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Shanghai to Durham: Training Diary

I travel a lot. Between work, school, jiu-jitsu tournaments and pleasure travel, I often have a difficult time remembering what day it is or what time zone I’m in.

Actually, check that: I have a hard time remembering those details anyway. It’s probably all the concussions.

A cool side-effect of all this travel, besides the ubiquitous frequent flyer miles and delicious airline food, is getting to visit other academies. Thankfully, my instructor is of the Dave Camarillo school of thought that says train with everybody you can, learn from them and bring those insights back to your home mat. I try to visit other Royce Gracie affiliates wherever I can, but sometimes there isn’t one. And sometimes it’s just nice to check out folks from other affiliations to see what they’re up to.

I just got back from China, where I had one of my two favorite academy visits ever: Shanghai BJJ.

Shanghai BJJ is a Rilion Gracie school, and Rilion’s guard work is legendary, so it was cool to get some of that perspective. We worked a lot of basics – you can never get enough basics – but the instructor, Stan, showed me a slick variation on the classic armbar from guard that I’m going to work once I get home. Stan also has a strong self-defense focus, which he has in common with my home academy, so we worked a bunch of that too.

Stupidly, I didn’t get a picture with the Shanghai guys – things wrapped up fast – but I did get a sick shirt. This is the Shanghai BJJ logo, which is pretty cool:

The full shirt is even better.

Great guys, great instruction and great training. I feel really privileged to be able to get around as much as I do and train with as many cool folks as I do.

… but that starts at home. And to be real, it’s going to be great to be home. First class back in Durham: Friday. Tournament the next day, and I can’t wait.

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About Jeff

I write, work for social justice, listen to music and grapple. That's about it for now.

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