European legal leg lock tour:
One of the best things about Jiu Jitsu or grappling arts / martial arts is that it is easy to make friends. Especially in the combat arts because most people will share not only a passion for the art but also certain traits such as humility for example. I almost always love going to eat or drink or just hanging out with other martial artists, especially ones that have devoted much of their lives to training. I wanted to do a vacation in Europe but for us Americans this is very expensive. Luckily, I had made some amazing contacts through my Legal Leg Lock APP which was the first and is the only of it’s kind. Through these contacts I was able to leverage my skills as an instructor and get some great tour guides in Ireland, Naples and England!
You see, vacations can be so overrated, you spend a lot of time in lines to look at things you’ve seen pictures and post cards of. Oh here is the Bridge, it’s beautiful, oh there is the Mona Lisa…. I much prefer to go and train, make new friends, pick up on the slang of the region like “taking the piss”. I like to go and eat the local cuisine, not at the touristy district where everyone speaks perfect English and there are no locals eating because it’s three times as expensive as it should be.
When I arrived to Dublin to work with a brown belt friend of mine, David McConkey I was treated to a traditional Irish breakfast at a local hipster joint that was amazing, followed by other trips around the city and country side. I also had the privilege of having a traditional Irish dinner (with 2 types of stereotypical potatoes lol) with his family in their wonderful home. Without Jiu Jitsu that would have never happened. I would have stayed downtown, set up some tours and wondered around. Of course I saw the Guinness factory and some other bits and bots of touristy stuff.
In Italy I was picked up by my new friend Tim. Tim is an art collector, a former Dutchman living in Napoli. Tim, luckily was also a foodie and took me to a new spot that I would never have found, traditional fried sardines and the smallest octopus or calamari, not sure which but they were tiny and fried. It was awesome, the main instructor, Peppe of Ground Control there also took me to the beach and around the city for some tourism. No guessing, no going to see stuff I didn’t care about, just good food and sight seeing around the Jiu Jitsu training. I really enjoyed the going out for pizza and drinks after training with the team as well. Drinking Peroni beer and eating like a pig.
Leicester, England was the final stop for my seminar tour. This is my English home. I love the ‘Lesta’ Shootfighters and the training there. I have done some leg lock work there before and was able to catch up with my mate Nathan and visit King Richard the 3rds tomb. We ate some amazing curry, sushi and more traditional English food as well. Leicester is a town that Americans would never go visit, it’s right in the middle of England and one of the most diverse cities in the country. Just being there is a unique and awesome experience for me.
In all, I was able to spend very little of my own money (relative to normal vacations to Europe), make new friends and of course spread the leg lock gospel that I was fortunate to learn and put together. I appreciate every different culture I experienced and I don’t think that I could have experienced it any more organically. I guess the point of this blog is to help promote the real Jiu Jitsu lifestyle. Living life for it’s experiences and friendships not trying to cash out on the art to squeeze as much money as you can from weekend seminars. Although we do all have to make a living, lets not forget to live a life first! In short, make a living not a killing.