Grappling – Sofia

Grappling @ Boen Club Sofia

Getting There – From there Facebook page you can see the link for, from Hostel Mostel take Tram 5 in the direction of the Russian Place monument, think it’s 12 stops, about 20 minutes on the tram, 6 km (1.6 BGN each way).

Neighbourhood – Few kilometres out of the city but not too bad. There are some restaurants around and a hostel / apartments for rent which could be easier than staying in the city centre. Not sure about grocery stores etc.

Cost – 40 BGN / day

School – Massive school, includes 2 rings, 1 cage (what we used), massive locker and shower facilities and large outside area. Can’t speak for other styles (somewhat off-putting…won’t go into details) but the coaches for grappling were good and training was at a very high level. Very basic selection of weight training / cardio equipment as well.

Class – Timetable doesn’t show it but 1730 to 1900 Monday to Friday and 0900 to 1030 Sunday (not sure about Saturday). Times may change during different seasons? Not sure on when it’s gi / no-gi. Basically seemed to be always no-gi but I asked about gi one day and they said next day to bring in and we did 50-50 of each that session. Great group of guys, all had really good English. Seemed like classes were somewhat catered towards me / what was noticed during my rolling.

Warmup – Not really any warmup, get in early and warm up yourself then roll (start around 50%).

Technique – Not really any specific technique section, for a few of the classes, just rolled (3 minute rounds, 1 minute rest) and then worked on stuff that popped up during the rolls. GoPro videos are on YouTube … no editing though. Sound also didn’t come out too well so may just need to watch videos and piece together my random notes….can’t be bothered editing what I rambled down so good luck.

Session 1:

  • First technique was single leg.
    • Wrist control, shoot in, back straight, forehead into ribs, hugging leg tight to you (don’t need to grip hands together just hold leg tight to chest and forehead into ribs. 3 alternate finishes:
      • If feet together (pinching with knees) then – small squat, push down with shoulder, small back step with left leg and use left arm to cut under the ankle / knock up
      • If legs apart (should be tight but not inline) – big backstep, shoulder pressure in / chest pressure into knee i.e. run the pipe
      • If they defend, squat and lift up using Hi-C + Gable Grip
  • Double Leg – Back straight, don’t overstep on shot, knock them back, bring trailing leg in and lift.
  • Note for canopener, normally open guard and they let go but he dug elbows in and cranked. Said I need to put arms on mat and butt scoot back to sit up … tried but was incredibly difficult. Like wrestling a bear on ice.
  • Note always pushing / snapping in wrestling, include smashing elbow/forearm into chest, tapping leg, head in/ head butt, step on feet etc. If their head is in always push down.

Session 2:

  • North South Finish
    • Clear the arm and make sure to get off their chest, tuck head down to apply pressure
    • Can’t remember….. see video
  • North South Defence
    • Push chin into their side
    • Reach over with arm around the back of head and hook their chin
    • Use that to pull yourself (spin) out from underneath them into front headlock position with chinstrap
  • Lower Body Control
    • Try to keep their leg fully extended or fully bent (always attack the toehold / bend the foot down) not half way
    • Try keep their feet on opposite sides
    • Always switch between attacking HH / AL / TH to get them rolling different ways and set up grips
    • Use the reap / heavy foot pressure on outside ashi to stop them rolling (even pinching knees can work).
    • Move to outside to extend their leg (see AL notes) to make it uncomfortable
  • Lower Body Defence
    • 5 main feet defence (not mentioning grabbing head / arms) … feel like I’m missing something…
      • triangling or putting feet together
      • pushing away with opposite foot (or hooking and pulling their arm in) and slipping out
      • Shifting legs across body to safe spot
      • Trying to keep legs mid coil (for maximum power)
      • Straighten legs past their grip
  • Ankle Lock
    • Keep forearm perpendicular to leg
    • Use bone right next to wrist
    • Only hold tight with arms, rest is from bridge – look diagonal away from them (further stretching the leg – bridge same direction to weight shift direction below)
    • Shift away from them to stretch leg i.e. move away from their strong side (eg attacking their right leg on your left side with outside ashi – shift to your left)
    • Helpful to pinch knees, push down on their hip with leg or even better push down on their knee with leg
  • Reverse Ankle Lock
    • Can’t get ankle lock, swap arms so far arm comes under ankle (using same bone), then RNC grip and bridge
  • Turtle to Twister Back Control
    • Like Ryan Halls back take (spiral ride) – knee in gap, other far leg steps between their legs. As you roll them, drag their near leg in and get a lockdown on the leg and seatbelt control on upper body.
  • Turtle to Anaconda Choke
    • From turtle side – reach around neck backwards with near side arm (loop around), clasp together in seatbelt grip and sit your arse next to their head– will either choke / crank or force them to roll – finish like normal anaconda (moving towards them)
  • Scarfhold
    • Try to put the pressure in the centre of chest / sternum
    • To finish chest compression – do above and pull up with your forearm under the crown of their head not under neck (not a crank) – can have the arm away or across the face (helps)
  • Back Control
    • Dig hips in and pressure then down to flatten them out, don’t play such a light back control.
    • Watch when putting foot in during turtle for toe crank – need to push legs right through.
    • If they start toe crank – abandon back and alleviate pressure.
    • Attack neck after flattened out – can bridge in and stick elbow in their back muscle or back of neck to cause them to arch up exposing their neck.
    • Use body triangle more and push hips in
  • General
    • Apply more pressure, don’t play so nice
    • Be grindy – dig elbows in (i.e. distracting), crossface etc
    • Lots more faints, less focusing on the submission that’s close, keep moving and distracting
    • Make them uncomfortable (e.g. above and in guard, extend legs to squeeze under their ribs etc)
    • With lockdown make sure you’re extending your legs (which pinches knees too)

Session 3:

  • Bit of gi and no-gi (I asked about gi the previous day)
  • Triangle
    • Apart from the usual cut the angle / perpendicular etc –
      • Once shifted arm across body, hold in place with your elbow and pull down on head with both hands (i.e. opposite side elbow pushing into their tricep)
      • To set up the triangle / armbar / omoplata, slowly wiggle knees up body, pinching until their shoulders / arms are stuck in, then can go for either
  • Triangle / Armbar / Kimura / Omoplata (+ Toehold) Drill
    • Worked from guard, if they –
      • Post on knee, sit up and kimura (note to push arm away from you not bring it in)
      • Underhook leg, cut angle and shoot triangle
      • Push on face with elbow / forearm, cut angle and armbar
      • Mess them up (?), switch to omoplata (note in no-gi & experienced hard to finish – either let them roll and come up into bicep slicer or finish with near foot toehold from omoplata position
  • Standup (Gi)
    • Posture shouldn’t be so upright, need a halfway between a greco and a freestyle stance. Hands should be up near neck to protect lapels. If they grab leg then if possible grip up and stiff arm to protect attack (best option).
    • Only use shoulder grip while attacking and make sure to pull down and push elbow in to prevent attacks. Preferred grip should be lapel collarbone grip.
    • With lapel, twist gi with wrist, punch grip in and flex wrist up in direction of your thumb. If possible push into face to control head.
    • Don’t push. Pull in with lapel grip and circle using same side leg to keep them moving
    • If opponent arm is far away, double lapel grip and pull them in so you can grab a sleeve grip.
    • With lapel grip always make sure inside and pushing against their face – if they have inside grip either elbow over and out so you have inside control or double grip on the sleeve and step back to break grip
    • Don’t reach or keep arms extending due to Seoi Nage
    • Combinations (for Uchi Mata)
      • Kouchi with right leg then UM or Tai Otoshi
      • UM then ankle pick (maintain lapel grip but be careful of armbar)
      • Kouchi – UM – Sumi Gaeshi (Bale Throw to end in mount)
      • .
    • Completely blanking on everything else … need to watch videos

Rolling – See technique. During first session (run by the wrestling instructor) we did wrestling 3 x 3 min rounds with 1 min break, combat wrestling 1 x 3 min round 1 min break (overstretched neck – was saying tap and he didn’t understand / hear in canopener), was meant to do a few more.

Notes regarding “organised camp”:
Wouldn’t advise to go through the camp, not happy with that at all, even though the training was excellent (possibly one of the best places I’ve been to) and I’d highly recommend the training. I had high expectations based on what was advertised however I would have been much better off just doing it myself. Definite lack of communication in the lead up to the camp and when I first arrived as well (e.g. only got one session in with main wrestling coach before he went to Greece for a one week holiday), and the website oversells what is included / what the camp is (seemed to be advertised 2-3 sessions a day – didn’t seem to be 3 sessions a day, all the other “inclusives”, sambo / combat wrestling focused). Sort accommodation yourself near the area if needed, as I thought mine was booked but it wasn’t. Wasn’t so much an organised camp as it was just me rocking up to random training sessions.













List of Other Gyms I Found:

(Ranked in order of distance to Hostel Mostel)

Note also:

Check Public Transport using, GoogleMaps doesn’t work.

GFTeam Bulgaria – (Sofia)

Address is in GoogleMaps just type GFTeam Bulgaria

1900, 50lev month / 5 lev per session

2 km walk (~30 mins), otherwise 45 Mins.

Walked down there, located at stadium?? Spoke to the gym inside (to the right) of the stadium and they said BJJ only during summer, starting again in October. Assuming this is the right place?

Guy from never emailed me back.


Sports Hall Lyulin Sport –,karate,kik-boks,mma,muay-tay,sambo/sportna-zala-lyulin-sport—boks-sambo-grapling—sofia

Grappling with Veso and Ivo (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 19: 00-20: 30)Judo and Sambo Borislav and Ahot (Tuesday and Thursday from 17: 00-18: 15 and 18: 30-20: 00)Boxing Alexander (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 17: 00-18: 00 and 18: 00-19: 00) Karate and Kick Boxing with Sensei Radoslav (Monday – Friday 18: 30-19: 30 and 19: 30-21: 00)

Grappling – 6lv/tren. 50 BGN / month 70lv / + Fitness Judo and Sambo – 8lv / Tran. 50 BGN / month 70lv / + Fitness Boxing – 5lv / Tran. 50 BGN / month 70lv / + Fitness Karate and Kick Boxing – 5lv / Tran 35 BGN / month

 Sofia, Lyulin, ul.Arh.Georgi Nenov 29 (metro station Lyulin).

45 Mins Away


Twisted Jiu Jitsu –

Address: Sofia, Cherni Vruh Boulevard #47, floor.2








~ 55 Mins


SC-Ilinden –

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 19.00 to 21.00, Saturday and Sunday from 14.00 to 16.00.

bul. “Slivnitsa” № 45 – sports hall sambo and judo.

~ 60 Mins Away


My Combat Sambo –,mma,sambo/my-combat-sambo—boyno-sambo-v-sofia

Monday to Friday – 18:30 start training.

5 BGN per session

Hall of Dianabad (1st floor to the right of the entrance), “Tintiava” 32 bc, Dianabad, first floor – left.

~ 70 Mins Away


Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Academy –

ул. Академик Борис Стефанов 35, Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon – Sun: 0930-2200

RealPain-MMA –

Monday – Friday, 19:00

Inside Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Academy

~ 95 Mins Away


Locomotive Judo & Sambo Club –

July will have practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 19:00 PM”

Email address invalid?? – Bounce back.


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