One of my goals starting this year has been to visit different schools, especially when I travel. I made it out to Tampa and Orlando for a work trade show, but unfortunately was unable to hit one of the local schools during my visit. When I returned an old training partner of mine extended me an invitation to visit the school he trains and works out of in Oceanside.
I generally don’t like commuting but I hadn’t seen Juan or Brian in quite some time so I agreed. Driving up to Oceanside for a 5 o’clock class is a headache, so it took me almost an hour to get there at that time of day.
Once I got there I instantly felt at home. As long as it’s been since I’ve trained with either Juan or Brian it felt like we had just seen each other the other day. I was introduced to the owner of Small Axe, Professor Tim Sledd, signed my waiver, and got on the mat.
We were ushered into warm ups which Brian told me was actually light for what they usually do, but for me was lengthy and more intense than I had expected. After warm-ups, Professor Sledd got down to teaching a throw that could be used in both self defense and sport Jiu-Jitsu. Being part of Gracie Humaita, I’ve really taken a liking to the self defense aspect so I was all in on the technique. He also showed us a violent collar drag. His emphasis was on the intensity and force that’s required to pull it off correctly. Just today I went back to Humaita and nearly slammed my sparring partner’s face into the mat. I executed it so beautifully that after the round was over, he complimented me on it. I kind of laughed, thanked him, then made a mental note to thank Professor Sledd for the new addition to my game.
Professor Tim Sledd was incredibly welcoming. I never felt out of place or that I was a stranger to the group. An aspect of that I’m sure was partly due from whatever Brian or Juan may have told Professor Sledd before I got there. But Sledd just has a really relaxed way of being, where you feel like you’ve known each other for some time. I loved the way he taught class. Offered plenty of time to rep the techniques that grew upon each other, while encouraging when students when needed. I could genuinely see why Brian and Juan love it at Small Axe. They both speak highly of Professor Sledd and I see why.
While the school is small and just recently opened up not too long ago, you get the feeling that the place is on the right track and on it’s way to bigger things. It would gladly be a school I would train at whenever possible, and I recommend the place to anyone who’s in the Oceanside area.
Thank you for welcoming me, I truly do appreciate it!