It’s my regular feature where I catch up with interesting local folk, to see what makes them tick and get some insider info on the best spots and hidden gems in our local area.
This time we’re meeting Lorenzo Fraquelli who owns the Wave Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in Chiswick, which opened in 2013. Read on and see why the Devonshire Road, foodie weekends and helping children gain confidence through sport help make up Lorenzo’s Chiswick life.
What’s your top local tip?
You can park on Devonshire road for 30 minutes without paying (good one for visitors).
And your hidden gem?
Duke of Sussex pub, for their great food. They have Tapas and plenty of other great choices.
What’s your perfect Saturday in Chiswick?
My Perfect Saturday would be waking up around 8/9 without an alarm, then heading off for breakfast at Urban Pantry (or Urby P 🙂 ) on Devonshire Road for maybe a Shaksuka, or the corn fritters are amazing! Followed by a coffee at Tamp also on the same road. Then heading off to teach the afternoon class.
Usually after class we head off for more food. Boys Thai is a popular one, but we are looking forward to Honest Burger opening this month (March 2017). Then we might head to the Roebuck pub for drinks. What I love about Chiswick is you can walk everywhere. In the summer I like to spend time on the Green by the Church.
Tell us about your day job in a nutshell…
I teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Wave Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, near Stamford Brook station, I love my job, as i get to do what I love and have great students from all walks of life.
In between teaching I sit in Artisan coffee and answer emails and dream up new ideas. I also travel a lot and make new friends in places I never thought I would get to. The club is off to Bavaria at the end of February where I will teach and spend time in the mountains.
We also take part in Super Saturday every year, such a great event in Chiswick.
When you’re not in Chiswick what’s your stomping ground?
I spend a lot of time in Chiswick. Having said that I do like to explore other parts of London. I like going East when I can to Shoreditch to check out the vibrant new ideas they have brewing there.
We have a second school in Elephant and Castle so I end up going there a lot and spending time in Borough market and the other markets around there.
Philosophy on life?
Work hard towards doing what you enjoy, and spend as much time with the people you love, either friends or family (reminds me I need to call my mum now 🙂 ).
Glass half full or half empty?
And now a few questions about Jiu Jitsu, martial arts and children
Tell us about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a sentence or two:
It is a fun way to learn to defend yourself, get fit and meet new people.
There’s lots of different martial arts available – how do you know which one is right for your child?
They are all good. I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I think most martial arts will teach children to use their body and learn in a structured environment.
It also builds confidence in a way that they can overcome challenges in everyday life, whether it be facing the dentist or tackling a tough math question.
Do you ever get beginner parents and child studying together?
Yes lots of them do 🙂 We have a family where both parents and two out of three of their children train (the third is too young).
What are some of the benefits of children learning martial arts?
There are the obvious ones such as fitness, coordination, and it’s fun. All children enjoy wrestling and grappling and this is a way to do that in a controlled atmosphere. It helps them learn to respect their opponent and move in new ways.
When did you start practicing Jiu Jitsu?
I started practicing 12 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made as it has obviously gotten me out of my office job and into my own business, but it has helped me in my day to day life.
I attack challenges in a new and positive way and can go to the dentist with a lot less fear than I used to 🙂