At a recent submission tournament held in San Antonio, Spida Garay, and I were speaking about my travels around the world and how great it would be to share my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) training experiences with all the TexasFighting.com readers. So here goes.
This week I’m in New Orleans “The Big Easy”, Louisiana and honored to be the guest of Professor Matthias Meister, Owner and Head Instructor of NOLABJJ, Brazilian Jiu JItsu of New Orleans. Professor Matthias was born and raised in Switzerland. In 1986, after serving his country in the Swiss Army he moved to the United States. Not long after arriving in the United States, Professor Matthias became interested in BJJ after watching Royce Gracie fight in the first UFC event. Professor Matthias had already studied Judo as a teen so BJJ was not a strange sport for him. Professor Matthias received his black belt in 2009 under Professor Raphael Ellwanger, promoted through Carlos Gracie Jr.
Upon first entering NOLABJJ I was taken aback by the personality of the gym. This is one of the nicer BJJ gyms I have trained at in the United States. I would describe NOLABJJ as a modern MMA gym meets a restored old brick warehouse. The BJJ training area, 1,300 sq. ft., is outfitted with clean, well kept, Zebra mats.
After class I was able to interview Professor Matthias. When asked about his training philosophy, Matthias provided that his teachings “are all about fundamentals.” Matthias continued, “I try to stay on top of new moves as much as I can, but I realized a long time ago that without a solid understanding of the fundamental moves it is impossible to execute any advanced or complex moves.” Professor Matthias concluded with “This sport is a passion for me and I want to pass this on; it makes me happy when I see a student get hooked in BJJ since I know the huge benefits it holds for your mental and physical we being.”
While training at NOLABJJ I meet Victor Garza, a blue belt. Victor is originally from La Joya, Texas and began his BJJ training in Temecula, California under Professor Ricardo Guimaraes and Master Royler Gracie, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Victor told me that he has been training under Professor Matthias “for a little over a year and a half” and “NOLABJJ is by far the best school in New Orleans and offers several different styles of martial arts to its students.” Victor ended with, “We are blessed to have three black belts guiding us along the journey.”
From the moment I walked into the NOLABJJ I was impressed! NOLABJJ students were very welcoming and Professor Matthias made me feel at home. The gym was very clean, well kept, and well lit. I enjoyed training at NOLABJJ and being mentored by two black belts and a brown belt on the mat. I also enjoyed watching Professors Marco and Matthias roll with each other, it was very insightful. NOLABJJ was founded in 2000 and was the first BJJ school to become established in the Greater New Orleans area. NOLABJJ is a solid center for BJJ, with about 100 students enrolled, in the South and boasts three black belts; Professors Marco Macera, Edward Lirette, and Matthias Meister, for instructors. NOLABJJ also offers yoga, kickboxing, wrestling, and Sambo. The only down fall would be lack of parking.
The next time you travel to New Orleans please stop by and train with NOLABBJJ. NOLABJJ is located at 4521 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA., for more details please visit their web site at nolabjj.