I had met Diego when I trained at Santa Teresa and he told me he owned a hostel in San José and invited me to stay there when I would go. So when I show up in San José I go straight to the hostel. The receptionist was already expecting me and told me that he also trained BJJ, apparently more then half the staff members trained at Athletic Advance. My stay there was amazing and I recommend anyone who’s travelling through San José to check out The Garden Guesthouse!
For San José I had nothing planned except at least 2 classes on Monday and Tuesday. I show up at noon for Monday’s gi class with the impression that it would be pretty technical training and the next day would be competition training. We start with drilling 2 short techniques and then, what do you know, it’s 10×6 minute of rolls. Oh boy, after being on the road for so long without consistent training it was hard but I did manage to last all the rounds, got my ass handed to me a few times but I was happy with my rolls.
Tuesday arrives and I decided to rest till 7pm when the training was. I show up and the gym is full of people with all belt colours, laughing and joking in Spanish. I could feel everybody was gearing up mentally for the training, things were gonna get interesting. We did a high pace short warm-up and then 10 rounds of 6 minutes on the clock again. I look across the room and nobody looks back except a familiar face, Kuba who I trained with in Jacó was there. Of course he just sweeps the floor with me, giving this training a great start. For the next rounds I roll with few people, nobody holding anything back, especially against the new gringo. All of those people were good as well, from blue belt to black belts. I was exhausted and not sure I would make it through the training. For the 9th round I give up, I needed a break. For the 10th I gathered everything that I had left and picked a partner to roll with. After that round I was left lying on the mats close to death after 2 taps in that round. Then I hear “UNO MAS!”… they were going one more round. I just couldn’t, knowing that I already past my limits and reminding myself that I wasn’t in as good of a shape as when I trained 2x times a day.
I go back to the hostel exhausted but stuck with a smile on my face. That training was what I needed. I gave it a serious thought to stay for the whole week and training with those beasts for longer but in the end I wasn’t ready to give up the plans I had. The next weeks I would be making my way down south and through Panama, taking a little break from training. I do however plan to visit at least 2 gyms in south of Panama.