I’m gonna blog about my whole experience at the WPJJC so bear with the multiple posts. I’ll put a permalink to the next day at the end of each entry!
For the Malaysia trials we had a total of 4 winners (Shane Suzuki, Jordan Roberts, Tommy Yang and Monstrinha) + 1 organizer (that would be me!!!) going to Abu Dhabi. Under an organizer ticket I am not allowed to compete (just to clarify that’s the reason why I didn’t take part in WPJJC). I would have loved to but hey it’s a free trip to WPJJC so I ain’t complaining. Next year I’ll definitely be back but as a trial winner, you bet on it ;)
Anyway, there was something wrong with Tommy’s ticket (the blue belt absolute winner) so he couldn’t fly out together with us.
The group left KL at around 8pm on Sunday (8 April 2012) and arrived at Abu Dhabi at around 2 in the morning on Monday. The following pics of the airport were taken by Adrian Tham. :)
When we arrived I was told that my name was no where on the accommodation list (but it was in the pick up list) and that I would either have to crash at the lounge area or pay my own room! Thankfully, there was one of the organizers (Edder) present and he convinced reception to let me crash with Mag (cause her room-mate from Poland hadn’t arrived yet) until we could sort this out in the morning. Luckily he also convinced them to give me the meal vouchers for my entire stay! Phew!
So we slept, woke up than tried to sort out the room situation but couldn’t find the organizers and went to breakfast. Meals for the entire Abu Dhabi trip are served buffet style in the hall and have ridiculously long entry times (like dinner is from 6pm to 11pm o.O) but you are only allowed to enter the hall once and would be required to sign upon entry.
Speaking of which ALL INDOOR AREAS ARE F**ING COLD IN ABU DHABI. No throughout my 7 days there, I swear to God I was dressed for Winter or something. I even wore socks and my sweater to sleep cause that’s how cold the AC is in Abu Dhabi. ;A;
Anyway after breakfast… Monstrinha, Shane and I decided to put on our Gi’s and head to the mats room and train for a bit. The Mats room is open 24 hours to anyone who wants to train and even if you aren’t training, it’s a great place to sit and watch other people roll. So when I use the term ‘session’ I use it in a very loose sense, just think of it as a giant open mat!
It was such an amazing experience to see everyone rolling about and to see people you only see on youtube rolling in front of you and training! Also the concept of a no-time limit roll is new to me as we always have timed rolls in our gym (even during open mat session). I was a bit confused when the roll actually ‘stops’ but I gathered it’s usually when someone get’s submitted…
In the morning session I got to meet Megaton, Mackenzie Dern and Kit Dale from Australia. Mackenzie and Megaton are so absolutely friendly and they even asked us to roll with them (what an honour!). The session was quite packed with plenty of people rolling and drilling. After the morning session was over, Jordan and I went over to Coniche Beach. At the taxi stand we met Max and Daniel from Sweden and decided to share the cab with them.
Coniche beach in Abu Dhabi is amazing! The water is lukewarm but it’s so clear and blue!!!!! The sand is fine and powdery and super clean (free of corals too). The waves are kinda weak cause it’s a gulf and not an actual sea. I heard from Monstrinha the reason why the sand is so great is because it’s imported from Japan, Hawaii and probably from East Coast Malaysia :P
I was actually really surprised at the ‘open-ness’ of the attire at the beach. Now I come from a Muslim country so covering up at the beach is not an alien concept. We’re pretty liberal in Malaysia in the sense that I’ve myself have never gotten into much trouble for wearing a bikini in Malaysia (than again it’s cause I’m not Muslim) but I was kinda expecting to see some locals covering themselves at the beach like how they do in Malaysia which kinda looks like this:
Maybe the girls in Abu Dhabi just don’t go the the beach?! O_O Also I found it weird that as soon as you leave the sandy areas you have to ‘cover up’ even if you’re walking to the changing room. Naturally I wasn’t quite happy with that cause it meant my shorts had sand in them since I didn’t have time to wipe off the sand -__-
After my beach episode, met up with Monstrinha and Shane for dinner then changed into my Gi to go train. The evening session wasn’t very populated but we met a bunch of the Asian Atos guys cause Shane’s from Atos. Satoshi was there and he was so nice and even asked Mag and I to roll with him. I also met this amazing blue belt from Tri-force (I know what an awesome cool name for a BJJ gym! I would so get a Zelda patch ^_~) who has the trickiest and most flexible guard I’ve seen in a blue belt. Amazing. Then I met Hideki who is the Japanese Shrek, we call him the small guy stuck in a big guy’s body cause from the way he moves; you’d never would have think he was a big guy. He has some really nice deep half moves and plays guard very fluidly.
After that evening session… Monstrinha, Shane and I called it a day.