7 Nov 2009

Academy Tour: London Fight Factory

East London's Brick Lane: ahhhh! the piquant aroma of curry restaurants, the hustle and bustle of shoppers at Spitalfields market, the slamming of bodies on the mats...eh?

Oh yes people, Brick Lane has a new landmark, a factory for fighters - London Fight Factory in fact. And this Meerkat sampled a couple of hours of hard training at the LFF this Saturday, and just about lived to tell the tale...

LFF is actually located on Hanbury Street, a side road off Brick Lane. The entrance is up a flight of metal stairs that lead up to a roof terrace and door. The main training room greets you immediately as you open the door. Walk through the graffiti decorated dojo and down the stairs and you get a second training room, toilets, showers and changing rooms. Then, almost hidden behind the glass screen and coat hangers, lies a third training room with weights and muay thai equipment. This place is huge!

LFF owner, and brown belt, Luiz Ribeiro was taking the mat today. As the Kent Open was only a week away, today's session was all about set position sparring and free sparring. We began with a series of invigorating and l must admit lung-busting warm-up drills, interspersed with lots of press-ups. One chap told me that today was an easy warm-up session. Really? Could have fooled me, but then I was too busy catching my breath to respond properly.

Set position sparring consisted of 6 guys in the middle and the rest of us queuing up to attack or escape the guard, half-guard and turtle positions. And there was a lot of queuing since I counted at least 27-29 bodies on the mat. That's a pretty good class size by anyone's standards!

I tried taking some photos in between training, but the fog of evaporated sweat clouded the room, so much so, that my camera failed to take any decent non-misted up photos. But the lads rolled hard and were very technical. I was pleased to be able to spar with some light feathers too - one chap I remember from years back when I attended my very first BJJ lesson at Carlson Gracie. On that occasion he was kind enough to school me in the ways of the mat and face-barred me into submission many times. Today, he was kinder (or rather, I did not fall into the same beginner traps as I did 6 years ago) and he only foot locked me into submission.

Throughout, Luiz would shout and yell at the combatants like a drill Sergeant, egging them on the do better, improve position or just generally work harder. One drill I liked was the two minute last gasp must submit drill. Just as it says on the tin, you spar with your opponent and you MUST attempt a submission within two minutes because you are several points behind. Failure to do so results in 40, yes 40 press ups for the loser.

Luiz is a very funny guy. He has a nick-name for practically everyone and really injects huge amounts of passion and enthusiasm into the session. The spirit and atmosphere of the team was very strong.

After class, I chatted to Luiz about how LFF came about and what he plans for the future. It's a neat little interview and I hope to post or publish it somewhere soon.

And, as seems to be the custom at LFF, I happily joined the lads for a post-session Nandos and chatted some more about BJJ. I had a great time there and I would like to wish them every success with the academy. Next week, star black belt 'FinFou' will be visiting, then next year, the head man himself, Ricardo Vieira will take the mat. With so much going on in their seminar calendar, I think I'll definitely be popping down again to LFF.

London Fight Factory, 82 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JL
Website: http://www.londonfightfactory.com
Contact: Luiz Ribeiro - 07944 574046

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Jadon Ortlepp said...

Wish I could of joined you, looks like alot of fun. Do you know if fin fou will be doing a seminar? or just taking lessons?.

Matt said...

Wow, what is the connection with Ricardo Vieira? What a legend!

Great write up, Seymour. I had been introduced to LFF by way of watching them kill the crap out of everyone at the No Gi Open recently.

Good team, man.

Nice post!

Meerkatsu said...

Ricardo Vieira is, along with his brother Leo, the head of Checkmat, to which LFF is affiliated.
Although, according the Luiz, it is Ricardo the man, who their loyalty lies, not with Checkmat per se, if that makes sense.

Meerkatsu said...

LFF will host a seminar with 'Finfou' on 21st of November from 2.30 until 5pm.
Seminar is open to everyone that would like to come. Cost is the usual £25.
For 2010 LFF will also have Yuri Simoes and Ary Farias seminars - keep an eye on EFN forum for news.

David Onuma - Combined Fighting Systems said...

Excellent write up my friend. Glad you enjoyed yourself.
LFF is an excellent school, and the fruits of the seeds are surely coming out now.

TFP said...

Looking forward to my trip to LFF real soon!

Salsa Dancer said...

does LFF have any weight training facilities? I want to do strength training as well as BJJ, a lot of schools don't actually advocate strength training.


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