Flavio Almeida, Gracie Barra black belt.
Plus, we’ll tell the story of Kenny from Marlyand, who’s selling cookies to fund his trip to the BJJ Pan-Ams at the end of this month, and relay the tale of BJJ used in an unlikely self-defense situation!
Robert Drysdale (r) in his victory over Marcelo Garcia.
2007 was a huge year for our guest on this week’s edition of The FightWorks Podcast. Robert Drysdale’s year got off to an explosive start when he beat Marcelo Garcia in the absolute division of the prestigious Abu Dhabi grappling championship.
Not satisfied with submitting Garcia, who many consider to be the best pound-for-pound grappler in the world, Drysdale would go on to place second in the super heavyweight black belt division of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championship behind Roger Gracie. He also came in third place alongside Xande Ribeiro in the absolute division!
As with many elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors, Drysdale intends to transition into mixed martial arts. Just last week it was announced that Drysdale has accepted the position as head coach of grappling at Randy Couture‘s gym Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
In this interview we will talk about Drysdale’s origins in grappling, his unusual bi-cultural upbringing in Brazil and the United States, his plans for the future, and much more!
One of the most common emails I get here at the FightWorks Podcast headquarters is something like this:
I am coming to San Diego to visit relatives / for a conference / on vacation / whatever. You often mention San Diego’s vibrant Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene. Could you please tell me where I might train while I am there? Can you recommend any good schools?
A Curious FightWorks Podcast Listener
The answers to your questions are “yes”, and “kinda”, in that order.
I can show you tons of schools, as we have them everywhere. I have put together this custom Google Map to show you where the schools are* from Oceanside down to the border of San Diego with Tijuana. I made an arbitrary cut-off when I reached Oceanside because once you’re in Oceanside I might as well show Irvine BJJ schools, and if I show Irvine’s BJJ academies, I should map the Los Angeles BJJ schools. If I could devote a weekend or more to this I might give that a shot, but the likelihood I could knock that out in one sitting is as likely as me landing a triangle on Jeff Monson.
As you can see, San Diego’s BJJ schools all over the place. If you click on any of the blue tabs in the map above, it will give you contact information for that BJJ school so you can get details about training there. A few of them are more MMA-oriented and may not offer classes in the gi, so definitely call ahead.
Unfortunately, I cannot make any recommendations about the quality of different places to train BJJ in the San Diego area. Not only am I not a good judge of what you look for in a BJJ experience, we try to stay as impartial as possible on our humble BJJ podcast, and if we were to chose favorites it would be a conflict of interest. However, just as with any consumer decision you make, if you have heard of a particular offering before there’s a decent chance that you heard of it for a good reason.
So, with all that said, I definitely encourage you to come visit San Diego for its Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Many thanks, as always, to Alicia Anthony for helping me compile of BJJ schools together for this map.
* if you know of a school I have missed, please email me and I will be happy to add it
Ed Beneville after winning a match at the 2006 Masters’ World Championships in Rio.
Ed Beneville is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Joe Moreira and has produced two popular books on Brazilian jiu-jitsu:
- Passing the Guard: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Details and Techniques: Volume 1
- The Guard (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Details and Techniques)
Beneville’s third BJJ book will be released shortly and has received good reviews from those who have seen the pre-release copies, so we knew we had to get him on the show to pick his brain about the books, his thoughts on learning BJJ, and more.
Plus, FightWorks Podcast cohost Dan defends himself from an upset listener!