Tuesday, May 21, 2019

3rd Stripe Brown Belt

Got my 3rd Stripe on my Brown Belt today in 7pm Advanced Class.

I forgot to make a post when I got my 2nd Stripe on my Brown Belt. I think it was last year at the Gracie Barra Escondido Christmas Party (mid December 2018).

Saturday, September 1, 2018

[Updated] A Post About Gracie Barra HQ's Awesome Customer Service

Remember the gi I bought when I visited Gracie Barra HQ? Well, the patch on the pants started to come off. I was pretty disappointed and upset that a gi that I have only had for 2 weeks and the large circle GB patch on the pants is starting to come off due to poor stitching. I contacted Gracie Barra HQ because I bought the gi from them. I wanted to exchange the whole gi or just the pants for another one. Or get a partial refund so I can pay someone to properly stitch the patch back on. My GB gi from 8 years ago never had a patch come off, I'm still wearing that gi to this day. This gi couldn't even last a month.

Gabriela from Gracie Barra HQ responded promptly providing multiple solutions. Because the gi was purchased using GB Irvine's POS, and not through graciebarrawear.com, they are unable to process a partial refund to reimburse me for taking them in for repair. They suggested that they can take the pants in for repair for me! And if that didn't work, they can also reimburse you in the form of store credit.

Since I just wanted a gi that "works", I opted to get the pants repaired. They quickly sent a shipping label and I dropped off the package. In less than a week, I got my gi pants back with the patch properly sewn on. I am very glad that Gracie Barra HQ took responsibility, even though Storm Kimonos made the gi, and made things right. Knowing this, I wouldn't mind making another purchase from Gracie Barra HQ.

[Update on Jan. 24, 2019]
Same gi new issue. Small GB patch on front of gi is coming off due to poor stitching. I only wear this gi every other week and have only own it for less than 6 months. I have 3 GB gi's in my rotation. This is the only gi giving me problems. :(

I reached out to GBWear about this issue and they promptly sent me a return label and fixed it for me.  It took about 1 week for them to get it back to me, but their customer support is awesome and I will not hesitate to purchase another gi from them. Nowadays, all gi's are the same for me. It's the customer support that sets them apart.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Visited Gracie Barra HQ to buy a Gi

My first and only time I have ever visited Gracie Barra Headquarters in Irvine was to buy a gi. My professor was insisting that I buy another Gracie Barra gi. When I dropped by, they were just ending the advanced class and started rolling. A Black Belt named Mike helped me out. At first, he said that the girls running the shop were out today, but after I told him I drove from San Diego he missed out of some rolling to help me buy an Strom A1 Gracie Barra gi. He did tell me to hold off on buying the gi because they were going to switch over to Adidas gi's, but I insisted because my professor insisted.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Brown Belt

Today I got my brown belt from Magid Hage at Gracie Barra Escondido's Christmas Party. It was a surprise because I only had 2 stripes on my purple. But in the bigger scheme of things, stripes don't mean anything. I have been a purple belt for more than 4 years.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2nd Stripe Purple

My cardio is slowly getting better.

Pictured are the first 2 gi's I have ever owned and wore:
  1. Official Gracie Barra Gi from summer 2010 when I started training at GBSD.
  2. Gameness Gi from winter 2010 that was a gift from Dinah, Nam, and Jim.
Details: Gracie Barra Escondido, Magid Hage Sr., Advanced Class 7 to 8:00pm, Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1st Stripe Purple

Living in Escondido really changed my personal life. I don't visit my parents or my cousin every week anymore. Heck, I haven't been to either my parents' or cousins' house in more than a month. It also affected my BJJ life. I just found myself dreading the drive from work (RB) to ATOS (Convoy) after 8+ hours of work. Then I dreaded more, the drive from ATOS (Convoy) all the way back to home (Escondido). I slowly stopped training because of the drive. I hated doing it 2-3 times a week. So I made the decision to either find a school closer to home or quit BJJ. And for some reason I can't seem to quit BJJ.

After checking out 3 schools in the Escondido/San Macros area, I settled with Gracie Barra Escondido (GBE). Having a lineage from GB was nice because I was able to talk to the instructors about my previous GB instructors and they knew who they were. They even know some of the students I used to train with at Gracie Barra San Diego (GBSD). I was even able to show Magid Hage a picture of myself and his son, Magid Hage IV, when I was still at blue belt.

Long story short, I continued my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey at another school closer to home and earned my first stripe on my purple.

Details: Gracie Barra Escondido, Magid Hage, Advanced Class 7 to 8:30pm, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

UFC Gym Mission Valley, San Diego, CA

Consider this a mini review on the UFC Gym in Mission Valley. Wayne F. wanted to check out the UFC Gym Mission Valley because we just wanted some mat space to roll. This review was not paid for nor did we take any classes. We just used their mat space as an open mat.


  • Staff is very nice and friendly.
  • Gym is very clean.
  • Equipment seems brand new.
  • It's not just for people who want to train MMA but there were people there who just used their equipment to work out like a regular gym.
  • Bathroom/Showers/Looker room is clean.
  • Pricing seems to be negotiable (not 100% sure because I didn't sign up).
  • 2 floors.
Overall: UFC Gym in Mission Valley seems like a very nice and clean place to train MMA or if you just want a place to work out. The way the pricing breaks down is if you pay a high "down payment" then your monthly fee is lower. If you don't pay a high "down payment" your monthly fee are "higher".

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Anderson Silva Seminar

Today I got to train with a legend in the UFC. Anderson "The Spider" Silva taught a seminar at ATOS. He taught a sequence that started from standing to a submission in guard. Here's what I remember.
  1. Distance Management
  2. Clinching to intercepting a punch. (The key is to clinch behind their head at their ears.)
  3. "Wrapping" their arms while in a clinch to throw forward or trip backwards. (The key is to grab their wrist while it's above your arm.)
  4. Dodging their punches behind the elbow then finish with a triangle or armbar.
Guest instructor move: picking up heels then jumping to armbar. 

Vince K. was my training partner. I have known Vince since I was a white belt.

This was a screenshot taken from the video posted on ATOS Jiu Jitsu Facebook page: video link 1 & video link 2.

Friday, August 12, 2016

JT Torres' Farewell Celebration

ATOS had a farewell celebration for JT Torres. He is moving back to the east coast and opening his own school. The celebration consisted of an open mat with free street tacos. I hope I get the chance to train at his new school one day. Best of luck JT!