FYI South, Compass February, 2006
When Royce (pronounced ‘Hoyce’) Gracie stepped into the octagonal cage in 1993 at the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship agianst Ken Shamrock there was no question who would win: the bookies favored Shamrock to take home the gold, Shamrock had wrestled his first opponent into submission is less than two-minutes, and, though they were both 6’0, Shamrock outweighed Gracie by 60 lbs.
Slender and agile, Gracie choked his hulking opponent into submission in under a minute and won the tournament. Over the next two years Gracie dominated three more UFC tournaments and set a mixed martial arts record for the most fights won in a single evening (all the while facing opponents outweighing him by an average of 50 lbs), and rocketed Brazillian, or Gracie (named after its founder, Royce’s father, Helio) Jiu-jitsu into the limelight of the international martial arts scene.
Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu in Taiwan
In February 2003 twelve men in Taichung, impressed by Gracie’s performance at the UFC, started the first club in Taiwan. Warren Wang, who had studied for two years at the Carley Gracie Academy in San Francisco, led the outfit.
Shortly thereafter Warren was invited to Taipei to instruct a group of men who had taught themselves BJJ with instructional videos and books in Taipei. The group grew quickly. Within the year they recruited Andy Wang, a BJJ black belt from the United States, to instruct them.
In February, 2004 Andy founded the Taipei BJJ Academy while Warren went opened a branch school in Taichung. In less than a year the Academy recruited over seventy members, competed in international domestic competitions, and won two first place team trophies and a host of individual medals.
In the meantime the Taichung branch of the Academy maintained a steady membership and competed under the banner of the Taipei Academy adding even more medals to the coffer.
Many of the club’s medals came from the first ever BJJ tournaments held in Taiwan. The first Asia Pacific-Rim Jiu-Jitsu championships, held in Taipei last May, drew over one hundred competitors from seven countries and hundreds of spectators. The first All-Taiwan BJJ championships held last December also drew triple-digit numbers of international fighters and spectators.
Recently, clubs have sprung up in communities across Taiwan, the most notable being The Forge club in Kaohsiung. Led by Ben Price and sporting only ten members The Forge brought home seven medals this year.
Despite the sudden growth of BJJ Andy Wang remains the only black belt in Taiwan.
What is Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu?
Brazillian Jiu-jitsu is primarily a grappling (wrestling) style martial art. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsuka (practitioner) avoids his opponent’s punches and kicks and attempts to get him or her on the ground where he or she has the advantage.
Eighty to ninety percent of all fights end up on the ground, yet few martial artists know haw to fight there. The mat is where the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsuka is most dangerous. This is why BJJ is so dominant in mixed martial arts competitions.
BJJ is also unique among martial arts because strength doesn’t matter. In a match between two Brazillian Jiu-Jitsukas the more skilled competitor will almost always win. The techniques of BJJ are based on leverage thus allowing practitioners to defeat heavier and stronger opponents with an arsenal of locks, bars, and chokes.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Clubs in Taiwan
Taipei Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Open 7 days a week
Instruction in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay-Thai Kickboxing, and Judo
Currently changing location.
Contact: Andy Wang at 09-2620-6284 or e-mail WangBJJ@gmail.com or
Taipei Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Taichung Branch)
Instruction in Brazllian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay-Thai Kickboxing, and Judo
Location: 2F no.99 Da-Dun 20th St. Taichung, Taiwan
Contact: Warren Wang at 0936340155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Forge MMA Club
Instruction in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay-Thai Kickboxing, Judo, Wrestling, and Akido
Location: 11F – 4 53 Chong Cheng 4th rd Kaohsiung.
Contact: English – Ben at 0910622266
Chinese – Jesse at 0929434234
Or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org