This Sunday I spent the day in the company of Royler Gracie at Eddie Kone BJJ. I’m no know it all with Jiu Jitstu bu any means, but I do know that the Gracie family are up there and when the call came from MMAPlus asking if I’d be interested in shooting it I jumped at the chance. I’ve also met Eddie Kone a few times briefly and found him to be a lovely engaging guy so I was more than happy to pop over to his gym in East London to take some pictures.
The seminar was well attended with about forty guys and girls of all ages and standards, white, blue and purple belts all on show. Royler started off the seminar with a brief history of his family cracking a few jokes along the way. Students paid full attention listening to his soft Brazilian accent before moving into teaching. The first part of the afternoon was spent explaining how to get out of an old school headlock. I couldn’t help remarking that had I know the techniques shown I would have had a very different childhood, the two moves were so simple, obvious and highly effective. Getting out of the lock with a step and a transfer or weight to gaining top control.
More jokes followed with a good period of Q+A about anything from diet to motivation and an interesting part about his bout with Eddie Bravo recently.
Although I didn’t really talk to Master Gracie I got the impression that he had loads of time for everyone, the seminar was in no way hurried and he took time for pictures and autographs with the students. He was also incredibly humble and ensured that all of the paired up students were given some attention. I really can’t fault the guy or the afternoon, Eddie Kone did an excellent job organising the event and delivered 100%.
One thing I will say is that from what I saw BJJ is something that anyone can do, from children to older people, male or female especially if self-defence is on the agenda and you don’t like getting hit in the face. The gym is a totally safe environment where anyone is welcome regardless of standard. I really got the feeling that there was a great extended family within the walls.