Friday, 30 July 2010

I'm on!

Kevin Adshead from asked me recently for some technique clips for his website; following in the footsteps of UK BJJ'ers Nick Brooks, Lee Catling and Daniel Strauss, I sent in two clips, both taken with the gi. I plan to make a few no gi videos and some more with the gi.

The first video on here is a submission from a sprawl defence or when you find your partner in the turtle position, something I have used way before I started training BJJ and still use today.

The sound isn't the best on both vids, so play them loud!

Feedback always appreciated :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Hereford Open - sometimes you're the hammer......

As the saying goes, some times you're the nail and sometimes your're the hammer; following on from analysing my three losses at the Hereford Open, I was fortunate enough to be the hammer on two occasions, so here they are in all their glory :)

Fight 3 - coming off two straight losses, I could have gone in two directions, crash out and take three losses on the trot or save face and take the last match and bag the bronze. I faced another Alliance member, Guy Farley, who by sheer coincidence shares the same age and birthday as me (we found this out after the match) and the start of the match Guy took a left handed grip on my lapel, which threw me a little, as I wanted to pull open guard the usual way. He attacked with an ouch gari and dragged me about a bit and I managed to sit down and pull open guard, which he defended and I switched to my old faithful friend, the scissor sweep and managed to score an advantage and we both got back to our feet.

Guy still had the left hand grip and went for another ouchi gari and I pulled open guard and Guy was still satnding but in a crouched position; I placed my other foot on his hip and swept him over my head and landed in mount position, but didn't stay there long enough for the points as Guy started to turn to his side to shrimp out of position. I managed to stay on him, pin his arm and get into S-mount and from there I got the arm and the submission.

Fight 4 - This was my first match in the Absolute and I faced Combat Academy member Pat Baker; the fight started with me pulling open guard and Pat defending and I scored quick with a scissor sweep and landed in knee on belly position, but then Pat quickly put me in half guard. From there I switched base and in all the excitement I attempted a submission on Pat's left arm, but I wasn't really in the best position and Pat managed to defend the attack.

I stood up and tried to pass his guard with a knee over thigh pass and then I found myself in his half guard again and on the receiving end of a very tight Lockdown, which was on TIGHT and I had a lot of trouble trying to get out of it.

In a way this helped me out as I was secured to his body and I went for a kimura submission, but didn't have it locked on tight enough and you can see the arm high in the air (1:57). I kept hold of the arm and carried on looking for the submission and again, at 2:13 you can see the arm too high in the air and Pat slipped the arm from my grip.

I quickly switched base and still in half guard, I caught the arm again and this time I made sure I kept the arm down on the ground and got the tap out I was looking for.

Five fights in total and I walked off with a bronze in my weight group and silver in the Absolute and more importantly, made new friends through competing, always a bonus.

Final Thoughts

* Pulling open guard wasn't the best I've ever done on some of the fights
* Pulling half guard in fight 1 was apalling and I paid the price
* Didn't get much chance to pass guard
* Pulled off the old school scissor sweep :) I was first taught this in my Trad JJ days and have been using it ever since and is one of my favourite moves. It's worked for me in gi and no gi comps through all belts and in my last no gi comp in Thailand earlier this year.
* Pulled off one of my favourite subs, the kimura
* Got too excited in the heat of battle and rushed to get the kimura
* POSITION BEFORE SUBMISSION! Second time around for the kimura, I was in a better position and left the arm on the floor and got the tap out
* My cardio/endurance was greatly improved; had a tough first fight, losing with 30 seconds on the clock and managed to go on for a further four fights. The training in Thailand helped me with my cardio and I was very pleased about this and it's given me a lot more confidence for when I next compete.

With all this in mind there is only one thing left to do - TRAIN MORE!

No secret about it to be honest, the key to improvement is to keep on training. Keep on hitting mats and drilling out. More specifics. More rolling. More competing.

It's not rocket science really is it?

Analysing all my matches has shown me how much more I need to learn about the basics and things I have been training week in week out; make all the moves, transitions, passes, subs etc that little bit tighter and a little more polished. So with that in mind it's back to the mats and train, train, train!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Hereford Open - sometimes you're the nail......

Had five fights in all at the event last weekend and managed to video all of the fights; as well as showing off the matches I won, I am sharing with you the fights I lost, as I believe you can learn so much about the ones you lost.

Fight 1 - my first match was in the -88.3K bracket and I faced Alliance UK member Lee Bown; I started off with a pull to open guard, which didn't go the way I wanted and then I made a HUGE error which lost me the match. Lee defended the open guard attack and I switched to pull half guard and work for a sweep to get on top; however it wasn't one of the most secure half guards I have pulled and I ultimately paid the price. Lee slipped through the half guard and had me pinned with knee on belly and started work on subbing me.

Lee was very very strong and the pressure he used was overwhelming and I knew I was in for a tough match; every time I defended the knee on belly, he pushed me back and secured the knee, squeezing the air from my lungs every time and from then on all I could do was to try and hang on in and gut the seven minutes out.

From the knee on belly position, Lee attacked with a collar choke and almost caught me in an arm lock on two occasions and so it went on; I defended knee on belly only to be pushed back into position. The video tape missed the closing seconds of the match, which had Lee in knee on belly which I tried to defend and went for an underhook; as I went for the underhook I got my wrist trapped in his armpit and the arm was locked out, plus I had pressure on my neck and eye from the knee. I tried to escape from this horrendous position and could feel huge pressure in my neck and eye as well as a possible arm lock creeping up on me, so I tapped out, with thirty seconds left on the clock.

I knew I couldn't hold out that long from the pressure of the knee on my face/head, so I wasn't too disappointed at tapping out (I was at first) and turned a negative into a positive, by thinking I had made him work hard for the win. I wanted to go to the changing room and slam a few doors and make some noise, but had another two fights to go, so had to be near to the tables in case I got DQ'd, so I had to compose myself pretty quick and not let it show on my face to other competitors, so I seethed in silence and waited for my next fight.................

Fight 2 - after a short break I was back on the mats and faced Gracie Barra member Dave 'Sticky' Iverson; Dave took the fight to me by pulling guard and I tried to stand to attempt to open his guard and pass. Dave was very strong in the guard and although I opened the legs, he put up a good defence and grabbed hold of my lapel and attempted a sweep which I defended and went back into his guard.

Dave still had hold of my lapel and I opened his guard again and looked for the pass which Dave defended and I ended up in a half guard position. I attempted to duck my head under and start a guard pass, but Dave had too tight a grip on the lapel and managed to get me in a triangle position but with the legs the other way round and from then it was lights out and loss #2......

Fight 5 - my last match in the Senior Absolute was against Richard Shore (Shakus Maximus on the EFN forum) and I quickly pulled open guard and went for the sweep, which he defended so quickly shifted to a De La Riva attack and was again defended and had him in my guard.

Richard passed to half guard and got the underhooks in for the advantage and I managed to pull back an open butterfly guard. From there I opened up and attempted a scissor sweep which was easily stuffed and my guard was passed and he was in side control. Richard tried to gain the upper hand and started to look for the sub and then ended up in mount and I managed to defend the mount and put him back in open guard.

I attempted another scissor sweep, albeit a very sloppy one, which was easily countered and once again I retrieved guard, but this time my guard was passed decisively and Richard secured side control. A brief stint in north/south position followed from Richard, before ending in mount after countering my defence and then it was submission hunting once again; after another attempt at bridging Richard off me, he started to attack with an Ezekiel choke and one more defence followed, which Richard managed to ride out and then proceeded to sink in the Ezekiel good and proper and left me no option that to tap.

Five fights in one day, not bad going for us old timers; so there you go, my three times as the nail in all their glory. Read Part 2 which will follow shortly and witness the two times I was the hammer......

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cobrinha seminar - Manchester!

Had the pleasure of meeting Cobrinha at the CCI in Jordan in 2008; Ed Brown and the guys at Champ Camp have 100% confirmed that Rubens 'Cobrinha' Charles will be touring the UK over the August Bank Holiday and will be staging a seminar at the Sugden Centre in Manchester.

Cobrinha's competition CV speaks for itself - 4 x Mundials winner, 4 x Pan Ams winner and 2 x No Gi World Champion!

Full details on the poster and online at

This is one seminar not to be missed!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Hereford Open pix!

Was busy competing at the event, so didn't manage to get as many photos as I would have liked; really good day, was also nice to meet up again with friends I met at Tiger Camp earlier this year!

BJJ Bling!

Bagged a brace of medals at the Hereford Open yesterday, bronze in my weight group and silver in the Seniors Absolute; had a great day, five fights in all, won two and lost three, will post up all my fights on here with comments about each fight.

It's always good to show off the fights you win, but more often, you can learn a hell of a lot more from your losses.