Arbi comes from Chechenia but when he was 18 years old he moved to Belgium and joined Ken's Van Gilbergen BJJ school in Leuven. Arbi, with his amazing wrestling background, was progressing fast and he brought a lot to the mat.
I met Arbi when he was just in the beginning of his BJJ adventure. I remember one of the first time we rolled. He was only a white belt, but it was already difficult to score points on him. At that time, Ken told me how much potential Arbi had and how fast he was learning.
During my multiple teaching visits in Belgium, I was following up on Arbi's progress and it amazed me how fast he was improving. I have no doubt that Ken had a big influence on Arb i's game and help to lay a solid base for that progress.
Wim Deputter (another student of Ken) had also a big influence on Arbi's technique. Especially since the became not only training partners, but also very close friends outside the gym.
It didn't take long for Arbi to start developing his own fighting style. Despite his outstanding take down skills, he developed a bottom game that becomes as effective as his top game.
And after few years I heard Arbi saying: "I'm not a wrestler anymore, I'm a Jiu Jitsu player" and I admit it pleased me a lot.
In 2012 I gave Arbi his black belt. Currently he is back in his home town teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.