We left the Great Smoky Mountains to head east into North Carolina, we travelled the winding roads through the national park on our way to Charlotte. Upon arriving, we dropped our stuff at our Airbnb and headed straight to Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After having a few days off we were pretty
excited to hit the mats again. Lucas is a multiple time world champion and one of the most successful lightweight competitors in the history of Jiu-Jitsu. Unfortunately, Lucas was out of the country in Finland competing at the ADCC during our visit, but we were not going to pass up the opportunity to train with his team.
We arrived at the academy in time for Lilly and Kobe to participate in the Kids class which was led by Frederico Silva. Lilly and Kobe both had a blast training there, it’s always good to take them to an academy with a strong kid’s program where they get tested. Lilly particularly loves the challenge and always seems to pick the larger more advanced kids to roll with in sparring. It was great to see they again made some friends that they plan to keep in touch with while we continue to travel around.
Dee and myself both did the fundamentals and advanced class, after driving and rushing around all day we where both exhausted after training. Over the next few days we attended every class available on the schedule, getting in classes with Donovan Espinosa and Michael Schweiger. The level of the Jiu-Jitsu there was awesome and was particularly impressed with the guard passing, I shouldn’t be surprised though as this is something Lucas is well known for. We managed to get 10 sessions in on the 3 days and picked up some great little details that have already improved my passing. We left Lucas Lepri BJJ feeling as though we had been there for weeks as we had met so many great people and trained so much, it was had to imagine it was only 3 days.
It was such a friendly environment we spent a lot of time talking to everyone and sharing stories about places we had been and trained at. We also met another family that are doing something a little similar. In that they are traveling around the country in an Airstream and taking their children to train at different academies along the way.
After training on Saturday, we decided to head out and check out the city of Charlotte, something we had failed to do yet as we had been so keen to train as much as possible. We decided miss all the usual museums and stuff and headed to check out the NASCAR hall of fame. We are in no way real NASCAR fans but thought it would be something cool to do.
The exhibits and displays were great, we actually learnt so much there. I had no idea that it all started from moonshine bootlegging. Lilly and Kobe where pretty excited to see the Fabulous Hudson Hornet something that they had become familiar with from the “CARS” movies. We spent a good hour or two there just wandering around checking out all the racing history. If your ever in charlotte its definitely worth a look.
We left the Hall of fame and headed into the city to have a walk around, we were surprised how quiet it was! We later found out there was a football game on that everyone was busy watching during that time. Charlotte was very clean and full on really nice people, we almost bypassed it in thoughts of heading somewhere else. We were so glad we made the last-minute decision to add it into our trip, one of the benefits of having an open itinerary.
It will be one of the training highlights of our trip for sure!