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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

10 March 2019

Womankind GrappleThon, 9th-10th March 2019: Final MYGYM event

For some reason I forgot to write this up at the time. It was a stressful time for me leading up to the GrappleThon and for a while afterwards, as our venue was closing, so I had scrambled to find a suitable replacement. I did eventually managed to secure a location, which is where we've now been for a year as I write this, but it wasn't easy.

So, our final weekend at MYGYM was emotional. Saying goodbye to the building that had built my club into what it was, as well as changing my life from an office-worker to a full time BJJ instructor. I had a lot of great memories, from training, seminars and previous GrappleThons. MYGYM had served us very well: the building no longer exists, waiting to be replacement by some more faceless flats. Developers are always on the prowl, though I can't be entirely negative about them, as after all I am part of the gentrification problem (given I'm not originally from Bristol ;D).

Despite what I optimistically wrote in the Instagram post below, sadly MYGYM did not return. However, fortunately Ibb has managed to continue sharing his enthusiasm for helping people get fitter, still at the same Facebook page as before. I wish him the very best of luck, he was a great landlord and massively important to Artemis BJJ's growth. :)

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It's been a wonderful 5 years at @mygym_bristol. @ibb1982 has been an excellent landlord, always super supportive of what we've done at @ArtemisBJJ. Thanks to how MYGYM was set up, we grew organically onto that big main matspace. 👍 Like upstairs, the downstairs mats have a lot of memories for me too. Our first club gradings, teaching ever larger classes, and of course the annual @GrappleThon. It has become an amazing community of grapplers from loads of schools, all sharing technique and raising money for charity. 😎 So although it's sad to see the building go, the community is not about a building, it's the people. I look forward to that community going on to bigger and better things in our new homes: Artemis BJJ continues (with an expanded timetable!) at 7 Lawrence Hill, while MYGYM will be back soon. 😍 #nostalgia #endofanera #timeflies #MYGYMBristol #bjjclub #slideyclub

A post shared by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

We eventually raised almost £5,000 for Womankind, a great total. Once again, couldn't have done it without the fantastic support of Seymour 'Meerkatsu' Yang, who has been integral to the GrappleThons since the beginning. I had the pleasure of rolling with him once again, where as usual he voraciously went for my legs. One of these days I'll get comfortable with footlocks, but for now, still terrifying. ;)

Also as ever, lots of DnD! This has become my favourite part of the GrappleThons, as we essentially do a simultaneous DnDaThon, which is still rolling of a sort. Just rolling dice rather than people. Dan is such a great DM, plus we had remote DMing from the magnificent Eva once again via the joys of the internet. I love how that DnD group has grown over the years: there are so many fellow geeks in BJJ, truly a wonderful thing. ;)

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