Frankfurt, Germany — After the successful interview in Luxembourg, I was offered a job as a Financial Analyst. For the first few months of my newfound job, I was based out of Frankfurt, which became my home base while I traveled in Europe. In Frankfurt, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu became my home gym and is where I received my blue belt.
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Frankfurt — located in the German federal state of Hesse — is recognized as an international financial capital of Germany; it is home to the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Tourists flock to Frankfurt to explore the old town and its old cobblestone streets, where the infrastructure has been preserved and reconstructed with the intention to protect the history of the city. Frankfurt is a city that encapsulates the history and tradition of its old red-brick homes and buildings with the contemporary style of the present, which is visible in the towering, glass coated skyscrapers being planted throughout the city. Frankfurt Airport is among the world’s busiest, and the city houses tourists and newfound residents from all different walks of life. As one of the most active airports and travel destinations, it is likely you will end up in Frankfurt if you are flying to/from Europe. On the next trip, I would recommend taking the opportunity to explore the town, rather than just pass through as a layover.
Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt was founded by Professor Henry Navorra, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Fabio Gurgel. Alliance Frankfurt has a long history to share how it became as recognized as it is today. When Henry started his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey in Germany, the resources for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu were not readily available as it is now. From driving to Holland once a week to train with a UFC veteran, Remco Pardoel, to inviting Brazilian Black Belts for seminars, Henry went above and beyond. Eventually, Henry went to Brazil to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Fabio Gurgel. After his trip to São Paulo, he gathered a small number of students together in an aikido center, which later became one of the first Alliance affiliated schools in Europe. His initial students included Dimitri and Daniel who are current black belt instructors at the academy.
Interestingly, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt does not have any full-time instructors. All instructors have other, full-time primary jobs; Henry is a lawyer and Daniel is a trader, but both are passionate about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and make time to instruct and teach in the evenings. The instructors’ class structures are as ever-changing and varied as their other occupations. For example, Dimitri’s 2-hour long classes consist of almost one hour of warm-up/conditioning with insane partner drills while Henry’s classes focused on repetitive drilling with a heavy emphasis on wrestling. Luckily for everyone, classes always end with 30 minutes of rolling. However, with six black belt instructors and countless high-level color belts, I would not underestimate the intensity of rolling at Alliance Frankfurt.
The highlight of Alliance Frankfurt is its gym culture. Given the school’s history combined with friendly students, the academy has a laidback culture with no place for gym politics. While there, I saw various BJJ Globetrotters from Brazil, France, and the U.S. dropping by and it was common to see students attending the BJJ Globetrotter camps all around the world. Everyone was always welcomed at the academy. Also, Alliance Frankfurt frequently hosted various seminars, and I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar of the legendary Fabio Gurgel who is one of the founders of the Alliance team.
With solid instruction and tough rolls, there is a reason why Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt is a reputable gym in Germany, and arguably a top gym in Europe. If you are traveling to Europe, there is a decent probability that you will fly through Frankfurt. When in Frankfurt, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt is a must visit. After six months of training and making new friends in Frankfurt, the list of people I need to thank at the academy is too long to name every individual. Instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Alliance Frankfurt for making my experience in Frankfurt unforgettable. Alliance Frankfurt will always be a second home for me, in my heart.
Location & Facility
Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt is in Offenbach, Germany. You can take the S Bahn 1/2/8/9 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) to Offenbach(Main) Kaiserlei, which is only 6 stations away. From the S Bahn station, the academy is approximately 10 minutes away by foot. Also, there should be parking across the street from the academy. Alliance’s facility includes a spacious white mat space with basic weight training equipment on the side. (Google Map: Link)
The Academy is open every day, including Sundays, offering both gi and no-gi classes. Since the instructors at Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt hold different full-time jobs, classes are only offered in the evenings during the weekdays and mornings on the weekends. The academy’s most recent schedule is posted below:
Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt is a BJJ Globetrotters affiliated gym. However, it is always courteous to reach out to the gym before your visit.
— Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Frankfurt’ Website
Things to do
- Römerberg — At the heart of Altstadt, Frankfurt’s old town, this iconic square is surrounded by picturesque medieval buildings with the Justice Fountain (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen) at its center. Despite suffering extensive damage during World War II, Römerberg’s unique architecture has been restored, and the square constitutes one of Frankfurt’s main tourist attractions.
- Frankfurt Eintracht — If you are looking to experience life as locals do in Germany, one of the best ways to do so is going to a football game. Frankfurt Eintracht is one of the traditional German football clubs currently playing in the Bundesliga. Surrounded by German football fans while holding a German beer, you can fully submerge into German culture.
- Alte Oper — Located in the inner-city district, Innenstadt, the Old Opera House is the city’s major concert hall and a former opera house. There are over 150 high-quality performances offered in all sections of music including musicals, jazz, and classical music.
- Museum District — Located on the south bank of the Main river, Frankfurt’s Museum District (Museumsufer) is a first-rate collection of 12 highly reputed museums centered around the historic art museum Städel.