This article originally appeared on Coconuts Bangkok in August 2013.
This piece is a summary of my second time competing in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. When this story was written, I had only a year of BJJ training – all of which was in Thailand. Since this piece, I have gone on to earn a blue belt (in BJJ there are five belts: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black) under 5th degree Black Belt Fernando Maccachero in Phuket.
This story is near and dear to me for a few reasons: it took place when I lived in Bangkok training under my good friend, ATT Black Belt Ben Stark (check out his highlight here), my other friend Alex Schild was one of the officials, in addition to competing and winning in front of a bunch of my other good friends.
The headline is obviously a throwback to one of my heroes, Hunter S. Thompson. Just wish I had more photos of the event. Anyway, enjoy!
Same same but different. It applies to many things, especially martial arts.
Thailand is well-known as the home of Muay Thai or the art of eight limbs, but the country is also becoming a major player in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) or the art of submission grappling.
This past Saturday, I tested my newbie grappling skills in the White/Blue Belt Competition at EMAC Thailand, a mixed martial arts gym right off Suriwongse Road. The competition was a fundraiser for Operation Smile Thailand and it netted over THB15,000 for the charity. Although Bangkok only has three BJJ gyms (EMAC, BJJ BKK, and Q23), students from all over the country took part in the event, which takes place every two months….. Read the whole thing here!