Wednesday, 26 October 2011

BJJ classes at Frontline MMA!

I am pleased and excited to announce that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes will be running at Frontline MMA gym in Stretford, Manchester, starting this week :)

The gym is run by well known pro MMA fighter Andrew Devent and classes will be Thursday 1-2pm and Friday 6-7pm.

I am very much looking forward to teaching at the gym; I've been training with Andrew and the lads since May this year and I have him to thank for dropping down to a svelte 32" waist, thanks to his legendary and not for the faint hearted Caveman and Shark Tank sessions.

The classes are open to beginners and seasoned players, especially on the afternoon class, ideal for people on shift work, come on down and join in the fun :)


Mr M's Fight Factory

Talbot Rd
M32 0AY

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

54 steps to better Jiu Jitsu!

I am the proud owner of the book and DVD release from 4th degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend 'Draculino' and this video is a super condensed version of the DVD; take some time to study the video and add some of the techniques to your overall game and hey presto, you'll be a black belt in no time :)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Medal success for Combat Base UK!

Back from a fantastic day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Stoke, where Jim Mc Sherry hosted the UMA NGB BJJ Championships; Combat Base clubs from Bolton, Heywood, Runcorn and Dewsbury came together and flew the flag for Combat Base UK and battled it out for the prestigious team trophy.

Bagging 5 gold, 7 silver and 2 bronze medals, a formidable achievement in itself, alas was not enough to earn the bragging rights, only a very credible third place. First place was taken by Gracie Barra Lagarto Sheffield, with Team Sukata taking second place, with some superb jiu jitsu matches from all clubs concerned.

There will be a huge picture gallery online from the UMA over the weekend, which will be posted on here as soon as its live.

Congrats to all Combat Base players who fought valiantly and with great sportsmanship, as well as everyone else on the day, it was a great day to referee some quality jiu jitsu, as well as meeting up with all my good friends and making some new ones on the day as well.

Shouts out to Gary Savage, Scott Pickering and Thomas Hanlon from Team Suakata, the referees and table officials for doing a great job all day and to Jim Mc Sherry in arranging a superb tournament and to everyone else I spoke to during the day :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Jiu Jitsu Style Issue #5!

Yes, it's that time again :)

Issue # 5 is now available; as ever it's packed full of interviews, reports and as much Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as you can handle. The cover feature's the legendary Fabio Gurgel, aka The General. Fabio was recently here in the UK and gave a number of seminars in the UK and was interviewed for the magazine.

I'll be getting copies delivered to my door, so if anyone wants a copy, give me a shout :)

UMA UK Open BJJ Championships - Saturday 22nd October 2011


All the entries have been collected and the brackets are now being drawn up at the UMA HQ. I will be there at the weekend refereeing and I look forward to seeing all the regular faces on the day.

Here's to a great day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu :)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Scissor sweep seminar - part deux.....

Sweeps. I love 'em. Can't get enough of 'em. As a BJJ blue belt going through the path to purple belt, I wanted to know every sweep that ever existed, the flashier the better; the lowest percentage, hell yea let me have 'em all, bring them to me! At purple belt, I seemed to calm down a little and returned to the 'old school' sweeps as it were, which as you'd probably guess are the high percentage sweeps. Sweeps that work a hell of a lot against grapplers of all belts and ages. Sweep to mount, six points please!

One sweep in particular is the scissor sweep and happens to be my all time favourite sweep; my Traditional Jiu Jitsu instructor, the legendary Trevor Roberts put me onto this technique way way back in the mists of time in 1994, when I attended a week long Budo camp in Herne Bay. The Budo camp was organised my Martin Clarke and has now been running for 30+ years and during that week, my addiction to sweeps began.

I've since used the scissor sweep in both gi and no gi comps, the last time was at the Hereford Open earlier this year as a purple belt; it's a quick fire way of changing your position to a more dominant attacking position and everyone knows the scissor sweep, so there's nothing better for me than catching people with an old skool sweep time and time again.

So it was with much excitement to once again host Darren and Helen Currie ( at the club to deliver the second part of the scissor sweep seminar, the first one being held at Runcorn in June this year. This session was built upon ways to smash the sweep from the start and then showing ways to pass the opponents guard.

The session started with some specific BJJ and grappling drills to get the blood flowing and a quick overview of the sweep followed and once everyone was au fait with the sweep, the fun began. Darren demonstrated a number of easy ways to stuff the sweep, before showing a few ways to pass the guard from the initial tie up, which mirrored some of the moves from the Training Day in September, albeit from a different position at the start.

From there, a number of grappling and jiu jitsu concepts were shown and really made the students to think outside the box, as the saying goes and one of the best parts of the seminar was for the guy that had just been swept. Instead of accepting the sweep and lying there like a damp cloth, Darren showed what to do to get yourselves out of the brown stuff; instead of letting the guy mount you quickly, Darren showed a number of ways to get back into attack mode, via sweeps and guard passes.

This really impressed me in its simplicity and echoes the teaching that I have been doing at the club the last few months. Don't be content with being passed or swept. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition rules you have a three second window before your opponent gets their points, plenty of time to start your defence and turn it back into a sweep and follow up with a guard pass.

This part of the seminar was your get-out-of-jail-card for when you get caught with the scissor sweep and there are many many more of these cards waiting for you from all the sweeps and guards passes you get hit with, as well as all the other attacks and subs that are out there on the mats with your name on it.

Once again, a sterling seminar, packed full of tips and concepts and technical know how that we've come to expect from Darren and Helen this year and I'd like to thank Mark 'Spenna' Spencer (BJJ brown belt) for supporting the event, as well as all my students, without you guys there would be no seminars.

Glasgow Open - more pictures........

A few more shots from the Glasgow Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships:)

Glasgow Open in pictures.......

Huge thanks to organiser James Mc Intyre and his army of helpers who hosted the Glasgow Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships at the weekend; it was a good opportunity to test myself in my first brown belt match. The event is the biggest on the Scottish calendar and this year it attracted 200 competitors, which shows the scene is growing from strength to strength.

The level of jiu jitsu was very impressive and of a high technical standard in both the gi and no gi divisions and across all age brackets. Shouts out to Mark Taylor from Team Sukata who made the long journey up to compete and came away with some bling, as well as catching up with my old buddy Trevor Mitchell and Marty Young from Aberdeen and to everyone else I met on the day.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Superfight @ the Glasgow Open 2011!

I had the pleasure and privilige of facing three stripe BJJ brown belt Christian Graugart from Denmark at the Glasgow Open on Saturday 15th October; many of you will know Christian through his well read Blog and website and from the pages of Jiu Jitsu Style magazine

I have been duly informed by the organiser James Mcintyre that this was the first ever contest between two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belts held on Scottish soil, so that's definitely one for the record books :)

Even when you lose you can always take away something positive and for me that was three fold:-

1 - I didn't get swept :) Christian attacked me with four sweeps and I managed to keep my base and composure. Only after defending the last sweep, did he manage to fire in a super fast diamond and go for the triangle.

2 - I didn't get injured :) For a creaky old Senior 2, competing against the young guns doesn't come without the risk of injuries; I am not as lithe and fast as I used to be and I knew I had to be super aware of not picking up any injuries during the match and that made me very cautious at the start. At the end of the comp I walked off the mats in one piece and with all my faculties in working order.

3 - I didn't get SMASHED :)

Afterthoughts:- I was very pleased with my first outing as a brown belt and wanted to get it out of the way as quick as possible; I was pleased I didn't get wasted within thirty seconds and I didn't feel out of my depth as a newly promoted brown belt. I was complimented by Christian, telling me I was 'old man strong' and gave him a good fight and that made me feel good. I enjoyed the chance to test myself against a very well rounded and seasoned brown belt and I am very much looking forward to my next competition at the Hereford Open on December 4th.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scissor sweep seminar - Part Two!

After the highly successful and well received scissor sweep seminar, held at Ng Gar Tien in Runcorn back in June, husband and wife black belt duo Darren and Helen Currie return to Combat Base Bolton on Sunday October 16th.

The seminar will be a continuation of the June seminar and will start with a quick review of the sweep itself and then cover ways to counter the sweep and pass the guard.

The scissor sweep is my all time favourite sweep; I used to train this sweep way back in the early 90's in my Trad JJ days and when BJJ came along in the late 90's I'd had a good few years' practice and it has served me well in my no gi and gi comps since 1999.

We have been very lucky at the club to have had Darren and Helen a number of times this year, so once again this a great chance to meet up with your head coaches and spend a fine afternoon covering one piece of the jigsaw with a fine toothcomb.

Seminar starts at 1pm - see you on the mats :)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Lights Out - Keith Owen DVD review!

Following a highly successful DVD series of Favourite Moves, Pedro Sauer black belt Keith Owen presents the first volume in a series of collar chokes, for jiu jitsu players and coaches at all levels on the belt spectrum.

There are 25 techniques on the DVD, but one choke in particular is given a thorough review; the choke in question is called the Fog Choke and it first appeared as a single technique on Favourite Moves 1 DVD, roughly four years ago.

Keith describes this choke as one of his favourite chokes in the entire world and since the release of Favourite Moves 1, Keith has explored and experimented with the technique, culminating in nine variations of the choke from all positions, which are on the DVD.

Another tried and tested competition favourite on the DVD, especially from my experience as a BJJ referee this year in the UK, is the always lethal Ezekiel Choke; Keith shows four variations to strike fear and elicit a quick tap out from your opponent.

From then on, there is a collection of chokes from all positions, giving you a comprehensive arsenal of choking techniques available at your disposal, should your opponent defend your arms bars and omoplatas. Once a choke is sunk in tight there isn’t much your opponent can do, other than tap out or go to sleep.

This is a great opening DVD from Keith; in line with recent releases, the production and presentation of the DVD are second to none and the actual coaching content always excels, as Keith leaves nothing out, always keen to pass on all his knowledge and help make you a better jiu jitsu player.

The DVD is available from

My first brown belt fight!

The time is drawing near. I am on a date with destiny. There's no hiding place. Just me and my opponent. The ultimate testing ground. Yes, folks, it's competition time!

My first as a newly minted brown belt, I will be testing my skills against fellow brown belt, Christian Graugard, whom many of you will know from fame. We are scheduled to meet in what I am led to believe, will be a Superfight at the Glasgow Open on Saturday October 15th at the Kelvin Hall International Arena in Glasgow. So no pressure there then!

The event is run and organised by James Mc Intyre and is one of the most prestigious grappling events in Scotland and will be the first time I have competed in Scotland, so there are many things to look forward to this coming weekend.

Excited? Yes!

Nervous? Yes, but in an excited way!

Both Christian and myself have spoke to each other via the EFN forum and we're both looking forward to putting on a good show at the weekend; win or lose, it's the taking part that counts and as a competitor who is now at Senior 2, it's actually getting to a competition with as least injuries as possible!

You can read up on Christian's adventures at