Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Specific Training - sharpening the iron!

The last two evening classes at the open mat session out here in Al Ain have been dedicated to specific training, the cornerstone of any serious training regime; in my classes back in the UK, I have seperate technical classes and a sparring/specific class straight after the technical session, giving students time to walk the walk.
With my long lost brother, Rogerio Teixeira, who's helped me no end in every training session
Bearing in mind all classes should be taxing on the body, mind and spirit, yet fun at the same time, specific training can be very hard to get your head around, especially as a beginner; I'd argue the case that specific training gets harder as you progress through the belts and I type this as a man with two night's worth of the hardest specific training I've done in my life.
When doing specific training, your partner is always given a heads up as to what's going to happen during the time limit and so in his head is more than half way prepared for his opponent.  Finishing from the mount and back position, for me, I think are the most hardest positions; hell, in fact they all are, but in my experience I rank these two at equal top spot.
That said, nothing prepared me last night for the specific training; it's one thing rolling with twenty odd black belts every night, but to actually train specifics with these guys, well it's another story all together and I'd happily trade specifics with rolling.  However, if I were to do that, then I'd really be doing myself a disservice, when I have all these highly talented individuals at my disposal to learn and improve from.  It's a learning and improvement curve that is as steep as it's soul destroying, but nothing can get you into better shape and improve your game faster than specifics.
With numbers like this in class, how can you NOT improve?!
Last night covered finishing from the mount position and we lined up in pairs facing each other in a big line along the mats and we had ninety seconds in each position, which would last for fifty minutes after a quick warm up of drills.  Even with all the years training and all the drilling done back in the UK, I was taken apart and submitted time and time again, it was horrible!  All done, mind you, with a smile on their face, which didn't make it any better, it was still horrible, but in jiu jitsu, nothing's ever easy, you just have to dig in and take the shit and keep on keeping on.
When it was my turn, it was no different; my unstoppable mount (he dreams) was broken like an extremely easy to break item and a submission swiftly followed.  This is no fun dear reader, no fun at all.  For me that is, I've had my students all lol'ing online and revelling in my pain and misfortune, but it's all gone in the memory banks for when I return to Blighty.
This evening we warmed up with drills and then went straight into finishing from the back position; words can't really describe the thoughts and feelings that flow through your mind when a gnarly, tough as superheated dried out boots left out in the desert sun, three stripe black belt sits behind you and slaps on the seat belt position.  All you can see are his cauliflower knuckled hands, as he starts to squeeze the Bejeesus out of you and holds you in a vice like grip with his legs and slowly but surely, works his hands into your collar.  From this unenviable position, one hears the squeaking and straining of cotton fibres as they tighten up around your neck and then things start to sound a little dreamlike, your hearing is all blurred as well as your eye sight.  Tap tap tap!!
Six seconds I lasted, a Herculean achievement for me (well that's the way I'm looking at it) and so it continued, one black belt after the other.  Whether it was my turn or theirs, I was duly dispatched in short shrift and all too soon, it was the end of the class.  Thank God!
That said, as much as a battering to the ego, my face and ears as it was, by Christ I've learned more in those two sessions than all the rolling thus far and that's saying something.  At the end of both sessions, all the guys I trained with took me to one side and gave me loads of tips and pointers, so I hope to make use of these in the next class and start to see some improvements in my specific training.
Obrigado to Alexandre 'Baby' Carvalho for putting us through our paces and to my training partners over the last two nights - Rogerio, Polinio, Flavio, Gilberto, Maozinho, Emerson, Jiddu, Zelo, Leonnardo, Pedro, Rafael, Felipe and Higor :)
Iron sharpens iron - Ooooosss!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Haueter v Glover - BJJ Superfight!

Here's the footage of the Superfight between Jeff Glover and my chief instructor, Chris Haueter, taken at the Best of the West competition, in Las Vegas on September 28th; as most of you will know, Glover called out Chris via Twitter and Chris being Chris, responded without hesitation and issued forth a crazy post fight video to add to the fun and games.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Al Jhali Fort by moonlight

It's not all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu out here in Al Ain, though it sure consumes a huge part of the week's proceedings; there's plenty of things to do out here and tourist destinations are dotted all over the UAE.  At the start of October, I had a superb afternoon at Al Ain Zoo, a huge place, packed with all kinds of fabulous animals from all over the world, a place to keep you occupied all day.

This weekend has seen the Eid celebrations hit the Emirates and the streets have been packed with families all enjoying the extra few days off work and I was one such lucky individual.  The weekend for me consisted of chilling out with my fellow colleagues and enjoying a roof top BBQ, hanging out at the pool party at the Rotana Hotel and more hanging out at the Rotana, using the gym and enjoying the pool post training and then rounded the weekend off with a walk round the park at Al Jhali, with some new found ex pat teacher friends.

Al Jhali Fort - like a birthday cake!
Nearly all of the ex pat women you meet here are mainly school teachers, with a few nurses thrown in for good measure and they are the most helpful people you could wish to meet; most of the teachers I've met here have been here for over three years and have a mine of information for new starters such as myself and last night's walk in the park was one of them.

In the park
Full moon on show, the park was packed with families, squeezing out the last of the holiday celebrations and at the end of the walk, a brand new Starbucks was waiting for us, rounding the night off with coffee and blueberry muffins.

Main entrance
There's plenty to fill the weekends with out here in Al Ain, as well as trips to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the desert, the mountains and the border of Oman is ten minutes away in a car; rest assured I'll be getting up to all kinds of adventures in my time off out here and will share the photos with you and hopefully some of the sun will rub off and into your homes :)


Got to love these practical jokers................... 

Remember - never make eye contact!!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Abu Dhabi Warriors next weekend!

Looking forward to an evening of high octane MMA fights at the ADNEC Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi on November 2nd; Kaznuori Yokota is headlining the event, fighting Anatoly Safronov on the main fight of the night and the full fight card is as follows :-

+93kg: Maro Perak (Croatia) vs. Travis Wiuff (USA).
-77kg: Jose Landi-Jons (Brazil) vs. Yevgeniy Mahtenko (Czech Republic).
-70kg: Kazunori Yokota (Japan) vs. Anatoly Safronov (Ukraine).
-70kg: Kurt Kinser (USA) vs. Amir Visalimov (Cecenia).
-84kg: Benjamin Brinsa (Germany) vs. Caleb Dysert-John (USA).
-84kg: Keith Smetana (USA) vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov (Russia).
-93kg: Mikhail Zayats (Russia) vs. Marcin Elsner (Poland).
-84kg: Claudio Conti (Italy) vs. Levi Da Costa (Brazil).
-70kg: Nilson Lopes (Brazil) vs. Mihail Cazacu (Moldova).

Thursday, 25 October 2012

MMA Commercial!

November 2nd sees the first MMA event, organised by the UAEJJ Association; the event will be held at the ADNEC Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi and I will be there cageside, capturing all the excitement on the night.

One of my fellow colleagues, Nilson 'Pokemom' Lopes is on the fight card and appears in this snazzy little TV commercial for the upcoming event.  Nilson is wearing the Ready Fight Gear shorts in the video.

 For more info visit

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Swimming with the sharks!!

Today was the final day of the Asian Cup, a three day grapplefest, featuring kids jiu jitsu, no gi and gi competition; today was the gi event and for me my first time in a mixed brown/black belt bracket.

Given that there were no Senior brown belts in the UAE, or enough to warrant its own division, I was to be mixing it with the adults in the -94K bracket; I usually fight in the IBJJF bracket of -88.3K, but due to the absence of this weight group and not fancying cutting weight the minute I landed out here three weeks ago, -94K it was.

First fight was against a three stripe black belt, Eduardo Alexandre Machado, so no pressure, I joked to myself; I admit I was very nervous beforehand, thinking I was going to get torn apart and thrown into a body bag at the end, but that's part and parcel of competition, so I tried to focus on my breathing and stay calm.  Prior to the fight, we were both back stage sat next to each other chatting away, which helped to ease matters and then we were called up to the mat.

Post fight with Eduardo
Once we were called up to fight, all the nerves left me and it's just you and him, man to man; we shook hands and circled about and Eduardo pulled guard first and boy was he strong.  He attacked my arm for an arm bar and I was on survival mode, as I didn't want to be tapped out in a few seconds and made to look a fool.

The fight stayed on the ground and Eduardo carried on attacking and next thing I knew, had the s-mount and side control and was piling on the pressure and I was merely delaying the inevitable, which came by way of a bow and arrow choke, that I knew if defended would lead to an arm bar.  And I was right.  Fair play to Eduardo, although it was in tight, he didn't slap the submission on, so I tried to escape and my hand hovered in the air with a fleeting tap in the air, which the ref took for a submission on my part and mainly for my won safety.  I was trapped.  Good call referee.

Second fight was for the bronze medal, against another black belt, a bearded Vitor Reis, quite a scary looking opponent and on this match I was really really nervous; after we shook hands we circled and Vitor beat me again with the foot in the foot and SHIT this guy was strong.  Freaky strong and I sensed a ten second humiliation was on the cards.

With Vitor Reis
Not quite, but again, it was sheer survival mode once again as Vitor mauled me into mount position and sliding a well muscled forearm into my collar from mount, Vitor switched base and promptly started to choke the living daylights out of me, which led me to tap out once again.

Prior to the event, I gave myself one little goal, that was to try and last at least one minute in my fights and I am pleased to say I lasted ninety seconds in both matches, so at least two positives came from the fights.  In fact, as the old saying goes, you either win or you learn and I learned not to hesitate at the start of a fight; get that foot in the hip FIRST!

With Al Ain team mate Pedro Peres, who took gold in my weight group
After each fight, the guys sat down with me and gave me some tips and pointers and more importantly their respect for me stepping up to fight on the day, as I've only been here not three weeks, so in at the deep end as they say.

Limbs intact, I survived my first competition out here and needless to say it won't be the last event for me out here, far from it.  Swimming with the sharks is mighty dangerous, but swim with them often enough and soon you'll get sharp teeth of your own.


Full results at

Friday, 19 October 2012

UAE BJJ Asian Cup - kids bracket

Over 250 screaming hyper active kids turned up at the UAE Wrestling, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing Federation building yesterday, located at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, to participate in the Asian Cup event.

Competition venue

I was one of the bracket managers and was partnered with Pedro De Miranda and we had the task of finding the children in the warm up area, checking their weights and getting them to the competition mat.  

With my right hand man, Pedro 

No easy task when your Arabic is limited and all the names look the same.  That said, all the schools were given their own space in the warm up area, with the school name on the wall, which made a lot easier for all bracket managers.

The event ran to schedule and was broadcast on national television and the viewers were treated to some excellent jiu jitsu throughout the event; all the hard work by the coaches over the last few months were rewarded at the winners podium, with many happy young faces being congratulated and awarded shiny medals.

For more info visit

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

UAE Jiu Jitsu Asian Cup

Looking forward to three glorious days of gi and no gi jiu jitsu competition, commencing Thursday 18th October in Abu Dhabi; the first day is jiu jitsu competition between all the schools who are involved in the School Jiu Jitsu Programme.  Day two is no gi competition and the last day on Saturday sees gi action from white to black belt.

Seven mats are running throughout the event and I have been told the event is very much like the WPJJC event, held out in Abu Dhabi every April and the event will be going out live on National television; I will be involved behind the scenes on Thursday as one of the bracket managers at the scales, dare say that will be the same Friday and Saturday.

Really looking forward to being a part of the competition and of course, you can read all about it here :)

Metamoris - Caio Terra v Jeff Glover


Monday, 15 October 2012

MMA hits Abu Dhabi!

(Taken from the internet - this event is being organised by my employers, so I thought a little promotion would not go amiss on here and online)

UAEJJ is taking one step further in developing the Martial Arts and Fighting sports development. After organizing more than 30 Jiu-Jitsu events a year in over 25 countries, including the world’s most Prestigious Jiu-Jitsu Championship (WPJJC – Abu Dhabi) with a total money prizes of $1,000,000, UAEJJ is stepping on the MMA arena by promoting its first MMA event called Warriors. MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world and having event of such class in Abu Dhabi will bring attention from all over the world.
Abu Dhabi Warriors will host its inaugural event on November 2nd at the ADNEC (ICC Hall), featuring some of the world’s finest athletes and top fighting talent.
Competitors from all around the globe will battle it out to test their skills, toughness and will. This will be an event like which the Middle East has never seen before, boasting spectacular production values, video walls and sound systems, with worldwide coverage befitting of a premier mixed martial arts organisation.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Mini interview @ Blackpool Open!

A nice touch from Gus Oliveira and the Grab and Pull boys; cameraman Thaddeus Pope went round the venue, plucking out coaches to interview and give them a chance to plug their individual academies.

I wish I'd have had a shave now, but at the time I travelled up the event right after working the doors, but I suppose a little ruggedness never hurt anyone :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Femmes Fatale!

It’s not all just fun and games for all the guys here in Al Ain, teaching through the day and training at night; there’s plenty of training for the ladies out here and every Monday and Wednesday, Alliance black belt Polyana Lago, teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the MMA room from 6pm.
With Polyana after her class
Polyana is the only female black belt here in Al Ain and teaches in the local girl’s school during the day; Polyana’s classes are helping to promote BJJ within the local female community and although the class has many Brazilian ladies training, there are a number of Arabic women in the group, as well as a Russian and Irish woman.
Girl Power!
When Polyana isn’t teaching the ladies, she can be found in the main room with the guys kicking ass, together with her partner in crime, brown belt Karem Quintana; I have yet to have the pleasure of rolling with these two lovely ladies, but all good things come to those who wait...........

Monday, 8 October 2012

New IBJJF rank rash guards!

Stand out from the crowd with the latest must have rash guards from Tatami :)  for more info and to see the full range of BJJ related goodies :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Just another Sunday session!

If my first training session wasn't enough to set me into BJJ overdrive, then this evening's class blew me away - twenty seven, yes twenty seven black belts on the mats for the Open Mat session!  Everywhere you turned there was a black belt, absolutely crazy and I'm bang in the middle of it all.

Three stripe black belt Flavio Serafin had arrived earlier in the day and after a quick introduction, I was his first guy to roll with at the start of the class, so no pressure Carl :)  Flavio hails from Nova Friburgo, south east Brazil and is a well respected MMA fighter and is joined here in Al Ain with a number of guys from the same town.
Post training photo
We shook hands and started to roll and I was on a six minute roller coaster ride; I've never had my guard smashed and destroyed like it and I've rolled with some of the best on the planet.  Flavio moved one way then the next flattening my legs like a windscreen wiper jammed on full power.  We never paused for breath throughout the roll, only stopping when Flavio subbed me, then it was a quick handshake and we went at it again.  A most amazing experience to feel a guy crush you so easily and the guard passing from Flavio was something to behold and experience at first hand.

Second roll was with my twin brother Rogerio Teixeira; those of you following the action on Facebook can see a photo of the two of us and all the Brazilians said we look like brothers, so it's kind of stuck at the gym.  Rogerio was more playful and encouraged me to attack, which I did to the best of my abilities, only to find myself at the receiving end of a submission, all with a smile on his face, as most Brazilians are wont to do.

Higor Polonio was next on the cards, a light weight black belt with an athletic counter game, as soon as I started a sweep or reversal, he'd flip his legs in the air and land on the opposite side from me, pinning my legs and hips to the floor, before passing my guard and basically giving me problems from every angles.
With my neighbour, Marcio Eduardo Silva
Another newcomer was my fourth roll, a beast of a guy called Alexandre Carvalho, aka 'Baby' and let me tell you there's nothing baby like about him; two gnarled cauliflower ears and a rippling physique was staring across at me as we shook hands and I thought RIP to myself, I'm a goner.  Not so.  We had a right royal tear up, again giving me the chance to open up and experiment and give things a go I'd normally do in class in the UK, but now against seasoned black belts.  It's been a tough six days here in class, but hey, I'm swimming with the sharks and soon enough I'll start growing some sharp teeth of my own.

Last roll came by way of my favourite black belt to roll with, Leandro 'Polinio' Cordeiro; I don't really like to say I have a favourite, as all the guys are awesome in their own right, but every time we roll, I have the most technical rolls with Polinio, he really is a great guy to roll with and before you know it, the open mat's over and it's photo time.

Black belt massif *
x six minute rounds with some of the toughest and sharpest black belts around and I haven't even been here a week!

* photo credit - Leonnardo Cordeiro

Friday, 5 October 2012

Great Grappling Commercial!

Check out the latest commercial for my good friend Jeremy Arel's BJJ academy in the US - looks like things are going from strength to strength for Jeremy - Oos!!

No gi training session!

After training with the kimono the last few days, the week was rounded off with the addition of a new no gi class, that started at 5pm; Nilson Pokemon Lopes came in an hour earlier and trained positions with a number of black belts, as he is preparing for an upcoming MMA fight on the Abu Dhabi Warriors event, November 2nd, that boasts one million dollars in prize money.

With Pokemon
I took a taxi over with my next door neighbour, Marcio Eduardo Silva and we arrived just as Pokemon and the guys were rounding off their session in the MMA room, so we all entered the main training room and started to change into shorts and rashguards and started warming up.

Foot lock
Leopoldo Pires took the class once again and we drilled a nice way to kill the knee over thigh pass from half guard and the old school classic arm bar from guard and what to do when the opponent starts to stack.  I had the pleasure and privilige of partnering up with Leandro Polinio Cordeiro and I felt the technique from a black belt's expertise and boy was it ten times tighter than mine.

Bicep slicer
After drilling the techniques for a good half hour it was time for rolling, six minute rounds; my first roll was with black belt Tiago Bravo, an under 74K powerhouse, extremely technical, yet great fun to roll with.  Like all the other guys here, Tiago could smash me into pieces without even breaking a sweat, but what's the point, as we are all team mates and on the coaching staff together?  This atmosphere and thinking can only lead to accelerated development and in my roll with Tiago I could experiment and even ended up with a kimura locked in, but as you've guessed, Tiago escaped with a smile on his face, saying 'almost' then whipped me up in the air with a sweep and choked me out.  Awesome.

Next roll was with Pokemon, which was a different experience altogether - this guy is slick!  With a vice like grip, Nilson, was all over me like a cheap suit, throwing in subs from all angles; the guy was like water, flowing all over me, tapping me out left right and centre.  After each sub, Nilson showed me where I was going wrong and showed me a brutal submission that's only allowed in MMA comps.  Thanks Pokemon!

Team photo
Overall I had five rolls, with three other black belts whose names escape me, suffice to say, I had great fun with all of them, each guy having a different game from the next and of all them encouraging me to go for it.  You hear on the forums about mat etiquette, saying that a lower grade should never ask a black belt to roll with them.  Not the case here.  I'm a lower grade and the mat is packed with black belts, so when it's time to roll I have no option than to ask a black belt to roll with me.  Awesome.

Talking techniques
Session over and all that remained was a team photo and cool down,then it was back to the apartment with Eduardo to get ready for a pool party at the Al Ain Rotana Hotel, which I can say went down very well and am looking forward to the Poola Palooza pool party at the hotel next Saturday.

Photo credit - all pix taken by Leonnardo Cordeiro, full album at -

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

First day at school!

After a superb first night’s training, it was shower, eat and an early night, ready for my first day teaching; the schools begin early in the morning, when it’s a lot cooler and my supervisor Romero picked me up at 630am and drove me to the school, where I’ll be working from now on.

The drive to work took me through the desert dunes on either side of the road, quite a difference from the streets of the UK and after a fifteen minute drive, we arrived at the Aladel Scool in Al Yahar, a region in Al Ain.
Aladel School, Al Yahar

As I arrived, I met my black belt coach, Jiddu Bastos, who I met the previous night and he introduced me to the Prinicpal, who made me feel very welcome and as the children filed into the covered playground, I met the PE coach, Osama Elbatrawy and most of the teachers in the school.

Before classes commenced the kids lined up and listened as the Prinicpal spoke to  his students and after five minutes or so, I heard the words, ‘Coach Carlos’ and over 750 kids turned to look at me and started clapping and cheering like Wayne Rooney had scored a last minute winner at Old Trafford.  Beat that for a welcome!  After the introductions, all the staff and students stood in front of the UAE flag as their National Anthem played from the microphones located in the playground.

Since being here, I have learned it is far easier to call myself Carlos, instead of Carl, as my dulcet Boltonian tones can be sometimes hard to understand, so Coach Carlos is my name from now on at the schools and plain Carlos at the training centre in the evenings.

The jiu jitsu tuition is set out like any other coaching programme and I had a chance to read the coaching manual, detailing the technical side of the jiu jitsu instruction; this covered the basics of breakfalls, shrimps, and many other warm up exercises specific to BJJ and progressed to simple techniques and guard passes, as well as a large reference point for jiu jitsu related games.

Like anywhere in the world, kids are kids.  Loud.  Boisterous and full of beans.  Here in Al Ain , there was no exception, as the kids came into the room, changed into a wide variety of UK Premiership football tops and track suit pants and ran round the mats.  All the students approached me with wide smiling faces and greeted me in English and Arabic and I returned the favour, together with much shaking of hands.  This was repeated throughout the whole day in all the different classes.

All classes followed the same format; I was introduced to the children again in each class, again to much applause and started the class with break falls and forward rolls.  Depending on the age group of the class, a few different techniques were demonstrated by Jiddu and myself, namely Americana from mount, arm lock from mount and double leg takedown.  Translation was given by the class teacher and Jiddu, who can speak enough Arabic to get by and I was learning myself at a fast rate.

After techniques came their favourite part of the class – sparring, what else?  All the kids had a grapple with each other and any promising kids were told to give their names to their teacher to join the after club class.

At the end of the class, the kids lined up and after a loud Ooos, they came to shake hands with the coaches and each other in traditional BJJ style; most of the kids shook hands and over a dozen approached me and did things their way, which involves the touching of noses and a quick kissing sound.  I’d noticed this at the airport, waiting at the immigration desk, between two adults and I asked Jiddu what it meant.  He told me, if they really like a person they greet each other in this manner and this happening in my first my first day,  I felt very privileged indeed to say the least.  After handshakes and nose rubs, it was a short break before the next class and before you know it, my first day was over.  Jiddu and I went to speak to Osama and handed in observation sheets and headed back into Al Ain for more red tape adventures, before returning home and getting ready for class.

So there you have it; a most enjoyable and memorable day for Coach Carlos!

Black Belt Open Mat - Al Ain style!

After settling in at the apartment and managing a quick power nap, I was picked up at the apartment by Romero and taken to my first training session, the black belt open mat at 6pm.  This class is solely for the black belt coaches to have one hour's training before the regular class and now the coaching staff has taken on brown belts, I was warmly welcomed onto the session by all my new team mates.

Al Ain FC  

The training centre is located at the Al Ain Football Club (Al Qattarah Branch), one of three football clubs in the Al Ain area; the black belts started to arrive at 545pm and I was introduced to each one as they arrived and by 6pm, there were over 20 black belts ready to train - WOW!  Many different academies are represented here in the UAE, a real melting pot of styles, probably unique to anywhere else in the world and I was bang in the middle of it, so all that was left was to get the gi on and get cracking.

To give you an idea of the broad range of clubs represented at the training club, a few names of the black belts:-

  • Gilberto Cerqueira - Ryan Gracie
  • Jose Lopes Zelo - Gabas Jiu Jitsu
  • Leonardo Lopes - Pitbull Academy
  • Junior Borsato - DLR
  • Paulo Melo - Bolao BJJ
  • Polyana Lago - Alliance
  • Leopoldo Pires - Alliance
  • Filipe Alvaranja - Carlson Gracie
  • Erik Cardoso - PRBJJ
  • Jiddu Bastos - Checkmat
Spot the black belt
After a warm up, the guys partnered up and started of rolling for 8 minutes and I managed 5 rounds during the session, not bad going considering it was 34C outside and it was my first class.  Each roll was different from the next, some guys were crushing guard passers, others encouraged me to attack them 100% and black belt Tiago Bravo was super cool and we had the most technical roll out of the lot.  

The guys didn't smash me up and take limbs away with them, they rolled hard and tough but when in position for the submission , they applied it with enough time for me to tap, without causing injury, pretty sensible really as everyone is teaching in the schools the following day.
Fernando Gomes (l) yt, Leo Pires and Paulo Melo
3 stripe black belt Erik Cardoso and Leo Pires took the regular class at 7pm and Erik started the class with the regular drills found in any BJJ class and showed a sweet series of sweeps from butterfly and a cool transition into x guard and after specifics and sparring the session was at an end and I was still in one piece.

First class was over and after a quick stretch off, I was dropped off back to my apartment and prepared myself for my first day teaching class, which will be my next post on here.  For now, I am getting ready for another training session, so see you on the mats and drill to won!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Abu Dhabi Adventures – another Idiot Abroad!

Commenced my forty second year of life, driving down to Heathrow Airport to catch a plane headed for Abu Dhabi, where I have landed a job teaching BJJ in the schools – some birthday present!  I was joined on the trip by black belt Henrique Santana and we stopped at Muscat International Airport in Oman, before joining a connecting flight to Abu Dhabi.

Muscat Airport, Oman
A few rows down from the two of us, sat Samuel Camargo Pavan and we were all greeted at the airport, by one of the company’s representatives from Palm Sports, who provide all the coaching staff for the schools and military schools.

Henrique and Samuel were to stay in Abu Dhabi and I was driven to Al Ain, in the east and after meeting supervisors Fernando Gomes and Romero Rocha in the evening, I was taken to my apartment in the Al Jini district of Al Ain.  The block of apartments are used for many of the coaches in the schools and my neighbour Marcio Eduardo Silva, made me feel right at home, showing me around the place and kindly donating some cutlery and utensils.

With Henrique Santana
After much needed sleep I was picked up Tuesday morning by Fernando and went on to complete much needed red tape, rubber stamps and signatures, to enable me to have a full working visa, which will let me open a bank account and obtain a drivers licence.  I was advised by Fernando to take on board the word ‘patience’ as things are done here a lot differently to the UK, though I would beg to differ.

That said, we managed to obtain a UAE ID, drive to a Government building and get the ID stamped and attend another government building to have my blood taken and chest X-rayed, all part of gaining a full working visa.  You have to have a car out here to get around, for work mainly as I will be teaching in schools all around the area and for general day to day activities; it’s a foolish man who walks to the supermarket in the heat of the day, which hit 43C today and in summer time can hit 57C – air con transport is de rigeur.

I rounded the day off with my first training session at the black belt open mat, full report coming along in the next few days; internet is hit and miss at the minute until I get sorted in my apartment.  After the open mat came regular class and as I type, I am winding down and heading for an early night, as I start my first day at work in the morning.

Take care guys and keep training!