Finding friendship and love on the mat.

Today we are honored to have our friend Barry Sinnott, who has been practicing Brazilian JIUJITSU in SHBJJ since 2008 to harvest friendship and love on the JIUJITSU mat. Let’s watch a simple self-introduction video and get to know the story of Barry Sinnott and SHBJJ!

1. Can you please introduce yourself?


My name is Barry Sinnott, I’m from the Utica, NY, USA.  I came to China in 1998 as a junior in college (studied in Harbin & Beijing).  I returned to China in 2003 and worked in radio for a couple years (DJ at Hit FM, part of CRI). In 2005 I started a US trade company that does international trade with China. I lived in Shanghai from 2005 - 2012, then moved back to the US, but still come back to Shanghai 4 times / year for a week or two each trip to continue my trade business.And everytime I come back I train at SHBJJ/Defgroup. 

2.When and where did you start your BJJ class?

I did my first class with SHBJJ in 2008 before it was an official academy at Taikang Rd.  Tony was teaching the classes.  I only went a few times in 2008, but then in 2009 after SHBJJ opened up the academy in Dapu Qiao, I started training regularly. 

3.Why did you start BJJ training and what keep you continue the training?

I did various martial arts when I was little, including judo from 9-15 years of age. One of my best friends growing up started judo with me and throughout our lives, we would continue to wrestle each other from time to time. For years we were fairly evenly matched up until one time in 2007, he handily destroyed me very easily.Afterwards he told me he started training BJJ.Another friend of mine who owned a bar in Shanghai for many years also was training at SHBJJ and recommended I go.  Once I started training regularly in 2009, I really enjoy it. The physical exercise was the starting point for me, but then developing real life defense skills became a secondary reason that I loved it. Lastly is that I’ve met great people who have become life-long friends from BJJ. 

4.Why you feel SHBJJ/DEFGROUP is another home to you?

I met the most important person in my life at SHBJJ, my wife Lisa. She was from Germany, and also practiced judo when she was little. She began training at the academy in 2010 and we started dating in 2011. In 2012, we got married and moved back to the US and now have 2 children.  Other people I’ve met there have become great friends. There is a camaraderie and a trust that you share with people you train and roll with.  Those that stay at SHBJJ/DEFGROUP are always very welcoming when I come back including James, McFly, Richard, Carlos and Chenyi. And the newer guys that have gotten purple belts teaching have the same welcoming attitude whether I go to Defgroup Yuyuan, SHBJJ Lingling or Defgroup Qixin.