Pavel Piotski, of Pendleton, North Yorkshire, says that in sparring he is “completely unable to take it down a notch.”
The seven year judo and wrestling veteran, originally from Kracow, Poland currently has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which he earned in two years after he moved to the UK.
The slim but deceptively strong Pavel says that where he comes from, anyone who asks to roll light is shunned from the community.
“I can’t help it,” he says. “Everyone asks me if they can do a warmup roll. In my country there is no such thing. There is only fight.”
Wendelton Smith, former training partner of Pavel, who now communicates by winking at a computer screen to select words, gave us the following statement.
“I totally understand and respect Pavel’s desire not to warm up. I guess that’s how they do things over there. When we rolled, I gently fist bumped him and asked him to go light, as I’d recently had a bit of a cold and wasn’t feeling great. He immediately jumped on my leg and heelhooked me on both sides, destroying both my knees, then followed up with a rolling spine crank of some kind that left me completely unable to move. He just shrugged his shoulders – it was probably a miscommunication of some kind, although I heard he is a lecturer at a local university and speaks near-perfect English.”
“Of course I feel sorry that I permanently damaged that guy Wendleton. But I will not change my ways. There is no such thing as a light roll,” said Pavel in response. “What point is there? If I have armbar, I take armbar. If I have neck lock, I take neck lock.”
We at The Awkward Shaka reached out to a number of eastern Europeans training jiu jitsu in the region; each one of them confirmed they had no idea what a warmup roll was or had any other gears apart from “full-on deathmatch.”