We arrived in San Diego a week ago today!! Driving in from LA it reminded us a lot of Perth – green lawns and more houses than apartments.
We took the afternoon to settle into our Airbnb and do some food shopping at the local market Ralphs.
The kids love our accommodation as it has stairs, this novelty wears thin with Adam and I very quickly. I love it because it has a washer and dryer in the garage and I don’t have to pay $1.75 for every load of washing – this makes washing Gis after training much easier.
I had contacted Gracie South Bay prior to us leaving LA so I already had their class schedule and we had decided that we would attend classes the next day (Thursday).
For those of you who don’t know Gracie South Bay Jiu Jitsu is Leticia Ribeiro’s Academy. Leticia is a 4th degree black belt and a multiple time world champion please look her up and see all her accolades. If you had spoken to me about what I was most excited about for our whole trip, visiting Leticia’s academy was it, I had informed Adam and kids back in March that I didn’t want anything for my birthday as I really wanted a private lesson with Leticia when we are in San Diego – once in a lifetime opportunity when you live on the other side of the world from such an amazing Professor/ grappler/ competitor. As you can imagine I was very excited to visit an Academy that has a very strong competition team – both Adults and Juniors.
I knew that Leticia was currently away at a Sweaty Bettys Grappling Camp & Vacation in Hawaii (attending one of these camps is also on bucket list), but still excited and nervous as she is due to return during our time in San Diego.
Kobe class was first, he enjoyed himself, but we realised that Kobe would be suited to the earlier class due to his stature ?.
Lilly couldn’t wait to be on the mats for her class. I love watching her passion and enthusiasm for Jiu Jitsu grow every class, but most of all I admire that she is never nervous stepping on the mats at a new Academy – I have a lot to learn from her.
The schedule read Drills at 7pm and sparring at 8pm (for some unknown reason I misinterpreted this to be Muay Thai sparring- I can honestly say I have no idea why I thought this), I thought great, I can meet some of the members and drill some techniques/ positions, slowly ease myself in.
1 hour of breaking spider guard drills with a partner resulted in my quads feeling as though they were on fire and I was drenched in sweat (please feel free to YouTube these if you don’t know what I am talking about here).
Professor showed the movement/ technique and then we would be drilling the movement for ten minutes each before you switch so your partner can drill, as there were 4 variations we did this four times. Professor say get a water and fix your Gis and I thought GREAT all done, NO, now we are now rolling/ grappling for the next hour. They were 6-minute rounds – this resulted in 10 amazing rolls with a variety of people – three of these being teenage girls whom utterly mopped the mats with me and I loved every minute of it! I couldn’t wait to return the following evening for the next class.
The training schedule at South Bay is offered in hour blocks, but gives you opportunity to be training for 2 hours, which I am whole heartedly embracing. I learnt I long time ago that for my Jiu Jitsu to improve I need to be on the mats as much as I can and South Bay is giving me this opportunity, especially as they have a waiting room that Lilly and Kobe can utilise.
The waiting room is just like a lounge room with a TV with Netflix, a PlayStation and toys. In fact, I believe Kobe is eager for me to be going to training as our accommodation has no TV! (more time for schooling).
The grappling style I have encountered at South Bay is very different to what I am used to, which shows me the flaws in my Jiu Jitsu, but giving me so many lessons and opportunities to improve.
Every roll is hard and full of challenges, the speed and reaction time of everyone I have rolled with here is impressive. The controls that my training partners have are incredibly effective and I hope that for our time here that I can learn this and incorporate it into my Jiu Jitsu.
I love how welcoming and passionate all my training partners have been at every class. I have been taking notes of the activities that Lilly and Kobe are loving during their classes so that on our return we can incorporate these into our children’s classes at Newman Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Saturday after open mat, Adam and I decided to take the kids to a beach as they had been asking to go swimming since LA, after the advice of Sheree from South Bay we headed off to Coronado Beach.
The drive to Coronado Beach was a little frightening. As you drive along the freeway over the bridge to Coronado Island, you feel as you are just driving upwards to the sky as the bridge has a gradual rise over the water and the barriers on the side don’t feel to be high enough to stop a car from driving off the side.
As we made our way down to the beach all we can hear is the thunderous sound of a Jet flying overhead, this is due to the beach being so close to the San Diego Navy base. The passing of jets seemed to be every 15- 20 minutes until Adam tried to get a time lapse of them. It was very refreshing to sit on the gold black sand and watch Lilly and Kobe frolic in the water – it was too cold for me personally.
As there is no training on Sundays, this was a perfect opportunity to take the kids to the “World Famous San Diego Zoo” according to our Garmin GPS. The San Diego Zoo is amazing with so many animals to see such as Pandas and Polar Bears and lots of hiking. We watch a demonstration on bugs where the audience are given the opportunity to eat bugs – mealworms and crickets to be precise. Kobe was so excited at this that of course wanted to be amongst it. We always encourage Lilly and Kobe to try new things, but this usually results in me having to try them first, I guess just like the royals use to have food tasters, my children have me!! So on Sunday 30th of July 2017 I ate my very first mealworm and cricket, I can say that I am in no rush to add them to my daily diet, but they were not the worst things I have had to try. Ha ha
After we had seen all the animals we made our way to the San Diego Natural History Museum, which currently has a Dinosaur exhibition, just perfect for our dinosaur obsessed Kobe.
A great schooling opportunity for both Lilly and Kobe.