Thursday, 31 May 2012

New belts!!

Huge congrats to two of my youngest students, who were promoted by myself on behalf of Helen and Darren Currie last night .

Lewis Shaw (14) was promoted to orange belt and Harry Lockwood (17) promoted to blue belt; both are regular competitors and Harry has had a great run recently, winning gold at the Hereford Open and Manchester Open and gold at the weekend at the Combat Base Interclub.

Well done guys, both thoroughly well deserved promotions and the target on your back has grown a little larger, no easy sessions from this day forward :)

Lewis and Harry with their BJJ and Judo coaches

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Goodies galore @ Tatami Fight Wear!

My lovely sponsors over at Tatami HQ have been hard at work developing new products to help you get the best out of your training sessions; after a lot of research and feedback with the gi's, there are some new sizes available across all ranges.  There is now a range of supplemenets available to take the edge off an intense training session, with offers of free sachets to try, so get online now and claim ya freebies!

The new competition protein

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dinnertime BJJ @ Fight Factory, Heywood!

What better way to kick start your afternoon, than a dinner time session of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; every Tuesday and Thursday from 12-130pm, classes in BJJ are running at Fight Factory in Heywood.  The gym is predominantly MMA, but the owner, Ken Richardson, an active MMA fighter himself, is open minded enough to introduce gi classes at the gym.  The photo below consists of head MMA coach at the gym, Andrew De Vent (first left in black gi) and the rest of the guys are all MMA fighters, unafraid to don the 'pyjamas' and get to grips with the gi.

With only 7 weeks of gi training, Shane Barry, (front row, tshirt and shorts) entered the Combat Base Interclub Sunday just gone and won the gold medal, a truly encouraging start for the 23 year old; the classes are crammed full of drills and more drills and the ethos of the gym is, to paraphrase from Andre Galvao, 'drill to win.'

In addition to Andrew De Vent joining the coaching team, Ali Arish is now on board as the wrestling coach, joining Shane Rigby, another highly skilled and decorated wrestler; add boxing coach Ste Sharples, Thai coach James Morris and S+C coach Jamie Gray and you have the whole package under one roof, with decades of experience across the board.

Anyone wishing to join in the BJJ classes, feel free to come down and join in and try out all the other classes as well; if you're serious about MMA, then this is the place for you - for more info go to

With the dinner time posse

Friday, 25 May 2012

Slick Sambo Submission!

Here's a lightning fast submission from the 2011 Sambo Worlds Final; in BJJ this would be described as a reverse omoplata and this sub is pulled out of nowhere, leaving one guy in pain and the other with a gold medal.

Watch and enjoy!

Wise words from Master Yoda!!

Wise words indeed; it's all about the gi baby!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New yellow belt!!

Congrats to teenager Lewis Shaw, who was promoted to yellow belt in Judo this evening, from Judo coach George Launders, 5th Dan; all the BJJ students are training and grading in Judo and is a real compliment to their BJJ training, with George adapting the Judo towards BJJ competition.  Well done Lewis!

Lewis Shaw (middle) with George Launders (left) and Lee Frost (right)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

BJJ Superfights @ World BJJ Expo!

Here's a link to the BJJ Superfights from the World BJJ Expo event hosted on my good friend Guillaume Huni's blog in Serbia; some of the biggest names in BJJ go toe to toe, watch and enjoy and study the fights!

New photo - old school face!

At the Open Mat sessions you never know who just might walk through the doors; over the last twelve months, I've seen some old faces from way back in the day and last weekend a real blast from the past turned up.  Rob Mitchell was standing outside the doors of the club, a guy I haven't seen for a long time, gi in hand, ready to train; I used to train with Rob many moons ago at Ozzy Haluk's Manchester based gym, so it was a nice surprise to meet up again with Rob and have a good catch up and talk about the good old days.
Lee Gilmore (left) and Rob Mitchell (right)

I wonder who's next??

Friday, 11 May 2012

New Galvao DVD set!

Just seen this photo online, the new DVD release from BJJ legend Andre Galvao; as soon as I find out more info on release date and price, I'll post the details up for eveyone :)

New Galvao DVD set

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Words of wisdom - part deux!

Another very interesting article from Darren Currie on dealing with the new belt and the (mostly self imposed) pressure that comes with each belt; at the beginning, people train like madmen week in week out, with one thing on their mind - to get the blue belt.  Nothing else in life matters, only the quest for blue belt and in doing so, hundreds of hours and pounds sterling are spent in the quest and after all the hard work, the blue belt is now theirs.  Emotions run high, guys get whipped, handshakes all round.  Job done.

Pressure? What pressure?
A few weeks later in class, the coach notices that the new blue belt isn't as regular as before at white belt and upon speaking to the student, is given a myriad of excuses for their absence; the blue belt then makes sporadic appearances and before long, fellow students are commenting, 'where's the new blue belt?  He used to train his ass off as a white belt?'

For many new blue belts, they have fallen to the dreaded illness that can strike at all belt levels; a disease more powerful than MRSA and AIDS.  There is no known cure or antidote to this crippling illness.............yes ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about 'belt-itis'.

The curse of many a student up and down the UK and across the globe, this all consuming disease respects no one and can strike the most dedicated of students, without warning and once contracted, cessation of training is swifter than a dose of swine flu on a farm.

However, help is at hand to help build up immunity from this dreaded affliction and can be read at  so please read this article and re read on regular occasions to help build up your immune defences against a ghastly and killer disease........................

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Words of wisdom!

With the Combat Base Interclub looming on the horizon, chief instructor Darren Currie posted a very informative article about competition nerves and anxiety, so I thought I would share the link.  Some very useful information for grapplers of all levels and remember, when ever you step up and compete you have a 50/50 chance of winning and losing; sometimes you're the hammer and some times you're the nail.  So get up there and compete and above all else, have fun and enjoy the experience :)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Old school photo - Oslo, 2001!

Way back in 2001, I was lucky enough to be invited out to report on the ADCC 2001 tournament in Abu Dhabi; it was perhaps the best week of my life, staying in the same hotel as all the fighters and managed a few training sessions, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Royler Gracie, Genki Sudo, Saulo Ribeiro, Renzo Gracie and many many more.

It was a week I'll never forget, meeting all the fighters, interviewing all my grappling heroes and getting photos of some great matches and hanging out with the fighters, before, during and after the competition; I even made it onto the DVD of the event, namely the Superfight between Mark Kerr and Mario Sperry, where I can be seen at the edge of the mat, camera in hand.

At the event I met Jon Olav Einemo, Joachim Hansen and Marko Leisten and life wouldn't be the same again after this meeting; Einemo made the news by winning his weight group and beating Roger Gracie along the way and Joachim Hansen was yet to make his mark on the MMA scene proper.  Hansen was winning fights on the legendary Finnfight events, where the real spirit of Vale Tudo shined on and all the guys were members of the Scandinavian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association, headed by Richard Bohlenius, who was a brown belt at the time;  after meeting Richard, this was the start of another life long friendship.  The week was an intense training experience with a group of Viking warriors and we even managed a road trip to Stockholm to meet with Richard Bohlenius and see the sights of a beautiful cosmopolitan city.

Since 2001, I have been a regular visitor to Scandinavia and have trained at all the big name clubs and competed in numerous submission wrestling events and reported on Finnfight events and even lived out in Stockholm in 2003.  I am honoured to have trained with such a dedicated groups of guys and more recently in 2010, I was fortunate enough to train with Sebastian Brosche and Eduardo 'Teta' Rios at Gordo's academy in Rio; the grappling world is a very small one indeed.

The photo surfaced on my Facebook Wall, posted up by one of the 2001 attendees, MMA fighter Jakob Lovstad, so I thought I would share the photo and some happy memories from a summer week in Oslo I'll never forget :)

Oslo 2001 with the Viking warriors