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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

04 December 2010

Seminar - Carlson Gracie Jr

Seminar #5
Carlson Gracie London, (BJJ), Carlson Gracie Jr, Hammersmith, UK - 04/12/2010

Callum and I headed down to the Carlson Gracie Jr seminar today, as Dickie Martin (one of the black belts at Carlson Gracie London) kindly set up an interview with Carlson Gracie Jr for Jiu Jitsu Style. I was there to ask the questions, while Callum took the photos: he'll also be writing up a seminar review. Both will be appearing in future issues of Jiu Jitsu Style: if you'd like to keep updated on the latest Jiu Jitsu Style news, best thing to do is join the Facebook page.

Even more generously, Dickie also allowed me to take part in the seminar itself. I won't be writing up the exact details of what was taught, as understandably Carlson Jr didn't want them distributed on the internet. Still, I can say that he runs an excellent seminar, with a sequence of connected techniques, building through 'what if' scenarios, adding in submissions and a series of variations. So if you get the chance to go next year, I'd highly recommend it.

The new premises for Carlson Gracie London are very impressive: they're still developing the site, so although there is already a sizeable mat space downstairs, it is due to get much, much bigger when they expand into the huge room next door. Filling up the current space, there was an enormous turnout for the seminar, with a range of belts. There were also a few women present, both white and blue belts, which is always good to see.

Getting to the club is easy, as it is a short walk from Ravenscourt Park tube station on the district line (took me about 30 minutes from Marylebone: down the Bakerloo to Piccadilly Circus, then Piccadilly line to Hammersmith, and finally a short hop on the district to Ravenscourt Park). Turn left out of the station, head to King St and turn right. You'll eventually see the Carlson Gracie logo on both a sign outside and the entrance, along with a banner visible through the window. The club is directly opposite a Tesco Express.

So, many thanks to Dickie for setting up the interview and allowing me to take part, and to Carlson Jr for agreeing to speak with me for Jiu Jitsu Style, and of course Callum for bringing me along. Congratulations to everyone who was promoted, and thanks also to my training partners at the seminar, two friendly, helpful white belts. They gave me a number of useful technical pointers while we were drilling, regarding grips, angles and the like. I felt very privileged to be able to attend.

Update July 2011: My interview with Carlson Jr can be found in Jiu Jitsu Style issue three, while the seminar write-up by Callum is in issue one. Easiest way to get access is digitally through iTunes.

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  1. Congrats on the article! Will be cool to read it. :)

  2. Thanks - shaping up to be a great magazine, despite having me in it. ;p

  3. Hey John (sorry, but I've completely forgotten how to spell your proper name).

    It was great training with you at the seminar yesterday. Very fortunate for us that you wandered over to the Carlson Gracie Suffolk corner.

    p.s. I was the one who had no idea who you were and was looking on a bit bemused when Niall was asking whether you preferred to be called Slidey or Mr Foot (or the ginger one, whatever's easier to remember).

    p.p.s Probably for the best I didn't know you, or I might have gone on and on about Chesham as that's where my father's side of the family is from (though he'd probably disown me if I moved to Wycombe).

  4. @Chris: Heh - no worries, like I said my name is weird. The spelling is 'Can', which in Turkish sounds sort of like 'Jun'.

    Thanks again for those tips: very helpful for getting the techniques down. My passing is pants, so hopefully those should prove handy.

    I haven't been back to Chesham in years: went to school there, but it's been a long time. Anyone from your dad's side a Chesham High old boy/girl, in that case? ;)

  5. No idea. I visit relatives in Chesham a few times a year, but tend to fade out whenever someone starts talking about the good old days.

    My passing is pretty bad too, so I'm desperate to get back to training on tuesday and see if I can remember any of it correctly.

    (Mostly though, I hoping that Doski doesn't watch a video of his whipping and see how...enthusiastic we all were)

  6. Exactly why I bring a notepad: I'd never remember all of that otherwise. Although the way Carlson connected things together definitely helps.

    Heh - I didn't take part in the belt whipping, so should hopefully be safe. Unless that's even more worthy of a beating. ;)

  7. Hey, I thought you looked familiar, I read your blog occasionally. I was the bluebelt girl working near you. I look forward to seeing the write up in the mag!

  8. Cool - it was nice to meet you, if only briefly. Thanks for the comment! :)

    Callum will be updating that Facebook group I mentioned when the relevant issue comes out: I think it will probably be the second issue, but it might be that he splits the seminar review and the interview across issues one and two, or perhaps even two and three.

    Also, it was good to see a decent number of women on the mats at the seminar. Hopefully the example of higher belts like you will help encourage other women into the sport. Worth checking out Meg's BJJ women's open mats too, if you haven't already.