Mark is a jiu jitsu geek who decided to pack his life into a bag and go on a BJJ inspired adventure! He will be documenting his travels around Asia and New Zealand via our website, but starting the first instalment in Northern Ireland.
One last trip to the Homeland before I embark on my jiu jitsu adventures around the world. Catching up with family and childhood friends with a few visits to some of Northern Ireland’s classic spots like the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
If you ever make your way there, these old sites rich in history and folklore should be on your bucket list. When the weather’s just right, the coastal route to the causeway is a breathtaking sight well worth the journey.
Whilst back home I had a nice surprise to find out one of my childhood best friends Jordan had recently dawned the gi. Jordan’s trained in karate (brown belt dentokan) and competed for several years, recently taking up jiu jitsu around 6 months ago. For a big guy (at 100+kilos!) he’s picked it up quickly, has great top control and a speed to match his ferocity. I have no doubt that in the future he’ll be competing at a high level in the sport.
Jordan invited me along to an open mat session at Straight Blast Gym in Belfast, so with a chance to roll with some fresh partners off we went. The guys in SBG don’t let up for a second and welcomed me with tough scrambles and a fast pace, with a 2 hour sparring session. Five minute rounds quickly blurred into ten and it was easy to see everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves . Their gym is littered with medals from competitions around the globe and they sport a very high calibre of jiu jitsu. Always good to head into new territory and roll with new partners.
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