Well, can't believe time has gone by so fast... one of the greatest luxuries of my 3 months adventure was I was able to still get my BJJ kicks in. It's amazing how BJJ has spread so religiously all over the world.
Axis BJJ @ Tokyo, Japan - Headed by Taka Watanabe A short walk from the Meidaimae Station going east from Tokyo on the Keio Lines. Very clear instructions with a lot of emphasis on the details. The gym seems to be highly rooted in BJJ fundamentals, appropriately so as Professor Watanabe is a black belt under no other than legendary Rickson Gracie. Special thanks to my friend Kei Keitaro for letting me train with him and showing me a bit around his part of town.
Chiang Mai BJJ @ Chiang Mai, Thailand - Headed by Bryan Garrison Top right corner of Old City's box-looking streets where Manee Nopparat Rd intersects with Chiayapoom. A good showing of students in a town where BJJ still seems to be relatively new. During some of my classes there Professor Garrison focused on a series of related techniques in each class and brought it all together in the end, demonstrating how each movement/technique flowed into the next. Very effective teaching, in my opinion.
Saigon Luta-Livre BJJ @ Saigon, Vietnam - Headed by Erik Keohne On the 3rd floor of what looks like a large school. The entrance into the building is on Ba Huyen Thanh Quan right next to MaxFit, there's a specific video on how to get there here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgqOY1LWbTk. Professor Keohne is one of the most down to earth guys I've talked to. Very friendly and inviting. Highly knowledgable in all aspects of BJJ—specifically Luta Livre, which is from what I understand a mixture of catch wrestling and no-gi bjj.
Kimura BJJ @ Saigon, Vietnam - Headed by Tho Vu A bit hard to find as you have to journey deep within the alleys off of Tran Nao in District 2. It's on 9th street, but the only way to get there is off 12th on Tran Nao. Professor Vu's wisdom and depth of knowledge is apparent in his teachings and through his large body of students, which is remarkable considering A) BJJ is very new in Saigon, and B) the place is hard to find as hell. Kidding aside, I had some great, exhausting classes training in his studio which was unfortunately cut short by a bad case of strep throat (which I did not catch there).
Chiang Mai Muay Thai @ Chiang Mai, Thailand - ? Not BJJ but as they say, "when in Rome." Or Thailand, figured since Muay Thai is from Thailand, it'd be a shame to miss out the opportunity to train while I was there.
Of course, glad to be coming home to my resident BJJ gym @ Carlson Gracie Henderson, which has been a large part of my growth as a practitioner in the past few years. Professor Romulo Caiado, I'm coming home...