Original Ontario grappling gyms?

Obviously there have been wrestling and judo clubs around forever, but what clubs were around in the mid 90's in Ontario? I think that Kumo and Ron Beer were teaching some form of grappling back then and I remember Grappling Arts and Samurai club. I think there was a Sambo guy around T.O. back then too. Slavco had a gym in London, I think. When did Karma and Joslins come along?
Anyone have a timeline for all the clubs around back then?

Shah Franco

Grappling Arts & Samurai Club created the scene!

QBC in Kingston, 1994

QBC alum, holla if ya hear me!

London had Fateh Belkalem teaching in the early 90's!


Londres a eu l'enseignement de Fateh Belkalem dans le 90's!

I agree with Rick

Grappling Arts spawned some good grapplers- Danny and Bravado, Paul Able, Rob Veltmen and Eddie Mendez. Also Claude Patrick started at this club. Claude tought BJJ at MAFA. MAFA spawned Joey and Kombat Arts I believe.

Karma also came out of Grappling Arts (Joey,Karem, Spider, myself, Dr.Joe and JP) and to some degree Toronto BJJ(via Karem)

Samurai Club turned out some wicked talent as well - Joel from Rev MMA, Omar, Carlos Newton (Warriors), Sam (Tapstar)
Does anyone recall a guy named Oliver? He won alot of competitions back in the day.

Elliot (Open mat) came from Samurai and so didd a less known yet deadly Vic & Marcelo Fias.

*To some degree Mark Bocek was part of both of the above clubs

Slavco had a club in London in the mid-90s. I got to train there about 4 times before he took off for Rickson's without warning anyone.

Fateh had been training at Slavco's a couple months when Slavco took off, and after a couple weeks of looking for a place he opened the then "London Jiu Jitsu" at the Fitness Forum.

In those days we had to travel to Toronto for comps, and the huge schools were Samurai Club and Grappling Arts. Everyone was in awe of Joel G. and Carlos N. from Samurai.

I remember watching Joel and Mark Bocek compete (mark wore green spandex shorts lol), and Sato flying from Japan to rematch Joel (in that tournament hair pulling was allowed and there were a lot of rear-naked choke finishes).

Sure wish i had been consistent with my training, since most of the people i trained with back then are brown or black belts...

Samurai Club was the place to be...who could beat moni's intimidating glare? :D
Dom i remember oliver and there were a few other good guys from samurai...and elliot didn't come from samurai
anyone remember rolling at the end in front of the WHOLE class?

I started training BJJ, and running classes at Joslin's in 1994. It was a small group of us at first and we used to split our gym with the kickboxing classes as we dragged our pull out mats out for every class.

My father would referee all of the big kickboxing matches put on by Twin Dragons back then so I would visit grappling arts academy to train when we went out that way. Syl always treated me great when visiting their great club.

Anyone remember the first grappling tournament (came before all the other) that was supposed to be run by Grappling Arts (with hair pulling and stuff) that was cancelled for some reason. I still have the flyer someplace I think :).

What about the Gracie seminar with 350 people at it? I remember the kids (Ryron and Rener who were problem between 10-12 at the time) saying it was the biggest one they ever did.

I also remember the huge team Samurai club would bring to tournaments. That was impressive!

Man we've come a long way.

I was at the Royce Gracie seminar, I think it was in Sept 1996 or so. To his credit, Royce rolled with most of the more advanced guys and even started from standing with some judo guys.

I competed with Jeff J and Mark Bocek at two grappling tournaments at Humber College, one in early 1997 in conjunction with a Karate tourn and the other around late 1998. One of the great things about these tournaments was the variety of schools and competitors represented with judo players, traditional JJ, wrestlers, JKD guys in addition to the early bjj guys. - Koga!


Stole this picture from Jeff Joslin's facebook.

who can name everyone in that pic? I'm missing a few names.

That is easy Phil

top row

Joel, Shilling, Richard Nanco, Danny ,Bocek, Antonio, Joslin, Rob Veltman,Spider, Karem

Below -Omar, Costa, Wagnney and Joey

Great Pic BTW

Does anyone recall Gary Goodrich competing at a grappling competition in the late 90's? that event also had some of Gokor's sambo guys from Cali competing in it?

The above picture was at the 4th Ontario Submission Wrestling Invitational. I asked the photographer to take this picture to capture a historical moment in Ontario BJJ History with many of our Ontario Black Belts (and a judo black belt) together for the first time.

Yeah sort of a nerd that way but seemed like a good idea at the time.

And yes I remember Gary Goodridge at the Grapplers Challenge event.I think Karo Parisian was at that tournament too!

thanks Karmarep

awesome thread!

I don't think Goodridge hurt anyone at the Grapplers Challenge, he won the heavyweight no gi advanced beating a wrestler (Peter Brown?) in the final. I give the guy credit for entering being a pro fighter and all and despite having less grappling experience than the other guys in his division.It was not Karo at the tourn, it was Harut - at the time the best guy in Gokor's school. He beat judo player Alex Cuipe (who competed for Romania for years before defecting to Canada at the 1993 world championships and competed for years for Canada thereafter) by armlock in the light heavy adv final by armlock. Cuipe had won the advanced gi handily earlier that day.