After my competition, I saw some former training partners that had switched gyms compete. From where their games used to be, to where they were that day was a very different level. It had only been roughly six months, but they were competing and running on a higher gear than I had ever seen them compete at before. This showed me that I may need to train at a different gym, with different trainers, and new training partners to get to another level in BJJ.
I currently trained at the UFC Gym in Southern California, but it is only a program that has been in place for a couple of years. That means the highest level that was generally in any class is a mid-level blue belt. I was compelled to find a new gym on the sole basis of getting training partners that are a higher level. Most times when I was training at the UFC Gym, I would end up helping more people than getting in actual training myself. This lead my rise in grappling acumen to slow tremendously.
The first gym I checked out was the same gym my former training partners had left for called Tinguinha BJJ which is ran by fourth degree black belt Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano. I trained there three times this week and simply put, it was amazing. The first day, I was in class with two black belts, a brown belt, and a purple belt. The next day it was two high level blue belts, a black belt, and a purple belt, and the third day it was a purple with two blue belts on my level. It was nice to be training with people I did not have to explain moves to and people that would not just try to hold position.
On top of all of that, the level of instruction was off the charts. Every move we learned from a simple takedown to an intricate sweep from butterfly guard had the same level of BJJ genius instruction. Plus, the instructors push you by putting you against people who will be your toughest match ups when you roll. I signed up for six months to see how it goes, but I think this six months will be a test to see how far I can push myself in my training and how far I can go in BJJ. The search for a new gym was not long, but it was an epiphany to find such a great gym so soon.