Monday, March 5, 2012

BJJ in Omaha

I finally got to train in Omaha!  One of my roommates went out of town this weekend and let me use her car, so I drove over to train with Team Rodrigo Vaghi Omaha-North.  I called in advance to make sure they would be there and it was ok if I came, and the ensuing conversation was rather interesting.  Trying to explain where I'm from (New York?  Tennessee?), how long I've been training (8 years, but really more like 3-4), where I'm staying (at the zoo...), it seemed like I couldn't give him a straightforward answer to anything.  In any case, he told me that Saturdays were just open mat, but I was welcome to come on over.

I didn't have any trouble finding the place, although I drove right by it the first time, and let's just say the streets of Omaha aren't the friendliest to out-of-towners.  There weren't any signs indicating there was a BJJ school, as it was a youth center or something like that.  I walked in and found three guys in a wrestling room, and figured I was in the right place.  They invited me in, and the head teacher, Dana Taylor, gave me a fun lesson on takedowns--mostly arm drags and two on one.  He had to leave soon though, so the other two who were working together took me in and one of them, Greg, continued the lesson.  We did a little bit from the knees as well, and then it was time to go.  Unfortunately, we didn't really have a chance to get any rolling in, although given the size difference between us I'm not quite sure I'm unhappy about that.  It was just nice to get moving again after a month without BJJ.

In zoo news, we've been working on some fun stuff, like tigers, aye-ayes, tapirs (I pulled blood on one!) and stingrays.

Also, I finally got offered a job!!!  It's in Las Vegas (technically it's Henderson, but who cares??), doing exactly what I want to do--mostly small animal private practice, with some zoo animals thrown in (they see a lot of the show animals from the strip).  I probably won't start until late June or July, but I'm already looking into BJJ schools there.  So far I've heard Mica Cipili's school and Drysdale's school are the places to go, but they're kind of far and there are a TON of options.  I was really looking for something closer to where I work, and Epic Training Center is less than a mile away.  As far as I can tell, it started out affiliated with Drysdale, but it appears that those instructors are no longer there and Fredson Paixao now runs the BJJ program.  That would be ideal, and honestly at my current level I don't need THE absolute best instruction--I think as long as I can feel at home, and I will be able to get there with some regularity, it will be just fine.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  I'm open to it!!


  1. YAY! Congrats on the new job! That's so exciting. Wish I could give you sound advice about choosing a school but I lack the knowledge but I'm sure that you'll do great wherever you decide to go. Will you be back in Knoxville before the big move to Vegas? I would love the opportunity to roll with you and chat!

  2. Awesome, congrats! :D

    I don't know much about Las Vegas BJJ: the only people I've heard of are Drysdale, John Lewis at J-SECT (not sure if the latter is still teaching, but he's meant to be excellent) and Cobra Kai (also meant to be really good. Laimon has moved out and left the gym in Sim Go's capable hands).

    I only heard of Fredson Paixao recently, in the context of a good example of somebody at a lighter weight with a basic game. Pops up in this thread, which also reminds me to finally check out those videos: I like the sound of a featherweight game grounded in basics, as that's what I want to develop. :)

    Oh, and in case you didn't notice, you repeated the paragraph starting "I didn't have any trouble finding the place." ;)