After two month of doubts and uncertainties, the cloud of dust dissipates over The Great Strasbourg BJJ Schism. Whenever there is more than one BJJ club in a city, it is almost a law that drama will happen. This summer, I witnessed the split here in Strasbourg and I’m pretty sure we’re headed straight into some drama.

Last year, there were 3 clubs around here:

  • Gracie Barra 67, the original and still largest one. That’s were I’m at.
  • Ozaki Boxing Club / Dachstein. As far as I know it used to be boxing only until the owner fell in love with bjj and started offering classes there too.
  • Lutte Lipsheim, more focused on no-gi.

Everyone cross-trained everywhere with some agreements between the owners. All love.

But Then…

GB67 added a session monday night and suddenly demanded that people from Ozaki pay an extra fee to attend this lesson. Ozaki countered by requesting an extra-fee for the saturday morning lesson. I don’t know why GB67 suddenly demanded a fee, but I understand the reaction from Ozaki. Too bad I was training there on Saturday, I had to pay because of some decision from my own academy I did neither understand nor support. The two owners are not-so-friends anymore as far as I can tell, but everything is great between us, the common folks.

A black belt from Brazil, Thiago, came back to Strasbourg. He used to train here before and while he (allegedly) did some weird things, he was cool with everyone until the GB67 owner (allegedly) fucked him over. I’ve heard one side of the story but I’d rather not write anything about it until I hear the other side. So now he’s back for good and oppened his own academy.

A purple belt who used to pop-in here and there over the last year is about to open his crossfit studio with some mats inside for BJJ lessons.

Where To Go?

There are no contracts in France, you pay for the year up front and that’s it. So I’m now free to go wherever I want. What do I want? A couple of — incompatible — things.

  • I’d like to keep training under Salah because he’s an awesome coach & person.
  • I want to keep training with the close friends I have made: Florian, Marie-Laure, Mathias, Jan, Ahmed, Cyril…
  • I’d rather not drive more than 20 minutes to train

Salah is going to teach at GB & at the Crossfit place. Florian & Marie-Laure will likely train at Lipsheim, Jan at Thiago’s, Mathias doesn’t know and I haven’t seen Ahmed in a while.

After some internal debate, I decided I would stay at Gracie Barra even though I feel more and more disconnected with the owner. I still get to train with Salah twice a week and I’ll see the people from Lipsheim 2 to 3 times as well. And I’ll keep going to Ozaki on Saturdays when I feel like it.

Thiago is a really cool guy and I’d love to cross train there from time to time but I don’t see how I could do that with my schedule.

A Prophecy That Hopefully Doesn’t Come True

The Gracie Barra owner decides to cut the partnerships with other academys. People can’t cross-train any longer. Because of that, a sense of unhealthy competition appears and in five years every newcomer is told that the other academys are full of assholes.

Salah & Ahmed decide to train fulltime at CrossFit 67. Some people leave, the teaching starts to suck and the drop-out rate shoots through the roof.