One of our BJJ Scandinavia community members from Sweden, Hampus Eineryd, recently visited Kimura BJJ Academy in Belgrade, Serbia. The academy’s owner and head instructor is none other than Guillaume (Gile) Huni the editor of one the most successful BJJ websites bjjee.com as well as the editor BJJ videos website, watchbjj.com. Hampus tells us about his great experience at Kimura, the warm ups, techniques and rolls with the team. If you pass by Belgrade, make sure to visit Gile’s academy and get some rolls in!
When I decided to backpack around Balkan (Sarajevo, Podgorica and Belgrade) during Christmas and New year’s it only seemed fitting to bring a couple of Gi`s and try to get some training in. So I packed two GIs and started looking up gyms online. The first gym I found was the Kimura gym in Belgrade, which had some nice reviews from other visitors who said they were open to visitors and spoke English. When I contacted them, Gile (Gilluame Huni) added me on Facebook and helped me with what time they would be training between Christmas and New year’s.
The academy was pretty easy to find, even though it did not have any big signs outside, as it was located on one of the biggest avenues in Belgrade and there were plenty of pictures of the entrance on their website. Right away I was surprised by how friendly everyone was and that they tried to make sure that they spoke English in the dressing room before the class so I could understand. After the discussions on how long people had been training, the freezing weather and upcoming BJJ competitions it was time for the class. The class was held by Gile who was the person who I had contacted and he started the class by welcoming me end he also did all instructions in English which was very helpful for me since my Serbian is limited to ordering a beer and saying thank you. The class started with the classic bjj warm up consisting of around the mat and the mat getting the muscles warm and then doing some exercises such as shrimping and rolls across the mat. I´m usually not a big fan of warm ups and find them kind of boring, but this day it was well needed as the freezing weather in Belgrade had resulted in the room being really cold at the begging of the class. The cold was however not a problem after the warm up since I was breathing really heavy and sweating like a pig, it turns out that stuffing your face with Cevapi, cakes and beer for 2 weeks isn’t the best preparation for bjj.
Gile then showed some familiar drills such as leg drags and other passing movements which we drilled for 2min each, he also showed some entries to some judo takedowns which was completely new to me since I am a devote guard-puller but it was very interesting to learn some judo entries. After that we went more deeply into some defenses against a person that has got a deep de la Riva hook and is trying to use it to sweep and invert to berimbolo to the back. Gile explained everything in english. The techniques were really nice and there was some new stuff that I haven’t seen before that I´ll definitely will keep working on. After that it was time for 30 minutes of rolling, I paired up with a couple of really good higher belts. What stood out to me other than most of the guys there were pretty big and athletic was that they all had really good stand up and rolled really technical. After the training Gile and a couple of the quys at the academy joined me to KFC for a late dinner and gossiping about the latest happenings i BJJ.
I ended up coming back the Kimura academy 2 more times for a nogi class and another gi class that I had not planned for, those classes was only open mats since there was a lot of people away for the holidays I think. But once again I had a great experience and learned a lot by rolling with new people and other styles than I´m used to. Overall I had a great experience at Kimura and would definitely recommend it to other travelers staying in Belgrade.