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OK guys, I’m off to CHINA! For those of you who already monitor my facebook page, you know that I have been invited to Dali, China to do a 3-month full-immersion Gracie Jiu Jitsu training course. Sayyyy what?? If you’re anything like my family, this simple sentence leaves you with a lot of questions. Let me do my best to answer a few:

First of all how did this come to be?

About two weeks ago some friends contacted us with a travel writing opportunity. Within minutes of hearing the offer, Scott and I knew that we would be flying back to Asia. My across the hall neighbor in Chiang Mai last year had told us all about this Jiu Jitsu opportunity that she had been working to set up in China. At the time, it didn’t sound like there were more spots available. A few months later they put the call out looking for a few more writers and Scott and I were selected. So now Scott (from Travelstache) and I are flying to China to meet up with Alice from Teacake Travels and Diego and Gloria of Café Con Leche. Together we will form the “Kick Ass Travel Blogging Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Ninja Group in China” (I’m still working on the name.)

But what happened to Panama and Colombia?

They’re not going anywhere! I will definitely make it to both of these countries at some point, but this opportunity in China is time sensitive. One of my favorite philosophies in life is to always walk through doors that open for you. I am so lucky to be living a life designed for flexibility. It means that I’m never in a position to say “no” when opportunities come knocking!

Tell me more about Jiu Jitsu.

I am going to be learning Brazillian Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Essentially this is an intensive self defense course that can, according to their website, “empower anyone – regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.” I am so excited to learn these new skills especially as a solo female traveler, and a woman on a boat sailing across oceans with strangers! It’s so nice to know that I will soon be able to kick ass with a few swift maneuvers. I have, of course been youtube-ing all kinds of moves – here’s one of my favorites! Look out fellas at the bar!

Did you say Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in China?

Yep. We are going to be training Brazillian Jiu Jitsu with a German instructor in China. Random? Yes. Awesome? Yes.

China is huge, where is this academy?

We are going to be based out of Dali in the Yunnan Province. Yunnan, literally “South of the Clouds”, is China’s South-West Province. Yunnan spans approximately 152,000 square miles and has a population of approximately 46 million. With 94% of the land being mountains, Yunnan is home to china’s highest number of species of flora and fauna. Additionally, twenty-five ethnic tribes have lived there for thousands of years and their cultures are well preserved. I have never been to China, but many of my friends who have been say that Dali is amazing! With approximately 500,000 people, it is a small city for China. The food is apparently delicious and the town looks very cute. I am beyond excited to check it out and share it with you!

But Liz, how are you going to share anything? Haven’t you heard of the great Chinese Firewall?

Yes, I have. Don’t you fret, I have my ways! 😉

What’s the schedule like?

Our schedule runs Monday through Friday with weekends off. Each day we will do one hour of yoga in the morning and then four to five hours of jiu jitsu training throughout the day, with one hour of Chinese lessons some evenings. Everything is very spread out with breaks in between, so on days that we have Chinese lessons we will start at 8am and finish around 8pm.

So… why would you want to do something like this?

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret: I’m actually a pretty lazy person! I know, I know, based on the photos it looks like I’m always conquering some mountain or hiking some trail, but the truth is I am a BIG FAN of lying on the beach and being lazy. That’s not to say that I can’t get hyped up for a hike, sailing, or other activities that are fun while being exercise, but I have NEVER been the person to go “work out”. Luckily, my lifestyle is pretty active and my metabolism is great – but this is going to be an INCREDIBLE CHALLENGE for me. For those of you who know me, I never back down from a big challenge especially if it will lead to personal growth. If I can survive this shit, there’s nothing I can’t do! Wish us luck!


Thank you Diego from Cafe Con Leche for this amazing graphic!

Still have questions? Feel free to ask me anything in the comments!



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