Just a quick note today...
After a slow week last week (I took a few days off to heal my body after the Sambo championships) I've been back at it hard this week. I think I'll be travelling to a jiu jitsu tournament in a few weeks so I'm trying to get as much mat time as possible.
Yesterday "Nuna", the club manager, gave me a bunch of patches to wear on my gi. I guess I've finally made the cut and can now represent the club with their logo on my back. One of my other teammates actually asked me a little while ago why I didn't have any Machado Jiu Jitsu or Daegu MMA patches on my gi. I told him that he would know better that me since I don't speak Korean and had no idea how to get some. The best part about the patches though is the "Konglish" phrase on one of them. It's a pretty typical English translation from Korea. Check it out.
I can see what they're getting at, but I think they were after something like "Those who desire victory must be willing to pay the price."
I'll be heading out of Daegu again for another tournament on Feb. 7th. After not competing for so long it's nice to get two tournaments in a month. They are calling this tournament the National Championships, but it's really only the National Championships for jiu jitsu clubs that are affiliated with Machado Jiu Jitsu. From what I hear, the quality of competition is quite high, as I would imagine. In the gi tournament There are two divisions for white belt (basic and advanced), the blue belts get their own division and purple, brown and black belts all compete together. In No-Gi there are beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions. I'll be competing in the advanced white belt (gi) category and making a big jump to the advanced division in no gi. Even in the white belt division I'm sure to have some trouble. It's possible that I wouldn't even win my weight class if there was a white belt tournament just for Daegu MMA members. There's a few guys around my weight who give me tons of trouble everyday in training.
Something Awesome about Korea:
The city bus system. I know I've talked about transit here before but the bus system here puts most North American bus systems to shame. The buses run every ten minutes, but that's not even the best part. Every bus has 3 identifying numbers. Each number corresponds to a part of town. For example: I live in Siji. Siji is #9 on the bus routes. That means I can get on the 459, 938, 129, 396 or any bus that has the #9 anywhere in it's number. You don;t have to know the bus route or schedules at all. It's so easy it's almost ridiculous.
Something not so Awesome about Korea:
Sidewalks made of marble and smooth stone. When it rains the sidewalks are mega slippery. You know those slippery shoes that curlers wear on one foot to glide down the ice? Try wearing two of them and then getting to work on an ice rink. That's what it's like when it rains here. It's extra dangerous when you are stepping from a surface with good grip to the smooth stone. You're lucky if your lead foot doesn't go shooting ahead of you and split you in half for your troubles.