31 May 2009


Oh man the Sun is shining and finally, British summer is here!
So of course I spent the gorgeous Saturday indoors - on the mat.
After photographing last week's no-gi session I was inspired to take part this week and I really loved it. I was worried that doing no-gi would detract from my gi game, but I was also worried about me not getting enough mat time. So I figured it was better to train no-gi than not do anything.

After the no-gi class, which was a hell of a work out, there was open mat where I sparred (avec the gi) continuously for about 40 mins. I love open mat. I get the chance to drill some techniques that have been on my mind and I get to spar with guys that I don't normally spar with during the week night classes (ie the bigger fellas). BTW I also sparred with Domonique who I partner fairly regularly and she was on absolute fire on Saturday taking my back on several occassions and submitting me twice! Her fellow opponents at the forthcoming British BJJ Open had better look out!
As to my question about whether no-gi affects my gi game at all? I can safely say that the adjustments I needed were fairly minor (so far anyway) and I was able to spar pretty much the same as I do with the gi - although the absence of sleeve grips completely takes away my some of my open guard work, which is probably a good thing as I was getting too reliant on this.
Yep, Saturdays look like a good slot to add to my training schedule, so I'll at least be able to train x3 a week in the build up to the aforementioned British Open.

I have to give a shout-out again to the guys flying out today to LA in preparation for the World BJJ Championships - good luck to you all, Britain expects bling!
Some of them will be wearing my Galo and Pluma BJJ group gi patch (above) so I'm very proud of 'em.

Dabbling in no-gi

Oh man the Sun is shining and finally, British summer is here! So of course I spent the gorgeous Saturday indoors - on the mat. After photo...

26 May 2009

Some photos I took from the Saturday no-gi class at RGA Mill Hill.
Looks like my 18 month-old wanted to join too!

No gi class photos

Some photos I took from the Saturday no-gi class at RGA Mill Hill. Looks like my 18 month-old wanted to join too!

22 May 2009

Here's a fun little quiz to try. Simply guess the BJJ kimono maker based on these logo picture clues:






First one to guess all the correct manufacturers, please post your answer as a comment after this entry and you win the kudos of being as sad as me! Failing that, I'll post the answers in a few blog postings time.
As you can tell, I love the colour and flare of all the merchandise that surrounds the BJJ world. Less so with the MMA merchandise - those are all neo-gothic typography and cartoony images of overmuscled animals and cage fighters. No, for me, BJJ design is a sign of the creativity and invention that surrounds the sport itself. BJJ uniform logos are like the tail flags of aeroplanes at a busy airport. All the planes do the same job, but for many people, they choose one airline over another simply based on their perceived preference. A lot of that preference is down to marketing and branding.
Some gis are placed highly (and priced highly) and some are dirt cheap. Both do the same job and surprisingly, money does NOT always get an increase in quality.
Most of the pictures were nicked off the awesomely detailed gi reviews posted on the Sherdog Gear & Equipment Review section. Apologies to gi manufacturers for using their logos without permission, but hey, consider it free advertising.

Friday Quiz - guess these BJJ gi makers

Here's a fun little quiz to try. Simply guess the BJJ kimono maker based on these logo picture clues: First one to guess all the c...

19 May 2009

The BJJ police have been in action again this weekend, hunting down instructors who claim to teach BJJ, but have they met their match this time?


Here's the deal - a certain Yorkshire karate club has listed on Facebook their entire week's schedule. It's quite a list featuring karate, fitness, weapons etc all the usual trad martial art (TMA) activities. But nestled in the Sunday morning class is something known as STAV (a martial art of Norse origin apparently) and then the description, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Neeenaaaneeeenaaaaa!!! Wail the sirens of the BJJ police who politely inquire to the head instructor as to who is teaching these BJJ classes. Here is a snippet of their conversation (edited by me for brevity, but spelling errors are as written by the original poster) as follows:

BJJ POLICE 1: Hello, I am interested as to who teaches your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson, what rank they are and who they train under? Thanks.

INSTRUCTOR: hi who are you and what do you do in matial arts

B1: I'm a purple belt in BJJ. Who teaches your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, what rank do they hold and who awarded them that rank?

I: the bjj jujisu is a new class s just starting , we already have three 10th dan s in jujitsu a master in judo ,a 5th danin judo 8th dan master in wado 6th dan master in shotokan ,6th dan in bujitsu a master in stav . and a few 2nd and 3rd dan pluss afree style master europian champion in free stye , seems to be a lot of question from a purple belt, do you live near here now . do you want to train here or why the questions?

B1: I am concerned about any clubs which claim to teach the art which I have busted my ass at to earn the rank I hold (do you realise how hard it is to get a legitimate purple belt in BJJ?). I find it pretty annoying when people who have not gained any rank in BJJ decide they can teach it. So, who teaches your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class? What is their rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and who promoted them to that rank?
I don't understand why these questions are so difficult to answer. You asked me about my rank and I responded quite simply.

[now it gets nasty...]

I: listen your a puple belt im a 6th dan and your annoying me now i dont care what you think so just get on with your own business you've got a lot to lean i know how hard it is a lot more than you so get on with it and by the way i dont care if you understand , your instuctor should teach you more respect a purple belt in any style is just a beginner as far as im concerned
. stick to your art mate

B1: I have not shown you any disrespect at all. I asked you simple questions which, if you had legit BJJ credentials, should have been easy for you to answer. As it stands, it is clear you have just called a lesson "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" to attract students and make money.

[the BJJ police now start posting messages on the karate club's Facebook group
in reply, a number of the karate students sign up to EFN and start trolling the forum]

BJJ POLICE 2: How do you think it will look like if we as you say, dojo storm this place straight off the bat? this way we are giving him his chance to explain his bjj credentials.

KARATE GUY: just try dojo storm , ill roundhouse kick the lot of ya

B2: [posts silly photo of a person doing a karate kick]

KG: thats funny init pal, but ive actually broke peoples ribs with my patented spinning roundhouse

[lots of online laughter emoticons]

BJJ POLICE 3: Why are these blokes always fat bastards as well? Surely if you're training every day you should be in pretty good shape, they never are!
How can you sit there and take someone seriously when they can't even run up a flight of stairs without being out of breath.

[my favourite silly quote coming up here]

KG: pal i might not be able to run up a flight of stairs, but i can break 6 boards with a single strike

cue more online derision, accusations fly, insults dealt. At one point one karate member scans youtube and rates the BJJ police 1's fight videos all one-star (out of five) this person also claims that her karate instructor is also a BJJ 'Grandmaster'! More BJJ forum members (including yours truly) chip in with their comments and it continues still. You can read the whole thread (sadly some of the trolls have deleted their best posts) here.

What started off as a fairly innocuous silly giggle at a Facebook group has ballooned into this soap opera that has captivated the entire BJJ community for ooh, three days now.

To sum, you say potato, I say potartoe, let's call the whole thing off.


Did the BJJ Police meet their match?

The BJJ police have been in action again this weekend, hunting down instructors who claim to teach BJJ, but have they met their match this t...

15 May 2009




I formed a Facebook group - The Galo and Pluma BJJ Group - for roosterweights and light feathers to join.

Since us little guys and girls are fairly few and far between, I thought it would be a nice way to join forces and share experiences.
So far 19 people have joined which I'm really chuffed about, especially


a number of women too. I'm particularly pleased that under 50kg fighter Lisa Newton kindly accepted my invite. She is an amazing competitor, worth catching in action if you get the chance.
I will post links to videos and interviews to top-flight galo and pluma fighters on the group page to inspire us and maybe learn some tips from. I’ve also got patches and maybe t-shirts planned. It’ll be nice to recognise each other by the patch on our gis.
Already it seems we're all in agreement that the early days of learning BJJ are especially tough as we seem to constantly get crushed. But we also pick up new techniques fast and move faster than heavier players. As one member states:
“in the past I have resorted to taking various protein / weight gain drinks in my failed attempts to move me up a few categories. I realise now that we are ' special ' and respect my place in the galo and pluma divisions”


Mundials
It’s only 3 weeks to go until the BJJ World Championships, or Mundials as they are more commonly referred to (June 4th). This year they will be held in California which I thought was a nice move. It means more fighters from the USA and the rest of the world will take part and it will attract wider media interest. Surprisingly, for a top-level tournament that attracts the world’s elite players, anyone can enter. Long as you pay the fee and make weight, you can compete. Not that I would be tempted. It’s still a long way to travel just to get submitted in the first round! (Mind you, I am tempted by the European Championships in Lisbon next year.)

Mill Hill RGA will be represented by Daniel Strauss, Chris Hearn and Asif Ahmed. I couldn’t think of three more highly accomplished and skilled fighters. I wish them luck in bringing the bling back to the UK.



Training
I seem to be progressing nicely at the moment. I’m happy with my consistency and rolling with top guys like the aforementioned Mundial hopefuls certainly helps my own game. Last night, we were taught by one of Roger Gracie’s brown belts, Bruno Zanacar. Bruno went through a couple of neat little half guard escapes and then got us to spar for one hour! I was totally wasted at the end. The big event of the UK this year will be the British Open, in Birmingham at the end of June. Loads of people are gearing up for this and training hard so it’s a great incentive for me to step up the pace.


Join my Facebook group - but only if you are small and light!

I formed a Facebook group - The Galo and Pluma BJJ Group - for roosterweights and light feathers to join. Since us little guys and girl...

12 May 2009

Well after the high of the Essex Open, it was back to the mats for me. Or rather, it wasn't. Due to family circumstances I missed a complete week of training, which was annoying as it was the first time I started paying monthly fees and nothing winds me up than not getting my full money's worth ;)
Despite this, I did sneek in for a quick roll during the Saturday morning open mat. And I even persuaded my wife to attend the Women Only BJJ seminar with European champion Carmen Janke. It was the first women-only seminar of its kind in the UK and was a great success with over 20 ladies on the mat - some travelling long distances to attend. I defy ANY BJJ club in the UK to drum up 20 women at one time. Well done to Pippa Granger for organising the event at such short notice, let's hope there are many more to come. You can read more about the seminar here at Meg Smitley's blog.

Mrs Meerkatsu on lower far right

As for my own training, some things are clicking nicely in my game, a lot needs working on. Same old same old I guess, but at least our instructor is there to assess whether we've actually made any progress. One of the unforgiving aspects to BJJ is the sparse interludes between grades. With only 5 belt ranks and maybe ten years to reach black belt, that's a long time to train wearing the same belt colour. But BJJers get used to it, and even revel in a perverse way at how lowly our current rank is. So it is with a humble kind of honour that I am happy to report another stripe was awarded to my good self last night by Nick Brooks. That makes me a blue belt 4 striper, the maximum rank for that belt.

4-stripe!

Well after the high of the Essex Open, it was back to the mats for me. Or rather, it wasn't. Due to family circumstances I missed a comp...

7 May 2009

I love good graphic design. Did you ever used to browse in academic book shops and just wet yourself at Corporate Logo Design books as a kid? No? oh, just me then, ahem. Anyhoo, BJJ academy logos and patches are like corporate logos and a good design should reflect the ethos of the club as well as be recognisable and reasonably aesthetic. Like a tribal tattoo or heraldic war shield, academy logos help foster a sense of belonging and group togetherness and maybe bring fear to your opponent. Well that's the theory.



The original Gracie Brothers (Helio side of family) logo is a design classic. The big triangle shaped 'G', the little sporty men, the ability to tweek it with whatever text you want around the edges. Design-wise, it is perfection.



Some variations on the triangle theme from (clockwise top left) Royce, Rickson, Royler and the Gracie Sports range of clothing. Not sure the Royler one works at all, it's a bit cobbled together, but the Royce one is pretty cool, resembling an eye or tornado.



Not to be outdone on the big triangular 'G' theme, the other side of the Gracie family - Carlos Gracie Jr's Gracie Barra, has a similar logo, plus a cute Tasmanian Devil type character!



The club I train at belongs to the Roger Gracie network. The official logo (far left) was basically a big G that was not too Barra, not too Gracie Bros more somewhere in the middle which I suppose reflects Roger's family ties. But it was changed recently to the centre image, all soft curves and touchy-feely interlocking shapes - very sci-fi in my opinion. My club, Mill Hill RGA, preferred to retain the spiky 'G' and merge it with the old trad JJ war face logo (far right). It's pretty cool.

Here are some more really cool BJJ logos:

From top left going clockwise: Taiwan BJJ - beautiful logo, merging Yin and Yang, grappling figures and a triangle; Carlson Gracie Team - fighting dogs, very much evokes their spirit; BJJ Scotland - a very cool manga style wolf; Beijing BJJ - Chinese dragons are always cool; Impact BJJ - cute kids paw print patch...I want one!!!!

Of course if ever I form my own club, I'm sure the logo could be something like this...

Not a patch on the old design

I love good graphic design. Did you ever used to browse in academic book shops and just wet yourself at Corporate Logo Design books as a ...

6 May 2009


Just a quickie...the Fightworks Podcast chose to publish my tournament review of the Essex Open, you can read it by clicking here.
Photo by me too, I love the shapes these brown belts pull, and Simon Hayes running in the background. Awesome!

More on Essex open

Just a quickie...the Fightworks Podcast chose to publish my tournament review of the Essex Open, you can read it by clicking here. Photo b...

3 May 2009

You have to respect a man who, a few months shy of his 70th birthday, decides he wants to pursue a career competing in BJJ. I met this man, Peter Griffiths, and I fought him today at the Marc Walder Essex BJJ Open. It was an interesting scenario to say the least, but an elightening one too...



Me (in blue) v Peter Griffiths
at the Essex BJJ Open - May 2009




I was actually expecting all us blue super feathers to be lumped into one group, but the organisers decided to separate the Masters (me and Peter) from the others. So there I was, left to ruminate all morning, as the other fights progressed, on my unique situation.

The interest level in my fight would be high. Here was an amazing figure, more than twice (in some cases, three times) the age of most of the competitors here, and it was just little me that would have to fight him. If I made the most of my speed and aggression (and 30 years age difference) it would just look like I was being the bully. But if I played it easy, I could be in danger of underestimating his strength and experience and make a silly mistake. Clearly he came here to fight, not be part of some circus showpiece, so I decided the best I could do was afford him respect by just playing the way I would on any other guy.

The fight did not last very long in the end. Probably about 30-40 seconds. Peter got a sweet judo foot sweep on me but as I fell, I instinctively yanked for an armbar. After several attempts, I got it in the end and he tapped. End of fight. Gold medal awarded. The Carlson boys watching cheekily mocked me afterwards, saying how I should be ashamed I beat up an old man!

I chatted to Peter after. He is nuts about BJJ and MMA. He trains 3-4 times a week and is as fit as a fiddle so fair dos to him. He also has a background in judo and other martial arts so is no chump. I hope I see more of Peter. He's a credit to his vigour and courage and I'm honoured to have met him.

For me, I'll happily take the victory. I have no control over who I get to fight, but what I am learning is, despite all the distractions and mind games, when you step onto the mat, it's just you and you only for five minutes and I'm getting to find my feet in that moment of solitude.

Rest of the gang.
Actually Mill Hill RGA walked away with a number of golds at the Essex.
Dominique won the open weight female division despite being the lightest, a credit to her skill and talent. As did Daniel Strauss. I would say Daniel's was the best fight I saw as it was against his 'arch nemesis' Stephen Martin. Those two young lads have shot to fame recently, winning several majors, and are both much talked about as hot young talents.

But surprisingly, they have never fought each other. It was a great fight, full of twists and turns, but Daniel's class held through and he won, almost pulling off a submission whilst taking the back.

Dan Jones fought a loaded division, winning 4 fights to make it to the final, only to, in his own words, run out of gas. So silver again (4th time now?) - always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

The purple belt was interesting with Chris Hearns dusting down his gi after a lengthy break out of the competition scene. Fighting a chap called Ian Malone who actually is a roosterweight, Chris pulled guard but found it really tough to sweep or submit the lighter guy. The bout in the end was given to Chris as he did try the more aggressive moves. So gold for Chris!

I should also mention the other Jones fighter - Clint, who fought well to earn his Bronze in a tough tough division.

Overall the comp was very well run, not too many delays and the atmosphere more intimate than you would guess for a large sports hall. The Carlson Gracie team as ever were present in huge numbers and very vocal, which added to the atmosphere. At the end, Jude Samuels gathered every single RGA and Barra person he could find for a group photo that rivalled the same happening at the Carlson's end of the hall and it soon descended into a 'Carlsons' v 'Roger' football style shout out. All in good humour of course.

My thanks to Marc Walder and his team for organising a great event. Roll on the next one!

Mill Hill Roger Gracie Academy and co!

Essex BJJ Open

You have to respect a man who, a few months shy of his 70th birthday, decides he wants to pursue a career competing in BJJ. I met this man, ...

 

© 2015 - Distributed By Free Blogger Templates | Lyrics | Songs.pk | Download Ringtones | HD Wallpapers For Mobile