Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Those medals keep on comin'!!

A proud photo for a coach, when you see your students winning medals at competitions, you know you're doing something right :)

All three train every Tuesday night at KP Combat Centre in Heywood, as well as attending the Open Mat session every weekend and have walked away with the King of The Cage trophy a few times :)

Lee James (left) is on a winning streak with three gold medals in three events and Mitchell Richards wowed the crowd at Fight IKON 8 with a balls-to-the-wall MMA fight against Luke Taylor from Wolfslair Gym. Young Ed Kelly entered into his first comp this year and came away with a silver medal, so a fine run of form for all three and with a few more comps left before the end of the year, more medals are imminent :)

New belts!

After a fantastic Training Day on September 9th, a large number of promotions were handed out from Helen and Darren and I am glad to say that I now have three new blue belts and a junior yellow belt to add to the team :)

Tony Riley from Ng Gar Tien was rewarded for his sterling competition achievements and commitment to training, as well as Lee Gilmore and Will Aston, who were all promoted to blue belt. All three guys have been training consistently every week, always at training, the first to arrive and last to leave and have been a pleasure to teach - next stop purple!!

Last but not least, young warrior Lewis Shaw was promoted to yellow belt, which was in recognition of his dedication to training and of competing with the adults at BJJ comps, facing people double his age, without complaint and generally giving them a hard time :)

There are people quick to criticise teenagers these days, saying that they're all up to no good; Lewis is a shining example of all that is good in teenagers, he trains every week and rarely misses class and has competed all through the year and win or lose and has displayed great sportsmanship. I wish there were more teenagers like him.

Now we're all back on the mats, ready to get a new set of blue belts up and ready to rock and the race is now on for my first purple belt, with seven contenders in the running....................

Goodies from Tatami!

A quick shout of appreciation and thanks to Gareth and Lee from Tatami, for sending me up a much needed package of training gear :)

Teaching and training full time takes its toll on rash guards and shorts, especially the velcro on the MMA gloves, they pluck and generally ruin the rashguards, so I am more than happy with the rash guard and shorts that dropped in through the letter box the other day :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Hereford Open 9!

After a super seminar with Billy Robinson on Saturday, I drove down to Hereford in the evening and stayed over with event organiser and good friend Dave Coles, for an early night, in readiment to referee on the Sunday.

Sharing the house with Pippa Granger and Oli Geddes, much fun was made of my attempts to blow up the inflatable bed, which deflated during the night, leaving my to sleep on the floor, which has to be said, did my back a world of good :)

Up bright and early the next day and headed down to Hereford Leisure Centre and spent the day refereeing and catching up with friends and Gareth Dummer from Tatami, who supplied me with much needed rash guards and shorts, cheers dude!

The level of skill at the event was on top form, from juniors and seniors, male and female and thankfully no serious injuries on the day; big shouts to Dave Coles for letting me ref, Oli, Pippa, Simon Small, Kevin Cox, Callum Medcraft, Kev Capel, Neil Simkin, Richard Shore, Stacey Davies and everyone else I talked to on the day.

Billy Robinson seminar in Stockport!

Spent a great afternoon training catch wrestling Ian Bromley's gym on Saturday, ticking off another name on my Bucket List, as grappling legend Billy Robinson was over in the UK for a week of seminars.

For those who haven't heard of Robinson, hang your heads in shame and take up knitting instead of grappling; Robinson is a living legend of grappling and it was an honour and privilige to share mat space with him.

Robinson's knowledge of the human body and using their weight to their disadvantage was immense; when he stepped onto the mats, the lads went silent as he started to talk about the human body and the seminar content consisted of the CACC wrestling stance, hand grips and attacks, the pivot for throws, neck cranks, two on one wrist control, grovits and a number of brutal subs.

Although his body is racked with injuries, he never complained, just walked about the mats, shouting at people when they got their hands mixed up (guilty as charged) but when you got the move right he gave you a big grin and a 'well done son' and a pat on the shoulder. Priceless.

There was a poor guy called Alex who he used to demo the moves and boy did he get some abuse from Billy, all light hearted and I have to say I will be using the throws and takedowns in no gi and may even try one in a BJJ comp, together with the double wrist lock, catch style :)

Roy Wood, another living legend, who I've also trained with, dropped in for an hour with his daughter Andrea, to watch and I spoke to Roy and he said it was great to see another coach share their take on catch wrestling.

Huge thanks to Ian Bromley for hosting the seminar and to Andy Crittenden for getting Billy over to the UK!

Monday, 12 September 2011

New belts at the Training Day!

The Training Day got off to a flying start yesterday with a number of promotions being given out by Darren and Helen Currie, before any real teaching began; three brown belts were awarded and a new black belt was crowned, as Steve Muckle finally came to end of his belt journey and began the day as a newly minted black belt.

Anthony Griffiths started the session with a workshop on throwing guard, with a neat little series of ways to be the first man in for the grips and taking the fight to the opponent by throwing guard and getting ready to attack.

James Nardone followed, with a triple attack on the open guard and ways to pass the guard from each attack, really easy to implement into anyone's game, regardless of belt colour.

Steve Muckle, carried on from the last Training Day and took the students through the butterfly guard with overhooks and again, showed some slick jiu jitsu and all that was left was Darren Currie, who gave everyone food for thought on ways to pass the half guard, mainly giving concepts for people to think about and take back to their repsective gyms to try out.

Once again, a fine day for Combat Base UK, who grow from strength to strength and as is the case at these events, £319.73 was raised for the nominated charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, so all in all a very good day for all involved.

New belts:-

Steve Muckle - black

James Nardone - brown
Anthony Griffiths - brown
Carl Fisher - brown

Simon Ball - purple

Catriona Barkley - blue
Josh Dilcock - blue
Ty Harrison - blue
Tony Riley - blue
Andy Whitelam - blue
Jodie Clark - blue
Andrew Morris - blue
Lee Gilmore - blue
Will Aston - blue
Adam Lowes -blue

Lewis Shaw - yellow

HUGE congrats to everyone and thanks to everyone who attended and who helped raise an outstanding amount of money for a very worthy cause :)

Thanks to Mike Ng for the photos, more can be see at

Special thanks to Lee and Gareth at Tatami for sponsoring the brown and black belts awarded on the day :)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

ADCC Souvenir Programme!

The guys at Jiu Jitsu Style are producing a souvenir programme for the upcoming ADCC event on the weekend of September 24th, more details can be found at

Monday, 5 September 2011

To gi or not to gi?

This argument has been around on the forums since Day One and I dare say it will be around for many years to come, as grapplers and pyjama fighters continue to question the efficacy of their chosen art.

The topic recently reared its ugly head on the Cagewarriors forum, prompting a reply from Carlson Gracie black belt Simon Hayes, whose reply I post on here, because I couldn't have put it better myself :)..............................

'The gi encourages technique over strength and athletic attributes. To escape a technique in the gi you have to employ a methodical, sequential technical escape.
This allows you to learn correct technique instead of 'powering out'. This has a knock on effect when you take your gi off and meet a stronger, better grappler than yourself,to be able to escape his submission attempts technically when powering out is not possible.

Wearing a gi also gives you more grips to learn the art the art of sweeping, making sweeps easier so its possible to learn the art of balance breaking with extra tools, tools that will encourage the correct leverage and hip technique by giving you a successful sweep. When the gi is eventually taken off the sweep has been mastered and the principles of leverage and hip technique are so strong the grips are now unimportant, yet while learning the sweep the grips helped when the hips and leverage were less than perfect.

The gi creates 80% more submissions meaning the game is more exciting, the threat of being submitted is greater and the chance of submitting someone is greater meaning when the gi comes off defence should be somewhat easier because there are far less techniques to tap you to defend and attacking should become more focussed due to the speed at which your brain should have been working while wearing the gi as more techniques were available.

No Gi is easier to learn than Gi. In my opinion the perfect balance for becoming a formidable opponent when there are no rules is 2x Gi sessions per week,1xNo Gi,1xMMA,1xJudo or Wrestling,1x Muay Thai.

Just my opinions.'

Alex 'Sex Bear' Cannon - HL Reel

Thanks to Tony Riley for giving us a HL reel of one of the club's more colourful characters, Alex 'Sex Bear' Cannon or Big Gay Al, as he's affectionately known as :)

Combat Base UK Training Day 2011!

I am excited to announce that this year's Training Day will be held at Combat Base Bolton :) The Training Day sessions are a chance for all affiliated clubs to get together under one roof and share techniques, network and enjoy a fine day of jiu jitsu tuition, as well as raising money for charity.

The charity this year is Cardiac Risk in the Young, that helps raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) and campaigns for improved coroner's service across the UK, which is now at best a postcode lottery.

Four workshops will be held on the day, with Darren Currie, Steve Muckle, James Nardone and Anthony Griffiths showcasing various elements of the grappling jigsaw, together with plenty of rolling, drilling and generally having a good time.

The fun starts at 11am, see you there!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

More medals at the UMA Groundfighting event!

Once again, another very successful day out for the lads at Jim Mc Sherry's Groundfighting event, held over the weekend of August 27th. Jim ran two events on the same day, with gi and no gi groundfighting, which attracted clubs from Gracie Barra, Checkmat, The Combat Academy, Tamworth BJJ, Pure MMA, Chris Rees Academy and many more.

The level of skill on the mats was second to none and there were many closely contested fights on both mats, with excellent sportmanship from all competitors.

Lee 'Demolition Man' James, continued his winning streak with yet another gold medal in his third competition, maintaining a 100% record, Parabens! Mitchell 'Maximus' Richards picked up bronze medal in the no gi event and Tony Riley grabbed the gold medal, dominating his weight group with some solid jiu jitsu.

In all, the lads bagged four gold, four silver and one bronze medal, a great achievement and Combat Base Bolton took the club trophy with a total of 43 points and Ng Gar Tien took third place with 25 points.

Congrats to Lee James, Mitchell Richards, Steven Holt, Jay Watts, Adam Berry, Ed Kelly, Matt Philips, Tony Riley and John Martin for a superb performance :) The next event with the UMA will be the BJJ event on October 22nd, so see you there!