It was good to meet and talk with the other people from the Gathering in another setting. I didn’t want to go to Slovakia and not see some historical monuments. Another was a wine and old town tour. On the afternoon of the third day we walked around the old town and heard the history of Bratislava. Which ended in drinking wine in a cellar near the center. I enjoyed the tours more for the socializing with the other attendees than hearing the history, though it was interesting. I was engaged with a lot of interesting conversations about languages and where people are from.
I ended up connecting with more people in the end. I was able to open up more by the end of the conference. I think the tours were a good icebreaker to meet other people, especially when wine is involved. I practiced as much of my Spanish as possible, usually when I practice Spanish it’s with native speakers. I hope meet all the people I talked to at future events.
If you are a language learner or if you are wondering about attending one of these events? I recommend it and I plan on going to the next one. Whether you only speak one or 13 languages, everyone is welcome. As long as you have an openness to learn and speak. Where else would you meet people who are as passionate about learning languages, travel, food, and cultures. I’m glad I was able to stop by in Bratislava for this conference. I’m incredibly fortunate to attend all the events I wanted to do this year.
Langfest- Montreal, Canada.- August 25-27, 2017
Polyglot Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland.- October 27-29, 2017
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
Somewhere between Peru and Chile I decided to take a detour and visit my old home, Guam. I lived on Guam for 3 years when I was in the Navy. I look back on my time on Guam as my transformation into Adulthood. It was the first time I really was away from home. I lived by myself without room mates. I paid rent, utilities, cleaned my home, cooked my food, and solved my life problems on my own. There were many ups and downs that came with the experience which is why it feels like a home.
Guam is a small island in the Pacific Ocean. It is a United States Territory, like Puerto Rico. Citizens on Guam cannot vote during federal elections but they do have a delegate in the House of Representatives. The US military is the islands #1 employer. The bases cover 27% of the islands land mass. Most of the income comes from tourists that visit from Asian countries like Japan, China, and South Korea. Here is a video by Wendover productions for an overview.
It is very expensive to fly to Guam from the United States. The average round trip ticket is around $1000 USD. I was initially going to spend three weeks in South Korea. My thought process was that I can take a cheaper flight to visit Guam now than when I return to the States. So I took a detour and made some arrangements with some friends that were still on the island.
My friend, Jordan, and his wife, Emily, were hosting me during my stay. They live in Mangilao, Guam. They gave me my own room and bathroom. It was a luxury that I rarely had during my trip. Both of them were working during my stay but we caught up at night. Jordan even let me borrow his car while he was at work. Jordan worked during the day and Emily at night but she comes home at 8 to 9ish. At that time we would eat dinner and have catch up on life.
I visited my duty station, Naval Hospital Guam. I was a Hospital Corpsman at NH Guam for 3 years. One of the most frustrating jobs of my entire life. Though it helped shape the person I am today because of my experiences there. I ran into some old peers that were still there. It felt great to catch up but it didn’t feel good to listen to the consensus of low morale. It was a good reminder of why I left the Navy to travel the world. I know where their dissatisfaction comes from because I lived it. I hope they find their peace with the Navy. I compare the hospital visit felt like going back to your old high school, if your high school took care of sick and dying patients.
My friend told me it would be a good morale boost to be on American soil and be around friends. I didn’t realize until I left how true that statement was. The ability to speak English freely without thinking if the other person understood me was comfortable. I used to live on Guam, so when Jordan let me use his car, it felt like driving around my home town. I revisited my favorite restaurants McKrauts, Gabriels, Cafe Tu’re, Asu Smokehouse, and Pikas Cafe. I cooked risotto for Emily and Jordan as a kind of payment for hosting me. I’m so thankful to have friends on the other side of the world.
I trained Jiu Jitsu twice. I went to Vida once. It wasn’t too far from where I was staying. It had a good core of students. Some are MMA fighters on Guam. Every night was competition training for them. It was a good push. They waived the mat fee too. Then I trained at Spike 22 at Steel Athletics. I had to pay a $15 mat fee for that day. Only two people showed up for lunch open mat. Rohin was training for a MMA fight in July and Mike was there training with him. It was good training with heavy weights that just used technique, especially Rohin. Rohin could have crushed me, he looked over 250 lbs. It was a chill rolling session. Despite the $15 mat fee and the few people it was a good experience.
I went to see Gabe Baker, my coach when I trained at Carlson Gracie Guam. We had lunch at a Thai place next to the academy. It was getting renovated, new mats, so I couldn’t train at my old gym. Getting a one on one with my old coach was what I needed. It felt at times that I was stumbling through the dark with what I needed to work on. He gave me some guidance that was worth more than the two training sessions I had on the island. He had an interesting philosophy on the belt system. I’m grateful for the training I received on Guam and I thanked him for all that he taught me. I will visit Guam and Carlson Gracie Guam again some day.
“Purple belt is the longest belt, and is the belt most people quit at. A brown belt is just waiting for his black belt. “
Yo trataré de completar todos mis trabajos este fin de semana. Yo pude terminar todo. Tengo que leer muchas lecturas, y estudiar por dos exámenes. A veces, siento que no tengo tiempo para completar todas mis actividades en mi vida.
Mi solución es que necesito un plan. Cada semana, tengo que repasar mis pendientes. Yo puedo poner mi plan sencillo.
Yo vi la película, Soul, un dibujo animado. La historia sobre un profesor de música que muere.
Estoy estudiando educacion en mi universidad. Hay temas de tutoría, enseñanzas, y su pasión de tu vida.
¿Por qué la vi otra vez? Recientemente, escuchaba música de jazz. Hay mucho jazz en esta película. Yo me vi a mi mismo en la protagonista. Él es un profesor, tiene una edad mediana, y solo. De afuera, parece que su vida está muy triste, pero en realidad, él tiene una buena vida.
Me gusta el diálogo del guión. Yo veo muchas metáforas y enseñanzas. Yo veo la película en inglés con subtítulos en español.
Creo que esta película va a esconder a la mayoría de la gente. La película se presentó durante 2020.
Yo tuve mi primer día de observación para ser un profesor. He oído muchos rumores que mi distrito escolar será malo y terrible. En mi primera impresión, mi escuela es un buen lugar. Creo que hay personas siempre van a tener malas experiencias porque tienen expectativas muy altas.
Normalmente cuando experimento algo nuevo siempre tengo mis expectativas muy bajo y pienso en las peores situaciones. Por eso, cuando sobrevivo todo está bien. no pasa nada.
Anteriormente solía ser un romántico, después mis veintes era un cínico, ahora soy realista. Creo que en la vida y el universo tienen un buen humor e ironía. Yo se el chiste y me reí.
Nosotros necesitamos sufrir para lograr nuestros objetivos . Sin sufrir, la vida siempre es fácil y feliz. Un vida asi esta muy aburrido, demasiado aburrido.
Imaginaté si juegas el juegovideo de vida con la dificultad es fácil. No es divertido. Cuando la gente engaña el juego no es divertido para nosotros. Los engañadores que normalmente engañan en juegos videos en su vida. Ellos son perdedores de vida.
¿Has leído el libro que se llama “En Otras Palabras” de Jhumpa Lahiri?
Leí este libro el verano pasado. Fue muy enérgico para mí. El libro es una autobiografía. Es la historia de la escritura y su viaje y su relación con el amor a la lengua italiana. La autora es una escritora de inglés, pero ahora mismo ella exclusivamente escribe en italiano. Se parece a mi relación con el español. Creo que solo la gente que aprende un idioma extranjero puede entenderlo.
Mi parte favorita está en el principio . Ella usa una metáfora de la natación en un lago y sus temores con el aprendizaje del italiano. La historia habla de por que nado y aprendo otros idiomas. Entiendo más que la mayoría de la gente. Yo sé el miedo y temor de los dos. Es un camino hacia ti mismo. A veces la actividad solo se parece .
Yo recibí mi reloj nuevo. La marca del reloj se llama Garmin. Quiero estar más saludable. Por eso, yo corro. Mi meta es un 5K todos los días por un año, tal vez siempre. ¿Por qué? Estoy en forma bien en mi opinión pero creo que puedo empujar mi cuerpo y mi mente así. Voy a cultivar disciplina y consistencia.
Recientemente escuché a David Goggins otra vez. Una de sus frases es ” Solo estás usando una fracción de tu potencial.
Que significa eso?
Para mi, yo puedo hacer más, estudiar más, aprender más, leer más, de todas maneras yo quería.
Todas las cosas yo quiero mejorar en. Tengo que hacer tiempo libre para lograrlas. La decisión es mía. Tenemos selecciones todos los días de su dieta, su trabajo, su pendientes, y más.
Hoy voy a escribir por 15 minutos. Yo escribo cada día en inglés por 15 minutos también. Creo que mis escrituras en inglés han mejorado.
Mi rutina en mi dia normalmente. Me despierto a las cuatro de la mañana. Yo escribo en mi diario por 15 minutos. Yo bebo maté. Me preparo para enseñar mi clase de jiu jitsu a las cinco y media de la mañana. A veces yo llego temprano y hago ejercicios como burpees. Usualmente repaso la lección y hago notas que necesito recordar y enfatizar. Después de mi clase, yo limpio el suelo por mi mismo o con uno de mis alumnos. Yo cierro la academia y llegó a mi apartamento. Preparo ir a la universidad. Usualmente, esta rutina es por tres días de mi semana. Pero yo despierto a las cuatro cada dia y hago ejercicios como correr un poco.
Ahora mismo, leo un libro, Creatividad, S.A., de Ed Catmull. Tengo que leer muchas veces para entenderle. Tengo el libro en audible, pues,yo escucho mientras yo sigo las palabras que el orador habla.
Ojalá esa técnica pueda ayudar a mi escritura. Necesito memorizar las reglas de los tiempos y como usar los. Hasta mañana.
Estoy cansado pero yo voy a escribir por 10 minutos.
Hoy tengo 37 anos. Soy viego en los ojos de generacion Z.
No me importa. Tengo que escribir en español para mejorar mi escritura. En el futuro, voy a tomar un examen en español. Mi idea es que yo necesito practicar todos los días. Yo puedo escribir, editar, y publicar con wordpress. Hay otras maneras para mejorar mi escritura. Si ustedes tiene consejos para mi por favor, dígame en los commentarios debajo.
Estoy preocupado sobre este examen. Yo estaré preparado o desprevenido. Yo elijo preparar esta habilidad y fortalezco mis debilidades.