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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

11 October 2016

11/10/2016 - Open Mat | Destination Star Trek Europe 2016

Class #774
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 11/10/2016

The last few days have been excellent. In terms of BJJ there was the successful charity #RollForNichole on Friday (with another on Sunday) and a third installment of excellent teaching from Chelsea and Tom yesterday (we did an interview too, I still need to get that all edited and uploaded). On the Saturday, I indulged my geeky side: as you might have noticed, I love Star Trek, so I was keen to head up to Birmingham for the 50th anniversary celebration at Destination Star Trek Europe. That event has taken a lot of flak both before and after it took place, but I had a great time.

There was lots of queueing, but considering how long I spend on Instagram, it didn't bother me. The talks were excellent: it was very cool to see Gowron, Dax (both of them), Quark and Rom in the flesh. There were non-DS9 people around too (one of the guys from Enterprise was browsing a stall right in front of me, plus I went to a talk were the guy who played the original Gorn was chatting about that infamous fight as Vasquez Rocks), but Deep Space Nine has my heart. Also, I can now legitimately say I hold two world records: first the world's biggest open mat at Leuven 2016, and now the worlds biggest gathering of people in Star Trek costume (1,167, IIRC). ;D

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

I want to go to more Star Trek themed awesome nerdery, so I've been looking around for other stuff like DSTE. It looks like the next event along those lines in the UK is the SFBall, though as it's fan-run it should be far less corporate and a lot more friendly. If I'm not already booked to do something that February weekend, I should be able to make it to Southampton (given that's not all that far from me). The big one would be the Las Vegas convention, but that is a rather bigger investment than popping on a local train. Still, I might do it in 2018, as they will hopefully do something big for the 30th anniversary of DS9. It's the 30th anniversary of TNG next year, incidentally, which should hopefully mean some good commemorative stuff happening in the UK. For a start, Dr Crusher is set to be at the SFBall. I'm one of the very few who preferred Dr Polaski, but hey, Beverly was still cool. :D


Open mat today didn't involve any Star Trek (boo), but did feature plenty of rolling (yay!). I got in good long roll with Heidi, playing around with stuff from open guard, like trying to establish grips. I also got the chance to practice some stuff from the Chelsea seminar yesterday too. The difficult bit is doing that Tom guard break with control, rather than exploding into it. Definitely want to teach that next time it's closed guard month.

The turnout from Tuesdays has been getting better and better, which is really good to see. I'm still keen to add a Thursday daytime session too, but that will depend on cutting down my office job some more (and therefore the BJJ will need to make enough cash). We're not there yet, but sign-ups to Artemis BJJ have been building steadily. So far, I've mainly been reinvesting that all back into putting on more classes (there will be a few more in the coming months, keep an eye on the Artemis BJJ Facebook page), but we'll eventually get to the point where it will help me go full time on BJJ. Which will mean even more classes! :D

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