Check out the recent Fight Sports Asia post on the Thailand BJJ scene. I remember in 2005 there was no active black-belt teaching and just a handful of white-belts training out of Bangkok Fight Club. The scene has grown so much and continues to expand. I'm sure with the growing popularity of MMA, it will only get bigger.


Anonymous said...

are there are any Mundial level competitors fighting out of Thailand?

Anonymous said...

It certainly has grown! But there was a brown belt teaching there in 2005?

LUKE said...

When I first started working in Bangkok in early 2005, the only school that provided BJJ was Bangkok Fight Club. Adam Kayoom was a brown-belt at the time under Bruno Panno out of Australia and had moved to Thailand to train/fight Muay Thai fulltime. BFC was started by Alex and Todd and have been on the scene for more than 10 years but things didn't get formal until 2007.

By then EMAC (at the time Helio Soneca affiliate) had opened under Niti and then the first incarnation of Bangkok BJJ under Phil Denzau, a purple-belt under Maurica 'Tinguinha' Mariano, now a brown-belt.

For about 9 months Adam left Thailand and in his place, black-belt Pedro Schmall came to teach doing two stints at EMAC, one at Taiwan BJJ before settling in China for over a year, maybe two. Later returning to Chiang Mai but is now back in Brazil.

In this time we've had several higher belts come through and teach in Bangkok or surrounding areas like: Silvio Braga, Dimitrios Tsitos, Alex Prates, Eric Gerber and many black-belts coming through to do seminars like: Mauricio Mariano, Ricardo Liborio, Luke Stewart, Nicolas Gregariades, Garth Taylor, Royce Gracie, Eduardo Fraga, Eduardo Telles, Rodrigo Paxadres, Kitano and more to come I'm sure.

Outside of the listed black-belts teaching in Thailand. There are only a handful of brown and purple-belts. Most of which are in Bangkok.

Off the top of my head, belts higher than blue in Bangkok are:

2x brown-belts
8-10x purple-belts

From those early days of training at BFC on Asok, where all were white-belts, I'd say just 3 of us are still in the city.