Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Guard passing with Draculino!

To celebrate Draculino's recent birthday, the guys at Gracie Mag released a video of Draculino teaching guard passes, so being the nice guy that I am, I thought I'd share the video with you guys :)

In the words of Roy Dean, 'study on this.'

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Top Ten of Gross BJJ Stuff!

Check out this brilliant post from fellow Blogger Seymour Yang, aka Meerkatsu on the darker/filthier side of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; read this and please, please, please, before you come training, make sure you're wearing your undies :)

BJJ class @ Forca Academy, Ormskirk

Had a great evening over in Ormskirk tonight, taking the BJJ session at my good friend Ross Hudson's academy; Ross is a blue belt and is part of the Royce Gracie network and the mats were packed, everybody ready to drill and train hard.
After a quick warm up, I covered a few ground drills and showed the lads the three flow drills I've been teaching at my place the last few months.  Starting in closed guard, the first drill starts with the diamond position, then omoplata and triangle when the guy postures and ends with an arm bar.
Second drill starts with cross grip into omoplata, sweep, a re roll into omoplata and ends with triangle from posturing and then arm bar.
Third drill starts with cross grip into omoplata and sweep, then sitting on the chest and applying mounted triangle, finishing with rolling onto the back and applying an arm bar.
With Ross and the lads
Once these drills were covered, I showed how to escape from two of the submissions they had just been drilling, omoplata and two escapes from the triangle.  As always, time ran out and I finished off showing a way to break the grip when a person grabs their belt to defend the reverse kimura, a position we've all been in many times when rolling.
Huge thanks to Ross for inviting me back again and to all the lads for turning up and joining in the fun.  As always, drill to win!

See you soon guys!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Be awesome - just like me!

The results are back in from the Great Jiu Jitsu Experiment and they appear to be 100% conclusive..........doing jiu jitsu really does make you awesome.  

The poster says so!  

So, if you wanna be awesome as me, get yaselves down to a jiu jitsu club and start being awesome, like the rest of us :)

Coz Brazilian Jiu Jitsu really IS awesome!

Evolve No Gi Grappling Event - Salford

Rounded off a great weekend for Combat Base Bolton at the Evolve No Gi Grappling event, held in Salford earlier today; Dan Fisher and his team ran a smoothly ran event, super chilled atmosphere, running over two mats.
With my partner in crime Chris Brown
The athletes competed at beginner and intermediate level and all fighters showed great technique, skill and great sportsmanship and it was nice to catch up with a number of my friends from the no gi circuit.
Adam Teh (middle) with the bling
Three students entered and it was a silver medal for Krishnan Chauhan in his first ever comp, an awesome achievement and a great start for his competition career; Lee Jones and Brendan Gallagher also competed, fought like lions and narrowly missed out on medals, but came away with competition mat time experience and plenty to work on at the club next week.
YT, Brett Mc Dermott and Adam Teh
As a coach, I couldn't be happier with the result from both comps this weekend, everything we've been drilling in class surfaced at both comps, so I must be doing something right :)
Krishnan (left) with the silver medal
Shouts out to Chris Brown, Adam Teh, Brett Mc Dermott, Phil Woods and Simon and Tom from 10th Planet Grimbsy, an absolute pleasure to meet you all, as always :)

Upcoming events in August are the Grab and Pull No Gi in Manchester, Fighting Labs No Gi in Manchester and the UMA Gi event in Derby, so plenty to be getting on with.

Hard work and drilling starts 6pm tomorrow sharp - will you be there??

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Grab and Pull North West BJJ Open - Liverpool

Back from a great day of jiu jitsu action and a smoothly run event from Gus Oliveira, Reuben Browning and the rest of the Grab and Pull officials and referees; I had two guys competing at the event in the white belt brackets and both guys walked away with a shiny medal for their efforts. 
Duncan, YT and Ross with their bling
Ross Thomasson was up to the mats first in the Adult Middleweight bracket and won his first match 2-0, courtesy of a sweep; the second fight saw Ross take the win with a sweep, pass to mount and finished the match with a tight Ezekiel.  Third fight in the finals, Ross lost the match on points, against a tough opponent from my good friend Thomas Hanlon's gym in Preston.  

This was Ross's first ever BJJ comp after only a few month's training, a commanding start for the young warrior, who's strong as an ox and has a lot of potential, expect to see a gold medal round his neck very soon.
Ross at the podium
Duncan Aitchinson fought in the Adult Heavyweight section and was winning the match right up to the last thirty seconds, going for sweeps and subs and opened his guard with thirty seconds left on the clock; this gave his opponent a chance to pass and Duncan got to his knees to defend and his opponent managed to get the hooks in and score the points for the win. Real nail biting stuff on a great match, that goes to show it's never over until the timer runs to zero.
Duncan at the podium
Duncan entered the Absolute and won his first match via submission and fought in the semi finals and lost on points in another tough match and ran out of gas in his third place fight off and succumbed to a submission, again, another great match, tough opponents all round.

HUGE well done to both lads for stepping up and laying it all on the line, as always there are no losers on the competition mats, you either win or you learn.

Also, big shout out to Andy Lloyd and Rob Matthews who had travelled all the way from the Isle of Man to have a taste of their first ever BJJ competition, it was a pleasure to meet you guys and hope to see you again real soon :)
Rob Matthews, YT and Andy Lloyd from IOM
A big shout to my brown belt buddy, Thomas Hanlon from Team Sukata, who was there with a team of warriors; nice to see you as always my friend :)

Tomorrow, the lads head over to Manchester for the Evolve No Gi event, pix and report on that event will follow.

Big thanks to Alan Howcroft, our designated driver, smash 'em up in Amsterdam pal!!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Femmes Fatales!

I'd like to write a short piece on two recent blue belt promotions in the UK; I know both of these women personally, having trained with them a number of times and speak to them on a weekly basis on Facebook.  Sarah Coleman trains with my good friend Gary Savage in Blackpool and I first met her at a UMA event a few years back, where I reffed her fights.
Sarah and Gary
Helen 'Hellraiser' Harper trains with  Mark 'Monkey' Bottom in Rotheram and I met Helen when I was invited to do a seminar over at Jon Keeley's gym two years ago; Helen has since moved on and now lives in Phuket, where she teaches English by day and trains BJJ and MMA at Phuket Top Team.  Helen won her debut MMA fight in Thailand and is now preparing for her next fight against Filipino fighter, Liezel Luminadas at the Ultimate Beatdown in Malaysia.  Helen was promoted to blue belt by black belt Eddie Kone, another good friend of mine (I have quite a few 'very good friends' in BJJ :))
Eddie, Helen and Monkey
Both women train hard week in week out and make the same sacrifices as their male training partners; jiu jitsu is for everyone, male and female, young and old and I was over the moon when I heard they had been promoted to blue belt, both well deserved.

More women should be involved in Jiu Jitsu, it's a life changing martial art in so many ways; I chat to many women who train BJJ on Twitter and they all share the same passion and enthusiasm as the guys, so to all the men who read this, pass this post on to your female friends and partners and let them see that rolling around the mats getting hot and sweaty ain't just for us dudes!!

If you don't know SHIT about belt colours in BJJ.............

..............then check out this really handy guide and be uninformed no more!!

The Road of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu..............

Had to share this awesome poster with you all, something we can relate to no matter what belt colour you are; on my own journey, I've been severely tested many times, have come so close to giving up and packing it all in, but something inside me has kept me going and I'm still here.

Never give up, we've all been down in the dumps, not happy with the way your training's going; if so, speak to your coach or your team mates and let them know what's troubling you, chances are they've been there before you.

Turn up to every class you can, train hard, be patient and everything else will look after itself.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Faixa Azul!

MASSIVE congrats to my good friend and female warrior, Sarah Coleman, who was promoted to blue belt this evening by my very good friend Gary Savage.
Sarah with her coach, Gary Savage
An awesome achievement and well deserved - next stop purple belt!!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Faultless Fitness - Meet the Team!

I'm pleased to announce that I've been taken on board as BJJ Specialist for the Faultless Fitness website :) 

I met the MD Stephen Nash via Twitter and Stephen contacted me after he read my Blog and asked me if I'd like to join the team and send in BJJ related articles to the website.  This is a great opportunity for me to introduce the Arte Suave to a wider audience out on the Net and make more people aware of our beautiful art and what it's all about.

They have already added me to the Meet the Team section on the site ( so it's down to me to start the ball rolling and send in some cool articles.

Watch this space!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Rolled up with Ralph Gracie!

Here's part 2 of the latest instalment from Budovideos, where Jake speaks with legendary MMA and BJJ fighter Ralph Gracie at his academy in San Francisco.  Enjoy!

Rolled Up with Kurt Osiander!

I really like the Budovideos Rolled Up series, where Budo Jake takes his cameras into the best BJJ academies on the planet to find out what makes the elite BJJ players tick, as well as getting them to share some awesome techniques.
Episode #39 features one of my favourite BJJ'ers, the unique and foul mouthed Kurt Osiander; a black belt under Ralph Gracie (who features on Part 2). Jake spends the day with Kurt at the San Francisco academy and delves into the mind of a modern day warrior.
If you like this video (shame if you don't) then check out Kurt's Move of the Week videos on You Tube and the legendary 'you fucked up a long time ago!' side control video!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Wise words!

Sums it up rather succinctly!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Sweeps galore!!

Really enjoy these videos from black belt Jason Scully; check out this cracking video, packed full of 2 point goodness!

Tips from the top!

Check out this great little piece from black belt Draculino, emphasising the need to study the Fundamentals in detail.

As always, it's all about the Fundamentals :)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

BJJ Masterclass!

Another superb video from Nic G and Stuart Cooper, with Kev Capel assisting Nic in the video; some great drills and conceptual pointers when applying submissions.  Invaluable information!!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Top 10 Staph infections in MMA!

As promised, the infamous top ten of staph infections in MMA :) Pay attention to #4, with Drew Mc Fedries and his personal pan sized pizza attached to his leg.  If this list of horrors doesn't inspire you, nay, paralyse you with fear and swear to be the cleanest guy on the mats, then I don't know what else would.
Microscopic monster - Staphylococcus aureus!!
Keeping clean is the new black!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What does a belt in Jiu Jitsu mean?

Check out this awesome post from Rickson Gracie black belt, Henry Akins, on his views on the belts in BJJ; keep on training with patience and commitment and the rest will look after itself...................

''What does a belt in Jiu-Jitsu mean? I've been asked some form of this question a lot lately. Like one person told me they did not feel they deserved the belt they were given, another person asked me what is the difference between a blue and purple belt and had someone else say they are a blue belt but should be a purple... I'm sure many of you have heard something similar.

The truth is: THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL STANDARD IN JIU-JITSU FOR WHAT ANY BELT IS! It is completely based on your instructor and even with the same instructor, instructors hold different students to different standards.

Sometimes these standards are based on performance like placing well in tournaments or if someone is able to submit a certain level of their training partners in training. Sometimes the standards are based on having a certain level of knowledge so a test might be given. Sometimes the standard is based on the amount of classes attended assuming that after a person has attended a certain amount of classes then they should have a certain level of knowledge.

One of the experiences I had that really made me start to think about what a belt means and who deserves one was after a brown belt test done by Rickson for 8 guys probably around 2008-2009. Rickson rewarded all 8 guys with their brown belts even though I was there and helping to grade and I felt about half the guys failed the test. Afterward I asked him why he gave the belts to one of the guys that I thought had failed and he told me this. This guy was 50 years old had been training consistently for years once a week, every Saturday. He would never achieve the level of world champion in any belt but it doesn't mean he does not deserve to get promoted for his persistence and dedication. This was the first time it really dawned on me that the belt is not even based on performance and level or knowledge. This was a guy that was really strong, and tough, was excellent at making tiny adjustments to defend so he was tough to tap out but had almost no offense at all. He didn't have a huge arsenal of techniques and wasn't necessarily smooth at all either, what I thought would kind of be the standards for a brown belt, those were the standards I felt I was held to. Rickson however made me realize not everyone has the potential to reach the same level but everyone has the potential to become a black belt with hard work, persistence and dedication.

If you think about it, even within a certain school where everyone was promoted by the same instructor, even among guys with the same belt and stripes no one is ever of equal skill level and training level. Some guys are faster, some guys are stronger, some guys are heavier, some guys have great guards some have great defence, some guys have great mounts or cross-sides, but even with twins their skill level and performance will be different.

So my message to you all is do not worry about the colour of your belt, focus on learning and growing. The most important thing is you are improving as a person and a martial artist, let go of your ego and focus on becoming more efficient with the techniques of Jiu-Jitsu, if you put the time in the belts will all eventually come.''
Now go and hit the mats and drill!!!!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Staph is NOT your friend!

In an earlier post, I said that the omoplata is your friend on the mat; staph, however, is definitely not your friend.  Ever.
There is the infamous Top Ten of MMA Staph infections, with Kevin Randelman's horrific infection and ends at #1 with some poor guy's whole ankle joint stripped of flesh and exposed for all to see (will post this up at a later date :))
This video shows Mark Hunt in hospital with a gaping hole in his leg, so if squeamish, you have been warned.
Like I tell my students every week, stay clean. Shower every day. Wash gi's regularly, after every session if possible.  Soak knee pads in hot water and Dettol after every class.  Wash rash guards and knee pads.  It's not that hard to stay clean folks.
At your gym - do they hoover the mats after class? Mop the mats with strong disinfectant every session? If not, then have a word with the instructor, it's your health at risk training in a filthy environment.
Enjoy the video and remember - KEEP CLEAN!!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

This is a question I get asked all the time and sometimes it's hard to give the right answer, as once people ask one question, they come up with a few more.  The photo below sums up to me what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about :)

Omoplata is your friend!

The last six weeks or so, I've been going over the omoplata submission in all the classes that I teach; this submission can be set up from so many positions it's unreal.  My favourite way of getting to omoplata is from closed guard and using a cross grip, I place my right foot in the hip and swing out and get into position, with the left hand going under the partner's right leg and BAM!  Locked in and ready to go.
 Keep drilling and one day, you too, can be this cool!
From this Mission Control position (hope Eddie Bravo doesn't sue my ass off!) you can sweep your opponent and land in top position, where you can either re-roll for an omoplata or sit back on your opponent's chest and go for mounted triangle, or sit legs either side of the chest and wait for your opponent to put one hand under you legs and you can hit arm bars and triangles.

Or you can try to flatten your opponent out and hit the submission and when they defend by posturing you can hit the triangle and arm bar from guard with an added reverse arm bar off the arm that's free.

You can get into position from sweeps, kimura from guard, when a guy tries to pass guard, from switching base in side control, from the Lasso guard or when a guy hits a Lasso defence from z-guard or scissor sweep, from foot locks etc you catch my drift?

Omoplata is a high %age technique when studied in detail and when combined with arm bars and triangles and other subs, it makes one into a JJ Machado submission machine.

At the gym, in the warm ups I have set up three flow drills, that set up the omoplata position and from this position, show a few ways of setting up sweeps and submissions; these drills are just the tip of the iceberg, with a little imagination, any good coach can come up with their own flow drills and over the coming weeks, I will be adding to the drills, so watch this space!

Over the next few days, I will post the drills on here, they are very easy to practice and great fun too; after a few weeks drilling, you can mix and match them all together and then the real fun begins :)

As always - DRILL TO WIN!!!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

In the top ten!

Received an email today from Supplement Centre, a UK based bodybuilding and sports nutrition company; they have posted on their Blog with a list of ten commanding combat Blogs and I'm honoured to have my humble little Blog included in the list.
Check the post and check the site at