What happens in Vegas…
June 4, 2012
Current Training Location:
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 training weeks + fight week = June 22 Competition
This week’s list of goals:
Get submitted LESS often than last week
Do not get concussed in sparring sessions
Push through sprint sessions – test cardio
Stay out from underneath Forrest Griffin
I’ve just completed a week of training in Las Vegas, at Drysdale BJJ. It’s a fantastic facility with two mat spaces, allowing them to have two classes simultaneously. And there’s a whole lot of BJJ here, ranging from children’s classes through to pro competitors.
I’ve ventured to Las Vegas alone, which is a blessing and a curse. The blessing; I have complete freedom and silence to rest between sessions, with only food and laundry being my only outside concerns (well, and a little bit of work sending emails, writing blogs, and returning phone calls). The curse; well, I’m alone. Human beings crave contact. We’re social animals, and I’m no different. Needless to say, I’ve been on the phone a fair bit. And after training, I’ve lingered around the gym a little bit and have had a few passing conversations.
I’ve only been to Vegas for short visits, coming in from California to watch UFC bouts on multiple occasions. Being here for a longer time really doesn’t do the place justice. It’s got the reputation for being an around-the-clock adrenaline rush. Well, my previous visits were just that. Having friends around, having a fight myself, or watching a teammate compete, and then making the most of whatever portion of the weekend was left (and whatever $$ we had left); provided that adrenaline and excitement.
Being here alone, Vegas seems like any other city. The only thing that truly stands out is the architecture!!! It’s not exactly Rome, Italy; but Las Vegas was built for Gods. Everything is massive, most everything is pristine (don’t walk through alleys and backstreets if you don’t want to your idea of Vegas to be tarnished), and luxury & excess seem to rule the day. It’s impressive to look at, yes. But given that I’m a bit older, educated, and thoughtful — I certainly see the sinister side of the “magic”. Go watch a few documentaries, with an open mind, and I’m sure your view on many subjects will be altered too.
But back to training….. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday see a strong group of MMA competitors flocking to this academy, taking part in gruelling two-hour sessions. Equal parts technique drills and live application, my Wednesday and Friday were my most valued sessions. And if I were a fan, Friday would have been amazing. I was paired with Forrest Griffin during live grappling, and had him throw me around for 10 minutes. But, I’M NOT A FAN. I’M A FIGHTER. IT WAS NOT AMAZING. IT WAS THE LONGEST 10-MINUTES EVER!. He didn’t just lay on me, he kept a high pace. And that was my only strategy to defend myself, move more than him. Yeah, didn’t happen. The guy is a cardio machine, and seems to be quite ready for his UFC 148 bout vs. Tito Ortiz (their 3rd encounter and Tito’s retirement fight) on July 7th.
Last week, I predicted that I’d have a great week of training alongside some amazing athletes. And I did just that. I’m very grateful to have been welcomed into Drysdale BJJ by Robert himself, and his talented Muay Thai coach, Mark Beecher. Their classes are well-organized, their students and athletes are talented, and the room has a general feel to it that most clubs would dream of having. Gym owners and instructors talk of having a room of guys where ego does not come in as a cancer. This place has that feel. The athletes have such a level of respect, I believe, that they do not allow themselves to become selfish, act out, or close their minds to the lessons surrounding them.
One more week here, for now. I have a feeling I’ll be back in the future!