My new album, Bryan Russell Unplugged. Unplugged, packed up and moved to Ireland!
So we had finally gotten our Russell family European travel chapter underway. The big move from little old New Zealand all the way over to sunny Galway for my wife to take advantage of a 2 year working Visa and the experience of a lifetime for her nursing. We landed in Dublin via China ready to take on this challenge in front of us, well my wife still had to go through a tough 2 day exam to get her nursing qualification recognized here so she was a very busy lady hitting the books and studying up! But here we all were, December 2017, in Ireland!
The kids and I managed to get in a lot of sightseeing around Dublin city as we were located quite close and of course, I had made contact with a couple of gyms to see who had classes available. There were quite a few in Dublin but I went with Jorge Santos BJJ school. They had a 2nd degree black belt coach in Jorge and their timetable and location was grand for where I was staying. Jorge was super friendly when I made contact, I even dropped in a day or 2 before the class so I knew exactly where it was – no repeat of Thailand for me! I hadn’t trained in over 4 weeks since I had left New Zealand so I was really itching for some jitsing.
I went down nice and early for the first class, Jorge was not there yet but I signed in, had to explain my heart condition again when I signed the waiver which is standard for me now! Once this was sorted, I was ready to go. I talked to most of the people there, they were all very surprised that I was moving FROM New Zealand to Ireland as most of the Irish people are trying to move in the opposite direction! I am not one to go with the flow really so it did seem quite fitting for us! Now it was class time.
The training was amazing, the first day I trained, Jorge was injured but a very technical brown belt took the class where we drilled spider guard sweeps and attacks, omoplata being the flavour of the day! We did some positional sparring and closed off the first class with some good rounds. There was the Dublin Open in the next few days so the rolling was light but still very intense. I learnt some good stuff that day and was very keen to return. The next class was after the competition and it was with Jorge. Wow. The warm up was just as full on as what I had experienced in San Francisco with Kurt Osiander’s school so by the time that was done, I was so warmed up I was boiled over!
The techniques we learnt from Jorge were awesome, spider guard to de la riva guard to omoplata sweep with various submission options. It was well broken down from the set up right to the submissions. I was partnered up with a purple belt who was very similar in size and game plan to me so the drilling was really good. We jumped into rolling at the end, I was honored to get a roll in with Jorge right off the bat who was super technical and made the 5 minutes very long and hard for me! I expected nothing less and was not disappointed. I got to roll with all the brown belts there and to say they were good would be an understatement. I learnt very quickly that the knowledge and skill level was at a top level, their fitness was high as well. They all rolled very hard but super controlled. The only injuries I sustained were very strained lungs and a sore hand from tapping! Oh yeah, I walked home very slowly that evening! Having a 4 week break was not ideal for my fitness! On a positive note though, I was lucky enough to be there when the team was doing a group photo, I even got to jump in on the side!
I had learnt a lot in just those two classes and made some good friends, when we head back to Dublin I would very much like to return! I recommend training at this school to anyone, passing through or staying in Dublin, it is well worth a visit. Great coach, great team and they made me feel very much at home! Oss.
“Forget about winning or losing – put your focus on learning and developing. It’s a much better long term strategy, trust me” – Nicolas Gregoriades