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:-


Anonymous said...

Is the guy with the beard and long hair D.D. Danger from Conquest of Steel??

TFP said...


Anonymous said...

Yes D D Danger was on the mat.!!

TFP said...

Hope he didn't rock you too much with his axe ;)

nestor said...

haha awesome, I used to see all their shows when they used to play Wakefield about 5-6 years ago....didn't think he'd be doing BJJ!