Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve Open Mat!

Rounded off a fantastic year with the last ever Open Mat of 2011!
NYE gathering!

Great turnout wirth a few lads coming up from Runcorn to join in the fun; big shout to Tony Riley on becoming the last KOTC champion for 2011, can he defend it in 2012?
Zoolander - King of the Cage!
To all my students and fellow grapplers the world over, I wish you all the best for 2012 and may it be injury free and acked full of medals and submissions :)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Attention Mr Anonymous!

All comments on the posts on this Blog are moderated by myself, which means I get to delete your inaccurate and totally misguided and abusive comments.  If you had the balls to post with a real name I would allow them, but in true gutless style you remain anonymous.

If you have that much of a problem then why not go to the gym direct and voice your opinions face to face?

No, didn't think so.................

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Tuesday Open Mat!

Had a great turn out today for the Open Mat, arranged on behalf and at the behest of fellow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu addicts across the North West; had a drop in guest in the shape of Adam Sankey, who was up visiting relatives from sunny Cornwall and trains with Rafael dos Santos, alongside Tim Lukes who I competed against at the last Hereford Open in December.

Open Mat addicts, Adam Sankey back row left

A great afternoon of training jiu jitsu, no gi MMA and plenty of S+C was had by everyone and a great way to burn off the excesses of the last few days.

BJJ class tomorrow at 6pm - see you on the mats!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Open Mat tomorrow!

If you're like me and can't wait to get back training, the good news is the club will be open tomorrow (Tuesday) for an Open Mat session :)
Christmas meal at the Chinese Buffet
The fun starts at 230pm and will be a minimum of two hours training, followed by post training fluid intake at the nearest local :)

Everyone welcome from the CB family and all my other grappling addicts are invited for a fix too!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!

As ever, my fave Xmas picci :)

Merry Christmas to you all :)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve Open Mat!

A fantastic pre Christmas session of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No Gi Jiu Jitsu, MMA, Thai Boxing, S+C and the infamous Royal Rumble, all packed into two hours, came to an end at 3pm this afternoon.  Special shouts to my good friend Chris Brown and fellow Combat Base brother Hanif Rehman (who trains with the Cheesecake Assassin) who both travelled over to join in the fun.
Christmas Eve grapplers!

The Royal Rumble came round at the usual time and it was time for a new winner and the start of the teenage domination, as 17 year old Liam Holt, duked it out in the cage and emerged the winner of the most coveted title on the planet :)
King of the Cage!!!

To all my students, my Combat Base family and all my other jiu jitsu addicts up and down the UK and across the world, a Merry Christmas to you all and see you on the mats next Wednesday :)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Guard Passing - Eddie Kone style!

My very good friend Eddie Kone lends his attention to the closed guard pass; pay heed to the tiny details that are in the video, this is a really cool, technical video that can be applied whatever colour belt you happen to be.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Applied Jiu Jitsu @ Lotus Karate Do, Heywood!

With my Karate Warriors!
There are a number of styles of martial arts taught at the KP Combat Centre in Heywood; alongside Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are a number of Karate clubs that teach and train at the unit and last week I was approached by black belt instructor Liz Daves and asked to teach her class a little bit of self defence and some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It was the club's last session and Liz wanted the students to try something different to their normal training, so it was time to spread the gospel according to Jiu Jitsu :)  I started the session with fun drills like the headstand, that were fun to play with but also had real application in developing balance and stability.  Carthwheels followed along a number of BJJ warm ups, all designed to increase strength, endurance and that all important balance and stability.
On the way up via the Crow Position :)

After the fun and games in the warm up, it was time for a spot of self defence and I showed a number of ways to escape the double collar grab, one of the most common used attacks out on the streets.  These techniques have been used in live sitautions by myself and my Trad JJ instructor Trevor Roberts and many others from Trevor's Association over the years in pubs and clubs and are quite easy to learn and add to your arsenal.

Double collar grab defence
Getting stuck in!
Time for twisting up!
After twisting each other up and most of the kids having a go on my good self and giving me a good hiding, I took the class down to the ground and showed some simple submissions; from side control I showed ude garame to give its Japanese name and for the Brazilians is better known as key lock/Americana.  With time running out I ended the class by showing them one of my all time favourite subs, the good old bow and arrow and after being bow and arrow'd by all of the kids, it was time to cool down and a fun filled session came to an end.

Huge thanks to Liz for inviting me over to share the knowledge and look forward to doing more in the New Year and Lauren Davies for the fine pix and last but not least all the students for showing an open and training so hard......OOSSS!!!!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Old Skool Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pix!

My good friend Simon Hayes has started a group on Facebook (UK BJJ Underground), inviting all the UK BJJ community to come together and talk about everything Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!/groups/286498698062505/

It is already packed with photos from the early days of BJJ and I have added a few of my own and thought I'd drop some in here.  Over time, I'll drop more and more in from my early days training, travelling, competing and reporting.

GB Brum 2001
Mauricao and Roger Gracie seminar at my GB club in Bolton 2004
Tiro Luta Vale Tudo comp 2001
With Chris Haueter, 2003

With Dan Inosanto, Machado Academy LA, 1999.  Where the journey really started.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

2011 BJJ Competition Team Medal Haul!

The last Brazilian Jiu Jitsu event of 2011 was held in Birmingham last weekend and with it brought an end to a year of jiu jitsu competition for my competition team; comprising of students from my clubs in Bolton, Runcorn and Heywood, we have been busy competing all year, nine months in total and at all the main events that we could possibly manage, hopefully competing in the ones we missed in 2012.

Competitions entered:-

Hereford Open (all colours)
North West Open - St Helens (Gi)
British Open (Gi)
Ground Control (Gi)
UMA ( BJJ and No Gi)
NW Open Cleveleys (Gi)
Glasgow Open (Brown belt Gi Superfight, the first ever brown belt match in Scotland)
Grab and Pull Birmingham (Gi)

It's been a very busy year and all the lads have given it 100% in all their matches and we have medalled in every event entered; special credit to the juveniles aged between 14 and 17 who have entered Adult brackets all year without complaint and gave them a good fight and have learned so much by doing so. 

Bolton and Heywood crew
It gives me great pleasure to announce that our total medal haul for 2011 is fourteen gold, twenty five silver and fourteen bronze, a grand total of fifty three medals; a fantastic achievement that has truly surpassed anything I could have envisgaed for this year as a coach.  It has taken me a long time to get the students to see the benefits of competition, but once all the lads had all met together and got to know each other better this year, the real team spirit and bonding has grown and gone from strength to strength.

Runcorn crew
It has been an absolute pleasure to coach every one this year and that includes the guys that haven't competed yet, but have been there in training sessions to help the guys competing sharpen themselves up and I know in 2012, these guys will have been training long enough to start stepping up themselves, so looking forward to the new influx of competitors.

So once again, a huge well done to you all, you should all be very proud of your achievements, you are all a credit to Combat Base UK; so rest up, eat and drink well until the New Year and then get back onto the mats and start training hard for the year ahead!

More UK Black Belts!

The UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community has gone black belt mad the last few weeks, with a number of very well deserved promotions.  Most of the guys promoted I have known, trained and competed against over the years and am proud to be their friends and to have shared the journey with them.

Braulio Estima held a huge get together yesterday with over 160 on the mats and promoted the following to faixa preta:-

Ebe Ghansah
Neil Simkin
Lee Catling
Rob Stevens
Chris Ress (first black belt in Wales)
Norbi Norbert

A number of people were promoted to purple and brown on the day.

Excellent news to everyone promoted and to the newly minted black belts, the real journey begins :) 

Team photo of the black belts taken from the EFN forum thread

Braulio and Victor with the new black belts

Monday, 12 December 2011

Gareth Dummer - brown belt!!

Huge congrats to one half of my sponsors Gareth Dummer, who was awarded his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu yesterday from Pedro Bessa.  An interview I did with Pedro can be found in issue number 2 of Jiu JItsu Style ( 

Gareth Dummer pictured on the right @ Hereford Open 10
Well done Gareth, next stop faixa preta :)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Another UK Black Belt!

In addition to Oli and Tom getting promoted, I am pleased to hear that another friend of mine, Kev Capel was promoted to black belt, by Roger and Mauricao.

 In addition to this promotion, Pablo Cado, Tomasz Redeski and Bruno Zancanar were also promoted, a fine day for UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!!

With Kev Capel at the Hereford Open

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Two new UK Black Belts!

HUGE congrats to two very talented and prolific competitors, who were awarded their black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today.  Oli Geddes was promoted by Roger Gracie and Tom Barlow (GB Plymouth) was promoted by Braulio Estima; great news for the UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, it goes from strength to strength each month.

With Oli Geddes @ Hereford Open 10 last weekend
Outstanding achievements all round and look forward to them both smashing up their respective weight brackets :)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Grapplefest at the UMA No Gi Grappling Championships!

Jim Mc Sherry hosted the association's last grappling event of the year, in the guise of no gi grappling, on Saturday December 3rd; this event has always been one of the UMA's busiest and popular of comps and this year was no exception.

Soaking up the atmosphere!
With over 100 competitors toughing it out on the mats for bragging rights, the referee team of Pippa Granger, Jim Mc Sherry, Josh Palmer and my good self were kept very busy througout the day and were rewarded with some high level grappling across all the weight brackets and years experience.

With MMA commentator and UMA ref, Josh Palmer

I only had a few guys compete this year at the event, but the Demolition Man, aka Lee James, remains undefeated both in gi and no gi, winning his weight bracket in commanding style and picking up gold medal number 5.  Parabens!!
The Demolition Man - #1!!
Shouts out to Jim and his band of helpers for running another smooth event and keeping us officials fed and watered throughout the day; to the referee team of Jim, Pippa and Josh for their hard work on the day and to all the teams that came down and entered the event, without you guys there'd be no competitions at all, we can't do it without you guys :)

Ladies with the bling!
Thanks to all the clubs that have supported the UMA events this year, we've had a great year this year and look forward to seeing you all again in 2012.  Have a great break at Christmas and train hard in the New Year!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

BJJ Bonanza at the Hereford Open 10!

After a long day reffing at the UMA no gi comp on Saturday, I drove down to Hereford with the Pipster and dropped anchor at Dave Coles's residence, in readiment for the competition on Sunday.  And what a competition!  Black and brown belts were lured to the competition via way of free entry and this made for some really exciting fights and I'm proud to say that I was involved in the event, both as a ref and competitor.
With Dave Coles

In the black belt superfights, Scott Pickering from Team Sukata was in fine form, submitting the game Bruno Leta from Roleta BJJ, as was Kevin Webb who beat Rafael Heck from Checkmat, making it UK 2 - Brazil 0. 

This was my first proper comp as a brown belt and I was to face Tim Lukes from team Rafael dos Santos, based in Cornwall and we had the additional honour of having Braulio Estime ref our match; towering over me at 6'5'', I knew I would have problems from his closed guard.  I intended to take him down and work from side control, but Tim jumped guard from what looked liked a mile away and I was trapped in a leg and arm nightmare.
With Tim Lukes
With such long legs, the only choice was to stand and pass guard, leaving me open to sweeps and yes, you guessed it, I got swept :) Stuck in mount, I relied on my fundamentals and managed to reverse my position and ended up back in guard, where I again started to stand to try and pass.  After a failed attempt, I was then swept into mount position and Tim maintained his position and subbed me with a nice little choke.  Overall, a good match up, lasted three minutes and gained a lot from the fight.  Roll on Feb 19th 2012 for the next Hereford Open!
Braulio Estima

Shouts out to Dave Coles for running another great comp, Seymour Yang for the funky t shirts, my lovely sponsors Gareth and Lee from Tatami, Creely, Wagon, Pippa, Oli Geddes, my referee partner Rob Stevens, all the lads from Team Sukata, Tim Lukes, Braulio Estima and everyone else I met on the day.
Lee and Gareth from Tatami

With the Meerkat, Seymour Yang

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lee 'Demolition Man' James - gold medal # 5!!

Once again, Lee James lived up to his nickname at the UMA No Gi Championships, blazing a trail through his weight division to pick up his fifth gold medal in a row this year! 

Lee has competed in UMA events and the Blackpool Open this year and has bagged the gold medal in commanding style at all events; I have had the pleasure of coaching Lee since February 2011 and to see him winning again and again is fantastic and am wondering just when  will the Demolition Man be beaten??

Lee James on the #1 spot!
We will have to wait for 2012 to arrive before we see Lee back in action on the mats and hopefully in the cage as well, joining the other half of Team Legion of Doom, Mitchell 'Maximus' Richards..................

Team Legion of DOOM!

Friday, 2 December 2011

A weekend of grappling action!!

Looking forward to a great weekend of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, gi and no gi, as myself and a number of my students are competing in grappling events across the UK.

First port of call tomorrow is the UMA No Gi Grappling event in Stoke (; organised by Jim Mc Sherry, I will be there to referee and watch a few of my lads make their opponents 'Taste the Rainbow' and bring back a few medals.

After that event, I will be driving down to Hereford with the Pipster (Pippa Granger) to spend the night with my very good friend Dave Coles, organiser of the Hereford Open 10, which runs on Sunday (  I will be joining the referee team and in the afternoon will be competing in my first proper tournament as a brown belt, facing two experienced guys, namely Lee Catling (Braulio Estima) and Tim Lukes (Raphael dos Santos).

A few other students are competing this  Sunday at the Takedown grapplefest ( so once again an extremely busy weekend for Combat Base Bolton and Combat base UK in general.  Keep reading the Blog for full reports and pix :)

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 :)