Training trip to California part 1: first days

Flew to California on Saturday afternoon and I stayed first in sunny Santa Barbara. Travel did not go without the basic hassles and for some reason my credit card stopped working for a while at Hertz at the airport. Luckily for everyone, the malfunction only lasted a few minutes and I got my Chevy. For some reason I didn't get California plates, but instead ended up with Wisconsin ones (go Dairy State!).

Unfortunately for me, the USA has been in a few wars throughout the years and apparently they celebrate something called Memorial Day. This meant the Paragon gym was closed on Sunday and morning classes were cancelled on Monday. Luckily there would be training at 6 in the evening on Monday.

Luckily, Santa Barbara is a really cool town with beaches and the weather is sunny and warm so I did some strolling around and swimming for fitness. Also, bought a pair of Sanuk's to replace the pair the high tide took last week while surfing at Guincho beach. Stuff is surprisingly affordable here, especially surf boards and wet suits are way cheaper than in Portugal

Also, Gracie Barra gym right at the main street. Don't they know that BJJ gyms are supposed to be on shady back alleys...

The Monday training was an open mat with a good number of participants. Training was supervised by black belt Sean Apperson. I sparred with a few blue belts, a purple heading to worlds in the same division as me and Sean. Really nice rolls and I felt my poor cardio being pushed. Also, I haven't felt as helpless as I did with Sean in a long time. He was able to win the grip fights (judo experience helps) and my guard pulls went to hell due to his superior grips. One good note he gave is to never pull guard when the opponent has a 2-on-1 control or other dominant grips on your arm, because he will be able to pull and go to your side.

Cool sunset training..

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