Monday, 28 November 2011

Is Judo good for BJJ???

Combat Base Bolton student Dave Sloan argues the case quite well, for the 'YES' corner :)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Open Mat @ Allegiance MMA, Batley!

If having one Open Mat yesterday wasn't enough for one week, then having two is just plain greedy!  After the regular fun and games at the club yesterday, myself and a few of the lads took a drive over the M62 to what is widely regarded as the epicentre of life as we know it.  Yes, reader we were at Batley, WF17, attending a charity open mat at my very good friend Neil Hall's Mixed Martial Arts gym. 

Darren, Helen and Neil
For me this was a step back in time to the early days of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts back in 2000, when we all used to train together; namely the likes of Darren, Helen, Neil, Spenna, Steve Muckle, the Butlins, Team Colleseum and many more longstanding members of the BJJ/MMA fraternity.  I have many fond memories of the Legends bar across the road from the gym, with the infamous Hollywood sign outside and not forgetting of course, the legendary Frontier nightclub, a hop skip and a few shrimps away from Neil's. 
My good self, Darren and Neil
If you couldn't pull a lass in there of a weekend (or a weekday, back in the good old days, most night was a club night)  there was definitely something wrong with your sexual persuasion :)

The session started with a well deserved promotion to purple belt for Roberto Barbiero from Helen and Darren and then the fun began; as with usual open mats, there was plenty of time for rolling with everyone and with people you don't usually roll with.  There were over forty people on the mats, with belts of every colour from white right through to black, plus a current no gi world champion in the guise of Phil Ounsley. 

Danny and Jay
The Cheesecake Assassin Danny Mitchell graced the mats with his trade mark pony tail and fetching Tatami spats, combining good looks with sartorial savvy; MMA fighter Jay Furness was also present, as was EFN forum member Hanif Rehman and lots of old faces from back in the day.
Roberto, Phil and Hanif
Once everyone had worked up a sweat, Neil Hall took to the mats and took the guys through and number of gi and no gi takedowns, stressing the importance of keeping an open mind within jiu jitsu; as more and more people are combining Judo with their BJJ, it makes sense to drill the throws and takedowns.  From the takedown position, Darren showed how to apply the same techniques from the guard position, when one person comes up on one knee.  Slick.

With Hanif Rehman
After another half hour of drilling and rolling, an aging, yet ruggedly handsome 41 year old brown belt gave a small clinic on lapel chokes, covering the Brabo choke; how to set it up and how to use the position as a set up from which to hit basic moves like the scissor sweep, arm bars, omoplatas and triangles.

By the end of the clinic, it was time for a few more rolls before whipping newly promoted Roberto to within an inch of his life, as he walked the gauntlet bare chested.  Nails.

Combat Base UK in da house!

The good news is that £200 was raised for charity, namely the NSPCC; overall, a great day training and rasing money for a worthy cause; I'd like to thank my guys for coming with me and giving up their day and on behalf of Darren, Helen and Neil, to everyone else for turning up and supporting the event.

Neil's website:-

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Saturday Open Mat!

Open Mat Warriors!!

Another awesome Open Mat today at the club; nice to see fellow blue belts Lee Whitehead and Tony 'Zoolander' Riley over at the gym, preparing for upcoming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts comps over the next few weeks. Got quite a few students competing in December, myself included, so it was good to have a few blue belts at the session to help push everyone.

The Combat Base Fight Team will be in action throughout December at a number of gi and no gi events, plus Andy Devent from Frontline MMA, will be fighting at the Manchester Velodrome, December 16th, in a winner takes all £10,000 extravaganza, so it's another busy month and a fine end to an extremely busy and productive year for all at Combat Base Bolton, Ng Gar Tien Runcorn and KP Combat Centre in Heywood!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Combat Base Bolton on Google +

Embracing the age of the internet and getting into inbound marketing to stay one step ahead of the competition :) 

Busy making a Google + page for the Combat Base website, as well as setting up Twitter accounts and much more.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mitchell 'Maximus' Richards wins at Full Contact Contender MMA event!

Team Legion of Doom - Mitchell Richards far right
Back in Britain earlier than planned, I was now able to corner one of my lads, who was fighting in his home town at the Full Contact Contender MMA event in Bury.

Mitchell 'Maximus' Richards was facing Shaun Hampton (who incidentally owns the business and Mitch came to the cage ready to fight with an evil look in his eye.

At the start Mitchell was more cautious than in his previous fight against Luke Taylor, where he walked into a big right hand and circled the cage, feeling out his opponent. He took Hampton down into side control, where his opponent held onto his neck and went for a guillotine. Mitchell defended the sub and managed to mount Hampton and pounded his head and body with heavy shots.

From here, Hampton gave his back up and Mitchell took the back quickly and ended the fight with a text book rear naked choke. For Hampton, it was time to taste the rainbow :)

Awesome performance from Richards, watch this space for more of Maximus in the cage!

Swissair shambles!

Had a nightmare experience at the weekend, never made it to Serbia :(

The flight to Zurich ended up running late by ten minutes and we were told the connecting flight had been contacted and informed that we would be running ten minutes late. After a frantic dash to the gate, we were told the plane had left without us; the next flight was 8 hoursd away and after waiting an extra two hours, we were then told it was cancelled and no other flights to Serbia were happening that day.

The next flight on Saturday didn't get in to Serbia until 2pm so I would have missed the comp, so I had no option than to return to Manchester, first flight 0730H Saturday morning.

So a long night awaited me and I finally came home at 0930H, broken and exhausted.

Not the best of weekends!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Serbia here I come!

All packed and ready to enjoy a weekend of living the zhoo zhitzu lifestyle, this weekend, over in Serbia.  I will be meeting up with Guillaume Huni  and the rest of the Team Zerjal lutadors, (!/groups/278388432183698/) and will be training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu over the weekend, as well as competing in the Serbian Open BJJ event. 

If that isn't enough there will be a post competition beerfest on the Saturday to get through and plenty of sightseeing, as well as making a raft of new friends, who all share the same jiu jitsu addiction as I do.

Bon Voyage!!

Fighting Fit, Manchester - academy visit!

Spent a fine evening last night training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the Fighting Fit Academy in city centre Manchester; as a contributor for Jiu Jitsu Style magazine (, as and when I can, I intend to hit the road and visit as many BJJ and MMA clubs in the region and make a report on each training session and help promote the club through the magazine and online.

A busy weekend ahead in Serbia awaits, as soon as the dust settles, a full report on my visit will be done on my return; thanks to Liam Wandi of fame for inviting me over in the first and to Martyn and Jay Cahill and Ian Wilson, owners of the academy and to all the students for making me feel so welcome :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

IBJJF Scorecard and Referee signals video

Check this video out, watch it and study it well :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at Frontline MMA, Stretford!

BJJ classes are going well at the gym and nice to see a few females taking up the gentle art :)

Just back from the Thursday afternoon class, which was well attended, as far as afternoon sessions go in Manchester.

There is an open invitation to all BJJ players, male and female, young and old, to come and join in the afternoon sessions; if you're a shift worker then sometimes these classes are a bonus, if you've missed your regular evening classes through that dreaded four letter word, work (boo, hiss).

There is a Friday evening session at the gym 6-7pm, again, an open invitation is there for the taking, hope to see you on the mats real soon.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu adventures in Serbia!

On the strength of two private messages between fellow EFN ( )forum user Guillame Huni (username PinoyBJJ) and myself, a long weekend of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Belgrade, Serbia, awaits my good self next weekend, commencing November 18th.

This is one of the reasons why I love BJJ so much; the fact that you can have a chat with another BJJ'er, who are total strangers at first, in another part of the world and in next to no time, you are to be their guest in their country and get to train jiu jitsu. Simple as that!

I will be training with the Carlson Gracie guys out in Belgrade, training with Team Zerjal over the weekend and if that isn't enough to make a little bit of wee leak out, it just so happens that the Serbian BJJ Open is taking place on the same weekend! Surely the BJJ Gods have well and truly lined up the stars for this little weekend away.

The flight ticket is booked and a trendy and comfortable apartment for the weekend awaits, so watch this space for photos and an update on the event and my time training with the Carlson warriors of Belgrade.

In addition, I will be covering the competition for Jiu Jitsu Style magazine, as well as news and interviews and photos galore for both the magazine and usual internet outlets.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

New blue belt @ Combat Base Bolton!

Huge congrats to new blue belt Lee James, who I promoted this afternoon on behalf of Helen and Darren Currie; unbeaten in BJJ comps as a white belt, it's time to tear up the blue belt division!!

Friday, 4 November 2011

New blue belt @ Combat Base Runcorn!

Had the immense pleasure this evening of awarding Chris Lewis his blue belt at the request of Darren and Helen Currie; Chris has been competing regularly throughout the year and after taking the gold medal at the recent UMA BJJ event in October, it was enough to get the nod and move up to the next colour. Chris's face was priceless when he heard the news.

Huge well done from myself as a coach, really proud of you and just shows that hard work and dedication gets results.

The photo shows Chris in the middle with myself and Runcorn coach Mike Ng on the right.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Weekend Budo course - BJJ on the menu!

Ah, the traditional martial arts Budo courses. The backbone of any decent martial arts association. An excuse to shoot off for a weekend or a week to combine the pleasures of training martial arts with the appreciation of fine ales and food. My background in martial arts stems from the traditional side, where I trained in Karate and Applied Jiu Jitsu and weekend courses and a yearly week long course were the norm in both arts.

The most memorable course were the summer Budo camps run by Martin Clarke at Herne Bay in Kent and I attended my first one way back in 1994, as I was then training Jiu Jitsu with Trevor Roberts. I hadn't been training long with Trevor and it was a week that was to change my life and opened up the world of grappling to a young lad in his twenties.

During that week, I trained Judo, Sambo, Jiu Jitsu and Karate and at the end of the week I graded with Trevor and was awarded my blue belt and I was hooked. My Karate training held me in good stead for the blocking and striking parts of Jiu Jitsu, but now I had the other side of the coin and was learning throws, locks, chokes and all manners on immobilisations and defences against collar attacks, head lock bear hugs and everything else one needs to stay one step ahead of the thugs.

Happy days and many happy memories and after 17 years, I was back on a weekend course, held in Bury and organised by my Judo coach, 5th Dan George Launders. I had the privilige of being the first BJJ coach to teach on the course and I was sharing the mat with 5th, 6th and 7th Dans in various arts. Aikido, Judo, Wing Chun, Jiu Jitsu, Atemi Jitsu and Aiki Jutsu were on offer over the weekend and I took some of my guys along on the Sunday to join in the fun and in turn, train something other than BJJ.

I had one slot on the Saturday and enjoyed a session on the mats training Aikido with 5th Dan Stephen Mitchell, head honcho at Masters 121, a company that organise training courses and a yearly shindig at Butlins in Bognor Regis every Easter. I shared the mat with George and went back in time and trained some very effective counters against wrist grabs and forgot just how much these techniques hurt.

The second day started with a sesssion of Aiki Jutsu with 4th Dan Leeroy Clarke; an ex doorman with years of experience, Leeroy showed the lads some very simple but very painful defences against, grabs, bear hugs and chokes, with everyone having a go as the attacker. This was the cause of much fun and laughter at their expense as everyone found out just how effective the techniques were, as they were taken to the ground and twisted up.

I took a session in the morning and one at the end of the class; there were a lot of Judo guys and girls on the mats and they really enjoyed the session and opened their eyes somewhat to the groundwork that lies within BJJ. After dinner, the lads and I did a session of Atemi Jitsu with 4th Dan Mohammad Tahir and went through a range of strikes on various parts of the body. This was a really fun session, with much bitch slapping and again, laughing at other's expense when they were Taz's dummies for the techniques.

A final session of BJJ at the end of the day rounded off a superb action packed weekend of martial arts tuition, from a number of open minded and quality instructors.

I'd like to thank the organisers for allowing me to attend the course and have the chance to show Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to other martial artists, as well as all the instructors who came on to the mat when I was teaching and gave the jiu jitsu a go. Thanks to my students for coming on the Sunday and joining in the fun and last but not least the Judo Widows, who fed and watered us all weekend with tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits and hot beef and onion sandwiches at dinner.

The organisers of the weekend course will be hosting their annual course at Butlins next Easter and I have the pleasure and privilige of teaching BJJ over the Bank Holiday weekend, so thanks once again guys and thanks to all the instructors for providing a top class weekend of martial arts for all the students.

Steve Peil - 5th Dan Jiu Jitsu
Laura Peil - 4th Dan Jiu Jitsu
Keith Harby - 4th Dan Judo. 2nd Dan Wing Chun
Gordon Lawson - 7th Dan Judo
Leeroy Blake - 4th Dan Aiki Budo
Steve Mitchell - 5th Dan Aikido
George Launders - 5th Dan Judo
Mohammad Tahir - 4th Dan Wado Ryu. 1st Dan Judo
Neil Hopkinson - 2nd Dan Judo
Carl Fisher - 2nd Dan Applied Jiu Jitsu. 1st Dan Karate. Brown belt BJJ