Spring break quickly approached with plans for Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX! This was probably the coolest family trip we have had yet, filled with camping, dinosaur tracks, huge dinosaur models and tons of fossils. Yet, this spring break was also a little off the track for myself because I was able to swing over to Austin and visit Relson Gracie Austin Association gym. If you have been keeping up with my blog you will note that I have previously written about Helio Gracie and recently Relson Gracie. I contacted Christy Thomas and showed her my blog and chatted about why I want to meet Relson, but this would be impossible for now since he is at his main gym in Hawaii. Even though I would not be able to meet Relson Gracie this trip, I did get the opportunity to not only attend a class, but also roll with the academy’s First and Only female black belt, Christy Thomas.
If you have read my blogs, you will understand what a deep regard and huge amount of respect I have for Relson Gracie… Christy taught the class the day I visited and she went over techniques that were taught when Relson was at their gym. Indirectly, she gave me a small part of Relson’s teachings and that was just awesome, and I am still in awe of that day. Christy is a great instructor and no doubt full of experience with tons of insight and like many other black belts I have met this summer, she has a love for Jiu-Jitsu and you can tell by the way she wants to share the art. As I progress up the belts, I have noticed that the higher the belt the less there is a “I can beat you” attitude, but more of a “let me help you” approach. At least this has been my experience with higher belted females, their attitudes are just so humbled and eager to teach. When I have a black belt say, “that was good, but let me show you this”… I am always appreciative that they have taken the time to give me that small gift of knowledge. What made this trip maybe even more so of an epic adventure was knowing that my coach, Ben Lozano also made this trip to the same gym when he was a blue belt. I have kept in contact and talked to my coach, and he is such an inspiration and really understands where my Jiu-Jitsu journey is taking me… Not everyone’s journey is the same, but mine happens to follow closely to my Coach.
2014 Jiu-Jitsu has taken me to California to meet top level athletes and meet some amazing women, Lana Stefanac, Kristina Barlaan and I can’t even rattle off all the names of the women at the San Francisco Bay Inspire. I was also able to attend the Sean Roberts seminar at North Dallas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu hosted by Joseph D. Shelley and recently visited Relson Gracie Austin Associations Only female black belt, Christy Thomas. E-P-I-C start of the 2014 season… Next stop Matshark Submission Only Tournament and then the WBJJF tournament, after that I think I am going to just let it all soak in… at least until I get another wild hair up my @$$!!
~ The Journey NEVER Ends ~
Remember if you are ever in North Texas, please stop by in Wichita Falls and come in to Red River BJJ!!! You do NOT have to be Great to start, but you have to START to become Great!!