I went to Hamburg for the week-end recently and used the opportunity to train there. I found a BJJ Globetrotter there who trains at Gracie Barra Hamburg, so that’s where I went.

The academy is part of the Zanshin Dojo which is a really nice facility. They have three decently-sized BJJ rooms, a lot of fitness machinery, awesome lockers and even a sauna. But because it’s not a public infrastructure I had to pay a rather hefty 35€ to train for two sessions. I can certainly understand that they need money but a drop-in fee would have been cool.

The classes themselves were very nice, albeit short. It was my first class with an authentic brazilian black beltch, in the person of Daniel Nunes who’s running the show there. The classes had super-short warm ups, a bunch of linked techniques and eventually free & positional sparring. I liked how during the competition class the timing at which to make a move was an integral part of the technique. It made me realize that timing really isn’t part f my game yet, I just execute moves without really thinking about when they’d be the most effective.

The Gracie Bara Hamburg crew
Everyone was very welcoming there with special shout-outs to Alix & Michel.

I must have been a bit rusty because I didn’t perform too well during the sparing. Some of them had a high pressure passing style and just smashed through my guard, even submitting me a couple of times. To be fair I suspect Daniel paired me with some of his best students since he changed my match-ups a couple of times. The only thing I did well was positional sparring — no one passed my guard, I even managed to fence off some purples.

The Gracie Bara Hamburg crew