After our trip up along a section of the Mississippi we arrived in Dallas, Texas. Straight away the amount of pick-up trucks and cowboy hats on the highways had doubled. We stopped in at the Dallas Galleria a huge shopping mall with an Ice skating rink in the middle. Both Lilly and Kobe were pretty keen to give it a go, but after watching everyone falling over they changed their minds for the time being.
We headed to our Airbnb for our stay here and were very surprised to find that Dave Bravo was our host, a purple belt that trains out of Cobra BJJ. Dave gave us a lot of info about training and things to do in Dallas which was a great.
Our first full day in Dallas we headed to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, this place is huge. We wandered around for a few hours admiring all the different garden displays, it was so relaxing. We loved the massive Wizard of Oz themed Halloween pumpkin display, it was so well done!
That afternoon we headed to RCJ Machado, Carlos Machado’s Academy. It was such a well setup school that even had a dedicated kid’s area with desks where the children can complete their homework. They offer an after-school program including pickup for over 20 schools in the area which we thought was an amazing idea. Both Kobe and Lilly had a fun time in class with Coach Brad, they have a very good kids Jiu-Jitsu program there. Dee and I took part in the advanced class where Coach Brad covered back positioning and attacks where I learnt some great little tweaks for my game.
The next day we headed to Cobra BJJ to train, this is the place that Dave had suggested we come and check out. We were excited to get some NoGi in, as we hadn’t had much of a chance in the last couple of weeks. Lilly and Kobe get really excited about NoGi now, this is something we defiantly must do more of when we return home. We had a great class ran by Sebastian Black and Eddie Ricardo, there was a nice focus on takedowns and passing combinations. We had some great rolls during sparring as Cobra BJJ like most competitive clubs they are starting to already gear up for the NoGi worlds.
We decided to head to the Texas state Fair, one of the largest state fairs in America. They had somewhere in the vicinity of 2.2 million people attend this year’s fair which lets you know just how big it is. We spent the day walking around checking out all the stalls and events, there was so much to see and do. We went and checked out the pig racing where Lilly put her hand up to volunteer before she knew what it was for. She ended up being a pig cheerleader out in front of the crowd. It was so funny and definitely a trip highlight was watching her jump around to get the crowd cheering. Kobe’s face when coming down the giant slide was so funny, he was very quiet after that for a bit as it scared the crap out of him 😊. We even got into the local cuisine by tackling a large turkey leg and taste testing all the food we could.
Over the rest of our time here we split our time doing Gi at RCJ and NoGi at Cobra. Both academies were super friendly and welcoming to us. Carlos Machado had returned later in the week from doing seminars and was great to spend some time on the mat with him. He is a super friendly guy and was very keen to help us out, he managed in a matter of seconds to give me a few options for a position I had been having some problems with that worked well for me. We spent the rest of our free time checking out parks and just hanging out in Dallas.