I'd been a fan of Jack's work for a while. He featured on a BudoVideos segment a while back where he appeared on a panel of jiujitsu black belt and since his background is, much like mine, strongly linked to the self defence aspects of Gracie Jiujitsu, gravitated towards what he was explaining and showing. Here's part one of the episode itself:
This got me curious so when I looked up other material Jack'd put out, I saw some fantastic clips where he shows very strong fundamental concepts, and his explanation was always super clear. Here is one such clip:
Fast forward to me looking into going on a training trip to San Diego (2017) and LA (2018). I contacted a few of the names whom I knew live in that area and asked for advice and Jack was very generous with his time. Do remember that at this moment we'd never met so he was being kind to a complete stranger.
Fast forward again to 2018. It's Sunday, so the Gracie Academy is shut. Ryron and Rener actually were kind enough to invite me to the beach where a bunch of them were playing volleyball but I had heard that Chris & Melissa Haueter ran early morning sessions in their famous garage on Sundays. I decided to find the garage and go hang out with the boys later and boy am I happy that I did. Not only did Melissa teach a great session on the closed guard, and not only did Chris share a thousand and one cool stories, anecdotes and technique tips (check his video below on how to tape your fingers for jiujitsu), but as we were finishing the warm-up, in walks Jack Taufer!
How cool is that for serendipity? Jack and I started talking and by the end of the session, we had really hit it off and I said to Jack that if and when he considers visiting London and the UK, he must stay at mine. We hugged and left it at that.
4-5 weeks later, I get a message through Facebook messenger:
"Yo, I'm looking at flights."
What happened after that, is a giant cyclone of fun and jiujitsu!
|Me trying to explain to newly arrived Jack and his body that it's noon!|
|"Wait, wait, wait. So a public toilet just rises from the ground?!"|
|Thank you for all the amazing advice!|
|Seriously if you live in London and haven't visited Adventure Bar...|
|You're missing out on a great vibe!|
|DJ Shorty was rocking Brixton Chip Shop.|
|Hours upon hours of drilling!|
|Maybe Jack got in trouble. Maybe!|
Where shall we go now? 1980's party of course! To the Jackmobile!
|Are these glasses 80s enough?|
|Is this outfit?|
|Here we go!|
|HERE WE GO!!!!|
So many more memories and so many more pictures! I genuinely cannot believe how much Jack and I managed to squeeze into this trip! In fact, in one day the three of us (Jack, myself and Simon) managed to grab a coffee with the jiujitsu-obsessed cast of the Lion King musical in central London, followed by drinks at Gordon's wine bar, then up to north London (Camden Town) and all the way down to Brixton in south London! All in one day!
I cannot wait to hook up with my buddy Jack again, either here in London or in California.
Who knows, maybe instead we'll meet in a third location and speak to new people.
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
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