The story of my trip around the world to train, teach and compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other grappling arts.


Video of me teaching in India

I just discovered that this was online on YouTube. I was in India back in march, with much shorter hair and less of a tan than now :D

Goodbye India

I am sitting in Mumbai airport, on my way to Malaysia. When I was trying to figure out where to go on my trip, I was looking for places that I knew nothing about. India was one of these. I found a confusing website with a few photos of some guys grappling. It seemed to be the only gym in India (that had a website at least). I sent them an email, and here I am. Five days and so many good experiences later, on my way to the next adventure.

I wonder how many of these undiscovered places and friends exists out there?

The guys here are working hard to put the Indian flag on the MMA map of the world. There is a lot of talent, and with these few passionate people doing what they do now, the potential of this place is unlimited. I am honored to have been able to give them a little push in the right direction with the experience I have and can share.

Every place, I have visited up until now, I have had a different role. In India, it turned out to be focus on positional foundation and training program planning for competition.

What will be next?

Day two in Nashik

I slept around 5 hours during the night, and decided to take a small nap In the gym while the other guys worked out and had breakfast. I woke up four hours later and panicked a bit because I missed training. All the other guys were sleeping on the mats too though, so I was fine :)

We did some training with a smaller group today. I went through basic wrestling for MMA. There is a lot of wrestling in India and many cities have mud pits where the locals wrestle. I really wanted to try that, but as far as I can understand, they are not too keen on fighting foreigners :-/

It was fun to do some MMA again, I haven’t done it for at least a year now. In the end, I got to roll with everyone in class. The knee held out just fine, didn’t feel anything. Rolled for a good half hour and was very pleased.

After training, we went for dinner (once again, amazing food) and then I drove back to the house with Alan on his motorbike. It was a perfect evening for the ride. Clear skies, quiet and perfect temperature.

Tomorrow, I am doing some one-on-one training with Alan, before heading to the airport (four hour taxi ride!) and flying to Malaysia.

Nashik Zombie

Apparently, Indians don’t sleep much. I consider myself very privileged to live a life without an alarm clock. I basically sleep till my body is done resting and wakes me up. Today was different though. I was going to bed around 2 am, not knowing that we were getting up at seven. With a long day of training and working out, needless to say, I was a bit tired. I took a three hour nap in the gym office, it helped ;)

The gym here is great. It is nice facilities and there are quite many guys. I did a class on mount escape today and think we were about 20. Some good talent in between for sure, I hope to spar with someone tomorrow. No time for sparring today unfortunately.

I like the fresh air and the slower pace here. People in the street are staring a bit more though, I don’t think they get many tourists here. I haven’t seen anyone else than myself yet, except for one swede, disguised as an Indian.

I am alive

I am in Nashik, India. It is a small city in the countryside, which means it has a population of an average Scandinavian country, roughly five million people.

Here is no wifi, so I cannot update my blog from my iPad. I have written some posts and taken some photos, but they’ll have to wait.

Tomorrow is my last day here. I am flying to Kuala Lumpur. It was my original plan to stay there, but I am getting a little tired of big cities and I need a break from all the training, so will go to a desert island for a few days to relax and write my book. I don’t know if there is wifi, but I’ll look for it :)

The Mumbai Gunshow!

I had a great day so far in Mumbai. Taught a class in the morning, then spend some time in the gym upstairs, working out with the local gunshows. The gym has an outdoor pool (=awesome, I need that at home), so I took a swim there after working out. This was all followed by an amazing Indian lunch.

The level of BJJ here is still pretty low, but the guys are dedicated and there is a lot of potential. I did some basic mount top positioning today and managed to do a few rounds of sparring. Knee felt fine today, but still not 100% comfortable with sparring. Made sure to put some ice on it after training.

In a few hours, we are headed to Nashik, another city outside Mumbai. Will stay there for two days before heading to Kuala Lumpur. Still have no idea what to do or where to stay there, but I consider going to a desert island or something to relax a bit alone and write on my book. I have tons of notes from the trip so far, so wanna write it up before I forget all the details :)

First day in India!

About to sleep now after my first day in India. I arrived at 3 in the morning, had some food and then to bed. I slept till 1 and as soon as I woke up, I was being picked up to go to the gym…. On motorbike! :)

Basically it felt like I came straight from snowy, cold Istanbul, slept, and woke up on the backseat of a motorbike in hot and sunny Mumbai’s crazy, crazy, crazy streets. It was quite a change of environment (even though Istanbul’s traffic was crazy too :)).

This place is really something different. It is hot, smelly, poor and dirty. For some reason, I really love it here despite this. People are friendly and funny, and the food is great. I love Indian food, so great to actually eat it here :)

My winter jacket and jeans are now officially packed away and will be shipped home asap.

We went to the gym and I was teaching a small class in the evening. People showed up about an hour late, but I was respecting the local traditions of being late ;) I did a little bit of sparring to test my knee and it went ok. Didn’t feel anything, but I am sure that one wrong movement can hurt it again. It is a little sore now, but much better than in Cyprus.

It was a really good feeling to train again, even though I only sparred for ten minutes. I got my dope and I am really happy now. Also got to do some more weight training, nice to keep it going.

Now it is time to sleep. Tomorrow will be more training, a swim in the pool and then off to Nashik to the next gym!

Now officially welcome in India

Picked up my visa at the Indian embassy today. If I had been one day later with my application, I wouldn’t have made it in time. Living on the edge!