Jiu-jitsu Times is excited to announce a new feature: Off the Mat with a Bjj Black Belt where we feature a short interview with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts from different academies around the planet.
This week we feature Christian Graugart aka The BJJ Globetrotter based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Bjj Globetrotters is a network of bjj schools around the world that connect people through the art of brazilian jiu-jitsu with a philosophy of NO politics!
Christian traveled the globe rolling and teaching at academies in many different countries and wrote a book chronicling his travel adventures.
“I got the obvious idea of doing a round-the-world trip to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in as many places as possible. It was a long and intense experience that took me to 56 academies around the globe in 140 days.”
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us how and why you got started in bjj?
(the story of how you started, what got you addicted)
Christian Graugart: I did Taekwondo as a kid but stopped when I was around 14.
I spend a few years doing nothing and started to miss training.
In 1999 when I was 17, I stumbled over a Jeet Kune Do academy and was super excited to train Bruce Lee.
We wrestled a bit, mostly squeezing each other’s heads, and I was hooked right away.
My entire life, martial arts had just been kicking holes in the air so it was completely new to me that you could actually grab your opponent.
With time we figured out that we were actually trying to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so we bought some VHS tapes online and started traveling a bit for seminars, and the snowball has been rolling ever since.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors?
Christian Graugart: I would say that YouTube and trial-and-error has been my most influential professors.
Jiu-jitsu Times: What is the place of jiu-jitsu in your life?
(are you an active competitor? Own an academy, train recreationally?)
Christian Graugart: I recently sold my academy, which I had started in 2003.
I also kind of stopped competing, it’s simply a matter of not being able to find time for it.
I consider myself as a recreational grappler, rolling 3-4 days a week and enjoying it immensely every single time I step on the mats.
I have no ambitions in terms of winning anything and to be honest, the sport of Jiu Jitsu doesn’t really interest me that much – I just absolutely love to roll, travel and meet people.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you give some advice for students of jiu-jitsu that worked for you in your training?
(a principle or training practice, motivational quote, tips on passing the guard etc.)
Christian Graugart: I try to keep everything I do at 80% intensity.
Everything above that seems to burn me out or get me injured.
I wanna keep enjoying this as much as I do now for many, many years to come.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you talk about your philosophy of brazilian jiu-jitsu – training and life?
(What do you try to teach to your students about the role of jiu-jitsu in their lives?)
Christian Graugart: I don’t really teach people anything about the role of Jiu Jitsu in their lives, I think it is up to the individual to use it for whatever they feel.
For some people it’s a vehicle to face fears, for others it’s just fitness.
And some people want to conquer the world with it.
Each to their own.
Jiu-jitsu Times: You are perhaps best known for your BJJ Globe Trotters and traveling the world sharing the art of bjj.
Can you tell us what that epic trip was all about?
Christian Graugart: I’ve always had to travel to learn Jiu Jitsu and in 2011 I decided to take it a little further and go all the way around the world for five months.
I originally had five destinations in mind but ended up visiting 56 academies along the way, only staying 2-3 days each place.
It was intense, to say the least.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most Jiu-jitsu Times readers would not know?
(other hobbies, accomplishments, funny story, something new you are working on)
Christian Graugart: I used to be interesting, but since I published my book, it seems like everyone I speak to know all my cool stories already, so I’m not sure what to say here haha
Video: Christian Graugart: The BJJ Globetrotter
- www.BJJglobetrotters.com <- the community
- www.BJJglobetrotter.com <- the blog from my trip
Teach and train in www.CSA.dk – visitors always welcome to come train for free.
I’ll personally take them sightseeing and out for burgers.