Kowloon, Hong Kong — After spending about two months in South Korea, I decided to take my journey to new countries in Asia. My first stop was Hong Kong. There I had a chance to reconnect with Hayley who I met while training at Tri-Force Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Osaka, Japan. She personally invited me to Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu where she currently trains.
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Hong Kong is an autonomous territory under China. As a former British colony, Hong Kong itself possesses a unique Chinese culture shaped by British influence, not to mention its ability to control the trade and market regulations. Also, as one of the important hubs in Asia, the city attracts tourists from all around the world with its iconic and modernized skyline. To be honest, I felt claustrophobic in Hong Kong which is one of the most densely populated cities in the world despite previously living in New York City and Seoul. Regardless, with its delicious cuisines (Especially, dim sum) and its interesting culture, Hong Kong was a memorable place to visit.
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu was founded by Makoto Aramaki who is a Jiu-Jitsu and Judo black belt from Japan. Beside Professor Aramaki, classes at Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu are led by six other Jiu-Jitsu and Judo instructors who have proven themselves in recent Asian Jiu-Jitsu competitions. With instructors’ backgrounds, the academy offers not only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but also competitive Judo classes.
The classes are all taught in English, but Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu’s multilingual instructors are fluent in various languages including Cantonese and Japanese. As diverse as Hong Kong itself is, students and instructors at the academy also come from diverse cultural and national backgrounds which create an exceptionally interesting training environment for us BJJ Globetrotters.
Unlike other gyms I previously trained around the world, Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu is not located near the city center. Instead, you will find the academy in the “real” part of Hong Kong surrounded by worn down buildings apart from high rises and tourists. It was rather relaxing (?) to train in such a friendly environment and be away from other tourists after a hot and humid day in crowded Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu is located in Kowloon in Hong Kong. As Hong Kong itself is not massive, the academy can be easily accessed via public transportation. It is approximately 10–15 minute walk from Mong Kok or Prince Edward station. Please note that locating the entrance to the gym could be tricky. The picture of the entrance is posted below, and Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu is located on the second floor of the building. (Google Map: Link)
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu has a rather compact mat space, which is understandable given Hong Kong’s real estate market. The facility includes men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers. The academy offers gi rentals for your training while traveling.
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu’s weekly schedule is posted below:
The detailed daily schedule is posted on the website: Schedule
The drop-in fee is $200 HKD (~$25 USD) per class.
<<Exchange Rate: $100 HKD =~$13 USD as of July 10th, 2018>>
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu has an English website that you might find helpful.
- Victoria Peak — The Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island which offers a scenic view of Victoria Harbor and Central. I would highly recommend taking a tram ride up to the Peak.
- Tian Tan Buddha (Ngong Ping 360) — Tian Tan Buddha, which is commonly known as the Big Buddha, is a major center of Buddhism and tourism in Hong Kong. You can ride a Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which provides a panoramic view of Lantau Island on the way to Tian Tan Buddha.
- Lan Kwai Fong —This party district packed with nightclubs and bars is located in the heart of the Central Business District surrounded by skyscrapers. This area is known as one of Hong Kong’s loudest hangouts. Brace yourselves before going out in Lan Kwai Fong!
- Macau — Macau, a Portuguese territory until 1999, is another special administrative region one-hour speed ferry ride (or a short helicopter ride if you can afford it) away from Hong Kong. Macau is known for its casinos, which generate 3 times the gambling revenue as Las Vegas. Besides gambling, there are historical tourist attractions influenced by Portuguese culture. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to train Jiu-Jitsu in Macau due to time constraints, but it is worth a visit.