The country: Romania
Gyms visited: 3
Skill level: Excellent
Vampire sightings: Possibly one
After months of working and teaching BJJ in Africa I’ve decided to take a several month BJJ tour through Europe! This trip is going to take me from Eastern Europe to the July BJJ Globetrotters camp in Belgium and circle back to end at Oktoberfest in Munich.
My plane touches down in my first destination Bucharest, Romania and less than 4 hours later I’m on the mats at Absoluto Fighting Center. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to train with guys of this caliber and I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated. There seemed to be black and brown belts everywhere I was a bit surprised. I was greeted friendly before the class by a few guys and my worries washed away.
The class began on the large pristine white mats and SURPRISE it’s in Romanian. This was actually my first time having a class in a language other than English in my travels. I felt it was fitting since I’ve been teaching English BJJ classes to French speakers in Africa. The tables had turned. Luckily my new friends were willing to help translate as much as they could. The instruction was very detailed and after some drilling I had brand new Romanian techniques in my arsenal. I was able to train here 3 more times this week for open mats.
Big thanks to Absoluto Fighting Center for all the training and setting the pace for this trip. It’s gunna be a great summer.
Bucharest itself is beautiful. There’s many contrasts between very old buildings right next to brand new ones. I had too many beers in the Lipscani district or old town which is filled with restaurants, bars, and foreigners. It’s also a city filled to the brim with the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen.
Found this gem of an alleyway with umbrellas for a roof
I made my way down to Brasov where I was first invited to train at Korona fight sport. I got some marathon style rolls on with a couple of the resident purple belts and was able to get some info on where to have a beer after.
Brasov itself is amazing! The old city is still surrounded by walls from when it was fortified and includes a busy center square with many restaurants and pubs next to historic buildings. My pictures can’t tell the true story of the the feel to be in a place so alive with history. I was able to visit Dracula’s castle as well.
I was invited to teach a seminar to a small gym from a friend I met in Senegal. This class was an amazing experience. Alex my new friend was very proud of the atmosphere at his gym and immediately I could see why. The team was a family. They were eager to learn new techniques and afterwards they treated me and a friend to some drinks and dinner.
Overall my week in Romania was filled to the brim with great training and new experiences. I often wish I could stop time and enjoy a place for much longer, yet there’s still so much of the world to see so it’s off to Serbia I go!