A road trip for me is never a straightforward proposition. If I don't get lost on the way, there is usually some other major drama or crisis that puts any attempt of mine to visit a far off distant BJJ academy in peril. Today, it was the turn to visit my very good friend Liam Wandi, he of the Part Time Grappler blog fame at his place of training, the Fighting Fit Martial Arts Centre in Manchester (aka the Labs) - and to attend a seminar run by the very excellent David Onuma. But, ahem, I kinda missed the seminar bit...
|Couple of really handsome and talented people, oh and me with Liam|
Okay, I'll admit it. I really need a satnav. Printing out dozens of sheets from Google maps is not the most handy way to find ones way around an unfamiliar city. Anyhoo, long story short, I finally turned up at the 'Labs' pretty much as David was finishing his seminar so I can't really comment on how it went. I do know however that David is one of the most entertaining and technically proficient coaches around, so I have no doubt he did a great session. Here is Liam's report.
So there I was, at Fighting Fit, soaking wet, stressed and tired with everyone packing up. What better way to ease and relax myself than with a series of rolls with the guys at the academy who kindly stuck around after the seminar. I rolled a couple nogi then a longer session with Liam - who proceeded to crush the Meerkat in his skillful Part Time way! I loved it of course and within seconds of slapping hands and exchanging techniques, I knew that my trip up was worth the effort.
|David Onuma with Liam Wandi|
All the guys at Fighting Fit are so warm and friendly. The facilities are brilliant - huge mat space, good changing rooms and shower facilities, lots of equipment etc etc, basically a thoroughly professional and well run establishment. It was surprising to find out that Fighting Fit has only been running less than a year. Martyn and Ian, two of the instructors, explained to me that they teach BJJ, no gi, MMA, boxing and, rather oddly (in a nongrapply sort of way) Bujinkan ninjutsu!
Basically, if you can't find anything you like at Fighting Fit, then go hang round shopping malls or stay at home and watch TV, cos these guys have it all!
My huge thanks to the Fighting Fit crew for making me feel so welcome. I'm definitely making a return visit, and next time, I'll be on time (well, maybe slightly more Rio time, but at least I know the way now).