Monday, 31 October 2016

London Warriors Cup

Another good day out for Checkmat Wimbledon, as students Ron and Juliette came away with a silver medal apiece at the London Warriors Cup in Harrow, which was organised by Neto Nunes.  The event was very oragnised and professional with some of the most qualified referees on the circuit and an army of runners and mat officials, which ensured the smooth running of the event.

In addition to my students, there was a large Checkmat presence from clubs all across the UK and massive respect to LFF student Rebeka, aka Ronda, who bagged three gold medals on the day, taking gold in Gi in her weight and Absolute and gold in No Gi Absolute.

A great day out for everyone and looking forward to the next competition which is the English Open this weekened at Dartford Judo Centre.


Saturday, 29 October 2016

2pm class at LFF

Great class this afternoon, taken by Harman Bhamra as all the black belts are down in Poole, supporting Jackson Sousa and Terere. Harman went over some of the awesome information left by black belt Pedrinho, covering attacking from closed guard, with some really cool details and tips.

It was my first proper class at LFF as a black belt and as always, there are no easy sessions, everybody worked hard and pushed me even harder, thanks guys.  Getting back to fitness is always a long hard route but with good training partners and being aware of my limits at the moment, this was a great session, can't wait for next week!


Friday, 28 October 2016

MMARAP class @ Ringcross!

Had a great night teaching a mix of non disabled, deaf and autistic warriors last night at the Ringcross Community Centre, just off the Caledonian Rd tube entrance. The hard work of Jonathan Buffong means that MMARAP can offer the classes for free and we especially welcome deaf and disabled young people to come down and join in the fun      

Classes run every Thursday 615-715pm, address is 60 Lough Rd, London N7 8RH.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Ten years of London Fight Factory!

2006 - 2016!!

Grading Day at London Fight Factory

An absolutely awesome Grading Day, with Luiz pulling out all the stops as always and giving some heartfelt speeches, before handing out belts to well deserving students, who in turn had to give speeches of their own.

In addition, both myself and fellow black belt Joao received our black belt certificates, Sharpey and Mosquito got one stripe on their belts and Luiz handed out the first place trophies from the London Open and gave one to Sharpey and the other to the Fightzone Gym. Another highlight of the day was catching up with my very good friend Mineiro, who helped the club out last time he was here, taking classes on Mineiro Monday; really looking forward to his next visit and welcoming him back to the club.

Needless to say, emotions were running high and many tears were shed from students and instructors alike; at the end of the promotions, Luiz got the black belts up one at a time and asked them to say a few words about Jiu Jitsu, which included Jackson Sousa and Buchecha.  I had another crack at giving a speech, as I was given my black belt certificate and I did a much better job of it this time, managing to speak coherently and pass on some words of wisdom to my fellow students.

In all, there was well over 120 students and fourteen black belts on the mats, if my memory serves me well and after the group photos, the newly promoted students were mercilessly whipped and the it was on to a local cafe bar, for beer and food, a perfect end to a perfect day.

Checkmat #1 @ the London Open!

Had a great weekend cheering on the Checkmat team, as they raced away and took first place in Gi and No Gi on the 15th and 16th of October; the day after the event, I was struck down with the deadly man flu and had laptop problems, which accounts for the lateness of posting up the pix.

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.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

London Warriors Cup!!

Checkmat Wimbledon will be competing at this event, where fools will be twisted and made to taste the rainbow; the event is being run by black belt Neto Nunes and promises medals, cash prizes and lots more!

Leozinho seminar at London Fight Factory!

Cannot wait for this!

Club flyer!

Introducing the new Checkmat Wimbledon flyer :)