The beginning of February, I travelled to Tulalip with my friends Stuart and Dani. We had many conversations among the shopping, and chief among them was moving back to Edmonton. You see, the three of us are from the Edmonton-area in Alberta. Stuart and I attended the same high school, which is how we met.
Now the two of them have completed their post-secondary schooling, and have their eyes focused towards the future. And that gaze has set returning to Edmonton in their sights.
So they asked me what lay in my future, and if I would consider a similar return to our home city. At the time, I told them I didn’t know if Edmonton was a possibility or not. I learned a lot of life skills in Edmonton, like driving through a blizzard, unable to see the road or the deep ditches on either side. But my short time in the GVRD has taught me quite a bit as well
Let’s list some pros and cons of a return to my home city:
- Edmonton is cheaper, not just gas and to buy and own property, but tax-wise as well. There’s something to be said about 5% GST.
- My immediate family is in Alberta, including my newborn niece, and my arriving-in-the-summer niece/nephew.
- It’s almost 670 metres above sea-level, a good start to getting a free boost to all of my cardio workouts.
- There are four major routes through and around Edmonton, and the few required bridges aren’t tolled or crucial to travel.
- It has an actual winter, which means snow, and stereo-typically means nine months of not spring or summer.
- Said winter typically drops to -40 Celsius for at least a week, at least once per winter.
- Because of winter, I would have to wear pants again. It could be a steep learning curve.
- I would have to find a new gym to train out of, and get to know a whole new team.
The last point I made in the Con section is truly what makes me pause. I spent almost two years in the industry, meeting and getting to know people, making friends before finally joining Infinity MMA and Christiaan. My two years with the team has challenged everyone and myself to new heights. It’s brought us from being people who sweat together to get fit to being a family of friends … who still sweat together.
I know so many people, so many teams here. And at the end of the day, all rivalries aside, we all enjoy what we do. We band together, compete at the same tournaments, learn the same moves – some of them sooner than others – and have a good-nature ribbing at each other. I camped with the RDC Jiu-Jitsu crew when I competed on the 23rd in Vernon, and was a familiar face to them.
I’m not sure I could give up all of that hard work and start over again. Maybe in a few years when I’m a veteran Blue belt, or fresh Purple belt, and have a few international competitions under my belts, but as a veteran White belt, there are still many things I want to accomplish with my team first.
–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian.
P.S. As previously mentioned, I competed on the 23rd in CBJJF’s Okanagan Winter Classic in Vernon, BC. I took Silver in the White belt Gi Middleweight (181lbs) division. I won my first match via cross-collar choke, and lost my second match by one advantage point when I stacked my opponent’s armbar. I think that’s where my two points came from, they might have considered it a guard pass.