Sunday, August 6, 2017

Everything's Bigger in Texas

Partiu (verb:partir): To leave

I started this blog about 4 years ago when I first got it in my head to drop everything and move to Rio.

I was a brown belt in kickboxing at MiKiDo and I didn't train any jiu-jitsu at the time (nor did I speak any Portuguese). Most people thought I was crazy at the time, but I think people that spend $100s of dollars at happy hour and spend any amount of money on meaningless shit like books to adorn coffee tables are crazier.

I thought I would be there for 6 months. I spent 3 years. 2 1/2 of which I was an illegal immigrant.

I came back for two reasons, in fact, for two Nicoles. Ironically enough, one Nicole is from Mikido in VA and the other from Connection Rio where I first lived in Brazil, and I credit those to places as being the baseline for who I am today.

I've been back for a year and it most definitely was a difficult transition after living in the Favela for 3 years. Now I work at a night school as an ESL teacher and at Beta Academy in D.C. during the day in exchange for training.

I've been broke for most of the year but I've still managed to get to South Carolina, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Montana, California, and Portugal this year. I got to compete in Worlds in Cali and Europeans in Portugal. I lost both fights and then spent the rest of the tournament working for Flograppling. It was beyond dope being mat side at some of the biggest tournaments of the year. Erbeth Santos is a beast on paper, but in person, he's breathtaking... and of course, I always seem to be in Leandro Lo's way right around the finals or some other important fight.

Other then traveling and losing at all the major tournaments of the year I've been kicking ass at local tournaments and formalizing the Project as an official 501(c). That means we're a nonprofit. it's supposed to mean that we can get more donations or sponsors, but up until now, it's just a lot of extra work for me.

Leaving D.C.

On Monday I'll be back with my people in Rio. 

Right now, I'm on my way to Texas to meet up with Pretty Boy.  

It just occurred to me that I don't know Pretty Boy's real name and I don't remember what he looks like. I met him once, in Rio, we were at the corner of General Osorio and he walked up with a flask in his hand on his way to get a massage. Lack of Portuguese did not keep Pretty Boy from enjoying Rio. 

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