So last night Stu started taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. We both went there on Saturday to look into joining, and as with everything else in this god-forsaken country, discrimination prevails: They will not train women.
The guy actually laughed in my face and said, “den da men would fight woah-men” and looked at me like I was an idiot for not thinking of such an obvious inherent problem. I thought to myself, “Yeah, they’re just worried about getting their asses handed to them by a girl.” Whatever. I’m used to it by now, but it is still spirit crushing. Back at our old dojo, our sensei told us the first day we started training with him that, “All of my women should be able to take a punch in the face from a 250 pound man, then shake it off and put him on the ground.” And he meant it. And we could do it. And now it’s beyond frustrating.
Aside from that, the club its self is actually very cool and world-renowned. On Saturday, one of the fighters we talked to (who just happened to be there, they do not have class on weekends) said that last month Carlos Gracie, Jr. came in to train them and that they have a lot of “guest trainers”. That sounded cool enough and then last night I am reading my book after Stu fell asleep and I had to wake him up to read a passage to him that talked about Abu Dhabi being synonymous with the biggest “purse” (winnings, money) in Jiu-Jitsu fighting. And talked about how some of the best fighters in this particular art have trained with ADCC.
The club was created by Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nayanson of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former president of the United Arab Emirates, who became a fan of grappling and now holds this Cup every year that is basically a “who’s who” of ground fighting. (the likes of Tito Ortiz, Marcelo Garcia, and Roger Gracie have fought in this tournament) Come to find out that there are two members of the royal family that train with ADCC. Pretty interesting stuff. And the coach apparently trained in Brazil under the Gracie’s.
So basically it is learning from the best. I think it is a great opportunity for Stu and I am really excited for him. I told him (as a consolation prize of losing-by-not-having-a-penis) that I just want a bag at home so I can work on the Muay Thai and Kickboxing end of things that I enjoy more anyway as opposed to grappling (As a form of exercise since I am NOT going outside here after June begins… I heard people here actually get Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] from not going outside during the SUMMER).
In other news, I found a picture of the infamous “hole in the ground” potties I keep battling with here. See what I mean??? (You’ve got to love the “traction” on the sides. Sigh.)