Strasbourg, France —Next Stop: Strasbourg and its most popular and possibly the oldest Christmas market in Europe! Also, it was my first city in France on my journey, and I could not have been more excited. Although my weekend trip to Strasbourg was rather short, I had an opportunity to drop by Infini Jiu-Jitsu’s open mat to sneak a training session in.
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Located along the Rhine River in France and across from Kehl, Germany, the city simultaneously walks a fine line between a medieval past and a progressive future. France and Germany argued over custody of the region for centuries, but every aspect of Strasbourg including food, languages, and culture is neither German nor French: It is truly Alsatian. A blend of German and French influences in the city is what makes Strasbourg so unique among other European cities. From Strasbourg Cathedral to Petite France, the city truly looks straight out of a fairy tale.
Infini Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club offering grappling and yoga classes in Strasbourg. The academy is led by Salah Mezhoud who is a black belt under David Giorsetti since October 2016. Professor Mezhoud started Jiu-Jitsu in 2009 at the age of 31. Despite being a late starter, he frequently traveled to Brazil to dedicate himself to the art at well-known academies including the Carlson Gracie Academy and honed his skills among the best. Being a trainer by profession, he was able to easily translate his grappling skills to the students and created the academy that is now known as Infini Jiu-Jitsu.
Infini Jiu-Jitsu’s name was derived from the constant evolution and limitless nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the academy promotes a sharing culture by proudly stating, “We gladly welcome any newcomers and visitors on our mats!” on the website. Living up to the expectation, my Facebook message for the visit was responded to promptly with a welcoming message: “It’s free, you’re invited 😉.”
Unfortunately, my schedule only allowed me to attend the open mat, and I joined about 15 students on the mat on a Saturday afternoon. I awkwardly walked onto the spacious open mat within the sports complex in Strasbourg. Luckily, people in gis came up to me first and invited me. From talking about our backgrounds to which restaurants I should try that evening, the atmosphere at the gym was vibrant and welcoming. Although I was not able to join a class at Infini Jiu-Jitsu, judging from the skills of the students who were on the mat that day, I can only imagine classes are well-instructed and organized.
If you are in Strasbourg, I encourage you to reach out to them and join them for evening training sessions. I am sure you will be welcomed into the Strasbourg BJJ community with open arms. Thank you, everyone, at Infini Jiu-Jitsu for great rolls and food recommendations. I hope to see you all soon!
Location & Facility
Infini Jiu-Jitsu’s facility was located approximately 20-minutes away via public transportation from Strasbourg’s city center. It was located within a mega-sports complex and had a spacious mat space for grappling. (Google Map: Link)
Infini Jiu-Jitsu offers classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays followed by yoga classes. The academy’s most recent schedule is posted below:
Infini Jiu-Jitsu is a BJJ Globetrotters affiliated gym. However, it is always courteous to reach out to the gym before your visit.
Miscellaneous — Infini Jiu Jitsu’s Website
Things to do
- Cathédrale Notre Dame — The Gothic cathedral is the highest medieval building in Europe built in 1842 featuring an impressive astronomical clock. This impressive monument of Alsace’s heritage is an outstanding masterpiece surrounded by many local legends. It is hard to miss the cathedral when you are walking around Strasbourg.
- Christkindelsmärik — The annual Christmas market in Strasbourg is one of the most popular Christmas markets throughout Europe, which draws approximately 2 million visitors every year. Opened from the last week of November to the end of December, the Christkindelsmärik with over 300 stalls across the entire city of Strasbourg is currently one of the largest in the world. Don’t forget to pick out a few Christmas gifts from the market!
- Flammkuchen — Although this traditional dish might have different names depending on the region, flammkuchen in German, tarte flambée in French or flammekuechle in Alsatian all translate to “pie baked in the flames.” It is a specialty of Alsace and Baden-Württemberg regions on the German-French border, and this delicious pie is composed of bread dough covered with crème fraiche, sliced onions, and bacon.