BJJ / Grappling in Namibia: Always pack a gi, or at least a friendly smile.

I’ve been to South West Africa, the country of Namibia where my wife’s from, countless times over the years and other than an Okinawa Goju ryu session I attended back in 2005, my exercise regimen when I’m there usually consists of daily yoga and the odd jog or swim. This year, I was greeted at the airport by my father-in-law with a warm smile and a picture they’d taken of the back of a truck: “you’ll never guess what your mother in law found for you in Namibia? Brazilian jiu-jitsu!”

I hadn’t even packed a gi! I contacted the organiser, Ms Anita De Klerk. As I was strictly on holiday, I explained the only time I’d be free was Thursday morning around 10 and if they were happy to pick me up, I’d be honoured to take the class and lucky for me, she obliged!

The facilities were, as you can see, fantastic and the passion the students have is contagious. The Namibia Kickboxing Federation is well established and the bug of Jiujitsu had well and truly bitten many practitioners. I had the pleasure of meeting 3 of them: Leslie, Ankia and Anita’s son: Delano, with Leslie being the blue belt and the highest rank. They receive instruction from one of the best sources of Jiujitsu in the world: Team Sylvio Behring.

I taught a class on tightening the aide control and transferring your weight to the opponent before moving on to the mount. After, I asked what attacks or defences they wanted me to help them sharpen and we spent some time of the triangle choke, the RNC and escaping the back. It was a great session and the students were so eager to learn and take onboard as much as possible. Jiujitsu in Namibia is in good hands.

Funny story to finish on: as Anita was driving me back to my in-laws house, she noticed a plumber’s car parked outside. I explained we had them in to fix something in the kitchen and she said: “yeah that’s Virgil. He trains with us. I guess this is why he couldn’t make the session this morning!” then she came in and introduced us to each other. Small world, constantly getting smaller.

And now, the Part Time Grappler has a spiritual grappling home in Namibia!



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