Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ADCC Korea & Seoul trip

Waking up before 12:00 p.m. on the weekend rates at the bottom of my to do list.  Out of all the seven deadly sins, sloth is the one I am the most guilty of.  Nothing pleases me more (besides BJJ) than sitting on the couch in my underwear on the weekends, watching T.V. and eating Cheetos while sticking various objects up my nose with a vacant look in my eyes. 

So, just imagine the pain and horror I felt having to wake up *gasp before 8:00 a.m. two whole days in a row!  On Saturday, I met my friend Jackie at 8:00 a.m. at the bus staion in Busan to head to Seoul.


Jackie had been adamant about taking the KTX train up to Seoul, and I had been trying to coax him into taking the bus to Seoul for two whole weeks since it is way more comfy and inexpensive.  I'm as cunning as an Arab and twice as shrewd when it comes to trying to make a deal (don't you love my folksy racism?), and I proceeded to try and relate to the cheapskate lurking within my friend.  "Come on" I said, "It' s way more comfortable and almost forty dollars cheaper to take the bus".  I soon as money was mentioned I knew my friend's eyes would tighten up followed by incessant chin rubbing.  "Okay, let's do it" he said.  Mission accomplished. 

We had over an hour to kill before our bus left, so we decided to get some breakfast.  Breakfast was a bit unusual by Western standards:  rice, kimchi (fermented cabbage), seaweed soup, and a various assortment of fermented vegetables.

The first time I was ever introduced to this kind of breakfast was in Japan, and I almost died of shock not to mention I went hungry that morning.  Hey, it's not my fault, man.  I grew up having breakfast tacos for breakfast.  What repulsed me four years ago, I happily chowed down on that morning.  I actually like the saltiness of kimchi first thing in the morning, and having rice to start my day is perfectly normal to me now after four years. 


The trip up to Seoul on the bus was nice, and both Jackie and I slept most of the way in our big recliner seats.  We got to Seoul around 1:45 p.m. and headed directly to Korean Top Team for ADCC Korea.  We didn't know exactly where the gym was, so we had to walk around for awhile.  When we got to Korean Top Team, the venue was sold out, and it was packed.  Fortunately, our instructor had bought us a ticket earlier that day.

                               Korean Top Team

The main reason the gym was so packed was that Kim Dong-hyunh (a famous UFC fighter from Korea) had decided to participate.  I was a little bummed that I didn't get a chance to compete, but I had a lot of fun watching the matches, and it kind of got me motivated and excited for my competition the next day.  I always love the energy at grappling competitions, especially when the crowd is into it.  One of the competitors even stopped me in the hallway on my way to the bathroom and said, "I love leg locks?  I've read your blog".  He was really nice.  I think his name was Tom (sorry if I'm wrong).

                          Kim Dong-huynh (Team MAD) v.s. Jung Hwa-cha (MMA Story)

                             Kim Dong-hyunh (Team MAD) v.s. Su Hyung-jun (Team Grizzly)

                               Judge's table

                               -66 KG division winner Choi Jung-bum (Paraestra) on top

                               Michael Ahn (top).

                     Kim Dong-huynh
              I don't know who this guy is, but he looks important.  Plus he was wearing a suit.

   Korean Top Team

After ADCC, Jackie and I went to have dinner with one of our teammates Mr. Chung.  Mr. Chung treated Jackie and I to dinner.  Afterwards, we all went to KFC Mr. Chung decided it would be a good idea to order a Jango burger (two large pieces of fried chicken with cheese and bacon stuffed in between them).  No way I was eating that a day before my competition.  Jackie threw caution to the wind and decided to get one.

                                            the horror, Mr. Chung and Jackie

I've been having a lot of neck problems recently, so that night Jackie and I decided to go to a bathhouse and relax (I also needed to cut about a kilogram and a half).  By chance, we were staying by a pretty famous one in Seoul called  Dragon Hills Spa.

                                           Dragon Hills Spa

Jackie and I woke up early at 8:00 a.m. the next morning for our competition.  It was a lot of fun, and I ended up winning.

After my competition I went crazy and ate a huge cheeseburger, french fries, and a whole order of chicken wings and onion rings along with two cokes (hey, sometimes you have to treat yourself).

Jackie and I took the KTX train back to Busan that night.  I'm glad I didn't decide to stay home and stick thing up my nose.

   Moving billboard at Seoul Station

   The old Seoul train station built during the Japanese Occupation

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