I also took advantage of the time to get some photos of the inside of Gracie Barra Bristol. I say some photos. Actually I've only really taken photos of the mated area. But to me, that's the most important thing. And they have done it really, really well.
Maybe because it's new, or maybe it's just the layout of the room. There is a waist height wall running from reception along half the length of the matted area, creating a gallery effect, so that you can see the mats while still being separate. They've even set up a raised seating area so those (such as myself) not participating can watch in comfort. Or it could be the extra touches such as the big digital round timer and the large HD flat screen with other audio visual peripherals.
Geeza incorporated this into his teaching by hooking up his laptop and showing some competition footage as part of his teaching.... I would just play previous Mundials on a continues loop.
There is a shoe rack as you walk in. You are then confronted with the reception desk for signing in etc. before going through the hallway with a cabinet displaying various Gracie Barra branded merchandise on one side and the gallery on the other. This hallway has seating either side. At the end of the hallway is a changing room that will fit about 10 people comfortably, and a toilet. There is also a female toilet upstairs... I think.
The only draw back I would say is the lack of showers. I know most people don't bother showering after jiu-jitsu (filthbags) but if you're a 9/10 of the sweaty man scale, such as me. 1 being Roger Gracie when confronted with this joker.
And 10 being that guy, you know the one, he's usually bald, and as soon as you start the technique, the TECHNIQUE mind you, not even the sparring, and he's in your guard leaning over you. You can see it glistening on his head, and it pools together on the apex of the baldness. Then one brave droplet detaches itself from sweaty mass of sweat and falls gloriously through the air to spatter on your cheek, probably getting you a little bit in the eye, to much apologetic wiping of forehead using kimono from sweaty man.
Don't be disheartened if you are a 10. I would definitely be a 10 if I didn't have so much hair to soak up the sweat, so no my friend, don't be disheartened because you are a 10 on the sweaty scale. Be disheartened because you are a 10 without the ability to grow hair.
For some people the shower thing could be an issue, not for most. I felt so comfortable and at home on the mats that this wouldn't deter me.
Anyway I'm really excited for the ADCC in Nottingham. I'm thinking about forcing some of my non-jiu-jitsu friends to come. Even though they probably wouldn't get it. Actually I'm thinking about forcing some of my non-jiu-jitsu friends to start up jiu-jitsu. There can never be enough spreadage of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle in my opinion. I'll leave you with this.