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Thread: CGJJ Stories from Abroad

  1. #61


    Awsome... fucking awsome.. it makes me proud to be a Carlson Gracie member... Ooss

  2. #62


    The alarm went off at 6.30 am,i'd slept for almost 12 hours and i felt great.I switched on my phone and saw i had a message.
    "Hey Purple it's Todd,if you're in LA i would recommend training with my friend Henry Akins at dyanamix martial art's on Wilshire and 7th.
    Man,Wilshire again.I know who Henry is,Todd used to room with him when he was living in LA and training at Rickson's.Henry arrived at Ricksons
    in like 1995 and never really left,started working on reception there and immersed himself in learning Rickson's style.I have heard many people
    comment over the years that because Rickson doesn't really teach anymore there is one person who can REALLY teach you what he teaches and that is
    Henry.Henry was awarded his BB in 2008 and now runs his own school.

    So,i google mapped the academy and looked at the schedule.It was 3 miles from my hotel.The schedule looked good too.But something was bothering me.
    Rey Diogo's was 4 miles away and he is one of the old school Carlson Team,teaching out of the same premises that Carlson taught from all those years ago
    when he moved to LA.If i was going to drive 3 miles,i may as well drive 4 to train with my own family.

    I looked at Reys schedule- There was a No-Gi class this morning from 10am-11.30am.OK,lets get the game face on because i'm gonna need it.

    I went down to breakfast and as i considered what type of monsters i was going to come up against at Rey's i ordered an egg white omellette
    and a bowl of Acai and granola.My god this City of Angels!

  3. #63
    Senior Member Rob T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    South Wales


    Awesome stuff again!!

    Write a book. -

  4. #64


    I started to think about turning up at Rey's.It was a No-Gi class so no one would know my belt.Good,i would just try and blend in quietly
    and not draw attention to myself and try and just train quietly and get the measure of the academy.

    As i jumped into my hire car i could feel the familar heartbeat speeding up,the clammy feeling in my palms and a slight sickness in my gut
    from the knowledge i would be on the mat with a load of unknown monsters in an hour.Images of UCLA division 1 wrestlers and
    UFC fighters got the better of me as i started to type Rey's zip code into the Garmin.

    This was exciting,the sun was beating down,i was driving in LA for the first time,on my way to a new academy with sat-nav=Life is sweet.

  5. #65


    I was directed onto the Interstate and was immediately reminded of the programme CHiPS from my youth.It was exactly the same,all concrete
    and no tarmac like England.

    My thoughts drifted to Rey's..........How many people would train on a thursday morning? Wouldn't everybody be at work?? Oh shit,everybody apart
    from professional fighters.I started thinking about the belt Wilson had awarded me 3 years ago.The game had changed since i was travelling with a Brown.
    The Black is pressure,everybody wants a piece of you.Everybody would tell all their friends 'i tapped a black belt'.You can't have an off day.Everyday
    Wilson's decision needs defending.And Wilson's decision wouldn't just pour scorn on me and him if i let him down,it would pour scorn on Rodrigo and Junior
    and the whole Carlson team.I started thinking,'but its ok because i'll be at a Carlson club' but then that horrible little fella who lives in my mind,my ego
    chimed in "It'll be even worse if you get ironed out you prat,everybody will know".
    Oh,so he was back was he? Mr Ego,my old adversary,the real opponent.Well i had a message for him- FUCK YOU.I'M READY!

  6. #66


    As i turned off the interstate highway i could immediately sense i was in a more residential area.A tough area.
    Not South Central but an area where if you went looking for trouble it would find you.Nice well kept houses
    with small front yards but a feeling of more poverty.There was a white guy pushing a supermarket trolly full
    of junk.Crackhead.As i got closer i saw Reys academy.It was like looking at a proper Carlson Gracie gym.
    Bulldogs on the front and a kind of rawness,a roughness around the edge that i recognised and felt an instant affinity with.

  7. #67

  8. #68


    awesome stuff simon
    man, when you're the nail, hang in there....until the day you become the hammer

  9. #69


    I parked the car up.It was 9.30am and the class didn't start until 10.I walked round the corner and stood outside the academy
    for 10 minutes.As i stood there 2 gangsters walked past,new caps,jeans hangin off their arses.In London i wouldn't give a fuck
    but here i knew they'd both be tooled up properly.I decided to go for a wonder and get some water.As i walked down the street
    i began to see the area was rough n ready.I went into a small corner shop and bought a bottle of water.As i walked back down to
    the academy there was still no one there.Then i remembered something Andre had said about Rey on the underground.That he runs on Rio
    time and i chuckled to myself.At least it was sunny,not like waiting for Wilson in the rain at Royal Oak all those years ago.
    At about 10 to 10 another guy turned up,tall athletic,6ft 2inches,94 kilos and late 30's.He greeted me and instantly thought i was Australian.
    Most people in the US ask if i'm Australian for some reason.I asked if many people trained in the daytime and he replied about 12 usually,and then
    added,'All big guys,all animals....' Great i thought.

    So as we were talking an old korean dude turned up,looked late 50's (i later found out he was 69).Both guys were friendly,didn't ask how long
    i'd been training or what belt i was.

    As we talked suddenly a car bumped up the kerb and drove along the pavement and i saw driver.I recognised him immediately from pictures.
    It was Rey,looking about my age,in good shape,like a guy who's been training twice a day for his whole life.Vest on,tattoo's all over him,
    the famous one of the fighting cock which was apparently in honour of Carlson (cock fighting was Carlson's favourite 'sport' LOL).
    He had a small Jack Russell puppy on his lap,with its paws on the steering wheel as he drove.Very funny,extremely carioca'ish.

  10. #70


    As he got out the car he greeted his guys and then came over to me, "Hey where you from Bro?", "London" i replied.
    "Man we got a guy here who talks like you" he turned to his guys and said "wheres Brett? He speaks like this guy".
    Whats your name man?" "Simon" "Samuel,welcome to the academy man"............and that was it,i walked in.
    Rey tied up the jack Russell so it could either chew the edge of the mat,peoples trainers or walk outside on its leash
    (he left both big doors to the gym open onto the pavement).Passers by could see straight into the academy if they
    looked in,and the Dog barked at any strangers walking past.

    Pukka i thought,this is just how i like it.A dog on the side of the mat and a load of nutters.Just like London.

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