It’s almost been one year since I arrived in London. Here is an update of what’s been going on.
When I moved to London last October me and the team started work to set up a gym from scratch. We faced many challenges. It quickly became clear that finding a property in a good location, at the right price and more importantly with the capability to be a dojo was going to be difficult. In the first few months I was walking 8 hours everyday all over London to find the right place. Finally, in December we found one property which we thought could be the one. I thought there was something special about it. Straight away we spoke to the estate agent and registered our interest. We decided to proceed but found the process to be much, much harder than we had expected.
The first challenge was changing the usage from an A2 to a D2, which means legally changing it from an office space to a gym space. This turned out to be a lengthy procedure and took 3 months to do.
By July we thought the hard work had been done and we would be in a position to sign the contract. However, some more problems came up which had to be dealt with before we could sign. A lot of this was unexpected and difficult to do but we managed it in the end.
On Monday we finally got the keys to the property.
It’s been so long but I can officially say that CARPE DIEM BJJ has launched in the UK, which I’m so happy to make happen. It’s one of best moments I’ve had since I decided to move here. This is just the first step though. For sure there have been a lot of things to figure out and work through to open the gym, but this is what I want to do and even if it is difficult I am able to enjoy it. I am very positive for what’s going to happen from now. I even feel ok about the typical British weather.
I really have to show my appreciation to many people, especially Yuki-san, who recommended me as a director of Carpe Diem BJJ London. Alex, who helped me to move to London and gave me a great chance in this project. Ollie, who has been working tirelessly with estate agents and solicitors to make this happen, and who will surely be a great instructor for us for years to come. And many other people who have been supporting me all my life. Carpe Diem BJJ London wouldn’t exist without their help and support. I’m so happy to be surrounded by great people.
I’m going to make the coolest and most exciting gym you’ve ever seen. It’s going to be an important focus for Carpe Diem to become famous and take it to the next level of BJJ gyms in the world. It’s the most important task that Yuki-san entrusted me with, and it’s a great honor. It will also become a great example for other Carpe Diem BJJ staff when they think of opening their own gyms in the future – they will look at our London academy and think “if Tsuyoshi can do this, so can I”.
Hope you stay tuned to Carpe Diem BJJ London.