‘What’s the best way of wrapping a poncho around a backpack?’
I’m not prepared today. I’m in the beautiful surfer town of Byron Bay for a few days as I’m making my way up the east coast of Australia from Sydney to Brisbane. I had been in touch with Amanda Lu who works at the Extreme MMA head office in Melbourne, and had kindly invited me down to train.
We would be more than happy to host you next week and have you train in a BJJ class with us.
We’d be happy to provide the class free of charge if you are willing to share your photos/ videos and are happy for us to use them in our promotional and marketing material? You are welcome to take any photos of the premises/ students/ coaches etc, though obviously if someone mentions that they are not comfortable with their photo being taken please do not take a photo of that person.
I hope you have great fun in Byron Bay and training with us at our Academy!
This is my second day after arriving. Initially, the weather was great and had lulled me into a false sense of security. I’m 10 minutes in to the 50 minute walk and about to get hit with what is the start of a 2 day thunderstorm…….. I feel like I’ve brought it up from Sydney with me!
I make the difficult decision to save my training gear rather than myself, trying as best I can to wrap the plastic poncho around my backpack of training gear. And I, in my shorts, t-shirt and sandals are left to deal with the rest of the weather.
I arrive, dripping from head to toe, and introduce myself to the 2 women behind the reception desk.
“Are you ok?” I’m asked with a sympathetic smile as I quietly drip onto the reception desk.
“Do you mean, emotionally?”
They kindly show me where the changing rooms are where there is a dryer and a bunch of paper towels which allow me to sort myself to look far less like a drowned rat. Once I’m back out, I am kindly given the tour. It’s a very impressive facility. A fully-sized gym and two matted areas separated by a MMA cage.
“This is new”, I’m told as we head back to the reception area. How cool! A onsite, Extreme MMA, Café and juice bar! Definitely a first for my drop in classes :-)
“Daniel is taking the class today, he’s just finishing up but when you get changed go over and say hello. You can’t miss him, he’s the big brazilian guy who looks like a black belt”
I get changed, and go and say hello to the first guy who looked like a Brazilian blackbelt, Daniel ‘Jacaré (Portuguese for alligator) ’Almeida. Daniel is a BJJ black belt and an active MMA fighter. He had moved over to Byron Bay from Brazil 2 years ago to be the MMA and BJJ coach here at Extreme MMA……and, not to, mention, winning almost every BJJ title on offer in Australia!
We start with a fairly thorough warm up and the focus for the class today is wrestling drills and positions. One of the drills, you start back to back with a partner. On the count of 5 you have to turn and take each other down. Was really fun, felt like a schoolyard game.
We finish up with a few rounds of rolling. In the past 3 months I’ve rolled with a lot of people from all over the world, including Brazilian champions! And in all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever been as dominated as I did here in roll number 2!
Thanks guys for having me down. Great gym, great group of people….I only wish I’d have timed it for the opening of the juice bar!