Growing the team at Draculino Team

Last night we had a great training sessions at Draculino Team Marbella — nearly 20 people! Nacho was up from Draculino Team Tarifa, and in the process of recovering from his knee surgery, he’s coming back strong. Augusto led a killer warmup, as only Augusto can, and then spun off some white belt training, while Thelmo went over a guard pass with the advanced group.

And, of course, the big news — Mikee “Tiburón” Hios IS BACK, tendonitis and all. I took it easy on him rolling, taking his back not finishing him, since we need to make sure he doesn’t get demoralized or anything. Ha! Just kidding — Mike can take year off if he want, and still wipe the map with us!

Augusto Aloisio receives his Brown Belt!

Tonight's training included two exciting events. First, we welcomed newly-crowned World Champion Babak Alimoradian back from Abu Dhabi, and congratulated him on his amazing win, and his new purple belt. Who would ever imagine that right here in little ol' Marbella, Spain, we'd have a World Champion. Incredible!

Something interesting we learned: When they make gold medals in Abu Dhabi, they go all out — Babak's included a spinner in the middle with an inscribed image of none other than Jesus Christ himself. We also discovered that the rumored prize of 8,000 barrels of petroleum was not true; turned out it was more like

… well, we won't go there, in case Babak has some creative tax planning in mind.

Anyway, I pointed out to Babak, that I was proud to be able to say that I've personally arm-barred a world champion, and then he pointed out that that's not true; he wasn't a world champion when I arm-barred him, and that I'll have to try it now. I tried three times tonight — a triangle, a teepee submission and an armbar — and couldn't pull off any. Oh well, my quest continues…

In other news, Andalucia Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer, Augusto Aloisio, (and one of the original members of our club) was awarded the prized brown belt. It was a long time coming, and Augusto really deserved it. He's been on the winning side of many exciting championship fights both here in Spain and at the Europeans, and we all look forward to seeing him continue to maintain his competitive level and spirit at the brown belt. Congratulations, Augusto — onward now to the Faixa Preta!

Finally, it was good to welcome Sam Hall back to the dojo tonight. I rolled with Sam and noticed a marked improvement since his move to England. He's now a fourth-degree white, and you can tell he earned his stripes.

I'll leave you all with a video of tonight's happenings:

Wednesday Night Training and news from Abu Dhabi

Draculino Team 2011-04-14

We had a great night of training on Wednesday, as we continued Monday’s lessons on basic BJJ strategy, as well as the perfect choke technique. Also, the whole class was stoked to learn Eddie Bravo’s “tee-pee” submission, when a guy caught in a choke tries to defend by hiding his arm.

And in news from the BJJ World Championships in Abu Dhabi, we just learned that Babak won all six fights today, and has advanced to the final round where he’ll fight for the gold medal on Saturday. Amazing performance from Babak!

Wednesday Night Training

We had a great training session tonight, with our extended new floorspace filled with nearly 20 students. Babak was training hard in preparation for the world’s in the next two weeks.

And here’s a photo from after class:

Draculino Team Marbella

Saying Hello to “Sapaõ”

I’ve got some very exciting news to report! We’re honored to have a new guest coach in town, Carlos “Sapaõ” Ban. Sapaõ, who’s a close friend of Edson and a Ralph Gracie black belt, will be spending the summer months with us here in Marbella, teaching BJJ, grappling and his specialty, MMA.

Carlos has spent almost a decade living and training in the United States, first in California with his teacher Ralph Gracie, and then most recently taking up residence in Las Vegas, perfecting his MMA at the Brazilian Top Team (Las Vegas), with the full support of his sponsors, Manto Fight Wear, Jiu Jitsu and Koral Kimonos.

In just the first week in Marbella, it’s amazing to experience a completely new BJJ game, as well as Carlos’ unique approach to training. In addition, Carlos speaks perfect Spanish and American english!

You can read more about Sapaõ at the link below, or feel free to come by Platinum Gym on Mon, Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Tues and Thur at 6:00 pm (MMA/grappling) for some great training. Of course, Carlos is available for privates and seminars while he’s here.

Summer Training

Lots of exciting things happening this summer:

  • Our very own Pablo Cabo is heading off to Brazil to compete in the BJJ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. This is big time stuff. Pablo’s been training mano-a-mano with Edson for a month or so. He’s totally ripped, and ready to go. Good luck, Pablo– we’re all hoping the best for you, as you represent Spain and Gracie-Barra.

  • Jude (above left) is down from the UK to train with us for a few months. He’s a recent Roger Gracie black belt, and a long-time buddy of ours. He always claims to be “out of shape”, but we know the truth.

  • Bruno (above right) a BJJ purple-belt from Portugal, came down to Marbella for some quality beach time and training with us. Bruno is one-tough-dude, let me tell you (he submitted me in about 10 seconds with some kind of weird handlock from the guard), but is one of the nicest guys we’ve met. Was great having you Bruno, and we hope to see you back soon!

  • Our Swedish buddy Andreas Tjärnberg came down for a week a sun and training, and showed us a few “Goshindo” moves. Great seeing him again!

  • The club just keeps growing and growing. Just last night, we had three new Brits join up and a new BJJ purple belt from Brazil recently moved to Marbella. Edson has been showing us a great series of attacks and counters from the spider guard.

  • We’ve got a HOT NEW CHICA DEL MES. Check out Olga, From Russia with Love.

  • Last, but not least, we’re all looking forward to heading down to the Rota military base on 22 July, for a BJJ and grappling tournament hosted by the US Navy & Marine Corps. Be sure to contact Vinnie Carlucci at [email protected] if you’d like to participate, or signup online at:

Un monton de cosas excitantes estan pasando este verano:

+ Nuestro compañero Pablo Cabo está planeando ir a Brasil para competir en el campeonato mundial de Bjj. Pablo ha estado entrenando mano a mano con Edson durante un mes aproximadamente. El está preparado para ir. Mucha suerte Pablo. Estamos todos esperando lo mejor para ti, como representante de España y de la Gracie-Barra.

+ Jude (a la izquierda de la foto) ha bajado de Inglatera para entrenar con nosotros durante unos meses. El es un recien cinturón negro de Roger Gracie, y un viejo conocido de nosotros.

+ Bruno (a la derecha de la foto), cinturón purpura de Portugal, vino a Marbella a pasar unos dias de playa y entrenar con nosotros. Dejame decirte que Bruno es un tio duro (el me finalizó aproximadamente en 10 segundos con una llave de mano desde la guardia), pero es uno de los mejores tios que hemos encontrado. Fue bueno el tenerte Bruno, y esperamos verte pronto de vuelta!

+ Nuestro Buddy sueco, Andreas Tjärnberg, viajó por una semana de vacaciones y entreno, y nos enseñó algunos movimientos “Goshindo”. Fantastico volver a verlo!

+ El club continua creciendo y creciendo. La pasada noche, tuvimos tres nuevos miembros británicos y un nuevo cinturon purpura de Bjj de Brasil que recientemente se desplazó a Marbella. Edson nos ha estado enseñando una magnifica serie de ataques y defensas desde la guardia araña.

+ Tenemos una nueva chica del mes. Olga, desde Rusia con amor.

+ Para el final, pero no lo menos importante, nos estamos preparando para el campeonato de Bjj y Grappling organizado por la US Navy & Marine Corp, en la base militar de Rota, el 22 de Julio. Si quieres participar, contacta con Vinnie Carlucci, en [email protected] o realiza la inscripción en:

Training: 12 January 2005

As we continue to prepare for the European’s, tonight’s training was a test of endurance. We trained six-minute circuits of takedowns, guard passing, and guard defending. Man, it was hard (but fun! Ok, maybe not so fun…) (Oh, that was, of course, after our warmup 20 minute Spinning class with Don Psycho.)

We then moved on to tournament-like competitions, beginning on our feet. I fought with Pablo, and man is he getting good. I think he’s going to medal for sure at the European’s, and he’s probably getting close to purple-belt by now.

As you can see from the above photo, the group is growing, and we’ve got a super cool place to train!

After class, we all did the “Spa Circuit”. The lovely girls working at Platinum explained the circuit — (1) quick shower, (2) 15 minutes in the jacuzzi (5 minutes in each of the three jacuzzi “zones”), (3) quick shower (4) 15 minutes in the steam room, (5) quick shower and finally (6) 15 minutes on the heated waterbed. This gym is almost too good to be true!

Como continuación de nuestra preparación para el europeo, esta noche fue un entrenamiento para mejorar nuestra resistencia. Entrenamos un circuito de 6 minutos que constaba de proyecciones, pase de guardia y defensa de guardia. Fue muy duro (pero divertido! Ok, a lo mejor no tan diverido ..)(Ha, y fue después de 20 minutos de spinning con el Sr. phicopata).

A continuación realizamos un entrenamiento de competición, empezando en posición de pie. Yo luché con Pablo, y está mejorando mucho. Estoy seguro que está preparado para una medalla en el Europeo, y está probablemente muy cerca de obtener cinturón púrpura.

Como puedes ver en la foto de arriba, el grupo está creciendo, y tenemos un sitio inmejorable para entrenar!

Después de clase, todos hicimos el “circuito de Spa”. Las preciosas mujeres que trabajan en el Platinum nos explicaron el circuito — (1) ducha rápida, (2) 15 minutos en el jacuzzi (5 minutos en cada una de las tres zonas de jacuzzi), (3) ducha rápida (4) 15 minutos en la sauna, (5) ducha rápida y finalmente (6) 15 minutos en las camas de agua caliente. Este gimnasio es demasiado bueno para ser verdad!

Nuevo año, Nuevo gimnasio, Entrenamiento duro (Traducción de January 10th, 2006)

Bien, vuestro escritor ha vuelto a españa después de terminar sus vacaciones de navidad fuera del pais, y que sorpresa cuando encontré que estamos ahora entrenando en el brillante nuevo gimnasio Platinum en Puerto Banús (Marbella). Normalmente no suelo quedar sorprendido con los gimnasios, pero debo decir que este es el gimnasio de mas lujo que he visto en toda mi vida. La zona de entrenamiento es grande y con ventilación, el equipamiento para pesas y las máquinas de cardio son todas nuevas, todo pequeño detalle es de alta calidad (ej. casilleros de madera o lavabos y duchas de marmol en los vestuarios) y una zona de spa (jacuzzi, sauna, etc..) tan grande como mi apartamento. Cuando entras por la puerta, te proveen de una cesta grande que contiene una toalla, un albornoz y otros accesorios relacionados con la zona de spa. Tengo la sensación de que el número de inscritos se va a cuadruplicar. Yo espero poder tener fotos del gimnasio en breve.

Existen diferentes modos de pago, incluyendo entre otros un único pago para tres meses de 249 Euros, que incluye ser miembro a todos los efectos del gimnasio ( puedes realizar todas las actividades incluidas como jiu-jitsu, gimnasio, spa, etc.).

De todas maneras, es Enero, y eso significa entrenar para el Campeonato de Europa a finales de mes en Lisboa (Portugal). Muchos de nosotros llegamos una hora antes, ya que el entrenador del gimnasio nos ha preparado un programa especial para mejorar el cardio para poner en forma al equipo. Dejame contarte que son 30 minutos de pedaleo tres veces por semana conducidos por un instructor de spinning español psicópata. Estamos seguros de estar en forma para final de mes.

En el apartado relacionado con nuestro entrenamiento, se incluyen técnicas específicas para competición. No voy a entrar en detalles ya que no quiero revelar nuestros secretos. (Ok, solo uno – Nosotros vamos a empezar todos los combates desde la posición de Karate Kid).

Para los interesados en ir al campeonato, aqui están los detalles:

New Year, New Gym, Hard Training

Well, your author is back in Spain after eating his way through the Christmas holidays abroad, and what a surprise to find that we’re now training in the shiny new Platinum Gym in Puerto Banus. I usually don’t get excited about gyms, but I must say it’s the most luxurious gym I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The training room is big and airy, the workout equipment and cardio machines are all new, every little detail is high quality (e.g. thick wooden lockers, beautiful marble sinks and showers, you name it), and a spa (jacuzzi, sauna, etc.) that’s as large as my apartment. When you walk in the door, they hand you huge basket containing a towel, big fluffy robe, and other spa-related goodies. I’ve got the feeling our membership’s going to quadruple. I hope to have some pictures of the gym up soon.

There are several pricing options, including a three-month deal for 249 Euro, including full gym membership (i.e. everything — jiu-jitsu, gym, spa, etc.)

Anyway, it’s January, and that means training for the European Championships at the end of the month in Lisbon (Portugal.) Most of us arrived an hour early, as the gym’s Spinning coach has prepared a special cardio program to get the team in shape. Let me tell you, 30 minutes of pedaling, driven by a screaming Spanish psychopath spinning instructor three times per week, and we’re sure to be in shape by the end of the month.

Training itself involved mostly techniques specific to competitions. I won’t go into it more than that, as we don’t want to give away any of our secrets. (Ok, just one secret — We’re going to start all fights in that one-legged duck stance from Karate Kid.)

For those of you interested in going, here are the details:

Holiday Training

Update: For those not quite familiar with the sport of grappling– Despite what it looks like, Bray and Jeff, in the above picture, are actually participating in the act of combat. There is absolutely nothing romantic going on there, and Bray is not trying to pull Jeff’s pants up just a little bit higher.

Well, it’s the holiday season, and that means trying to balance training with travel and Christmas activities. Your humble author is presently in the US, in the middle of an absolute eat-a-thon. And being in the US, that means training at my home-away-from-home, the Gracie-Barra gym of Paul Creighton Mixed Martial Arts, in Duluth, Georgia.

I met Paul about three and a half years ago, when his gym had an enrollment of about four students. Last night, we had a hard time finding room for the nearly 20 people! (And that was the “advanced” class, which takes place after the “beginners” class at 5:45 pm.) The place is definitely growing, and that’s great for Paul and the sport in the northern Atlanta area.

Training in Duluth also means getting see my old buddies like Bray, Josh and whirlwind Mark. It’s been a lot of fun. Last night we did a guard pass (no-gi, passing the butterfly guard) and a leg bar submission.

The news from Marbella (via Mike) is that Edson’s received a great offer, and we’re now training at the brand new Platinum Gym, in downtown Puerto Banus (five minutes from Marbella.) Mike reported that the first night of training was great, although Jose Antonio submitted him about three times. Jose, we better see you at the Europeans!

(Speaking of the Europeans, how in the world am I going make weight by 30 January, given my commitment to have at least one Starbucks Mocca Frappuccino per day???)