Grappling Scout – London

Yesterday, a couple of students and myself made a journey down to London, with the intent of visiting a couple of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu clubs, picking up some techniques, and heading back filled with knowledge. We got more than we bargained for.

After some careful deliberation and investigation, the 2 clubs we chose to visit were London Fight Factory, and Urban Kings, both situated in the middle of London. I had contacted both clubs ahead of time, to make sure we were welcome, and London Fight Factory offered us a free session for our troubles.

We arrived in London just before lunch and made our way straight to London Fight Factory. Upon entering the building, we followed the signs to the basement, where there was an eerie silence. Once we had peaked through the door, we could see why. Behind the counter, the BJJ legend, Terere, was conducting an interview. Shock doesn’t seem to cover our reaction.

After speaking to the head coach, and donning our uniforms, we took to the mats, to discover the session we were about to have was at the hands of the master himself.

The amount of detail present was beyond comprehension. It was a small class, no more than 15 people. Despite the language barrier, aided by the head coach of the gym, Terere conveyed to us some really important details on maintaining mount, transitioning to a mounted triangle, and finally a fantastic session on X Guard Sweeps.

Once we had said our thanks and left the building, we spent some time exploring the city. I have been to London numerous times, but am always happy to be a tourist once more if I’m travelling with anyone who has yet to visit the capital.

That evening we went to Urban Kings at Kings Cross. This session however was due to be No-Gi, which was a profound relief considering my Gi was still festering in numerous smells from the class earlier that day.

From my research I had expected this class to be taught by Jude Samuel, someone who I had read great things about. Instead, due to him being unavailable, it was held by someone I had met many years previously in competition, Viking Wong.

I had met Viking back in 2009 at Ground Control in Manchester. Due to the amount of fighters that took part, it took 4 fights to end up in the Final together. My route to the final had been invigorating. Every fight finished in a submission. So I walked on expecting Gold, little did I know, Viking had an extensive history in Jiu-Jitsu, much more than my own, making for a very tough final where he eventually won on points. This was due to be our rematch…

And…much like our first meeting, it ended in stalemate. Neither of us could pull off anything of profound interest. Maybe one day we will meet again.

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