By: Jason Bove
This month, I proudly introduce...Suleka Sun-Lindley. You may have seen her upside-down in a yoga class, climbing, cooking, painting, designing, smiling, or bringing the local community together through some other ambitious pursuit. I have had the pleasure of knowing Suleka for many years now, and I am constantly impressed that one woman can accomplish so many things, while keeping a positive attitude and staying grounded. She is, among many other things, the owner/manager of Thai Basil; a restaurant voted “Best Thai Restaurant” by readers of Sacramento News and Review consecutively since 2001.
Member of the Month: Suleka Sun-Lindley
How long have you been a member here at Sacramento Pipeworks, and how did you initially find out about us?
Suleka) I started practicing yoga at Pipeworks in 2009, and I became a member a year after. Two of my favorite yoga teachers are at Pipeworks, and had invited me to practice there. I loved the space so much, I became a member.
You have a very active lifestyle that includes both yoga & climbing. Are there any other hobbies that you enjoy as much as these?
I like all outdoor activities: camping, backpacking, etc. I love Snowboarding a lot! I recently tried paddle boarding and really like it too. I windsurfed and kitesurfed, and I look forward to trying it again. And, of course cooking is one of my passions, along with painting whenever I have time.
Recently you went on an outdoor excursion to Bishop, CA with Blue Aspen Adventures. Do you wish to highlight any exceptional moments of the trip?
The trip was awesome! It was so low key. Everyone was easy going, and no one stressed out about anything, even when we had two cars with flat tires in the middle of nowhere and had to change a tire in the dark. Another car broke down twice in one night. Robert and Rich were great and fun. I helped out with cooking, and everyone was really appreciative. We climbed all day and went to Wild Willie Hot Spring at night. It was epic.
In Sacramento, you own/manage a restaurant, Thai Basil. Would you care to tell us how you came to the restaurant business by way of a background in architecture?
After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in environmental design, I was working as a designer/project manager for various architecture firms for 12 years. My sister and my mom asked me to help them to open a restaurant. I thought I was just helping with the design and construction, but when we opened Thai Basil in Roseville in 1994, I realized I was needed to run both the front and the back of the house. We later opened another one in Elk Grove in 1998, and one in Midtown in 2001. (We decided not to stay in Elk Grove when the lease was up in November of last year).
Since there are many locations to enjoy the authentic Thai cuisine offered to us by Thai Basil, are there any differences between the menu options/ambiance at each location?
There are currently three locations in the Sacramento area: Roseville, Cameron Park and Midtown. Each location is individually owned and operated by each sister, and offers different specialties and unique ambiance. The key items from the original menu are offered at all locations.
Level Up is a lounge that exists upstairs from the midtown restaurant. The lounge includes a full bar and great happy hour specials! More than that, it supports local music, local art, and our local community. What musicians and artists do you find inspirational as of recent, and why?
As part of the Midtown community, we embrace the local art and music. One of our favorite artists is John Krempel, who was our 1st featured artist when we opened Level Up seven years ago. And, Clemon Charles is our favorite musician. Both John and Clemon are very professional and have great personalities, which makes them fun and easy to work with.
Do you make frequent trips back to Thailand, and do you still have friends/family living there?
My mom moved back about 8 years ago, after she retired. I have been visiting Thailand about every three years. This year, I plan on going in November and staying there for a few months, and possibly planning a cooking and yoga retreat.
Your daughter, Hanna, seems to enjoy similar athletic endeavors as yourself. Does she find climbing to be fun?
She is a very active young girl, and I have to work hard to keep up with her. We enjoy snowboarding together. She likes climbing whenever I bring her to Pipeworks.
There is a cute dog that accompanies you on your visits to the gym sometimes. What is the name of the animal, and what does a normal day in the life your pet entail?
“Charcoal” is a three-year-old terrier/poodle mix. He’s friendly and loves riding in the car with me. He’s a mommy’s boy; you can hear his whimper sound when I start climbing. We adopted him from a rescue center in Walnut Creek when he was 6 months old. He goes to the gym with me sometimes, and to the restaurant on the day I work in the office. He also has a play date with his BF, Charlie, down the street on Wednesdays. Our neighbor, Libby, picks him up for a dog run at 6 am on Sat. & Sun. He’s a busy boy!
If YOU could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Big smile ;)! My daughter thinks I should be a mama bear, because I like taking care of people and making them happy. But, I think I would be a big Whale. It would be cool to explore the undersea, where no man has gone, and not be eaten by sharks.
That's right people. It's finally happening. We are pleased, proud, and pumped to announce that our long awaited expansion has an end in sight. We are finalizing construction plans and are set to open our expansion in Fall 2014. As you might know, we have been around since 2001, and since then our gym community has grown. It's time we grew with it! We will be adding a HUGE bouldering area along with increasing space for CrossFit Pipeworks. Here are the nitty gritty bouldering details you've been waiting for. We'll cover our CrossFit expansion plans in our next blog post.
The bouldering area will be 9,000 sq ft, which more than triples the current bouldering space at Pipeworks. “We will be working with Walltopia to build the walls,” said Sr Touchstone Manager Jeffery Bowling. “We’ve worked with them to build or expand four of our gyms in the last 2 years, and we couldn’t be happier with their product.”
The bouldering area will include 17 ft tall walls, top out boulders, cracks, and a training area complete with a hydraulic systems wall. “This bouldering expansion will make downtown Sacramento a destination,” said Touchstone Marketing Director Lauryn Claassen.
All this will fit in the building on the west side of the existing gym. The current bouldering area will be demolished and a hallway will be constructed so that members and guests can still check in at the front desk. The old bouldering area will be turned into multi-purpose training area - a place for calisthenics, slack line, rings, etc. The weight room will not move, but it will get a slight expansion when we move the current stretching area. "It's pretty exciting," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "Bouldering has exploded in the last 10 years. We have seen the demand for world class bouldering grow at our gym, so the expansion makes perfect sense.”
How good looking are these walls?! Our design team has been working with Walltopia to bring something truly special to Sacramento. So get used to big changes dear Pipeworks members - this Fall is going to be one for the books! Stay tuned for the play by play and more details about our progress.
Member of the Month: John F. Davis
By: Jason Bove
When someone truly cares about themselves and their daily practices, it shines through onto the people that encounter them daily. An interesting human that we see very frequently, because of his practices, is member John F. Davis. He is a gentleman who sees things through the eyes of experience, and is always able to smile and tell you how his day is going. You may have been dazzled by his incredible inversions in a yoga class, or heard him high above you on the climbing wall discussing law and ethics. If there were a way to introduce him to everyone that I know, I would...he is a good friend and an inspiration.
Bove) If you could describe yourself to our readers in a few sentences, what has made you into the man that you are today?
Davis) A great marriage, coupled with steady determination. I have used physical activity to calm and steady myself.
B) Participating in classes such as yoga and rock climbing, you seem to have a very active & healthy lifestyle. Can you tell us about what draws you to these and other activities you enjoy?
D) I like physical activities which are aerobic and use different parts of my body and mind. Having fun and not getting injured are good things. My wife, Chris has been rock climbing for 25 years. I took up rock climbing so that we could do it together.
B) From a professional standpoint, what kind of work have you done/are you doing now that has been enjoyable enough to make a career out of thus far?
D) For more than 30 years I used my law degree to help affluent people. It was rewarding, but incredibly stressful. 14 years ago I switched to doing pro bono legal work to help less advantaged people. I work at Legal Services of Northern California, which is minutes from Pipeworks. I find the work to be very rewarding. I look forward to my work every day.
B) How long have you been a member here at Pipeworks, and how did you find us?
D) I started taking yoga at Pipeworks around 7 years ago. I think I became a member around 4 years ago.
B) Are you a Sacramento native, and what things do you find interesting about this city to keep you living here?
D) I was born in Sacramento. I was raised in L.A. Chris and I moved to Sacramento from Chico in 1984. It is a city that is large enough that both of us can have interesting careers. It is a very diverse place with a wide range of activities we can do.
B) In the past, I have heard you quote Zen Buddhist Monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh. What is it about this teacher, activist, and author that draws you to his teachings?
D) I love his book The Miracle of Mindfulness. It explains in very simple terms how to meditate and maintain an active lifestyle. It has no jargon, and is not trying to sell a lifestyle, seminars, or workshops. It showed me how I could meditate and walk the dog or practice yoga. The mindfulness and meditation make me calmer and allow me to face the challenges in my life more directly and simply.
B) Can you describe some ways you cultivate mindfulness in your everyday life?
D) I practice yoga at home daily, and meditate while I practice. I also meditate when walking and hiking. Meditating while rock climbing , bicycle riding, or practicing law is not possible. Talking about meditation and mindfulness around people who do not practice is not a good idea.
B) I’ve heard you are an avid traveler; what’s next on your list of places to visit?
D) We are going to British Columbia on a fishing trawler for a week in August. We are going to Antarctica in December.
B) How does a “normal” day in the life of Mr. John F. Davis play out?
D) Chris and I get up early and have coffee and talk. I practice yoga for around 20 minutes. I take the dog for a walk. Some mornings I rock climb. Some mornings I ride my bike to work. A little before noon I stop work to go practice noontime yoga. I eat a quick lunch, then return to work. I bike home to Chris and dinner. Chris and I have a second home in Truckee. We usually go there for weekends. We hike, bike, kayak, ski and snowshoe up there. Sacramento is very close to the Sierras, which both of us love.
B) If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
D) I would be a human. We can change and improve our lives and can work on our sense of humor.
By Jason Bove
If you have come in to Pipeworks on a weekday at 9 pm or later, there is no doubt that you have met and/or had a worthwhile conversation with Rudy Meyers. Amongst other things, he is a father, local photographer, music lover, wine aficionado, and a beacon of insight and knowledge of all things cool. His thoughtful answers to my simple questions left me thinking about inviting him to all of my future dinner parties, so that we could always have something interesting to talk about! Without further adieu, meet…
Member of the Month: Rudy Meyers
Bove- How long have you been a member at Sacramento Pipeworks, and what keeps you motivated to keep coming back, time and time again?
Meyers- I have been a member for about six years and retarding the aging process is the main reason I consistently come. Plus, climbing is simply more fun than most other forms of athletic endeavor.
Are you a Sacramento native, and what is your favorite thing about living in Sacramento?
Well, I’m not exactly a Sacramento native. I was born in San Francisco and raised in the foothills of Northern California. In no particular order, I like these things about Sacramento: Trees, and lots of them!, Great weather, The long, warm summer evenings, Acres of free parking, And yes, the proximity to the Sierras and The Bay Area as well
Can you tell us a bit more about your professional career in photography, and where we are able to see some of the work you have done?
I do corporate/commercial work which means I shoot virtually anything that walks in front of my lens. We are guns for hire and every day is different, so that literarily can mean we are shooting trains, planes, & automobiles (like the movie), people, and products A-Z. If you had to pin me down, I would say that in essence, what we do mostly is create images that sell our clients goods or services. It can be artsy, but it has to have a message.
What new projects are you currently working on, and what lies in store for the rest of 2014?
We are currently in the planning stages for the following shoots: An Intel shoot, a three day shoot for a new casino client, two new law firms, a new restaurant client and a new construction client
All these shoots are multi-day shoots with a lot of moving pieces. We are a fairly busy studio and we do a lot of big projects. Part of the reason for that is that I have an amazing staff that is good at keeping me focused and on point. When you are a visual person and when you see something unexpectedly great, then your job is to shoot it and ask questions later. In 2014 we are focused on continuing to build a broad base, and servicing our existing clientele while also focusing on growth in favorite industries like food, wine and travel.
check Rudy Meyers Photography here
It is really great to see that you workout with you son. How old is he, and is he your only child? Have you found that working out together strengthens your family bond?
Yes, I bring my son every time I can. He is a few days shy of 15. He is my only child and I am his only parent. It is by this nature a very close relationship, where I get to wear all the parental hats. Now he really enjoys climbing and sees that through hard work and dedication he can actually get better. I dabble in a serious manner, but I suck and he climbs circles around me. It is nice to see him grow in the sport and I hope he will continue to see the value in intense physical activity. He knows that quality of life depends on keeping a balance between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects—they are all important.
As you know, June is the month that Father’s Day is celebrated. Do you have big plans for the day, and what other kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your son?
We have had two big vacations this year, one to the desert and one to New York City for 17 days. So, a quick trip to San Francisco might be it for Father's Day (every day is kids day, they just don't know it). We always have fun in The City! We are foodies and museum freaks, so we always have stuff to do in SF; it is a world class city with world class offerings. We really are lucky to have it so close to Sacramento; we could be living somewhere with little art and culture, and no climbing. We both like to shop the Mission and Hayes Valley. We even climb at Dogpatch!
I know that you greatly enjoy outdoor activities. Can you recommend any hikes or trails that we should experience in our lifetime?
For over 20 years I guided Class V whitewater here and overseas. The rivers in California are some of the best in the world, with challenging whitewater and beautiful scenery. Running rivers was a fun gig and the guys I boated with are all alive and kicking, and for that I am thankful. In 20 years of boating we ran something like 300+ Class V runs. Then, I got Lucien and I felt like I had to cool my jets. I had my fun in that adventure land, and I was ready for Disneyland and Star Wars.
Hiking is still cool and relatively safe, but we go off trail all of the time. A journey to Precipice Lake on the Kaweah Gap trail, an amazing lake made famous by Ansel Adams, is on our list for this summer. I hiked this in my early 20's, before I became or even knew I would be a photographer, but it was an amazing trail built by the California Conservation Corps and blasted out of solid rock—it feels like a Hobbit trail. If you have time, head to Moose Lake as well.
I also took my son on an amazing backpack/horse pack trip to Evolution Valley high in Kings Canyon National Park. It was a beautiful nine day trip. At one time, we were 26 miles from trailhead. The valley itself can almost rival Yosemite Valley; it is just more remote, but it has monolithic rock formations, peaks that rise to 14,000 feet and shimmering waterfalls—all surrounding a long, lush, high Sierra meadow with a beautiful river running through it. You are far enough in that you will not see a lot of people. If you are a Muir Trail nut (you know who you are) then you already know about this place. You can also stay a night or two, depending on availability, at The Muir Trail Ranch (a wilderness hotel). I recommend staying because they have naturally occurring hot springs. More to the point, they have built soaking tubs in charming log structures that are all gardened and in the feng shui swing of things. It is not cheap, but it is rustic and they will feed you. Plus, you get to sleep in a bed too! The ranch is a relatively easy five mile hike in. They can also rent horses and guides from the ranch. The hike to Evolution Valley is still 15 miles away and (dauntingly) it is another 4500 feet up. We took horses, it was my son's first multi-day hike and I did not want it to be his last.
We are desert lovers. One of our favorite places to go is Eureka Valley, situated in the northern end of Death Valley and about an hour and half out of Bishop. The dunes lay up against a fault block range called the Last Chance Range. The exposed layers are 350 to 500 million years old, way before the age of the dinosaur. The formation is massive, with dunes rising to 700 ft and spreading out over an area of several square miles. Climbing them can be a chore; five steps up and three steps back can be discouraging. If you make it to the top though, you have to follow the ridge line south until you get to the highest and steepest dune. Why? Because you have worked so hard that you now deserve some fun. Run straight down the dunes and jump in turns like you are skiing and see how soft the landing is and how exhilarating the experience is. At the bottom you can look up and decide that you are not doing it again—too damn much work! If you go during the spring of a wet year you will be surprised and possibly overwhelmed by the number of desert flowers. Yes, the desert does bloom and when it does it is nothing short of breathtaking! Take water because there is none, know that sand will get everywhere, but the beauty is worth the effort.
If you could offer any kind of advice from the perspective of starting and running your own business nowadays, what would it be?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be:
Be prepared for long hours
Learn your craft
Be honorable in all personal and professional relationships
Build and maintain a reputation based on quality and professionalism
Lose money before you deliver a crummy product—don't lose money and always deliver a quality product
Take nothing for granted
Never rest on your laurels
Have goals that are daily, weekly, and long term
I have never had a plan b; it remains photography or die
Most importantly, do not be afraid to fail; you learn more in failure then you will ever learn in success
I have quite a few sayings that I tell my son and employees, but a few get repeated all the time:
I live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world
When's the next race?
True character is what you do when no one is looking
By Guest Blogger: Jason Bove
This month, we observed Mother’s Day. But, assuming we celebrate, we should not limit ourselves to just one day a year to celebrate our Mothers. With this in mind, it was abundantly clear who we should feature for May: Dustin Raúl Stumpf. Not only does Dustin have a rewarding job as a CrossFit instructor here at Sacramento Pipeworks, but he also has a positive and healthy relationship with his Mom. While there are lots of things that can be attributed to this happiness, the thing that he keeps coming back to is being able to include his mother, Elba, in his ambitious exercise training schedule. I had the chance to talk with Dustin recently about CrossFit, what drives him as an athlete, and, of course, his Mom. Thanks again for being a part of the Pipeworks family, Dustin, and for letting us peer into the life of such an inspiring individual, such as yourself.
Member of the Month: Dustin Raúl Stumpf
Bove- First off, what drew you to personally pursue CrossFit as a way of life, and what are a few of the major benefits of the workout regimen itself?
Stumpf- What drew me to CrossFit as a way of life was the fact I would never get bored with my workouts ever again! After ending my College Athletic Career, I needed another challenge to conquer! The benefits are endless with CrossFit because it exposes your weaknesses and makes you focus on them in order to become a better coach/athlete.
B- How long have you been a CrossFit instructor and where did you receive training to become one?
S- I have been a Level 1 Certified CrossFit instructor for 2 years. Before becoming Level 1 Certified, I started my own internship program at American River CrossFit in 2011 while fulfilling units at Sacramento State’s Kinesiology program. ARC is where I learned the fundamentals of teaching CrossFit classes under the supervision of trained professional instructors. After graduating from Sac State in 2012, I used all of my savings to take the weekend long CrossFit Level 1 Course at NorCal CrossFit, under the watchful eyes of Jason Khalipa (currently 2nd man in the world in CrossFit!).
B- What kind of athletes/workout enthusiasts are attracted to your classes for CrossFit, and what makes these classes different from normal workout routines? Is Crossfit for everyone?
S- The types of exercise enthusiasts who are attracted to my classes are people who love learning and perfecting Gymnastics, Power/Olympic Lifting, and Plyometrics. What makes these classes so much different from a “normal workout routine” is that A.) It is always in a class setting. By working out with others, people are more motivated to perform better amongst fellow athletes for the friendly competition aspect. B.) All movements and weights are modifiable for different fitness levels. C.) Most of our workouts are short and sweet! CrossFit is meant for anyone looking to better their current fitness level--anyone willing to work very hard. In my experience of coaching, I have found that the people who do best and excel the quickest in CrossFit (regardless of age) make it to class routinely and live a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym.
B- What should I know before attending class? How should I prepare?
S- CrossFit is very challenging both mentally and physically! One should prepare by being open minded to a brand new methodology of exercise. Having a positive attitude is a MUST when learning CrossFit. I repeat, the BEST WAY any CrossFitter will excel is to remain open minded.
B- As you know, the month of May contains Mother’s Day! I notice that sometimes your Mom comes to your class. Has she been an advocate of your training since you were young?
S- My mother, Elba, has always been my #1 Fan when it came to sports and athletic events! She has always supported my training efforts on and off the Baseball field since I was young. I got her into CrossFit 2 years ago, and she is AMAZING!
B- It’s great to see a mother and son working out together! How has this influenced your mother-son relationship?
S- Doing CrossFit with my Mother has made our relationship that much stronger. We always talk about workouts and how to improve ourselves as athletes. We are both competitive by nature, so we talk about how we did in recent competitions. My Mother is the epitome of what a 55-year old athlete can accomplish with proper instruction and a hard work ethic! She makes it to all of my Seminars and has seen drastic improvements in all of her movements! She can now perform 5 unassisted pull-ups NO PROBLEM!
B- There are 10 Onramp classes that need to be fulfilled before someone can attend any regularly scheduled class. What can I expect to be doing during the session?
S- Beginners attending Onramp classes can expect learning the fundamentals of all CrossFit movements. Here at CrossFit Pipeworks, we are all about making new members feel welcome, and we give them the opportunity to create relationships with our training staff and fellow athletes.
B- How do these classes differ from a normal one?
S- OnRamp classes differ from regular classes in that we focus on lighter weight and less volume in our WODs (workout of the day). We also focus on introducing new movements and reviewing exercises recently covered in prior classes.
B- What other hobbies and activities do you enjoy outside of CrossFit?
S- I am an avid Outdoorsman and LOVE to fish! I try to get out of town at least once every 2 weeks to go slay some fish and give myself a break from my intense training routine.
B- Is there a specific event or clinic that you are hosting that you would like to tell us about?
S- I try to host Seminars at CrossFit Pipeworks at least once every 2-3 months, to allow members the opportunity to get better at practicing more complex movements.
B- I have seen that you feature an Athlete of the Week on the Pipeworks facebook page. Can you tell me more about this special shout out? How would I become featured?
S- I introduced athlete of the week on the CrossFit Pipeworks Facebook page to get our members involved. In order to become Athlete of the Week, one must show exceptional work ethic, dedication, and leadership characteristics. These three traits allow others to try and follow in their footsteps in a POSITIVE manner.
Well, I guess THAT cat is in the bag! See you in class!!
Women's Empowerment, a non-profit based in Sacramento, made their 53rd visit to Pipeworks. We were able to catch up with leaders and participants in this amazing program to get the scoop on their partnership with Pipeworks.
"Sacramento Pipeworks has been working with Women's Empowerment since 2004," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "They are headquartered only a couple blocks away from the gym, so it is not unusual to see a group of women 10-15 power walking over to the gym. They use the gym to work out in the weight area and do cardio. The members have become accustomed to seeing the group, and we're all supportive of such an important cause." "On our morning walks to Pipeworks, the ladies share their excitement and enthusiasm for the opportunity to focus on themselves for that one hour," said Nancy Nguyen, the program assistant at Women's Empowerment. "By attending Fitness Fridays, the ladies step out of their everyday lives and enter a world that allows them to make a change for themselves and their children."
The group assists women who are homeless, jobless or in abusive situations. Women’s Empowerment has served 916 women and their 1,376 children. In May 2009, they were named Nonprofit of the Year by the Nonprofit Resource Center, one of the highest honors a nonprofit can receive in the Sacramento region. Over 1115 women have graduated from our program.
"The mission of Women’s Empowerment is to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children. Our partnership with Pipeworks has become essential to the fulfillment of that mission," said Nguyen. Women's Empowerment runs eight week sessions in which a new group of women learns the importance of caring for their bodies through exercise and healthy eating.
“I joined Fitness Wednesdays at Pipeworks because it was an opportunity for me to focus on myself and to be healthier. I wanted to get back into a consistent schedule because that’s what being back in the workforce is like,” said Sharon McGuire a graduate from Session 53. “When I first entered the building, the front desk staff members were so friendly. They greeted us and gave us assistance in filling out first-time waivers. During our workout sessions, I often used the treadmill. While I spent most of the hour on this machine, I reflected a lot because it reminded me to keep my goals in perspective. I had so much fun during this time and felt extremely rejuvenated after I finished my workout.”
Sharon continues to strive towards her main three goals: to keep her recovery, secure permanent housing, and to see her daughter graduate from high school and enter college. “I truly needed this program because it’s part of my recovery process. The process encourages us to make time for ourselves and Fitness Wednesdays allowed me to do that. I highly recommend Pipeworks!” said Sharon.
Pipeworks makes it possible for her to continue on our journey towards a positive and healthier lifestyle.
There are often times in life when you enter into an assignment or situation believing that you know exactly how something will turn out, only to find many surprises along the way. These unanticipated circumstances may bring stress to set deadlines, but in the end may yield very exciting and unexpected results. For example, take the story of this month’s member, Brad Sandoval.
When you first lay eyes on Brad, it seems natural to categorize him as a formidable presence with an overwhelmingly serious demeanor. Off the mat, he is a humble and approachable man living with no computer and making time for the things closest to his heart...training for Jiu-Jitsu and enjoying good food.
As the deadline for my story quickly approached, I anxiously checked my email time and time again only to find nothing there. The questions I wrote remained unanswered, and I watched as April was drawing to a close. I almost felt as if the interview would never come to fruition, and THEN THEY CAME!! Brad showed up at the last minute of the last day before the end of the month with 9 pages of torn out yellow notepad paper with his handwritten responses. Each answer was crafted with a genuine heartfelt explanation that could only be attributed to someone who loves what he does. In this case, it was talking about Jiu-Jitsu with you and I, the readers. I can guarantee that once you read the interview, you will want to know more about this man, Brad Sandoval, and the martial art that he holds so dear to his heart. His experience, knowledge, and instruction is offered to you weekly just for being a member at Sacramento Pipeworks! Stop in, take a class, and say “hello”.
Bove: What does a typical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class consist of and what can I expect if it were my first experience with the sport?
Sandoval: A normal practice session is 1 ½ hours, including a 10-15 minute warm-up/stretch incorporating many of the same movements we use in Jiu-Jitsu, followed by 30-45 minutes of instruction/practice with a partner, aka “drilling”. The last 30-45 minutes we “roll”.
Bove: How would I prepare for the class from a fitness perspective?
Sandoval: As far as physical preparation, I would suggest being well hydrated, because you will sweat! Aside from that, having an open mind and willingness to learn would be at the top of my list. Jiu-Jitsu is like chess in the way that you first learn how each piece moves before you develop strategies to checkmate other players...or a musical instrument where, you practice scales and chords repeatedly to develop mind and muscle memory; with enough practice, you can create music.
B: Is it something suitable for all ages and abilities?
S: Jiu-Jitsu is for all ages, however, at Sacramento Pipeworks we only offer classes for adults. Hopefully, in the future we will expand to offer classes for children. That being said, if a young person is mature enough to take the class they are welcome.
B: Would it make a difference if I wore normal workout clothes, or is there something specific that I should wear to class?
S: We practice with both the Gi (Kimono) and without Gi. For example, shorts and T-shirts. (Please check our class schedule for “Gi” or “No Gi” specification, days and class times.)
B: Is there a martial arts lifestyle and/or philosophy involved in the culture of the practice?
S: When you learn to see Jiu-Jitsu as a whole, you learn to accept a victory or defeat, to forgive your adversary, and to be more humble and balanced.
B: From a historical standpoint, can you tell us more about Jiu-Jitsu and its origin? What makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu different from other styles?
S: Mitsuyo Maeda was a Judo expert and a member of the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan, and a student of Jikoro Kano, Judo’s founder. Unlike many members of the Kodokan Judo Institute who believed that the art should be demonstrated mainly through teaching and performing Kata, Maeda advocated demonstrating through actual combat. While Judo tends to focus more on throws and takedowns, Maeda’s style highlighted grappling in which Maeda was a specialist adding his innovations and philosophies. Maeda would compete in challenge matches against fighters from around the world, where he was more often than not the smaller combatant. Eventually stories spread of a smaller Asian man defeating larger, stronger opponents of many disciplines,including boxing and wrestling with little effort, rightfully earning Maeda the nickname, Mr. Impossible. Maeda traveled the world making a living through Judo demonstrations and prize fights.
In 1914, Maeda arrived in Brazil where he was befriended by a politician named Gastao Gracie, who at the time was helping Japanese colonies migrate to Brazil. Out of appreciation, Maeda offered to teach Judo to Gastao’s 14 year old son Carlos, who would in turn teach his brothers. Maeda not only passed along his techniques, but also his philosophies on combat. These techniques and philosophies would lay the foundation for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracie family would go on to reveal the mysteries of Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Mitsuyo Maeda would never know the impact he made by giving us the gift of his martial art. THANK YOU MITSUYO MAEDA!
B: Where did you study and who was your mentor throughout the years?
S: I began practicing Jiu-Jitsu with Gi in 2001 in Wildomar, CA under then brown belt and great instructor, Jeff Bolton. That gym closed around 2003, so I began training No Gi (without Gi) Jiu-Jitsu, Muy Thai Kickboxing, and wrestling under UFC & Pride Fighting Championship Veteran, Chris Brennan of Next Generation Fight Academy in Temecula, CA until 2005. In 2005 he moved his Academy to Texas, which was unfortunate for my training. It was at this time that I decided to move back to my hometown of Sacramento, where 2003 World Champion professor Cassio Werneck runs his Academy in Citrus Heights. I have practiced at Cassio Werneck’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy from 2005 to the present.
B: How and when did someone with your experience and competitive prowess come to be an instructor at Sacramento Pipeworks?
S: About 2 years ago, my friend and fellow student under Cassio Werneck, Wayne Gregory (AKA the white Dave Chappelle), whom I am sure that many of you know from climbing here at Sacramento Pipeworks, asked if I would be interested in teaching here. I said, “Absolutely!” and was introduced to Vaughn Medford, General Manager Extraordinaire of the greatest gym in the world! The rest is history.
B: Do you have any rewarding moments and/or stories about yourself that you can share with us?
S: Some of my most rewarding moments include seeing my students improve and reach their goals.
B: What time/day can we join your class, and how many other people are normally present?
S: We have class Monday-Friday at 6 PM. An average class has 5-10 Jiu-Jitsu players give or take, and growing.
B: If you could be any type of animal, what would you be and why?
S: I would be a Na’vi (Avatar)...how cool would that be?!