When many individuals think of Alston Street, they associate it with our training facility, a place where people in business gain skills in programs such as Excel, SharePoint, Access and Photoshop.
However, did you know that there is another top quality training school on Alston Street?
Benjamin Lloyd, our SharePoint 2010 – Level 1 trainer, attends Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes at Zugec Ultimate Martial Arts (ZUMA) on 1035 Alston Street, three to four days out of every work week (unless, of course, he gets injured).
ZUMA is owned by Adam Zugec – the only black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Vancouver Island. Adam received his black belt from the father of Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Marcus Soares, the highest ranked Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in the world who is still teaching.
Benjamin started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two years ago (with a yearlong University hiatus in between) and is currently a white belt with one stripe. Belts are ranked from white to blue to purple to brown to black. You need to receive four stripes on your belt before being promoted to the next colour. It can take a dedicated trainee 10 to 15 years to receive a black belt.
Benjamin explained that due to the profitable nature of martial arts in North America, there are many gyms that give belts based on an amount of classes attended. Schools that promote students to a higher rank based on attendance and not on skill are referred to as McDojos, and are seen as less credible.
You won’t find white belts beating blue belts during a spar at ZUMA. It is a school with a reputation for grooming winners. For starters, it is the gym of Sarah Kaufman, one of the top pound-for-pound female mixed martial artists in the world. She is the former Strikeforce Champion in the 135 pound division (Strikeforce being the top organization for female fighters).
ZUMA also brings in world-renowned trainers to teach their students. Last month Leonardo Santos, four time world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, taught Benjamin’s classes for a week. It is also a training hub for world famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans like Keith Jardine, and highly acclaimed coaches like Greg Jackson, who is probably the most famous coach in MMA, and known for working with George St. Pierre, the current Welterweight Champion of the UFC.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is obviously a passion for Benjamin. He’ll gladly share his experiences with any readers who want to learn more about ZUMA or the martial arts.
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions