This weekend I took part in a 24 hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 'grapplethon' to help raise money for the charity One25.
Fellow blogger Can Sönmez, who writes the long-running BJJ blog Slideyfoot, has been organising Grapplethon fundraisers for the past four years. This year, the charity being supported is one that helps vulnerable women - One25.
I missed attending last year's Grapplethon so was keen to get down there this year and show my support. The first time I took part (read my report here) I managed to last 20 hours, which I found to be a very tough challenge. This year, I knew I would not be able to match that duration, however I was willing to give it a good go, tackling the full period in shorter 3 to 4 hour slots with plenty of rests in between each slot. In total, I managed to accumulate around 10 hours of rolling.
Can's club is called Artemis BJJ and it is located in a place called MyGym, right in the centre of Bristol city. It was super easy for me to locate. The actual gym is downstairs and encompasses a very large matted area, with gym equipment lining the periphery of the floor space. There is a studio upstairs too. Overall it's a great space to train and conduct the 24 hour session.
Over the 24 hour period, jiu jitsu students arrived in stages so there was always one pair of people rolling at any one time throughout. Some groups had traveled from clubs locally and others had arrived from far away. I was super impressed by the spirit, energy and great vibes from everyone!
There was a great variety of people taking part. I saw kids and adults of all ages, men and women, all rolling with great technique and enthusiasm. There was a lot of laughter. The long duration of the Grapplethon meant that participants could roll at a much less intense pace and try things they probably would not normally do in their regular class.
Don't get me wrong though, there were still a good number of tough competitive rolls and it was fun to mix these up along with the more chilled flow rolling rounds.
When the Grapplethon finished, a huge sense of achievement and relief swept through the group. The CEO of One25 gave a speech to thank us for our achievements and to describe the work they do. In total, everyone managed to raise over £3,000.
Grapplethons are a great way for BJJ students to raise funds for charity. More than that, there is a huge benefit to the physical challenge of rolling over so many hours. Also, by rolling with such a large variety of people, it's a great learning experience that helps improve ones game. Not to mention it's also a very social event with a lot of laughs and new friendships to be made.
Thanks to Can for organising the event and to all the sponsors that helped lend their support [Tatami Fightwear, my own brand Meerkatsu, Gimono, MyGym, Artemis BJJ, Lisa Chappell Massage therapy, Idee Pure soap). I look forward to next year's event!
For more photos of the weekend, check out my Flickr album - https://www.flickr.com/photos/meerkatsu/albums/72157666459457205