Featured Gym | Mjölnir in Reykjavik, Iceland
My day job requires me to travel some and this time it was to Reykjavik, Iceland. The day was a drizzly 58 degrees farenheit and the sun is out 20, or so, of the 24 hours of the day. I was able to drop by Mjölnir and connect with Gunnar Nelson, the Icelandic phenom that’s 6-0-1 in MMA and multiple first place finishes in BJJ tournaments at weight and open-weight anywhere from Iceland to New York.
I was hoping to take a BJJ or boxing class, since that has been most of my experience training in MMA. The only class offered that day was an MMA class led by Gunnar himself. Exactly what I was looking for.
The class was not unlike my BJJ classes so I was prepared for most of what I was dealing with. We did 15 minutes of warm-up, followed by 15 minutes of light rolling. It was a small class and conducted entirely in Icelandic. The guys were well versed in no-gi and I was having a lot of trouble with position. Really, really tough guys and I had to try really hard to keep up. The language barrier wasn’t much of an issue until we started the technique portion.The rest of the class was focused on some single-leg takedown techniques and I was able to follow most of what Gunnar was teaching by paying attention to his movement and grips. There were some specifics I wanted clarified and he was happy to describe it in English. Everyone in Iceland speaks perfect English but most are comfortable speaking their native tongue, obviously. I’ve had a lot of exposure to Icelandic so I didn’t mind. FYI, “single leg” sounds really similar in Icelandic and English. Not really hard to follow.
Gunnar was nice enough to take the time to talk to me for a minute and show us a Rear Naked Choke.