Open Mat is a gathering of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners that happens every 1-2 months in Switzerland. If you don’t have a clue what BJJ is – like most people in Switzerland – Wikipedia, Youtube and other resources may provide some helpful and insightful information. Basically, it looks like a bunch of grossly sweaty guys and girls hugging each other and rolling around on the floor in weird pajamas. In reality, they actually try to choke each other out and break each other’s arms and legs. Anyways, go check it out yourself. Sadly, this great romantic martial art involves a lot of politics – as in students not being allowed to train at other academies etc. Some Danish guy decided to change this a few years ago by starting BJJ Globetrotters, a «community of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners of all levels from around the world, who agree on spreading a message of a non-political, open minded and positive approach to training and life». Inspired by this movement that has spread all over the globe very quickly, one of the instructors at Jiu-Jitsu Academy Worblental initiated those Open Mat gatherings to encourage an open and friendly exchange of knowledge and experience between academies in Switzerland. I decided to bring my Leica M6 to a recent Open Mat event and take some pictures at this event’s hosting gym BJJ Lab, a gym located beautifully in an old industrial warehouse in Zurich.