Training Report: most luxurious BJJ academy in the World: Evolve MMA Singapore

Training Report: most luxurious BJJ academy in the World: Evolve MMA Singapore


Written by Kris Novell for BJJ Eastern Europe.

Kris is a BJJ purple belt training in California at Westside Training Center, and was nice enough to write a training report for BJJ Eastern Europe. 

Kris Novell with Zoro Moreira

Every time I travel to another country I try to make it a point to visit at least one jiu jitsu school.  This time around I spent a couple days in Singapore.  Upon learning this, my instructor told me to visit the Evolve Academy since a lot of the instructors there can trace their lineages to Gordo – in particular he highly recommended his friend Zoro Moreira.
Given that I was there for work, the only times that I could train would be early morning.  I usually have no interest in training at the crack of dawn but since I was jet lagged it was a great opportunity to take advantage of my horrible sleeping schedule.  Luckily for me Evolve had classes starting from 6:45 AM onwards.
There are 2 Evolve locations – Pomo Mall and Far East Plaza.  Pomo is the original but the Far East location is the headquarters and is much larger than its older sibling.  After talking to the receptionist I learned that Zoro would be teaching at the Pomo Mall branch and decided to attend his morning advanced class.

You know the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover?”  Well you wouldn’t have that issue here.  I have visited numerous gyms in the States and Brazil, and I can say that this was the nicest gym I have ever been to.  I can’t imagine what their headquarters looks like.  When you enter you are greeted by a very professional reception area with an Evolve logo behind it in marble.  It seemed more like a welcoming area of a large corporation.  To the right was the pro shop and café/juice bar.  After getting settled in I walked over to their 5 star locker rooms.  I am use to meager accommodations at BJJ schools and this was a welcoming surprise.  I felt like I was at a resort and not a martial arts school.

Mat space was very large; they had a divider to separate the BJJ and Muay Thai classes.   Combined I think that it could easily hold 50 people rolling at a time.  Since Evolve hasn’t been around for very long there are not too many higher belts, even though this was an advanced class, most of the students were white and blue belts.   None the less I still got a good workout and training in.
Zoro went over 4 spider guard passes, all were a variation of each other.  These were passes that were not new to me but Zoro showed details that I had never seen before.  This is why I try to train with as many different black belts as I can.  The basics of jiu jitsu are always the same, but every black belt has adapted these moves to their style and does them differently.   Zoro was very attentative to all the students during drilling and made sure we understood why certain things were done in these positions.  I always enjoy an instructor who emphasizes drilling.  I feel the best way to learn a position is to rep it to exhaustion so that it becomes muscle memory.

The rolls were great, from my experiences Gordo’s guys always make you do the 10 minute black belt rolls regardless of belt, and Zoro wasn’t any different.  We did several 10 minute rolls and by the end of the class, especially with my jet lag and lack of sleep, I was spent!
Overall it was a great experience and I will definitely be back again next time I am in Singapore.  The facilities were first class and the students were very welcoming.