Click for Pt. 1!
I’m “in to the whole brevity thing” (except when comparing Judo to BJJ,) and I understand that unless it’s pertinent or entertaining, no one could care less about the trivial matters. I’m trying to abridge this, is what I’m saying. Concise. Concision. Booyeah.
The training in Oakville, in hindsight, was some of the best I’ve ever seen to date. It was a large facility, with a ton of mat space. Their was a big room and a small room, and both of these were matted with high quality tatamis... the big room had a 25’x40’ mat and a ton of seating area, where you could hang out between rounds. Aside from the generous matting, my favorite aspect was the deck. It was a converted warehouse and as such had two large loading dock back doors on the back wall. You could open these up to reveal a narrow but well made deck. It was beautiful to train there, get beat, then hang out on the deck in the sun.
I trained here for the summer of 2007.
I can say now that what I saw and was exposed to then, I was in no position to appreciate. If I was still there under those conditions. It would be mind-bendingly good.
It would be a mistake to not make a point of noting the fact that PJ is well known, extraordinarily highly thought of, and a kick ass instructor. Everybody in Southern ON knows PJ it seems, everybody likes him.
I was there to train with PJ. This was all I was interested in. His teaching methods get through to me well. I had no knowledge otherwise of the people I saw there. I rather wish I had.
A typical Tuesday/Thursday (It was either these days or Mon/Wed, I can’t recall) You’d have me, a couple other shlub white belts (including a few characters in stories that I’m keeping for later posts) and an incredible assortment of personalities from all areas of Southern ON. I’ve looked back on the people I met then and have seen them conquer the world, develop followings. I’ve seen pictures of one of them hanging out with Rickson on a beach from way-back-when.
One thing in particular that I found very cool and unique, were the “Justice League” episodes. When there was a Justice League meeting going on, we wouldn’t even do Technique. We’d have people from all over come to train. High skilled browns, purples, blues, whites, all coming together (from different clubs no less) to roll, talk, laugh, and love Jiu Jits. It was incredible. I’m going to try to dig up that picture of me at one of these things....I remember I’m craning my head all weird because I was worried I’d be cut out of the photo.
This was one of those times when the beauty, the friendliness, and the spirit of BJJ revealed itself to me. You’d look around the mats and see high calibre local rivals just shooting the shit and talking tech. I am a little sad to say that this is one of the highlights of my BJJ adventure. I’m not sad it happened, I’m sad I don’t have a time machine. I’d give an arm to be involved in something like this again.
It all came to an end when one of the leaders of the clubs that were coming to these events got annoyed with the missing talent. I reserve judgement on this. I can sympathise to an extent, and I know the person very well. He’s also a very respectable guy. I just feel like cross training is necessary, beneficial, and honestly a beautiful thing. You simply can’t get your own people to think that hard or develop such bonds when you only train with your own guys. I know this is gonna be a topic for me down the road, So I won’t beat it to death here.
After things got clamped down on, Oakville was still a fantastic place to train, We had PJ and a number of people from his current school come in to train with us and teach.
For me though, school was going to be coming up, I was going to be taking my vehicle off the road. Commuting would be impractical. I needed somewhere else to train...