The country: Croatia
Gyms visited: Black Dragon Zagreb, Alliance BD Split, Jungle BJJ Split
Atmosphere: Chill vibes and bring lots of water
I’ve never been more tempted to buy a boat and float the rest of my life away. Touched down in Zagreb the capital of Croatia for one week followed by a week on the Croatian Ibiza and ended with a week in the happening coastal city of Split.
Zagreb is home to Black Dragon which is a team with an awesome mat space filled with variety of skill and personality. My first day I was welcomed by a small group for open mat and got to chatting much more than usual about my travels and their life in Croatia. The rest of my week here was opens mats of good rolls followed by a short conversation. Zagreb is the most aesthetically pleasing city I’ve been to thus far in my last month in Europe. The main square is a buzzing crowd filled with happy faces and plenty to keep you busy and tipsy in the evening.
My second week I ran away to the island of Pag to a place they call the Croatian Ibiza. Insert a week of beach parties, boat parties, drunk foreigners, and any other party destination stereotype. I ended up missing a great Croatian seminar and tournament opportunity because I already had my accommodation booked here and in hindsight I probably should have just left a bit early.
Split was my favorite part of Croatia. The coast line is really something amazing here. There’s blue waters sprinkled with islands and the coast is jagged with green trees and white limestone. Spending almost a month in cities I missed the beach life and chill atmosphere of a coastal city. The team I first met here was Alliance Black Dragon Split which I was put in touch with from friends in Black Dragon Zagreb. The mats here had the highest concentration of skill on a small space of my trip so far. Still, they were very casual and maintained the coastal vibe with less formalities and just enjoying the training while putting hard work in.
The scheduling was very convenient here as I was able to train at Alliance Tue, Thur, Sat and at Jungle BJJ Mon, Wed, Fri. Training at Jungle BJJ which is a member of the BJJ Globetrotters community really gave me an appreciation for everything BJJ Globetrotters is doing for BJJ. Each time I trained here there was also an additional traveler coming to the class. The guys here are very welcoming and used to travelers in and out of the doors. A real treat here was getting a class from a visiting Brazilian black belt that decided to get some training in while on vacation. Jungle BJJ is doing all the right things by reaching out with open arms to invite people to come train in beautiful Split, Croatia. I highly recommend making a detour if you’re ever near the area to come see the coastline, feel the atmosphere, and train at Jungle BJJ!
That’s 3 weeks of Croatia in a nutshell! Bonus content includes acai bowls, quad riding, fresh sushi, wild nighlife, beautiful island beaches, and several new Croatian BJJ techniques.
Next stop Budapest!