Featured affiliated academy: Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France

Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France

Where is the gym located?
Team Shadow Dordogne is located in France, in the small village of Biron, in Périgord. We are located 5 minutes from the magnificent “Château de Biron”.

How many people train there?
Not many people are training here. It’s a very small gym, a bit lost in the middle of the countryside.

We are two people living here and training on a permanent basis. We received visits from a few people for a drop in and we have welcomed locals who wanted to discover the discipline. To date, we have only one truly motivated student who comes to practise regularly.

Is the gym growing – if so by how many new members each month or year?
The gym is growing really slowly and organically because we don’t advertise.

What are the highest and lowest belt grades training?
The highest belt is the coach (purple belt), the lowest belt is white.

When did Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France open?
The gym opened in April 2022.

Some facts about you:

Name: Jeremy
Age: 35
Belt: Purple
Profession: Computer engineer
Years in BJJ: 6 years and 9 months of training
Other martial arts: Krav Maga for 4 years
Currently living in: France, Dordogne.
Originally from: France, Haute-Savoie.

My coach Mohamed Taj visiting the gym.

My coach Mohamed Taj visiting the gym.

Please tell us the story of how your gym came into existence
That’s a long story ^^ I started BJJ thanks to a black belt colleague in my previous job. In addition to his club, he was giving lessons on a voluntary basis in a sports association accessible to employees of our company and suggested that I come and try BJJ as I was doing some Krav Maga at the time and I liked the ground part. There was only one time slot per week – Tuesday during lunch break.

The first few times were quite difficult. I could not even hold 3-minute sparring rounds. I did not know how to breathe, move, survive…

During the first year, I even skipped some classes and it was a little hard to motivate myself to go, but I held on until the passion took hold of me.

The next year I focused a lot on BJJ, trying not to miss the only class I could have per week and I even started going to “unofficial class” on Friday with my colleague who was usually going alone for physical training. Very soon that wasn’t enough for me and I started trying to find a club not far from where I was living. At this point I found Team Shadow Vitry with Azzedine and Mohamed Taj. Since that time I have never stopped and I was practising between 3 and 5 times per week (only at Team Shadow, since life events prevented us from fully continuing BJJ with my colleague).

I suffered a burnout in January 2021 and it triggered major changes in my life. I was lucky enough to be able to settle in the Dordogne, in the countryside, in a magnificent place. It was obvious to me that I was not going to stop practising BJJ, but there was no club nearby.

It turns out that the place that welcomed me was intended to welcome people in difficulty, depression, burnout, or with psychological weaknesses. We see the whole project as a unique intersection of physical activity, socio-cultural engagement, and mental well-being. By combining these different elements, we believe we can provide a holistic approach to wellness that is accessible, affordable, and effective. Our project interfaces with other related projects through its focus on health and wellness, and we see potential opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.

With these perspectives, it was obvious that I had to create a space to promote BJJ and allow everyone to enjoy this wonderful discipline.

Tell us about the people that train in Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France – who are they?
Mainly locals interested in discovering the discipline and/or maintaining a good physical condition.

Why do they train?
Discovering the discipline and/or maintaining a good physical condition. They practise for leisure, not for competition.

What are some of the challenges of running a BJJ gym in general, and in your area specifically?
Located in the countryside, there are not many regular practitioners. We do not advertise.

As a purple belt, I still have a lot to learn technically but I try to pass on my knowledge in an educational way.

Also, the courses are totally free and the non-profit organisation to support the activity is not yet registered.

It’s not always easy to find schedules suitable for everyone and also an accessible technical program for someone new to the discipline, without boring more experienced members.

How do you see the future for BJJ in your area?
I think the club will continue to grow organically with the locals. I’m also hoping to welcome practitioners from all over the world who would like to organise seminars or simply continue their practice during their vacation in this magnificent region.

I’m not sure that many other clubs will appear in the area, and I therefore hope to be able to bring what it takes to allow the discipline to make itself known and to exist here.

What’s the best thing about Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France?
The club is located in a unique location. We are very welcoming and eager to create an atmosphere conducive to good understanding, sharing, and mutual progress.

The dojo is in an old stone building which makes it special…

What would you recommend Globetrotters to see in your area apart from the inside of your gym?
With us you can also take part in Yoga classes. We have a music room, we like to play chess, and are open to discovering new activities that you would be willing to bring to us.

The Périgord is so rich and so dense that visits and walks are very numerous. Villages, castles, gardens, caves… but also the rivers, the forests and the panoramic sites – all can be discovered from near or far in Périgord.

A unique and unforgettable experience -> https://www.dordogne-perigord-tourisme.fr/


Thanks for sharing! If you’d like to visit Team Shadow Dordogne, BJJ France, you can contact them here.