This year hubby and myself planned ourselves a little bit of bucket list trip (but obviously with our gi’s packed!). As readers will already know we did the Asian Open but that wasn’t the start of our adventures but my next few weeks will cover our gym visits and experiences. Our first stop was actually a brief stop over in LA where we managed to squeeze in a visit to Street Sports (who we visited last year) before heading to the second leg of our journey – Hawaii.
We were staying in Wakiki and had chosen not to hire car plus we prefer day classes whilst on holiday both in terms of training around any jet lag but also not to limit our tourist time too much. Both of these things obviously influence our choice of gym and training. Island Jiu Jitsu is an ATOS affiliate ran by Black Belt Jason Vigil. It’s near the islands university area and the main resort and our initial emails were quickly and politely responded to about visiting.
As the gym is near the University on the Island and we had the option of walking, catching the bus or easily getting an uber of lyft. We tried all three options but my preferred option was a taxi there with a casual walk back via Brew and Foam for a post training coffee and acai!
But enough about food and onto the gym. Island Jiu Jitsu is a small but spotless mat space on the first floor of a shopping centre. You take your shoes off before entering the gym and the changing space is two unisex cubicles. We showered back at the hotel but toilet facilities are down the hall and easy to find.
We took three classes at the gym.Friday’s class was coaches by Manu and as we were the only students we got a private lesson! We took advantage of asking him his favourite “A game” moves and picked up some golden nuggets. I personally liked a lovely armbar finish which I’ll be working on back home. Saturdays class was taught by Kyle and was much busier so it was nice to get some more rolls and get more of a feel for the gym and their style. Our final session was coach Manu again but also a host of black belt visitors. Again it was a great technical session including some nice omoplata sweep details and a bonus revision of my clock choke technique. It went without saying the rolls that day were high quality!
Island Jiu Jitsu had a really friendly feel and vibe to it and certainly is visitor friendly. Coach Manu in particular went out of his way to make us feel welcome and was really generous with his time. If your ever in Waikiki I would recommend any BJJ travellers to drop by.