Pal passed away.
He was part of the original training group.
I am sure many people on the forum have the same group.
The friends or groups that got together after seeing the guy from Brazil use moves and techniques that looked like magic at the time to defeat much larger opponents.
Tape, book, and seminar trainers thirsty for knowledge coming from all walks of life.
In some cases we even joined traditional Jiu-Jitsu schools to have somewhere to train. Having to practice our frowned upon “Brazilian jiu-jitsu” at a recreation center or gym honing our skills to try out at the next randori session with the traditionalist that were not yet ready to accept BJJ.
A bad or sad part is thinking about those early days is the first time I have smiled about this fellow in a long time.
Funny story at an early MMA event before most people arrived he decided to fake a Brazilian accent and talk to the fighters and teams arriving first. We were all sitting around the same area cage side shooting the bull.
I forget what crazy over the top name he was using, but recall wearing a black version of a Donny Brasco style jacket, black framed glasses (with no lens) as he would talk he would reach through the frames and adjust. Every so often he would pull the ol " I forget how to say in English" look over at me and make up some pigeon sounding “Spanish, Italian Portuguese”
Anyway as my pal was holding court full accent and extremely limited vocabulary I look over and see Carlson Gracie and his fight team of ACES arriving in the building: Carlos Barreto, Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, along with a large group.
I tell him maybe we should wrap up because Papa Carlson is here and will want to meet about strategy.
The guy among other things was a Marine, a Cop / SWAT, who excelled at everything he tried except seemed to struggle with the common things that most people consider everyday life.