Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

It's been a great year for Checkmat Wimbledon, the club has gone from strength to strength and I'm very pleased to have female students on board as well; we've dipped our toes in competitive waters and have come back with hard earned medals, not bad for a fledgling club.

The club has been very fortunate to have black belt tuition over the last few months, with everyone looking forward to (and dreading at the same time) 'Mineiro Monday' and everyone learning so much, myself included.  Obrigado Mineiro!

I'd like to thank all my students for all their hard work and support over the last year and I look forward to bigger and better things in the new year; thanks to Steve Dixon from Holistic Fitness Studios for all his help and support in providing an awesome training environment and to club secretary Dickie Wilkinson for promoting the club online and in the club newsletter.

HUGE thanks to Luiz Ribeiro from London Fight Factory for everything he's done to help me become part of the Checkmat family and a part of the team at his club, together with all the guys and gals I've met and trained with this year.  There's never an easy roll at the Factory and it's not been the best year personally training wise due to a pesky back injury, but I'm over the worst of it and my back's fully recovered and as strong as it will ever be, so I'm looking forward to the new year, where I can get myself back into full fitness and spread some Old Man Jiu Jitsu at the Factory.  Huge thanks to Gareth Baxendale, aka GARTISTA for his awesome club logos and to Paul at for turning logos into awesome rash guards and shorts.

Last, but not least, massive thanks, love and appreciation to my long suffering partner Emma, who's had to put up with all my moaning and whining about injuries, the tears of frustration and pain over my back and most of all, helping me get my socks on in the morning. Mwah!

Happy New Year to everyone I've trained with this year and everyone I've met on seminars and competitions; to all the new BJJ friends I've made and to all my old students who've kept in touch, hope you all have a great night tonight and the very best of British for 2016 and to everyone, an injury free New Year.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Twelve of the best of 2015!!

From, twelve of the best grappling matches from 2015 - enjoy! 

Stretch that body!

If, like me, you've indulged in too much festive feasting and can't touch your toes, then this little video is for you.


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish everyone out there in Blog land a very merry Christmas and as always, an injury free New Year!!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Kimura from side control!

Here's a neat little video on one of my favourite submissions from side control, the kimura.


Monday, 21 December 2015

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Walking the Atos Gauntlet

Love it or loathe it, here's one man's birds eye view of the traditional belt whipping at the Atos Academy.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Friday, 18 December 2015

Russian Grip to Kimura with Brandon Quick

Here's a neat video on one of my favourite moves that I learned during my Trad JJ and Sambo days back in the 90's; I remember training this move all through my grades in Trad JJ, usually starting from a two on one arm drag and was a go to move in my gradings, along with everyone else.

I still teach this move now to my students and still enjoy doing the move myself, it's a great one to pull off in a comp and can really suprise your opponent in a BJJ comp, who's usually waiting for a double guard jump.

Keep it old school.


Star Wars 7 - Spoiler Alert!

The Force is everywhere..................


Thursday, 17 December 2015

BJJ masterclass - UFC 194: Demian Maia vs Gunnar Nelson

An awesome display of BJJ in the UFC 194 match up between Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson; showcasing the relentlessness of Maia in his attacks and pursuit of the win, Maia shows that BJJ rightly has its place within MMA.


The importance of competing

Another great article from the website, all about the importance of competing; even if you only do it once in your BJJ lifetime, you can say you have been there and tested your skills to the very maximum and not be labelled with the keyboard warriors who have neither tasted victory or defeat.

Four side control escapes!

Being stuck underneath in side control sucks, whatever belt you happen to be; in this video are four simple and effective escapes from side control that you can easily add into your training and warm ups.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

5 things they never tell you.............

If you're just starting out in the wonderful world of BJJ, this article is for you!

Iconic Gi wear!

Here's a really cool article on a dozen of the most iconic Gi's in BJJ history.

Stripes for the lads!

Huge congratulations to Craig and Billy who are now on the journey to enlightenment, getting their first stripe on Monday night; hard work and commitment have their rewards, keep up the good work guys.


Mineiro Monday!

Had an awesome session on Monday night, with Mineiro as guest instructor; as always the session was packed with drills and for the technical side, an introduction to the DLR, with two awesome sweeps to be playing around with until Christmas.

Huge thanks again to Mineiro for a brilliant class.  Oooss.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Five injury prevention tips

A great article from the website, offering advice on injury prevention, something us silver submitters need to be on the ball with, week in week out. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Little Rascal Choke!

Check out this cool no gi submission from my good friend across the pond, Jeremy Arel.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

MMARAP self defence class at MENCAP!

Had a very enjoyable and rewarding session last night over at MENCAP, delivering a self defence class for the service users, as well as the staff.  Thanks to Jonathon Buffong, the main man behind MMARAP for securing the session and helping the more vulnerbale in society to boost their confidence and learn new skills.

Everyone enjoyed the class, including the staff, the young people and their parents and carers, I hope to be back there again in the future.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

BJJ can save your ass!

Check out this article from outlining eight reasons how BJJ can save your ass. 

So get training! 


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Old school BJJ v Gracie Jiu Jitsu

This quote was recently posted by black belt Simon Mc Govern, on a thread on the UK BJJ Underground; the topic was about people training under the Gracie Jiu Jitsu banner, when there are legit BJJ black belts in more or less every town in the UK.  This has been a bone of contention for many in the UK BJJ community, especially the ones who were involved with the growth of UK BJJ from the early days and they are sentiments that I wholeheartedly support and identify with.

Those who know, know.

Closed guard with Leo Vieira

Closed guard goodness from The Boss!


Six BJJ boosters!

Another great article from; add these activities into your game, what ever your age and level and see your Jiu Jitsu go through the roof! 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Kurt Osiander - arm lock from the back

Coming back from a loss in Jiu Jitsu

If you choose to compete there will come a day when you end on the losing side and some take this very hard, with some people quitting the competition circuit altogether. 

Read the article below and learn how to deal with your losses and how to come back stronger than ever.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Flying Arm Bars 101!

Watch this and laugh at other people's misfortunes and as always, stick to the basics.........


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

New members!

Checkmat Wimbledon welcomes Rosie and Juliano to the team, taking their first session last night with Mineiro, a great way to start the journey.


Last night's class

Another highly enjoyable session last night with Mineiro at the helm; packed mats once again, hard work and lots of squats kept us all very busy as we covered breaking the closed guard.  Lots of drills on hand to get us in the mood and lots of specific training added to many a pair of sore thighs this morning from the students and myself.

Looking forward to the next session.


Monday, 23 November 2015

Excuses, excuses!!

We've all lost a match at one time or another, so take a few minutes to read this list of excuses to see if you have said any of these yourselves! 

Berkut 2 results

I was right with Galvao! 

Arm bar drills

Here's a great little video showing some arm bar drills that can be integrated into anyone's workout on the mats, a great way to warm up before class.


Attack the back!

Check out this video, brimming with four points goodness............


Friday, 20 November 2015

Berkut BJJ 2!

What an awesome card this promises to be!!

What are your predictions? 

Galvao for the main event for me.


8 ways to avoid getting injured

A great article from the website, applicable to everyone that dons the pyjamas, as well as all martial arts, substitute sparring for rolling for the striking arts.

Take special heed of rule #1. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Kurt Osiander MOTW - Animal Planet

Knee shield pass with Kurt Osiander

Straight Footlock 101

During my early years in the grappling arts I was introduced to the world of Sambo by my Jiu Jitsu coach, Trevor Roberts, who implemented Sambo moves in his groundwork.  During this time, I trained a lot with Matthew Clempner and competed in Sambo events run by Martin Clarke and Matthew Clempner up and down the UK.

At this time, a lot of the BJJ guys were competing in these events as BJJ events were thin on the ground, so anything to do with grappling on the competition circuit and we were in there.  

Sambo is a great addition to your grappling game, these guys are the king of leg locks and in this video Vlad Koulikov gives an in depth analysis into the world of the ankle nibbler.

Monday, 9 November 2015

See you next Tuesday!!

Managed to drop in a Viz sweary in the title :)

Off for a week of sun and chilling out; keep training and I'll be back next week.

Top 10 Reasons for training BJJ

Have a read of this amusing article from Aces Jiu Jitsu Club and see if you can identify with any of the reasons.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Lunchtime sparring class @ LFF!

I arrived early today and was the first student through the door, as Luiz, Enrique and Marcelo welcomed me into the gym; as I was getting ready the regulars started to come through the doors and get changed and ready to do battle.

There's never an easy session down here, just the way I like it and as I was taping myself up, the mats started to fill up with young, tough, hungry purple belts.  Three black belts graced the mats and pretty much everyone on the mats had some kind of ache or pain, a niggly injury or a fresh one to deal with and I was among them with my own aches and pains, thankfully through hard training this week.

Luiz gave us ten minutes on the clock to warm up and it was six minute rounds for the whole session, my first roll being with Luiz.  A great way to warm myself up as I was squashed, flattened and generally manhandled for the whole six minutes.  The next round was with purple belt Omid, fresh off his triple gold victory at the London Open and another beasting ensued.

My next roll was with a white belt from Amsterdam and before the bell rang for the round, alarm bells were ringing as I saw his gnarly ears and felt his vice like grip on my collar; more alarm bells started to ring, together with my head as everything went dark, as I was rolled in to a classic sangaku jime with ease.  Judo black belt I thought as stars were in my eyes and after the roll I found out he was a Judo black belt of ten years and word on the mats was that he was on the Dutch Olympic squad.  Beware the white belt, they are not what they seem.

Mineiro gave me smile and offered himself for my next roll and with a quick fist bump we were off; Mineiro really tries to get the best out of you and let me attack and force the pace, but always ended up with me tapping out and always with a huge grin on his face.  Great fun to roll with people like this, no egos involved just the love of good training and self improvement.

After the roll, I was contemplating sitting a round out and slowly dying, but black belt Enrique asked me for a roll and who can say no to a black belt? La Furia is one of the lightest guys in the gym and one of the slippiest customers on the mats.  Trying to pin him is like trying to pin a hyperactive eel; one minute you think you have him, the next out shoot his hips and the next thing he's clamped to your back.  Six minutes of slippery shenanigans.

Purple belt James Bryan was next on the list and a tough technical roll ensued; James is strong as an ox but handles it well without hurting you and another solid roll was in the bag.  A couple of rolls with a few guys whose name escape me followed and just as Omid and myself were agreeing to a rematch the class was over.  

There are no easy sessions down here at London Fight Factory, there are no hiding places on the mats; when some one asks you to roll you roll, what ever the size or belt, no matter how sore you are, you just grit your teeth and get on with it.  I was very pleased with my performance today, my injury is as healed as it can be and the long hard road to mat fitness is in full swing.  It's tough enough having a week or two out, but having a good few months out of regular training and at my ripe old age, is nothing short of horrendous.  

Your timing is a second or two out, you breathe like an asthmatic and every pin down is torture, giving you many reasons to just stop and give up; you just have to take the beatdowns and become the nail for a while and take the beastings and one day in the near future the tables will turn and you'll become the hammer.  To all the over forties out there that have had time out, don't be scared, just get back on the mats and if you have decent team mates like I have at LFF, you'll soon be back up there.

Thanks to everyone I rolled with today and pushing me to the limit and beyond.  Ooss. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Stripes for the boys!

Huge congrats to young guns Harry and Dylan, who received their first stripe last night; both are seventeen and have competed after a short time training and entered the Adult division to really test themselves.  Both train regularly at the club and never complain when rolling all the adults, true warrior spirit and a credit to themselves and the club.

Well done guys!

Mineiro at Checkmat Wimbledon!

After the lunch time class yesterday with Mineiro, we headed off to a cafe for some much needed refuelling and chilled out for a few hours, before taking Mineiro over to Wimbledon, where he was taking the class.

The mats were packed with a superb turnout and after a quick intorduction from Mineiro the class commenced; the class started with the usual specific warm up, lots of running round, breakfalls, shrimping, technical get ups and then we were drilled to death!

Mineiro showed a sequence of drills that were all linked together and in pairs, each person practiced for two minutes each before changing and changing partners after each round.  Guard passing and guard retention drills were practiced and although two minutes doesn't sound a long time, when you are constantly moving around on the mats, you soon feel the burn in the abs and the sweat starts to flow.  Big time.

The session finished with six three minute rounds of passing the guard to knee ride, but with your hands in the belt on the bottom and one hand behind the back on top.  The guys on top stayed on top for three rounds, then on the bottom for three rounds; lots of fun all round and plenty of knees and feet in the abs, ribs and unmentionables.  This specific training is a great way to develop balance and timing makes you work hard on changing the angle to execute a successful guard pass.

By now the gym was a haze of hard work and perspiration, all the windows were steamed up and everyone's gi's were soaking wet, solid hard work from everyone.  Everyone enjoyed the session, I received great feedback from the students and I'm sure Mineiro will be back again real soon.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Lunchtime class at London Fight Factory

Can't think of a better way to kick start the week than a lunchtime class down at London Fight Factory; black belt Mineiro took the class and soon had us all sweating profusely.

After a thorough warm up, we went through three drils, then joined them together for one long drill from start to finish, then it was time for rolling; got in four tough rolls in total, including black belts Enrique and Mineiro, whom I rolled with last, so had nothing to offer him but submissions.

Awesome training, as always and have the added pleasure of having Mineiro taking my evening class tonight in Wimbledon.

All this great fun and it's only Monday!!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sunday submission!

 Check out this cool submission from Andre Pederneiras............


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Leg reaping rules - IBJJF video

Regarding the leg reaping rules, there is a lot of confusion on what is legal and what is an instant DQ, not knowing the rules can get you an early and expensive, especially if you're at one of the big IBJJF events.

Official IBJJF referee Marcelo Ribeiro delivers a short video on what's legal and illegal.  

Study well. 

IBJJF - Leg reaping rules
Leg reaping rules video
Posted by International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation on Saturday, October 29, 2011

Buchecha video!



Tips for white belts when rolling

A great conceptual video packed full of info for white belts to help them when starting out as a white belt, in the confusing world of the roll.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

BJJ is for everyone - what's your excuse?

Stripe night and my 1000th post!

Had the pleasure of awarding a stripe for one of the lads last night, which came to him as quite unexpected; big congrats to Satinder on a well deserved award, keep up the hard work.  This also happens to be the 1000th post on this Blog, so another well done on this historic occasion, your cheque is in the post ;).

Samantha Cook seminar @ London Fight Factory

After the immenseness that was the Grading Day on Saturday just passed, there was more immenseness for the ladies of the Arte Suave, as brown belt Samanatha Cook hosted a seminar at London Fight Factory on the Sunday.

Two of my students attended the session and both had lots of fun and learned some really cool moves; the seminar was well attended with belts of all colours sharing the mats with Samantha and after the success of this one, I'm sure there will be other seminars planned for the future.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Pass the guard - Buchecha style!

Jiu Jitsu Techniques with Marcus Almeida: Guard Pass

How To: Guard Pass with Marcus Almeida "Buchecha" #Oss #BJJ

Posted by Hayabusa on Friday, October 16, 2015

Stripes for the lads!

 It was a very special day for Checkmat Wimbledon at the Grading Day, as I was pleased to award two stripes to three of my students; they have been with me since day one, when I opened the gym last June and have trained with me every week without fail.

Huge congrats to Ron, Farhaz and Nayden, your hard work has been rewarded!


Grading Day!

Had an awesome day on Saturday with the annual Grading Day, the mats were rammed with students from as far as Amsterdam and Malta, all down to share in the fun, as Luiz gave out well deserved promotions.

At the start there were nine black belts on the mats and a short while later, this increased to ten as Enrique Villasenor received his black belt from Luiz to thunderous applause.

An awesome souvenir tshirt was up for grabs too and the day ended with a brutal whipping for all those who promoted and it was off for beer and cake to celebrate.  An awesome way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Lunch time class @ London Fight Factory

Awesome class today, sparring only, a mix of five and eight minute rounds.  Thanks to Ross Nicholls, Samantha Cook, Slavimir, Sakuraba, Steve Aston, Sophia from Checkmat Amsterdam and a couple of blue belts whose names escape me, for the tough rolls and a life saving cafe on Old Street, for much needed refuelling.