We were lost. I had two GPS apps running on my phone, and Pete was telling me how this never would have happened if I had let him bring his Tom Tom along. I just think 3 GPS systems on one road trip to New Jersey is too many. And I am 43, so if all else fails I'm old enough to remember how to read a map... but I'll admit it's been a few years.
We were dangerously close to being late if we couldn't find the school on time. I hate showing up late to a video shoot. But we were driving around a subdivision of multi million dollar houses and I swear I just saw Tony Soprano. Not the type of neighborhood where you typically find a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school.
Turns out that everything in Holmdel is nice, including the upscale strip mall that houses the Renzo Grazcie Academy. We pulled in with about 2 minutes to spare. We could tell it was the right place because there was a 6'5" tall Brazilian walking up the sidewalk. Rolles!
We got the grand tour of the facility, and as you can tell in the quick video below, it was a GRAND tour! Almost 10,000 sqft of mat space, beautiful locker rooms, a weight training room and bag room, and great instructors.
We were there on a quiet Friday afternoon, and as we were finishing up a kids class was scheduled. All these soccer moms were there with their little ones. As they were sitting around chatting I looked over and there was Rolles Gracie fixing this little girls belt while Joe (a black belt) was getting the kids warmed up, and another purple belt was helping out! I was thinking to myself that the moms had no idea about the quality of instruction that their kids were getting.
Rolles and his whole crew were really welcoming and gracious, and we had a fantastic time so make sure the stop in and check it out if you are ever in the area, just tell them BJJ Weekly sent you!
- Bill Thomas