Little over two months ago, right before I headed for my adventure, I saw a post from John Boyle welcoming every globetrotter to drop by at his newly open gym Playa Venao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I scrolled through it and saw the pictures of the gym and it’s location I knew this would have to be on my list. They had partnered up with Beach Break Surf Camp, a hotel located right at the beach. So every morning I could step outside of my room, walk 10 steps to the left to do some training or 10 steps to the right to go surfing. Talk about the perfect Jiu Jitsu Surfing lifestyle.
Now 2 months later I have spent one week here and I can tell you that this has been one of my favorite places so far. This is a perfect place to wind down after all my backpacking and at the same time getting solid mat and surf time to prepare me for the tight scheduled month of BJJ ahead of me. Not to mention getting some great points from John how to fix my game and improve what I already have. I really respect instructors who are able to put themselves in your shoes and give you advice accordingly.
Since the first day that I arrived here the people have been nothing but welcoming. Angel, the receptionist lit up when I told him I was here for BJJ and it turned out he was a really good competitive purple belt. Me and him got some really good intense rolls. Nathan the hotel owner is an brown belt and he managed to squeeze in a private session with me in his busy schedule. Then there is Carla, John’s wife, she’s super technical purple belt and really good role model for all the young girls who are taking their first steps at the gym.
I still can’t get over the kindness that I’ve recived here. John and Carla took me and showed me around the area and let me taste the local açai bowls to try to find the true Brazilian Jiu Jitsu essence. Also the taught me how to pronounce açai as a true Brazilian so I could fit in with all the Jits people. Then yesterday I managed to break my board in one of the waves, neither me or anyone else have any idea how I managed it. Carla decided they would try to cheer me up and invited me to a local place showing Django on a big screen with all the appropriate snacks. In the end of the day, instead of being bummed out about the board and the amount I had to pay for it, I was overwhelmed by the kindness of people I’ve know for less then a week. I thought about how many people I’ve met on this adventure and how I have madeconnections that will last a lifetime. This is what life is about, be kind to each other and that kindness comes back around.
Lastly I have to mention how relatable John is. He talks from the heart and you can see that he means what he says. Every time we talked I could reconsile with everything he said and felt that we had really similar thoughts concerning BJJ and life, even though he has much more experience and insight. For me to feel that way is not common and made me even more glad to have decided to make my way to this tiny little surf paradise.