I met up with Si in London and, being near Brewer Street, it was the perfect chance to visit Arigato and stock up on Pocari Sweat – my favourite Japanese sports drink (which was desperately needed as that place is HOT!).
The Academy is tucked away in the basement (aren’t they always?) of a building on Street. On entering, it had something of the feel of Renzo’s place in NYC (probably the white walls, blue mats and the basement thing going on). The mats were packed and it was also great to meet up again with Big Dean. There was a good buzz around the place and the session started with British Judo legend and BJJ Blackbelt Ray Stevens showing a couple of throws.
With a number of Black belts on the mat, we were treated to a carousel of each showing us a couple of techniques, which was great as there was something there for everyone, but so many I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do any justice in trying to remember them here! Introduced by Dean, I briefly met with Roger, who I found to be relaxed and friendly...and very, very tall!!! I got the feeling the day would go on and on and after a few hours, Si and I simply had to get on our way, but it was well worth the trip so a big thank you to all of the guys at RGA.
It seems that the Academy, however, was short-lived - something to do with the regulations on the use of the building. Seems a shame - it was looking to be a great place in a great location and would have been a huge sccess.