I've been on holiday this week. My wife, kids and I really love the south Coast of England and by chance Bournemouth also happens to host a number of gyms where I can pop in and train - win win!
We were very luck to have had some quite outstandingly hot and sunny weather so it almost felt like training abroad!
My first port of call was to visit Matt and Ben at Scramble. In the photo, we're standing in their ginormawarehouse and I'm holding a their mini kimono car mirror thingy which they give away if you order lots of their stuffs. I was also presented with their latest 'shadows' rashguard, which I will duly test and report at some point very soon.
Later on, I popped in to the Gary Baker Academy for a few rolls. Last time I visited, Matt was teaching but this time, I turned up to a session run by Gary himself. I also had a great chat to Gary, who has been training in various martial arts for a very long time under some very renowned instructors. It was great to meet and train with the guys there and I had a lot of fun. Gary tells me he will be moving to a new location next week - a converted car showroom with squillions of floor space and glass and steel everywhere. It should be awesome by the sounds of it and I look forward to returning to see how it all looks.
As you can sort of see from my Instagrammed snap above, I got the chance to really test out the new purple gi made by Tatami Fightwear. I must say so far I really like it. Wash tests should see how it shrinks over time, which will make or break it as a gi for me personally, but so far, it's been a pleasure to wear.
So, in between fending off having sand kicked in my face by my kids and running away from manic wasps, I still found time for one more training session. This time I visited the Ippon Gym, run by an MMA fighter called Jeff Lawson. Jeff is known worldwide for his appearance as a fighter on the TV show TUF. He's a kickass MMA athlete and I can testify from personal experience that his jiu jitsu (Jeff is a brown belt) is very very badass too!
Saturday mornings at Jeff's place is open mat so I managed a bunch of refreshingly invigorating nogi and gi rolls with various peeps. I must say Jeff has done a fantastic job of creating an excellent gym. I wish him the best of luck and mucho fun at their first birthday bash next month.
BTW it's probably no coincidence that I have done some design work for all the people I have mentioned in this report. Here for example is the cartoon car I drew for Jeff - he uses the car as a mobile advert when he drives around town. The cartoon sticker is a promotional item he gives out to people he meets. It's great marketing!
Thanks so much to everyone's hospitality during my unannounced visits to their gym!