Road Trip: Long Beach, CA Mundials 2011
So by the grace of my boss, I got part of this weekend off. I made the last minute decision to hitch a ride down to Mundials to watch the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the world. My buddies at WMMARoundUp.com, Kristin and Veronica (Vrod) drove down at midnight on Thursday. We got into Long Beach on Friday morning, napped and then went off to see the action. Fueled by coffee and the aftermath of very spicy abode chicken, I watched and shot the purple belt division as well as some of the very excited crowd. Our good friend and training partner Amanda Lucas took 2nd in the women’s purple belt pesado division losing in the final to Cris Cyborg Santos. We all began our gi BJJ training under World Champion black belt Lana Stefanac.
Along with seeing the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu awesomeness of the weekend, I got to support my friends who were competing and reunite with new friends I had met on my travels. The female blue belt division was pretty stacked. I have personally trained with at least four of the girls who were competing and getting to cheer them on from the stands as they did what they love was why I was down there. Michelle Nicolini, who took 1st in the women’s black belt Leve Division, defeated Kyra Gracie 3-1, was in the Bay at training camp a week prior. I had a brief and tapped filled roll with her. My trainer Lana faced Sayaka Shoida in the semi-finals of the women’s black belt absolute and it was great seeing two women I admire and train with face off. I ran into Vanessa from GF Team and caught a few pix of her with Theodoro Canal, who were a part of my training family down in Rio.
I shot over 10 rolls of film and will process it as soon as I get it back from the WMMA Roundup girls along with more stories from the weekend. Lastly I want to give a big shoot out to my friends and training partners that competed this weekend: Candace Stump, Elaina Maxwell, Sam Annexstein, Mary Hatcliff, and many many more.