Through the fantastic network that we are a part of known as the BJJ Globetrotters, through various chance connections, I met an inspiring grappler called Jodie Bear. Jodie, as luck would have it, doesn’t live too far away from Fighting Fit, only the next county up.
From befriending her on Facebook and all that jazz I found out she was running a charity Grapple at her gym in Congleton. I kept this at the back of my head for a week or 2 till eventually, it became too much, and I just had to go see what they were getting up to.
So, last night I packed up my Gi and drove all the way up to Congleton to Warrior Martial Arts, arriving at roughly 00:30. Walking inside, it was eerily quiet, especially considering their event of choice was a 24 Hour Roll. I saw numerous bodies, sleeping in various uncomfortable positions around the gym, and a few of the hard core and brave still rolling around on the mats. I was instantly greeted by the gyms owner and main Coach, Keith Hipkiss. A friendly gentleman, despite it being the middle of the night after what must have been an awfully long day, he invited me to go get changed and grab a partner.
At this point I spotted Jodie, our first actual meeting, grappling with a rather nimble and agile Purple Belt on the floor (more on him later).
Taking to the mats, I had my initial roll with this purple belt. He had, the softest Gi, known to man. Wow. It was deserving of a complement, which he apparently hears quite frequently. It wasn’t until after the event that I discovered this purple belt was actually SlideyFoot, a very well known and accomplished grappler in the UK, who I had actually known about for the best part of 4 years. I wish I had made more of an effort!
Either way I then had some fantastic rolls with those who had managed to stay awake, including teaching some of my unorthodox techniques to those who would listen. I have been invited back to go teach at some point, so I look forward to that.
Jodie and Keith informed me that they are actually attending the Fall Camp in Copenhagen next month, so I look forward to a lot more interesting rolls with them in the not so distant future. That’s of course if I don’t make it back to Congleton before then.