Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Time Has Come - Moving On-

I am sorry for the lack of inactivity on this blog throughout August and September. It was never my intent to alienate or abandon my friends that enjoy reading what I tend to post from time to time. Likewise, it was never my intent to make this blog a personal diary. However, there are some important events forthcoming in my life that have been looming on the horizon and have taken my time away from not only updating this blog, but which have also encumbered my BJJ and Judo training.

Throughout the months of late July and August, my time has been spent helping my fellow team mates train for the BJJ Mundials. Due to this, my Judo training suffered. But, as only one person from my Judo team actually reads this blog (and he's living in Japan now) I doubt I'll catch any flak about it from the Ju-"duh"-kas on my team. ;P

But, the most important event that has delayed my training and posting is that I am moving away from my much beloved Michigan BJJ and Judo scene for new pastures in Iowa. Yeah... I said Iowa. It has always been my opinion that nobody moves to Iowa but only out of it. Not the case for me. In my line of work the University of Iowa (in Iowa City) is on the cutting edge of Molecular Biology, Genetics and Birth Defects research. So the money and opportunity takes me to this new land of hopefulness... and corn. I will be out of the state of Michigan and into some apartment in Iowa by September 30th.

Which brings me to my next dilema: There are no Saulo Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Associations in the entire state of Iowa where I can train. Where to train, where to train? While I am excited to train with the other BJJ schools in and near Iowa City, I am very intent on opening up my own place within a year of getting down there. I also intend to train with the Militech Camp (which has an outstanding Judo Coach) as well as the Univeristy of Iowa Judo Club in order to keep my judo and no-gi games at top notch. If I can find a nice wrestling club to complete the picture, I may in fact approach grappling nirvana. With NAGA's happening in Chicago as well as Madison and Milwaukee, WI, all of which are 2 - 4 hours away... I may be able to stay at the top of game.

So, that's the big news. I'm moving and will be leaving the Michigan BJJ scene. A scene that I was a part of since the beginning in 1996-97. I will be leaving all of my (bjj & non-bjj) friends, coaches and best training partners for unknown territory. I will miss them all and I only hope that I can make it work out Iowa.

On another note:

In my previous post I did a lengthy review on the Padilla & Sons (P&S) Gold Weave Kimono. I also linked this review to many of the BJJ and MMA forums/message boards... basically posting it publicly wherever I could find space. It has received a lot of attention and comments from many people around the world. So much so, that somebody at class tonight (commenting on the P&S Gold Weave I was wearing) stated that, "Yeah, I called and tried to order one, but they said that they were sold out."

YES! This means that my post about these kimonos and this company is shedding light on the fact that you don't need to pay more that $100 for one of the best BJJ gis on the planet.

A lot of readers/posters were also asking me about the other kimonos that Padilla & Sons offer (the Single Weave and the Hybrid Weave). Well, I will very soon be able to offer all of the inquisitors my opinion on these two kimonos. Earlier this week I received my new single weave and hybrid weave kimonos from Padilla & Sons. At first sight I am very impressed. VERY impressed. But, I am a skeptic by nature and profession, so I will wait to give my opinion after I have worn them on the mat for at least a week or two before I start giving my critiques. But let me just say, this hybrid weave kimono is like nothing you've ever seen. I am such a stickler for traditional gis, that I typically don't care for gis similar to this Padilla & Sons Hybrid Weave (which appears in photographs to be similar in nature, but not design, to the Atama Summer Weave). But this Hybrid Weave seems to have a little something extra. It is a very innovative design to say the least. As for the single weave, I am astounded at the attention to detail that has gone into this gi. By nature, a Single Weave is not intended to survive long - either on the training mat or in competition. But this one appears to be light weight and built like a tank. In fact, both gis out of the box already appear to rival the competition in design and construction.

So, hopefully by the beginning of October I should have a good review posted on the Padilla & Sons Single and Hybrid Weave kimonos.

Next up in my list of news is my fairwell tour, so to speak. I'll attempt in my final weeks to travel to the BJJ schools around Southeastern Michigan that made me who I am today. Hopefully I'll remember to bring my video camera and get some words from some of the people and instructors I came up with. I also hope to get around to a couple of the Judo dojos in the state that are considered top notch. But, don't hold me to anything.

Check back in a few weeks. Better yet, just subscribe to this blog and get an email update when I post next.

"Lost in the transitions"

~Jason

10 comments:

Rodrigo 'Bill' Nunes said...

Good luck bro ! It was a pleasure to meet and train with you. When I came to MI in 1999 there were only a hand full of BJJ fighters and you were among them. You have influenced a lot of people to love and practice bjj in this state and was always an awesome instructor,competitor, coach and training partner. Not to mention the numerous times you helped promoting, refereeing or just making sure several local bjj /grappling events were successful. Make sure you stop at the UofM bjj club before you leave ! And come back often...
Bill
Ps: I confess I've been lurking for a while in your blog, so it was a good time to leave you a note.;o)

Lindsay said...

Hi! I ran across your blog through a completely random Google Alert for the University of Iowa. I moved from there one year ago and I miss it. Iowa City is generally a little known gem to the outside world, which makes it all the better. I am confident you will enjoy your time there.

While I don't know a thing about BJJ, I did study Capoeira Angola at Iowa. You should look up the UI group and go to a class. Obviously, they are not the same, but they do share some similarities. Look up a guy by the name of Kevin Hockett. He is a grad student and runs the group.

Best of luck!

Jason Clarke said...

Rodrigo ("Bill"),

My friend, I will miss you greatly. You helped me find a home in the U of M BJJ club. Now, when people hear of the the U of M BJJ club they think of me, and vice versa - even though I was never an official member of the club. You and your club allowed me to teach there for a year and have always welcomed me as one of your own. I consider the U of M BJJ club as one of my homes and I take great pride in the success of the competitors that I have helped to teach.

I will come train at the U of M club several times before I go. I will also go train at my original BJJ academy - Warrior Way, and I hope to visit East West Martial Arts, too. Maybe before I go you will let me teach one class at U of M for old times' sake.

I love you, man, and I hope that you will always be a close friend of mine. I will hopefully have a going away party before I go, and I hope you can make it.

"Ponte"

Jason Clarke said...

Lindsay,

I'm glad that you found my blog and chose to leave a comment. Your positive views of Iowa City make me more optimistic about my move.

You're right, Capoeira is not the same as BJJ. But perhaps your instructor can introduce me to the Brazilian Community in Iowa City - if there is any. Here in Ann Arbor, there is a small Brazilian Community and even a Brazilian store that sells imported products and meats from Brazil. I will try to look up you guys and girls when I get there. Maybe some of you will be interested in training BJJ with me.

Andrew and Natalie said...

hey jason,

the reason that those padilla's are sold might be that after i got mine based on your review, and have spent the weeks since flipping out over it (no saggy bum in the pants! etc.) my professor made a phone call and bought a buttload of them with our school logos embroidered. I'm thinking an order of that size might eat up some time..

looking forward to the hybrid review.

andrew

Dan said...

best of luck in your future endeavours. would be great if you could stop by Focus one last time...

Steve said...

big changes in your life. Good luck. My padilla gi is easily my favorite. If only learning to grapple were as easy as finding a good gi!

Take care.

clint said...

Best of luck to you!
Sometimes you just have to pick up and go. You're not as bad as me though; at least you're still in the country!

Looks like you will still have some good training options though. You never know, the change might do wonders for your game.

Enjoy the rest of your time in Michigan. Make sure you give luke a call and play with him if you can. Also try to make it over to Southside. Their new place is really awesome. I'm sure Chris and Dusty will be happy to see you.

Rodrigo said...

Ponte,
UofM club will always be open to you. Of course we'd love to have you teach before you go. Just let me know when is the best time for you. We have a lot of people on Tuesdays. Just pick the date(s) ! Still hope you can come to Brazil sometime. Put that in your plans !
Hope to see you soon, and yes, count me in for the going away party...
Bill

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