Gasp! A postcard from somewhere sunny and nicer than frosty UK...my friend Benjamin in Singapore, let's see what he says about BJJ in his home country...
Hi Folks, I am Benjamin Liu from Singapore, I am 27 years old and I am a Blue Belt under Moura Jiujitsu. I was training in styles such as Taekwondo, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do and Escrima for six years before coming across grappling.
My Brazilian Jiujitsu journey started when I got into a sparring friend of my Daniel Milton who does Mixed Martial Arts. He took me down and locked on a straight ankle lock, and that instant it changed my life completely. It was a very painful experience but I learned to admit defeat and it start my journey into Brazilian Jiujitsu
I then started Brazilian Jiujitsu in April 2006 and been training until now. I was instantly hooked on Brazilian Jiujitsu, it was a hobby at first, later it turned into something passionate that I love and it has become my objective reach Black Belt in jiujitsu and mission to spread jiujitsu to the Traditional Martial Arts community in Singapore.
BJJ started in Singapore in early 2000, when teenage Singaporeans were studying overseas. They begin learning BJJ and came back to teach BJJ during their summer holidays. In 2004, the first few Singaporean blue belters appeared on the scene, they were Jason Quek, Sulaiman, Kon Quek and Brenden Sim. They started off as small clubs of jiujitsu class for the public and as the years passed these pioneers of Jiujitsu in Singapore turned into purple belts and thus the BJJ schools started.
There were many small jiujitsu competitions in Singapore but Brazilian Jiujitsu big scale tournaments exploded onto the Singapore scene in 2008 with 'Lordz of the Pain' hosted by Alive Academy Singapore and Singapore International Brazilian Jiujitsu Competition hosted by Fight Works Asia. We saw people from Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia competing at this event.
In Nov 2008, Evolve MMA arrived onto the shores of Singapore with Yodchatri Sityodtong at the helm, followed by a few Brazilian World Champions such as Neto Braga, Rafael "Gordinho" Correa de Lima and many more. Their presence created a BJJ revolution in Singapore. This time a lot more people signed up for Brazilian Jiujitsu classes in Singapore.
We have seen big names in Singapore such as Royce Gracie, Rigan Machado, Neto Braga, Rafael "Gordinho" Correa de Lima, Igor Gracie and many others in Singapore teaching classes and giving seminars.
If you happen to visit Singapore do bring your gi with you, as Singapore is a small city so you would be spoiled for choice to be training. The list of places includes:
Currently, I am teaching No Gi Jiujitsu to Kids and Adults at a Community Centre and teach No Gi Jiujitsu at my friend's Gym in exchange for fitness training.
To know more about me, please visit me at; http://www.bendoesmartialarts.blogspot.com/
See you soon!