Aside from the fitness, confidence and self-defence that can be derived from training in the gentle art and living the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle, one of the greatest benefits is the group of positive people you will encounter and share the mats with.
As a natural extension of this, it is normal to be able to travel and train in other academies anywhere in the world. As Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu developed in the Brazilian Culture, by and large the clubs are welcoming, friendly places where like minded people get together to share technique in pursuit of mastery of the art.
With that in mind… Last Saturday, when Liam in BJJ Cork extended an invite to attend an informal tournament/rolling session, we accepted and hastily got our gameplans together for things we wanted to work on with different training partners. With this decided and Darren drawing the short straw to drive, we headed down. Stephen Daly, Craig McLoughlin, Darren Lewins, Roger Dardis and Paul Fox all took part in what was a great day of training. There were also some representatives from BJJ Cork and Limerick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy. Everyone had between 2 and 5 competition matches and then paired off with some members of other clubs to share some tips whilst they enjoyed the vibes of the reggae music coming from the speakers.
Hopefully this can become a regular thing with a Road Trip countrywide every couple of months. Our doors are always open to those of you wanting to drop in for a visit.
I dont think I have ever laughed as much as I did spending five days in the company of the four lads from BJJ Cork while on our training trip to their coach Pedro Bessa in Bristol. We totaled 10 hours of tough training including drilling, sparring and technique, ate incessantly and listened to Shane O’Donovans take on the world around him. We sampled the local Jiu-Jitsu, Cider, Burgers and danced the night away.
Firstly, big congratulations to Andrew Manning and Shane O’Donovan on receiving their hard earned Brown Belts from the hands of Pedro Bessa. I have known and trained with these guys for about 4 years now and they have always been keen to impart some knowledge to me although not always in words!
Brendan McGarry (Marmota), was a great travel buddy for the flights and it was good to exchange some techniques with him over the weekend. He has an aggressive submission based game and you’d never see him stall out to win by an advantage.
Liam Beechinor, Head Coach at BJJ Cork/Pedro Bessa Cork, although old and broken can dish out some serious punishment and merriment in equal measures and did so to great effect over the weekend.
Pedro took charge of the classes and we all gained some insight to developing a passing game, there was a strong focus on drilling, coupled with conditioning and if it wasn’t for the banter from all involved the sessions would have been torture. The work ethic at Pedro’s Academy was world class and I’d definitely recommend it to any BJJ traveler to add it to their itinerary.
The burger situation in Bristol however was another matter entirely…..