25th of December 2014 23:12, day -2
That BJJ thing

The gym we've trained in for the last 3 years is Arte Suave. Based in Copenhagen, it is one of the best places, if not the best, to train BJJ in Scandinavia. Arte Suave is an amazing gym with a coach Shimon Mochizuki who is a superb teacher. It is home to the vast majority of Danish Black Belts, and generally the nicest, most lighthearted and serious-about-their-training bunch of BJJers you'll come across.

Before joining Arte Suave, Jeppe and I trained in different places, which you can read about here:

Jeppe: I started doing MMA and submission wrestling in Aalborg under Kim Hovgaard about 7 years ago. As I got more and more interested in the grappling aspects, I started coming the the gi classes too. I enjoy the challenge of training in a gi, as it punishes you if you rely too much on winning scrambles. I like that. You have to be more deliberate with the gi. The trainer - Kim - is half tape, half orangutan and his enthusiasm for grappling and attitude towards adversity is contagious. I feel very lucky that he was the first instructor I had.

Camilla: I've been intrigued by martial arts for as long as I can remember. I started training Iwama style Aikido in the spring of 2002, and stayed with it for 7 years. In 2006, when I was 19 years old, I went to Japan for 3 weeks to become an uchi-deshi under Hitohiro Saito, founder of the Iwama Shin-Shin Aiki Shuren-kai style of Aikido.

2006 was an eventful year, as I also moved to England, started doing my bachelor's degree and tried out grappling for the first time. I began my training at the University of Essex, where a group of guys taught the very basics. Although they called it BJJ, we never used gis - they taught us that there was something called a hip-bump sweep, and something called an armbar - the rest we more or less had to learn during sparring.

In 2007, while visiting my sister in Aalborg I tried out BJJ for the first time (in an Aikido gi - very suave), at a seminar with Augusto Ferrari in Aalborg. Back in England, and in spite of Colchester not exactly being the center of the world, I ended up going to a seminar with Rodrigo Gracie by chance, and a seminar with two Swedes. One of the swedes turned out to be a Dane, who trained at Arte Suave in Copenhagen.

At the Rodrigo Gracie seminar, I met Eddie Kone, who became my teacher for the next few years, and who handed me my blue and purple belt. While affiliated with Eddie, I kept training and teaching at the university club, and frequently visited a nearby Gracie Barra gym - Ministry of Martial Arts. During the summer of 2008, 2009 and 2010, I did internships in Copenhagen and as I'd heard of Arte Suave in Colchester, I started training there.

For 2 years, I went to Europeans with the Checkmat team from Arte Suave, as EKBJJ did not have a BJJ competition team attending. The guys and girls from Arte Suave helped me, coached me and chewed me out when I made silly mistakes. Earlier, I'd gone to almost all competitions by myself. Going to competitions with a team at my back was a new and very positive experience for me, and was part of the reason I changed teams to Checkmat in 2010. As part of my move to Checkmat, I started training at London Fight Factory, under Luiz 'Manxinha' Ribeiro and Marco Canha (now London Fightzone). Canha's style of BJJ and teaching really resonated with me, and is something I've been trying to emulate ever since. I stayed at LFF until 2011, when I moved back to Denmark. In Denmark, I trained in ASJK while living in Aalborg, and finally Arte Suave when I moved to Copenhagen. Arte Suave is a great place to train, with one of the most technical and methodological coaches I've ever seen. It is definitely one of the things I will miss the most when we leave Copenhagen!

Results

  • 2013 Swedish Open: Adult Female Brown/Black Open Class, Bronze
  • 2013 Swedish Open: Brown Belt Adult Female -69 kg, Gold
  • 2013 Abu Dhabi World Pro UK Trials: Purple/Brown/Black -63, Gold
  • 2013 European Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship: Brown Adult Female -64, Silver

  • 2012 European Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship: Purple Adult Female -69, Silver

  • 2011 UK Premier BJJ: Open Mixed (male purple feather), Bronze
  • 2011 Bournemount BJJ Open: Female Purple Adult mixed weight, Gold
  • 2011 IBJJF European Championship: Female Adult Purple - 64, Gold

  • 2010 IBJJF European Championship: Female Adult Purple - 64, Silver

  • 2009 Bristol Open: Female open blue belt, Gold
  • 2009 Nordic Open BJJ and Grappling: Female Open Blue belt, Bronze
  • 2009 Kent Open: purple belt -69, Gold
  • 2099 British Open no-gi: Advanced female +63, Gold
  • 2009 Ground Control UK Nationals: Female open, Gold
  • 2009 Nordic Open BJJ and Grappling: Female Open Grappling, Silver

  • 2008 ADCC DK EU trials: blue belt -60, Silver
  • 2008 Ground Control 4.0: Female open, Silver
  • 2008 Gracie Invitational: adult female white belt -69, Gold