Thursday, October 3, 2013

Come surf and roll with me in February :)



Lots is going on at the Team Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotters and our first surf and BJJ beach camp has just been announced for February 2014.

Check out www.bjjglobetrotters.com/beachcamp for all the information you need!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finally had knee surgery & project 90 kg

For way too long, I've had problems with my knees. It all started with this toe hold a while back, that blew my meniscus and tore my ACL:


It was a big issue for me, when I was traveling and a constant worry in the back of my mind. A few years and lot of De La Riva guard later, I had accumulated even more little injuries, and while waiting for another injury to heal, I decided to have surgery on both knees and get it all done at once.


It's been a week since my double surgery now, and my knees are healing up day by day. I can walk pretty normally already and should be able to be back on the mats in 2-3 more weeks from now.

It's frustrating to be sidelined, but at least the rest of my body feels pretty good at this point (back, shoulder and what else injuries I've been battling). So hopefully, when the knees are healed up, I can really get back in action.

Just to make sure I wouldn't go crazy from not doing anything for so long, I've made it my project to lift weights at a bit more serious level. Back in 2006-2007, I weighed a whopping 90 kilos, but since I dropped weight for a competition, I have been consistently under 80 kilos. There is a NAGA competition in Paris in two months and the no-gi weight classes are -80 and -90 kg, so just because I can, I've set it as my goal to reach 90 kilos for that event. I started 8th of August with the project and it's going pretty well so far and looks like I can make it. It will be fun to be a heavy weight again! :D


Lots of other stuff is going on here. I am working hard on promoting two training camps, one is a fall camp here in my gym in Copenhagen, Denmark and another is a surf and BJJ camp in El Salvador in February. If you wanna join in, you are most welcome! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ok, F*CK injuries :(

This is so frustrating, it is beyond belief. All I want to do is to teach and train Jiu Jitsu and for TWO YEARS straight, I have been constantly injured now. I honestly think my longest run of consistent training in those two years is no more than a couple of weeks.

Mid June I hit my knee on the mat and it felt a bit sore. Didn't think it was anything serious, but it didn't heal and felt like having an open wound that someone was pouring salt in every time I touched the mat with it. Knee bursitis is the verdict. Slowly gets better and after nine weeks I get a cortisone shot. Same day I feel great in training and with thick knee pads can pretty much post my knee on the mat with just a slight pain. Then, one wrong movement, and it sweels up and feels MUCH worse than in the beginning.

Today, I pulled a blanket over myself and just that touching my knee had me screaming in pain.

To make matters worse, I think I am going to go for a meniscus surgery soon. Not that I was likely to do any training during my rehab period anyways.

This blog seems to be about nothing but me whining over injuries. WORST ANNIVERSARY EVER.




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rolling to defend the guardpass

From the 2013 BJJ Globetrotters summercamp.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crosschoke from mount

Teaching the mounted cross choke at the 2013 BJJ Globetrotters summercamp.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Short instructional on guard passing

This is a video from the 2013 BJJ Globetrotters Summercamp, where I teach passing the guard. Unfortunately a lot of the passes themselves didn't really make it on the video, but the position and the details from there are the most important anyway :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trying to return to the mat...

Since the Summercamp and MMA match, I haven't been able to train since I got a severe case of bursitis in my right knee from bumping it on the mat. One of the most annoying injuries there are and it doesn't even feel like a real injury! :(

Anyways, have been rolling and lifting weights for three days in a row now and so far, the body feels pretty good. Still a long way to go to get in shape for the competitions of the fall and ultimately the Europeans in January, but I'll do my best.

Stumbled over this video of a roll from our Summercamp last month. Ellis is a talented, young guy whom I promoted to a well deserved blue belt. I am sure you won't disagree on that decision if you watch the video :)



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fought MMA with no training, arranged crazy training camp and threw the party of my life (so far).

I feel guilty on a daily basis, that I haven't had time to write on this blog, but so much stuff has been going on recently, it is crazy.


First of all, I spent a LOT of time organizing and planning the first CSA.dk / BJJ Globetrotters summercamp. It turned out to be a great success with tons of people coming in from all over the world basically to attend a week of training. It was more rolling, teaching, training and socializing than I could possible do with only 24 hours in a day, but I tried my best :) We had invited some instructors to come in from abroad and with names such as Clark Gracie, Gianni Grippo and Oli Geddes all on the mat, the line up was pretty epic.


On the last day, we had a little belt promotion ceremony, and I gave out more than 50 belts, both to people from my own gym and also some of the ones visiting for the camp. Every single one of them means a lot to me, so it would feel wrong to try and single any out.


I made so many new friends at that camp, and I can't wait to do another one next year :)

The camp ended with a party. It was the 10 year anniversary for my gym and basically, we had decided, that if there is one time in our lives we are going to throw the craziest party we could ever think of, this was it. So we had chefs barbecue outdoor in the daytime, MMA fights in a full size cage all afternoon, limousines, red carpets, professional photographers, more fights in the evening and party all night + all morning.


Since I did want to make this the best party ever and I had rented a cage, there was no way around not fighting in it myself. I had originally thought of a "real" fight, but unfortunately, I tore off my cornea just two months earlier, which made it impossible for me to do any wrestling or boxing training for the preparations. Basically, I haven't trained anything but BJJ for the last 4-5 years, and with no preparations, I didn't exactly feel ready for a top trained opponent. Fortunately, one of my old friends and longest running training partners stepped up, and with pretty much zero preparations (cardio training included here! :D), we decided to go at it for two rounds of three minutes.



If you have read my book, you may remember me saying, that I would never fight MMA again, after that one fight I had ten years ago. Well, for some reason, writing that chapter, made me think about if I really meant that. I have put a lot of thoughts into how competition improves my life and makes me healthier, even though I don't really enjoy doing it. MMA is another tool like this, that can take me to the edge of my mental existence, and I find that extremely interesting. So I did it, and - apart from having crap cardio, especially after that whole week of training - it was actually a lot of fun. When other projects are out of the way, I will be honest and say that I might very well step into the cage again at some point. Just for the fun of it :)





Here is the video of the fight. For some reason, I forgot all about grappling and just decided to strike, only because I found that more entertaining :D Christian, the guy I am fighting, is an absolute beast on the mat and we have rolled together for 14 years, so we know each others games pretty well. Made it for an exciting match up and afterwards, I gave him a very well deserved brown belt. How is that for a BJJ belt test?!?! :D


With the anniversary theme and our usual way of doing things a little differently, we also had some other entertaining matches in the cage. A grappling match in suits and an MMA match between one of the talented kids from my BJJ team and our heavyweight professional fighter. I'll let the videos speak for themselves:









My BJJ kids have grown!

What an absolutely, fantastic camp and party that was. I have no words for how much fun I had, and the real downside to this is, that I know, how hard it will be to top it ever again. Gonna have to try, though! :) 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The BJJ world lost a friend today


Jiu Jitsu is such a fantastic engine to live life, travel and meet great people. Everywhere I have gone in the world, I have made great friends, that I hope to keep for the rest of my time. Unfortunately, today I lost one of them, long before I had hoped, I would.

When I first came to Moldova, I met this young, enthusiastic guy who was always wearing a big smile and a camera pointed towards me whenever I was teaching. It was obvious, that he immediately had found a strong passion for learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and he sucked in every drop of information, he could get about it. Hard working, dedicated and most important of all, he was always laughing and having fun at every single training session.

Him and his wife came to visit Denmark last winter, where he trained with us every day and he even competed at a local tournament. Every time I have been in Moldova, we had tough rolls and I could see in his eyes, how he constantly puzzled his mind, trying to figure out how to beat me with technique. I was very sad to hear, that he couldn't make it to this year's summercamp, since I had been looking forward to have the honour of promoting him to his well deserved blue belt. Something I know would mean the world to him.

He never made it there, since he was killed in a terrible car crash this morning while driving home from a no-gi competition in Ukraine with a hard earned silver medal in his pocket.

Igor will be yet another a reminder to me about, how any person out there in the world could impact me, no matter how short time we have together. How any stranger I pass by on the street, could change my life. How we are indeed all one.

I had hoped to know this guy and his smile for ages, but will have to do with the memories for this one. Life can change any second. His, your's and mine. Make the best out of it.


(I am rolling with Igor from 4:08)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lost my cornea somewhere on the mat

Haven't been training much lately after I got a toe in my eye and ripped off the entire cornea on the right eye. Spent all night in hospital, then four days in pain without being able to open my eye. Still got blurry vision, but it is improving steadily and there shouldn't be any long term complications.


Four months ago, I scratched my cornea (same eye) by sliding it along the collar of my opponents gi during a double leg sweep. It was probably the most horrible pain of my life.... untill this happened.

Fucking hell, worst injury ever. I don't recommend it.

Managed to teach a seminar in Bolton in the UK with one eye though!! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Great weekend in Norway

I spent the weekend in Bergen, Norway, teaching a seminar and also had time for a day on snowboard. Had a great time, it is such a beautiful country and the people there were very nice. Also some good Jiu Jitsu to be found! I got to roll a lot with most people at the seminar - hard work, but I enjoyed it a lot :)

Gave out four well overdue blue belts and is excited to come back in the future and see how they progress!










Thursday, March 14, 2013

Travel & seminar madness!

I've been traveling quite a bit the last month and a half. Actually so much, that I haven't really had time to update the blog :)

After Moldova, I went to Paris for the weekend with my girlfriend. No training there though. Week after, I taught a seminar during a flash visit on only 34 hours in Edinburgh, Scotland. Then I did a seminar in Odense, a city here in Denmark, and Monday I came back home after four days in Russia.

Seminar in Odense, Denmark
Seminar in Ryazan, Russia
Seminar in Edinburgh, Scotland
Tomorrow, I am off to Norway for snowboarding and seminar and soon after, I will go to England to watch Manchester United vs. Manchester City and teach a small seminar in Bolton.

Here is a short video of a roll in Moscow, Russia:



Friday, March 1, 2013

Visit from Chris Haueter


Chris Haueter has a special place in my Jiu Jitsu-heart, as he was the first person to ever "teach" me BJJ, when I bought his VHS tapes back in the late 90s and was blown away by this conceptual and positional approach to grappling, I had never seen before. His philosophies and view on training has influenced my own career and gym immensely, so it was a great experience for me to have him visit me last night for a small class and a nice, slow roll.

I visited Chris in California during my round the world trip and I will recommend anyone in that area to go visit his little backyard garage. You may also read more about him in my book :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wrestling and my face

I am currently studying the low single leg a lot and trying to implement it into my game. Constantly wrestling for that foot from any neutral or bottom position. It's a great takedown and sweep, but it comes with a price... for my face!

This is what I collected in one week of low singles:




Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grand opening of BJJ Athletic in Moldova


Flew to Moldova last week for the grand opening of the BJJ Athletic gym in Chisinau. I met these guys during my around-the-world trip and it is cool to see how they have really embraced the BJJ lifestyle and training methods.


They already have a strong group of some really talented grapplers with great physique and work ethic. This gym is going to be a great succes, there is no doubt about it! Look out for them at the competitions in the future :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Europeans 2013 result


For the third year in a row, I took a team to the Europeans in Portugal. It is becoming a nice little tradition for our gym to go there, and every year, it seems like we are improving our performances and results.

My own preparations had been pretty much non-existing due to injuries and being sick, but there was no chance, I wasn't going to compete anyway. Excited to battle against some of the many Brazilians in my division, I was a bit disappointed to find out, I had been matched up with another Danish guy in my first match—one who trains only 500 meters from my own gym and the same guy, I met in the semi-final last year. Although it was an exciting rematch (won last year by ref. decision after 0-0), both of us had hoped that the brackets had looked differently.

Last year, I spent six minutes in his very strong guard, so I thought I would try something else this time and pulled guard right away. The plan was to relax and hope he would either get tired or make a mistake I could capitalize on for a sweep or submission. He seemed to be in really good shape and from the first second of the match, he bombarded my guard with passing attempts at a relentless pace. I tried to spend as little energy as possible, hoping that he would turn down the intensity. Unfortunately, he was like an unstoppable steam train for six minutes and never really made any mistakes. My few attempts to sweep him was well defended and I simply didn't have the power to beat him. End result was 0-0 and two advantages to him. Well deserved victory!


The lesson learned was obvious; I need to be in much better shape. Having spent the entire 2012 rehabbing injuries, have really set me back physically, but I hope to get back up in strength and cardio as 2013 progresses. Back in the gym!


For the rest of the team, it went ridiculously well. I'll almost say, that I wasn't surprised about the result they made, because I knew how good they were and how intense and concentrated an effort they have put into the preparations. The few holes in their games had been closed during the fall season competitions and there wasn't much for the opponents to capitalize on.


I'm not going to talk too much about it (there would be too much to say :D), but will let the result and photo above speak for itself. Six gold and one silver medal. I am fucking proud of them all :)

As always, when traveling, we like to do something else than just sit in a sports hall the entire trip. This year was no different as we were stupid tourists in little scooter-cars and went surfing the last day. Great trip!




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Europeans next week

My preparations for the Europeans in Portugal next week as been as horrendous, as I had expected. Although my back is feeling pretty strong, both my knee still hurts quite a bit. I have an appointment at the hospital to have a look at them in two weeks, so at least I'll know whats wrong there.


I had just gotten up in gear with the training, when I was hit by the flu and had to stay away from the mats for about eight days. First training back was Friday, five days ago, and I felt like my lungs were collapsing. It feels like I am getting back in shape quickly though and have been rolling and doing strength and conditioning almost every day now. I just hope I'll peak a little bit next week at the competition :D

As always, I am excited to go down there. It will be my first time competing at this big tournament as a black belt, and I expect it to be as tough as it can be. Probably won't be any medals this year, but at least I am stepping on the mat and not just staying home :)


Friday, January 11, 2013

I started a BJJ team :)

BJJ Globetrotters offers an alternative to traditional affiliation within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Membership is open for anyone (both individuals and gyms), and there are basically no requirements to join, other than to spread—and agree with—the message :


The members doesn't represent a specific person, academy, instructor or lineage. They are merely a community of people, who share a common set of values:
  • We don't pay each other any affiliation fees
  • We wear any patches we like on our gis
  • We are free to represent any (or no) team in competition
  • We encourage training with anyone regardless of affiliation
  • We are willing to promote anyone who deserves it—members or not
  • We arrange camps, seminars and visit each other for training and fun
  • We believe everyone is equal both on and off the mats
  • We strive to enjoy life, people and the world through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The team is officially registered with the IBJJF, in order for our members (and non-members, for that sake) to compete at those tournaments.

If you or your gym are interested in being a part of the team, shoot me an email on graugart@gmail.com and I'll hook you up with some sweet gi patches :)

For more information, check out www.BJJglobetrotters.com.

Monday, January 7, 2013

One year in five minutes

Managed to boil down all the stuff I have recorded with my GoPro camera in 2012 into one, five minute long video. What a year :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Is competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu bad for you?


The Christmas and New Years craze is over, my body feels quite ok (the definition of "ok" these days is a bit low, though :D) and I have managed to actually train a bit. My knee hurts pretty bad in every sparring session, but I am all in on the rehab and when I wake up in the morning after having trained, it feels alright. I've managed to do a handful of good sessions this week already, both rolling and physical training, and it feels great to be a bit up in gear.

I can't stop being fascinated by, how competition again and again proves to be so healthy for me. As I talked a bit about in my book, the whole win/lose thing doesn't do much for me, but there are so many other things that makes it a good thing. Ultimately, I have concluded, that there is not a single aspect of competition, that is not healthy for my mind or my body. 

 It is so evident these days, leading up to the big one in Portugal in three weeks:
  • I eat much healthier and drink nothing but water 
  • I make sure I get lots of rest and sleep
  • I try to train as much as possible and push myself at every session
  • I am more focused on my strength and conditioning training
  • I am eager to perfect my game and close the holes in it
  • I challenge my ego—the inevitable doubts about myself, that are being produced in my head—face to face
  • I throw myself out into deep water, mentally and physically, to grow in confidence 
  • I inspire those I train with and teach 

That's what happens to me, when I sign up for a competition. So even though, I really don't enjoy competing per se, it is obvious, how that very thing sharpens my mind and body.

And that is why I have realised, there is no way, I can go through this life, trying to shape myself as the strongest, healthiest, happiest person I can possibly be, without that. Being a competitor.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First reviews of my BJJ book

To get your hands on the book, please visit this page :)

Amazing!
"Fantastic book! The message is simple, get out there and love life. Love people, and enjoy everything you do. Genuinely hilarious in parts, and equally deep and philosophical in others. I would recommend this book to anyone. It seems that for Christian, jiu jistu is about people, and nothing more. Belt colour and affiliation mean nothing to him, and in this community I believe that is something to be highly respected."

The number one book I have read this year
"This book and the stories in it have been the best thing I have read this year. Christian has a great way of story telling which shows in his blog too. You don't have to be a BJJ fan to appreciate this book and appeals to BJJ practitioners, travellers and anyone who wants a great read. Many things Christian mentions resonate with me which is why I love this book, get yours today and you will love it too!"

Fantastic Journey
"Picked this up last week after following Christian's travels via his blog, and even though I already knew the basics of his story travelling and training across the world, it's been highly enjoyable to read about it again in greater detail, both in terms of the journey itself, and in getting to know the writer better. If you enjoyed the Cauliflower Chronicals, then you should love this. In my opinion the story and writing far surpasses the Cauliflower Chronicals, making this a must for any BJJ or travel fans alike."

Must buy for Jiu Jitsu lovers and travellers a like
"I have followed Christian's journey through his online blog and a write up in a well known UK BJJ Magazine. So when I found out a book was being wrote I became particularly excited with anticipation for the release date of the book, monitoring updates daily via most social media. The book I ordered on 1st and amazingly it arrived this morning. I am already a chapter or 2 into the book and its engrossing, i have not wanted to put it down. I love jiu jitsu and just as importantly i love travel to so to link the two up in such an informative way is just brilliant. If there is one book you should consider buying this year this is it. Jiu Jitsu is an art that people all over the world can relate to and if you love it you know from deep within that its something to be respected and brings people to together with a common aim to improve and be the best."

"Part travelogue, part autobiography; "The BJJ Globetrotter" describes two journeys: One is Christian Graugart's journey travelling around the world, teaching and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a variety of well-known and obscure locations, meeting and connecting with hundreds of people. The other is his journey as a martial artist and as a human being. From a prodigious child, to troubled adolescent, on to self-realized man and, finally, BJJ Globetrotter, the author gives us an insight into everything leading up to his decision to take his journey around the world. Both stories are told with a great deal of honesty and introspection, making this book much more than just a travel-book. It's a story of personal growth through travel, of seizing the day and breaking out of the traditional patterns of society, in order to pursue one's dreams. This book will inspire you to take a long, hard look at your life and ask yourself: "Am I living my life to the fullest?""

The Globetrotter has feelings too!
"Very impressive book. Not only a story of a man training Jiu-Jitsu but a man discovering along the way who he is and the things that made him that way until now. Christian really strips away any ego and paints a very candid picture of himself is as a person all the while while enjoying an amazing round-the-world trip training the art he loves. If only all of us could be this honest with ourselves, the awesome Jiu-Jitsu experiences are only a bonus! Dont sleep on this one."

I am jealous of the experiences in this book!
"Christian brings his experiences to life in so many ways in this book. Who hasn't wanted to head out and travel the world doing what they love. Even if I am not able to do it on my own I gladly will share Christian's experiences."

"As a 56 year old BJJ competitor, avid surfer, and traveler, I totally enjoyed the BJJ Globetrotter. Christian's experiences always left me with a smile on my face and a deeper connection to my BJJ brothers and sisters throughout the world. Christian really illustrates how BJJ has united people of all races and nationalities worldwide and how we share a common bond that few can understand. I especially enjoyed the last chapter and how Christian teaches us that everyone that shares the mats is another friend just waiting to be made."

Excellent book
"Well written and well balanced between travel and BJJ stories. What a trip! Do not hesitate to order it, it is worth reading even for non BJJ fans."

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