It’s my first morning in Brisbane and I’m wandering through town in the sun on the 45 minute walk from my hostel over to Garra BJJ. I had been in touch with head instructor and 3rd degree black belt Eduardo Dias who, despite not being in town that weekend, had invited me down anyway to class.
It would be my pleasure to receive you.
You are welcome to attend Saturday class.
I do not mind if you take pictures.
I am sad to be missing your visit as I will be away. My instructors will be welcoming.
I hope you enjoy your visit with us and welcome to Brisbane.
It’s a beautiful clear and sunny day in Brisbane and I’m getting the feeling that I’ve finally lost the stormy weather which has been chasing me up the East coast (or it’s just moved on without me now!). I arrive at the gym and the unit already has all doors and windows open to allow the maximum breeze as possible.
2 full size mats, a reception room, and a waiting area which was fully in use as there was a kids class on as I arrived. I start chatting to one of the gym members-stroke-dad, Si. We have a chat about what I’m doing and how it’s gone so far and then move onto the benefits of sharing a hobby with your child.
“He’s only 5 at the moment”, Si tells me. “There’s no pressure as kids that age can change their mind and hobbies all the time at that age, but for now he’s really enjoying it”, and then adds with a smile, “it also means I can come down on a Saturday morning for training” :-)
“Oh! Did you see the fridge?” Si asks.
“Erm……..no I don’t think so. Is the one in this gym a really, really good one?….Like extra……cold?”
“No! I meant from the storm yesterday!”
Turns out that just behind the gym, in the other direction from where I walked in is a little river and a bridge. The torrential rain from the night before had flooded the whole area and washed up a few things along with it! Fortunately the gym hadn’t taken any real damage.
As the class wasn’t due to start for another 10 minutes, I popped out to take a quick look.
After heading back in and getting changed, I’m introduced to Fred, a Brown belt and the instructor of the class for the day. The techniques of the day cover chokes from side mount. Specifically using your opponent’s gi to set up a baseball bat choke.
I’m in ‘luck’ (actually, I’m not sure if it’s the right word for it..) as I’m paired up with Bruce, a blue belt who had recently moved to Brisbane in the past couple of years.
“I love this technique”, Bruce tells me, “It’s one of my go-to moves”
I believe it too…..Bruce nails the technique each time off the bat. It was so strong it took a few seconds to get my voice back after tapping each time. Really powerful choke! :-)
After a few drills we all water up and do a few rounds of rolling. Pics and vids….
After the last round of rolling everyone kindly stopped for a quick pic. I then have a chat with Jamie who had also done a lot of travelling around South East Asia and kindly gave me a whole bunch of recommendations and advice :-) With my phone now stocked with a set of new gym names and a contact or two, I think it’s time to find my first gym in Asia!
As I head out and say my goodbyes I have a quick chat to Lil, a purple belt who was teaching the kids class and was behind the reception desk as I was exiting.
“It was nice meeting you. Glad you had fun here, and all the best for the rest of your trip………..oh, and on your way back, if you see our bin that got washed away last night could you please bring it back?” :-)