Making photographs at competitions is providing me with some of my favorite images of jiu jitsu. I am particularly finding a new passion for photographing warm-ups and moments in the venues that are outside of the competition itself. During my recent session at Grappling Industries in San Antonio, I took a break from the fights to photograph competitors warming up on the sidelines before their respective matches. These moments are proving to be very satisfying for me in that the fighters are usually flowing and moving slower or yielding some candid moments that are much more relaxed. Through these competitions, events, and through rolling I am finding a deeper love for the art itself as well as for capturing the various sides of it all through my glass.
In this set of images I happened to recognize fighters from two gyms, V.O.W. BJJ in Austin, TX and Ohana Academy West in San Antonio, TX. V.O.W. is a dope joint that I used to live nearby that I had attended once before leaving Austin while my school had been closed for maintenance. I picked up some great info on takedowns that afternoon and also put myself up against a bunch of strangers to see where I stood outside of my own classmates. Cross training is something I really love about jiu jitsu because of that very idea as well as the opportunities to meet new people I may not have otherwise met. V.O.W. BJJ cultivates a really welcoming community, especially towards women (including a women's only open mat). A visit for class or open mat at V.O.W. is highly suggested. Ohana Academy West is also a nice place to train if you find yourself in Far West San Antonio. Upon a family visit earlier this year I made it a point to stop by Ohana for an open mat session. While there were not many people training that day (and no other fighters in nogi), I still managed to pick up some new tools through rolls and the environment is pretty rad with plenty of open space.
Until the next set of images I would like to extend my thanks to all the competitors who have found their way in front of my lenses. You help me understand jiu jitsu more deeply and help me create some pleasing art for myself and others. I am always available for personal shoots or coverage, just hit me up through IG (@indigoso) and we can make it happen.