With the new academy so close to being completed I'm confronted with the fact that I will be leaving one family to create another in a new space. While I have no trouble leaving the hour+ traffic rides to EMAC behind me, I will definitely miss the people, atmosphere and training. Of course I will continue to work with the guys on future projects, supporting each others' endeavors and tournaments. I guess what I'm commenting on is the sentimentality I have for the whole experience of training in a given space with a close knit group for a considerable amount of time. Outside of the traffic, there is nothing wrong with where I was training and no drama. Perhaps I've lucked out in moving to a city where BJJ is relatively young in comparison to other cities in Southeast Asia and politics play a very minor role here. It's just too damn small to be messing with politics. Plus, I'm not the only alumni of EMAC to be opening up their own place. My buddy Amps will be opening his own place with this brothers just outside of Bangkok in the Ramkamheang area. It's tentatively called '3 Monkeez' . I'll be sure to post more on their project when it's all ready.
As far as the communities in SEA, I see the Philippines representing the largest body of practitioners with a decent number of purples and now browns. Because of this, the tournaments they host bring in a healthy number of competitors and that's what we're looking to build in Thailand for this next year. The more we can do to promote BJJ, the better we can make SEA a desitination point for competitors and qualified instructors.