Luxembourg City, Luxembourg — Have you heard of Luxembourg? I myself was vaguely familiar with it, but could not have told you anything about the country until I temporarily lived there. This past January, I was traveling in Germany when I received an invite to interview for a job; I had to jump on a plane for a 24-hour round trip, but after my interview, I managed to squeeze in a training session. Fast forward 6 months later and Uplay Martial Arts became my second home for my entire stay in Luxembourg.
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The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg — surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany — is one of the smallest countries in the world. Despite its size, Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world with one of the most competitive minimum wages available. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is globally recognized as a major financial hub and a tax haven. Due to its intertwined culture, languages including French and German are spoken in addition to its native language, Luxembourgish. Luxembourg is a country with unique characteristics that make it worth visiting. It is rare to find a country in Europe where various cultures and languages are overlapping but act in perfect harmony.
Uplay Martial Arts was founded in 2016 by Professor Leonardo Neves, who is a BJJ Black Belt under Leonardo Vieira. He is originally from São Paulo, Brazil, where he started his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training under the Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Academy, but he has traveled and established academies around the world under Team Neves Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association. The affiliated schools are located in various European countries including Sweden, Croatia, and Poland.
Before my interview in Luxembourg, I reached out to the academy via Facebook and I received a warm welcome from Professor Neves. Fortunately, my relationship with Uplay Martial Arts did not end with one visit. I had the opportunity to pay a few more visits during the business trips, and I eventually moved to Luxembourg for three months. Every time I was in Luxembourg, the door at Uplay Martial Arts was always open for me.
Despite the fact that approximately 48% of Luxembourg’s population are foreigners of more than 170 nationalities, Uplay Martial Arts has a close-knit community with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu bringing everyone together. The atmosphere at Uplay was friendly and playful. Drilling and working together after the class to improve and hone their skills could be commonly spotted at Uplay as if it were a part of the regular curriculum. In addition, BJJ Globetrotters frequently visit the academy, and Professor Neves and students create an open environment for everyone regardless of the affiliation.
Established three years ago, Uplay Martial Arts has shown incredible growth in the number of students and their levels. Although the academy might be new, the professor’s seasoned skills as an instructor have helped rapid growth of the Brailizian Jiu-Jitsu scene in Luxembourg. Also, leveraging Professor Neves’ connections within the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, it is common for high-level BJJ competitors such as Lucas Leite from Checkmat and Thiago Abud from Unity to visit the academy as guest instructors. The professor himself is also often invited to host seminars in various academies across Europe. With his passion to spread Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and proven teaching skills, Professor Neves’ Uplay Martial Arts is a must visit in Luxembourg. If you happen to be in Luxembourg, I would highly recommend for you to drop by Uplay Martial Arts.
Location & Facility
Uplay Martial Arts is located in Beggen, Luxembourg. The academy is easily accessible via public transportation, which is soon to be completely free within the country. In order to reach the academy, you can take a bus 10 or 11 from the city center and get off at Beggen, Bastogne. The facility, located on the second floor of a large shopping center, includes a spacious open mat with basic weight training equipment. (Google Map: Link)
The Academy is open every day, including Sundays, and offers a variety of classes from Freestyle Wrestling to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With the academy’s morning, afternoon, and evening classes, it is hard to make an excuse not to train while in Luxembourg. The academy’s most recent schedule is posted below:
Uplay Martial Arts did not charge for the training. However, it is always courteous to reach out to the gym before your visit.
— Uplay Martial Arts’ Website
Things to do
- Luxembourg Old Town — With its stunning blend of high-end shops and restaurants, Luxembourg City is not a typical European old town. Surrounded by major tourist attractions such as Place Guillaume, Place d’Armes, and Adolphe Bridge, the small capital city of Luxembourg is one of the most unique cities in harmonious diversity.
- Grand Ducal Palace — Fully restored in Flemish Renaissance style in the 1990s, the Grand Ducal Palace is a residence for Grand Duke. The residence is open to the public for a period of 6 weeks over July and August whilst the Grand Duke and his family are away on their holidays.
- Casemates du Bock — Consisting of 23 km of tunnels under the fortress prior to its deconstruction, Luxembourg’s famous network of underground fortification is a true textbook example of European military architecture. Listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, Casemates du Bock constitutes Luxembourg’s main tourist attraction.
- Vianden Castle — Located in the north of Luxembourg, Vianden Castle is the most visited monument of Luxembourg. The origins of the castle date back to the 3rd century when the Romans fortified Vianden, but the castle was built between the 11th and 14th century. With the beautiful nature and old town surrounding the castle, Vianden Castle is worth a day trip.