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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 February 2018

Tap Cancer Out GrappleThon, Feb 2018

Class #949
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 04/02/2018

For 2018, I wanted to do an event for Tap Cancer Out, a major BJJ charity that raises money to fight cancer (as the name suggests). They are US based, but this year set up a system for running GrappleThons. I thought that was a good moment to do one for them, and I picked World Cancer Day (4th Feb) to do it. I don't remember a whole lot of rolling on my part at this one, so I'll do my usual thing when that happens of threading together the Instagram posts. ;)

Rolling kicked off with Knut, who had flown over from Norway to take part. I've 'known' Knut online for a while now, as he is one of the regulars in my BJJ DungeonTrotters group. We mostly play Dungeons & Dragons online, but the GrappleThon provided me an opportunity for some more in person sessions. As MYGYM rather handily has a studio space upstairs, that was a perfect DnD room, while the rolling continued downstairs.

As ever, a good turn out, with plenty of fundraisers and a brilliant t-shirt design from Seymour (as always).

Tracey and her son are two of the major stalwarts at our GrappleThons. They have been to every single one that Artemis BJJ has run (so since 2014: my first two GrappleThons were at the place I used to teach, Gracie Barra Bristol: Tracey was at one of those too, in 2013). Great job by both of them: they also fundraise every single time. :D

I love the ethnic diversity in Bristol, which is reflected both among the Artemis BJJ membership and the people who pop down to our GrappleThons. There's a strong Polish community: Piotr is another regular at GrappleThons, so it was cool to check him out happily chatting in his native tongue to another Bristol resident, Weronika. ;D

I did get in the occasional roll. At GrappleThons, I have tended to save myself for silly o'clock in the morning, when the numbers get thin on the ground. I might need to revisit that approach, as I could probably handle a little more rolling earlier. Mainly it would be nice to make sure I roll with all my friends, plus any cool visiting black belts. Next time. Well, when I say next time, I'm writing this in Nov 2018: after this GrappleThon, I went to two others. ;)

Bringing a sleeping bag and getting some kip is an exceptionally good idea. GrappleThon veteran Piotr has his system down. ;D

I also love the sense of fun you get at GrappleThons. This time round, that was exemplified by one of the visitors and main fundraisers going for a few rounds in a Pikachu costume. Awesome!

And to finish off the Instagram sequence, here's the vid of the last moments of our 2018 GrappleThon. Next up, a GrappleThon in London that connects to this (hosted by Wave BJJ), then another event in Belgium organised by my awesome friend Weronika (a different one, who has been to Bristol for GrappleThons too). :D

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