While we were still on the road and traveling in our RV fulltime back in June of last year, I had the opportunity to again stop in and train with Saad Al-Aziz and his wife, Suay, at their school, Semper Fortis Jiu Jitsu, in San Antonio. San Antonio has a special place for my wife and I as the Riverwalk was where our marriage ceremony was held. So, a stop in to visit the place we exchanged vows and to visit all the more common local attractions was in order as we made our way West on the road.
Saad is a super nice guy and smiles even when he’s choking you! He even coaches you along to get you to get after him on a roll. “Work your game,” was something he would say as I recall. All the while smiling as he swept and smashed you. Although looking back, I’m wondering if he was smiling because he knew Navy was getting the best of Army in that particular roll! (Go Army, Beat Navy!)
On a more serious note, one of the things that is very important to me when I train is to experience the culture and environment of the gym. Saad and Suay’s school is one that I hope to model in the future as I look to open my own gym one day. Everyone training has a team mentality, and your are welcomed into a family-oriented training environment from the get-go. Another interesting thing about his school is that you will find other black belts training there who are from different lineages. That is a solid testament to Saad and Suay’s hospitality and friendly nature in their training.
Finally, Saad is a black belt under Master Luiz Palhares and an active affiliate for him. Saad was also one of the big reasons that I sought to train at Master Luiz’s school in Jacksonville once my family and I relocated to the area back in February. It is one of the best decisions that I have made. Thanks to Saad, I am progressing in my Jiu Jitsu journey at a far faster pace than I have in the past as I continue my training with Master Luiz and his son, Pedro. Although we could only stay for about a week, it was great to again share the mat and to finally meet Suay who was out of town the last time I came through. If you are ever in San Antonio please look up Semper Fortis Jiu Jitsu!