WatchFit experts Ina Gutowska, Claire Aves and Sonia Pirez took part in an all action evening of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for charity.

Conceived and organised by Slam Promotions, the event at London’s Bloomsbury Ballrooms was a huge success and raised thousands of pounds for Great Ormond St. Hospital.

Ina and Claire, both personal trainers and fitness models with dance backgrounds, training rigorously for several months to become proficient at the martial art – one of the fastest growing in the world.

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They joined eight other girls including Sonia Pirez, already and experienced BJJ competitor and coach, and trained regularly out of the renowned Gracie Garcia Gym in Camden.

Ina Gutowska commented, “It was such a great experience and a brilliant discipline to learn. I have done grappling before as a general part of my conditioning and training, just as a way of keeping it fresh and different. But formally learning the skills of this martial art was very exciting and enjoyable. The Gracie Garcia gym is fantastic, there is such a special atmosphere there and the training is intense and serious but really good fun too. They really made us feel part of the family there. BJJ is the most amazing martial art and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to learn so much and apply it in competition. And doing so to raise money for Great Ormond St. Hospital just made it even better”.

Intensive instruction was delivered by some of the most highly respected BJJ teachers in London and the girls proved that they had learned plenty as they acquitted themselves very well in the ring in front of a packed house.

brazilian jiu jitsuu trainingClaire Aves recalled, “It was actually quite nerve wracking. The training had gone really well and we were all looking forward to the event itself. But I think I can speak for all the girls when I say that the reality of seeing the large ballroom absolutely packed with people who all paid good money for the charity, and looking at the ring in the middle of the room as they gave each of us the big intro and we walked in… That definitely got the heart rate up and the tummy turning over a bit!”

Ina took on another fitness model and dancer who had been training hard for several months and did a great job to win her BJJ debut three submissions to nil. Claire perhaps drew the short straw by having to take on Sonia Pirez who has been training, competing and coaching for a few years. Taller and heavier and with a great gym honed body, Claire gave a very good account of herself but was always battling in defence as Sonia’s great skill an experience meant that she was able to control proceedings and force several submissions. Claire laughed, “It was a great workout and a seriously good up close lesson and it was free!”

Both Ina and Claire were in no doubt that BJJ is a superb martial art skill to learn in terms of physical conditioning and mobility, but also for the potentially vital purposes of self defence.

Further details about BJJ and Gracie Garcia Gyms in London.

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