Wir haben die Ehre im aktuellen BJJ Globetrotters Newsletter mit einem Interview aufzutauchen. Darin geht es um das Was und Wie im BJJ AC Ziegelhausen. Leider zum Glück auf Englisch, viel Spaß beim Lesen!
BJJ Globetrotters affiliated Academy in Focus: Ziegelhausen Gym, Heidelberg, Germany
„Oh yeah, there´s one challenge: telling the guy who always comes to train for free that he should help sweep the mat space! If anyone has any tips, please email us.“
Benjamin Schuster, Jiu Jitsu problems…
The featured gym of this month is taking us to Heidelberg in Germany, where Benjamin is running a small gym with a group of fellow enthusiasts. The range between 5-15 people training now, which is pretty well done given that they started with 2 guys on a wonderful autumn day back in November 2016. Since then it’s been growing constantly, purple belt being the highest rank currently.
Profession: school teacher
How many years in BJJ: 5
Where do you live: Neckargemünd, right next to Heidelberg
Where are you originally from: A small town called Lorse in northern Germany.
Hi Ben, so as I understand it you started this small gym, correct?
The BJJ group was founded by me with the help of my buddy Herman Sloot, a funny and very clever Dutchman. Haven´t seen him fly, so not sure if that analogy works with him.
Please tell us the story of how your gym came into existence
I was looking for a cool location that didn´t require long drives, as I had been driving the wheels off my car since I moved to the Heidelberg region. I would travel between 25 and 60 minutes one way for training sessions. I had to get rid of that because it was too time consuming. I teamed up with my friend Herman and we checked out a few locations until we had the chance to speak to the local Heidelberg wrestling club called AC Ziegelhausen. Long story short, I told them I wanted to train Jiu Jitsu in their room and they were happy to source some new members for their club. Win win!
Since it´s a part of a club it doesn´t come with the financial aspect of running a big gym. We just get together, train, have fun, smash and talk shit. Oh yeah, there´s one challenge: telling the guy who always comes to train for free that he should help sweep the mat space! If anyone has any tips, please email us.
Tell us about the people that train in the gym and why they train?
It´s a pretty wild mix, some days we´re 50/50 on men and women. That´s something special because usually you see the odd woman in a BJJ group. We have had some really cool ladies since we started and they dragged their martial arts friends to training, so that´s probably the reason there are more-than-usual women at our place. Age wise it´s a wide range from 18 to 47. Many have a material arts background, some standup fighters from Kickboxing, others from self-defense Ju Jutsu or such wild things. They all love BJJ and are positive people, that´s the most important part
So, why do they train, you ask….Good question! Some just want to be properly mistreated a few times a week… It´s like in many clubs, you´ll find lots of reasons for people training. Some like combat, others like the social factor, again others want to drop weight and stay/get in shape.
How do you see the future for BJJ in your area?
Right now Jiu Jitsu is quite popular. I would say if you want to train a martial art and like everything that comes with budo sports, BJJ is the one to choose. There are a few options in Heidelberg, our club in Ziegelhausen and then of course our friends at Team Choco, who train at SRH sports campus. There are other places as well in the area, so the options of finding the right spot for yourself are good. Some people don´t get along, but that´s likely because they have to make a living off running a gym.
The area we live in is not heavily populated (Heidelberg has 150000 inhabitants, Mannheim has 350000), and finding customers for martial arts training can be challenging apparently. We try to keep it simple and fun with an open door policy, because we just want to train and don´t aim at financial aspects. There are quite a few tournaments in southern Germany, so there´s certainly no complaining about that. In general I think it´s a really cool place to be and it will likely grow a little more.
Thanks Ben, sounds like an awesome place you have there. And maybe we should remind the reader that we have indeed made your potential visit to Heidelberg all that easier. How? Check out our fall camp in Heidelberg!