It’s with great sadness that I post today to let you know that we’re not continuing with HJJSydenham beyond 2022.
How We Got Here
It was Oscar that let me know in early 2022 that Barbanera Smash Repairs level 2 was vacant, and prime real estate for a Higher Jiu Jitsu in the Inner West.
It’s always been a dream of mine to have a school to service my Inner West peoples.
We had a look, we loved the spot. I had a think, envisioned what it’d look like, took the punt, and here we are today.
How It’s Going
Slowly but surely we’re creating another little community of everyday people building quality of life with Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Kids, adults, it’s been so cool to see you guys come on board and give it your all, learn jiu jitsu, & become passionate about the art. Your vibes have been awesome since day 1.
Everything I’ve been dreaming about is becoming a reality. We have a school in the Inner West!
This part is awesome.
It’s also come with its’ difficulties.
My goal for Higher Jiu Jitsu is the highest quality instruction, service, and culture. Think the greatest school the world has ever seen. We have over 250 raving 5star reviews that we’ve earned through lots of care, and attention to detail. Continuing with this in two locations is a tough ask – doing it in the one location has been hard enough.
We have the best coaching crew ever. Oscar, Matt, and Danny have been brilliant, and I can’t thank them enough. But we’re all feeling the strain. The fellas have jobs outside of jiu jitsu, and they’re doing this for the love. Meanwhile, I can’t split myself in two – as much as I’d like to. So instead I rush from one school to the next, I work from morning to night to try get everything done, and I feel like I’m spinning wheels, and not doing my best anywhere.
Financially, the strain has also been real. We’ve been treading water with two rents, and so many more business expenses, and we’re feeling the fatigue. Sydney life is getting more and more expensive, as you know, and I have a wife and two kids to think about.
This brings me to the biggest driver of this decision, without a doubt – my growing family. My epic, supportive wife, and my two beautiful toddlers that I love more than anything else in this world. I want to be a Dad that is present in body, and mind, and spirit. Lately I’ve been a shell, if I’m there at all. Too often throughout the week I’m leaving before they wake, and returning home after they’re asleep. This I find unacceptable, and cannot and will not get used to this reality. I need to provide a good life for my babies, and currently it’s going backwards. As they grow their demands for Daddy time will grow too. And it leaves me thinking…
If we were to continue with the dream of a successful HJJSydenham, then it too will be growing. The more it grows the more it will require in terms of classes, coaching, care, and attention. Again, I’m aiming higher in everything I do, mediocrity doesn’t cut it.
It leaves me with the decision to stop things in their tracks here in Sydenham. The situation will get more sticky and difficult the more this is delayed.
Where to From Here
I want to focus and consolidate my energies with our legendary Woolloomooloo school. We have some amazing projects on the horizon at Woollo, and such a beautiful space and community and I am excited to progress to the next level with everyone there.
HJJ Sydenham will close it’s doors for the final time on the 24th December 2022.
Students of Sydenham, I can’t express my gratitude enough, via email or in person. All I can say now is thanks so much for being a part of the fun. I believe we’ve planted the seed of jiu jitsu in you and the kids, and it’s up to you to cultivate as you wish.
Firstly, if I may implore you to jump on the T2, T3, or T4 from Sydenham station to St James station. From there HJJWoollo is but a few minutes walk. I’m giving you the month of January 2023 for free to see if this is a good fit for you.
For those who already know it won’t work, I will help you find a school around the area that will suit you. And personally recommend you to the instructor in charge. Just send me an email and I will confirm and cancel your membership with us beyond next month.
Please know this has been anything but an easy decision. It would have been made much sooner if not for your support, and passion for the mats – it’s what’s been fuelling me to push through the muck for many months now.
At this stage, we still have this month to enjoy the space. And we have an epic Phil Grapsas seminar and Pre Christmas party to look forward to. Let’s make it some good times till then.
See you on the mats!
Yours in jits,