Friday, 14 October 2016

Open Mat @ London Fight Factory

Slowly eased myself into the world of the black belt with an Open Mat session down at Ebenezer Street; it was a quiet session owing to the London Open that starts tomorrow, so most of the animals were at home resting.
Suffice to say it was still hard work, with lots of drilling and rolling and plenty of space to roll around on and I managed the first and last person on the mat, not a bad way to start my new life as a black belt.

Jiu Jitsu is for everyone

Last night I had one of the most humbling and rewarding teaching sessions since I started teaching martial arts; thanks to the hard work of Jonathan Buffong at MMARAP, all his behind the scenes grafting has helped secure funding once again to run free classes at the Ringcross Community Centre, just off the Caledonian Road.

With these classes and any other class, you never know who's going to come through the doors and last night was no exception; Holly Peters Christie is a thirteen year old with cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, but this doesn't stop her from leading an active life.  After talking to Holly and her carer, I found out she regularly works out in the gym and goes to boxing classes and now she wants to try her hand at Jiu Jitsu.

Sadly, Holly is unable to get onto the mats, but that didn't stop Holly from enjoying a mixture of boxing and Jiu Jitsu from her wheelchair; after a quick warm up, I went over the two most essentials needed in any Jiu Jitsu class, the fist bump and the Ooosss.

Holly started off with basic pad work and we added onto each drill and before long she was throwing combos, bobbing and weaving and hitting the pads with palm strikes, elbows, knees and dropping in the occasional headbutt. Arm drags followed on from this, with Holly ending each drag with a barrage of strikes on both Jonny and myself.

Some self defence was added to the mix, as Holly learned how to escape from a double handed throat grab, finiishing Jonny and me off with strikes galore.  We even managed to get the carer involved with the self defence techniques and before long the session was at an end and all that remained was to cool down and bow off.

As you can see from the photo, Holly thoroughly enjoyed herself and will be coming back next with the her own boxing gloves, so plenty more pain expected for Jonny and myself.

It never fails to amaze me just how powerful the effects of martial arts training can have on people, whether it's just one person who turns up to class or dozens; Holly enjoyed over an hour of our full attention and I am really looking forward to seeing her again next week, as I am sure Jonny is too.

So next time you're thinking of some First World excuse not to train next Thursday night, just remember this wheelchair warrior will be training hard, smashing the pads and twisting up fools.

Jiu Jitsu is for everyone.


First class as a black belt!

Took my class on Wednesday evening for the first time as a black belt, covering some of the techniques taught by Leozinho on the seminar last Sunday; the day after the seminar I had to make a flying visit up North, so didn't have time to get a new belt ordered, so thanks to Stephen DIxon who owns the gym for lending me his black belt to use on the night.

That said, Steve has had his black belt for twenty years and it looked more white than black, but it was brimming full of experience, so combined with BJJ knowledge, this felt like some kind of awesome belt that night.

Thanks, as ever, to my students for showing up and joining in the fun and to my long suffering BJJ widow Emma, who came along on the night and joined in the class and even brought cake for everyone after the class. Ooooosss.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Southend Open HL Reel

Another awesome HL reel, featuring student Juliette in action at 37 seconds and Rebekah from London Fight Factory also in action :)


In the news again!

Once again, thanks Lucy Dyer!


Leo Vieira seminar @ London Fight Factory

Both myself and my students attended the seminar hosted by the founder of Checkmat, Leo Vieira at London Fight Factory last Sunday; in attendance were over a dozen black belts and over 100 students and were all treated to a masterclass from Leo, which looked at ways to pull guard and then progressed to looking at various ways to sweep your opponent, get into other guards and start attacking with either sweeps or submissions.

Leo broke all the moves down into bite size pieces which was easy for eveyone to take in and then continued with a number of options and concepts and left the end results (the subs) up to the individual.

The seminar ended way too soon and with the regulation team photo as always.  Huge thanks to Luiz for setting up the seminar, great fun was had by all and my students and myself look forward to seeing Leo again very soon.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Faixa preta!

Well I didn't see this coming! 

I was awarded my black belt from Luiz yesterday at the Leozinho seminar in front of the Bossman, over a dozen black belts and over 100 students; I am still overwhelmed about this and have been inundated with well wishers from all around the world and when the dust settles, I'll attempt a serious post on such a momentous occasion.