We headed back up to Los Angeles with the plans to stay around 4 days and get some more training in that we missed on our first visit. Before leaving San Diego we sent out a few messages and enquires to some places that we wanted to train at. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a response from them so jumped onto Reddit and asked the forums where the best training on a Sunday was. There was a general consensus that 10th Planet Costa Mesa held some of the best open mats in the LA area, so we headed off the check it out.
Training with the Monster Squad Cool open mat
It was around a 40min drive in LA traffic, when we arrived we where greeted by Ron Turner who ran us quickly through all the usual formality’s. Dee was feeling a little sore from all the training in San Diego so opted just to watch. I jumped in and had some awesome rolls with people from different clubs all over LA. It was really good to see everyone training together regardless of their affiliation with No Gi worlds only a few weeks away. After a couple of hours of rolling we headed off to the nearest beach to hopefully have a swim but after arriving at Hermosa Beach we decided against it as it was so cold down on the coast. We ended up finding a nice little Brazilian BBQ place down by the beach and had one of the best meals yet on our trip.
The next day we planned on heading to Cobrinha’s but found out through social media that he wasn’t there so opted to head to 5 Star Martial arts just down the road which is Shawn Williams Academy (Renzo Gracie Blackbelt). We made a quick phone call to them to see if we could train and they welcomed us as their guests. Kobe and Lilly took part in the Kids and Kids Elite classes and had a blast (as they always do). Dee wasn’t feeling to well so sat out and watched as I took part in the Open mat and then the class. We did a number of take down drills and sequences which was great. As we jumped into the sparring again John Danaher walked in with Tonon, the Ryan brothers and Keenan. They were there to get ready for EBI and F2W that were on that weekend, it was good to see Nicky again who I had trained with before he headed over to the ADCC. We finished the rest of the sparring session off and I was buggered. I think that I lost at least 5kg in sweat in there as there wasn’t much airflow. 5 Star martial arts were kind enough to let us all train free and I highly recommend stopping in there if you’re in LA, the level of grappling there was great!
You know it’s a great place when these guys rock up! Kids class at 5 Star LA Great class
The following day we headed to The Gracie Academy in Torrance, I mean what Jiu-Jitsu travel trip would be complete without visiting it. We headed over to the location and found that they were in the process of moving into a bigger and better place. Right as we walked in we were met by Rorion Gracie and ended up talking with him for a while about our adventure. We then got a tour of the museum which has a lot of old newspaper articles and photos from the early days in Jiu-Jitsu. It was really great to walk around and see all the family’s history. We then got a tour of the facility which is huge and has everything you would need in an Academy, Rorion suggested we head over and check out the new place.
We headed over and almost drove past it as we couldn’t believe it was such a big place. The mat area is so large you could have over a hundred-people training there at once. We checked the schedule and unfortunately, they didn’t have any classes that afternoon that would suit us. As we would have loved to of jumped in and experienced at least one session there. We then planned to head back to 5 star but with LA traffic we wouldn’t make it on time for classes so we opted to head to Santa Monica to watch the sun set and walk around on the Pier. While we were walking around we had a message from Chris Haueter who we had reached out to earlier in the week. He invited us to come and train with him, we were super bummed as we had already booked the next stage of the trip and were leaving LA in the morning for San Francisco, so wouldn’t be able to make it ☹….
Giant mat space at the new Gracie Academy
Getting around LA is a pain and it seems to take forever to get anywhere so if something doesn’t quite go to plan it’s hard follow it up with something else. We had headed to LA this second time with plans on the places we wanted to train. We didn’t end up training at any one of those on the initial list, but we did have some great moments at the ones we did make it to.