When I first heard that ADCC was going to be in China, I was a bit puzzled as to why they picked China? Seemed like an odd place. SoCal being the mecca of BJJ I hoped it would be back in LA.
Once I got to China it made a bit more sense turns out UFC is making a big push here and TUF has a full Chinese version coming with Cung Lee hosting.
I didn't have a bad trip getting here. Usual flight and stuff. But once I got to China the problems started in right away.
David Avellan had already informed me of the taxi rip off so I was ready for that. People were getting charged 10x the normal rate of $80RMB for a taxi ride. So I dodged all the vultures and got in the taxi line of over 200 people. Yes i counted.
Got a Taxi and off I went to my hotel. I was smart enough to get the hotel address and name in Chinese so I could give it to the taxi driver. I thought this would make my life easier. Soon i was about to realize nothing was going to be easy on this adventure.
The taxi driver circled my hotel's huge block 4 times before finally seeing the drive way and pulling in. This jacked his fare up quite a bit. It ended up paying about $120RNB for the ride. BTW its about &6.5 RMB to the $1. So I only paid about $20 to get my taxi ride.
The bigger problem was it took a long time to get to the hotel. Once I got to check in the barley any english speaking, woman at the front desk told me I was "too late" and they didn't have a room for me.
By now it was close to midnight and i was tired as could be after a 23 hour voyage. I just wanted to sleep. Just give me a bed any bed. I'll pass out. So after some exchanged glares and showing my reservation print out. The hotel called a cab to come and get me.
"Other Hotel" the front desk girl said over and over. I was so tired. Any bed would do. Careful what ya wish for. The cab came to take me to "Other Hotel."
The other hotel was in the hood. It was down all kinds of winding back alleys. I thought a few times is this guy really taking to a hotel or am i going to the Chinese Hostel Movie.
Well I didn't feel any better when the cab finally stopped. We stopped in front of some really old run down looking buildings at a dead end. People latter told me that was old town Beijing. It was shanty town.
We then walked down more back alleys this time hardly wide enough for people to fit thought. Over puddles with crazy broken boards laid over them and we were walking right by people's houses. I was trying to be quite but my roller bag was really noisy.
When got to the hotel, it really wasn't that bad considering what I had just walked through to get there. It even had a nice small court yard and had a fresh coat of paint. The piss smell was gone, too. I was just relieved to be at a hotel and not kidnapped or something. LOL
They gave me a room and I just passed out. I froze my butt off that night, even got up in the middle of the night an put all my clothes back on. Turned out the window above my bed was broken so wind just came right in. There was no heat that i could figure out.
Morning came cold and quick. I really didn't want to miss any of ADCC and it started at 8:00am. So I got up at 7. I was not happy to find out that my shower had no hot water and the towel was as moldy smelling tiny, thin, piece of terry cloth. The shower had an electrical heater a lot like people had in Brazil but it wouldn't turn on.
I ran down stairs to try to get help. Of course the woman at the desk and I couldn't communicate at all. So I made what i thought were shower hand signals but that didnt work. I then just grabbed her hand a pulled her to my room pointing to the water and heater. She had no idea how to turn it on so. I just started fiddling with it. I got the light to turn on but still no hot water.
The hell with it, I just took a fast cold shower and got ready to go.
At some point in my cold shower I realized that all my directions and preparation for how to get from the hotel to the venue were now worth less. And, I really had no fricking idea where I was.
I text my friend Ryan in Text to see if he could get me an address for the venue. But no luck. I was able to get online and get the address and bring it up in google maps. Now I just needed a cab. Thank god the internet worked on my phone.
The lady at the front desk was no help, yet again. She didn't understand TAXI! Or didn't want understand it. Google maps said I was just less than two miles and 45 min walk away. I figured I'd walk till I found a cab and go from there. So I ran out the door with my big BTF roller bag in tow. Most likely waking up quite a few people with the noise.
I walked and walked through a winding mess of alleys full of different crazy smells of cooking food, piss, and random chemically burnt smell. This was a dirty area of Beijing it was obvious that not too many gringos ran through the streets there with their luggage. I'm used to getting stared at with all the crazy places I go, so it wasn't a thing. I just gave them a smile and a "KneeHow" Chinese for hello. People were friendly waves back and smiled. No danger at all.
Getting out was a maze. I put up OTM and Lucky Gi stickers the whole way like bread crumbs so I could find my way back. This later turned out to save my arse.
By the time I got to a main road to look for a cab I was already just a haft mile away! So I decide to just keep charging to the venue rather than wait for a cab to happen to come by.
Once I got to the venue, finding the room with the grappling was impossible. The ticket counter people had no idea what I was talking about. There were no signs and I was straight up lost. I was walking in circles looking in windows trying to find someone with cauliflower ears.
Then I ran in to Gene from Flow BJJ. He is a gringo but speaks Chinese so we started asking around and soon found the place. Not a single sign along the way. Crazy. it was so hidden that if it wasn't for Gene might have taken me 5 hours to find the place.
I got to the event and the first round of matches were already going. Got my press pass from Marko from ADCC and away we go.
The matches were like any event some good, some great, some awful. I'll give you my run down on the matches tomorrow.
PS. My pics kinda suck cause I had to use my iphone. For some reason I was the only person that could get online and I wanted to post to FB. So I mostly used my iphone. Iphone camera sucks.