Saturday, 4 January 2014

New(isn) Brown, Purple and Blue

Hey Guys,

Before Christmas I made 3 promotions. The photo of the three was quickly deleted, so apologies that there's currently only the two of them on the main one.

I promoted Laurie Major to brown belt. Laurie's made huge progress since his return from that ruptured achilles and it was really nice being able to reward my regular drilling partner, particularly given how much he's helped me improve my game in recent months. 

I also promoted Steve Handford to purple and Ian Griffiths to blue. Again, it was really nice being able to recognise the progress both have made. 

Steve is unfortunately missing from the photo above, so here's one of him drilling Spider Guard with Dave Vincent this morning. Steve is fifty this year and his work ethic should be an example to those half of his age.

Ian similarly has really developed his technique of late and impresses me in that he's not afraid to try the techniques he's learning on anyone.

Well done to the three of them.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Rest in Peace Grand Master Renato Paquet

Hey Guys,

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lost another of its red belts today. Grand Master Renato Paquet, a 9th grau (degree) passed away at home in Rio De Janeiro.

To celebrate a life dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu, here's a movie from earlier this year with Renato aged 79 rolling with Ricardo Vieira of Checkmat.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

This Week in BJJ 45

Hey Guys,

Episode 45 of the excellent This Week in BJJ is on YouTube now. It features undoubtedly one of the most exciting Jiu-Jitsu players in the World right now, AJ Agazarm of Gracie Barra, plus an interview with Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu of Checkmat, who recently won the absolute gold medal at the ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships in Beijing, China, defeating team mate and Mundials ultra heavyweight and absolute champion, Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida in the final.


World No-Gi Championships

Hey Guys,

Last Sunday (3rd November 2013) I stayed up late to watch the second day of this year's World No-Gi Championships. It was streamed from the Walter Pyramid on California State University's Long Beach campus, where I competed in the World Masters and Seniors last month.

There were some impressive performance on the day. The medal winners are here, but GracieMag has posted some of the matches on their YouTube channel.

Gilbert Burns X Leandro Lo

The black belt adult male lightweight semi-final was between Leandro Lo of PSLPB Cicero Costha and Gilbert "Durinho" Burns of Gilbert Durinho Association. Lo has been on a very successful run, winning the lightweight golds at the Mundials (World Championships) in 2012 and 2013; The Pans at the same weight in 2012; and also this year's World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup. This one is strictly for Jiu-Jitsu anoraks. It's a clash of Durinho's Guard passing and Lo's Guard retention.

Burns wins with a takedown (2-0 on points) and went on to win the gold medal, defeating Vitor Oliveira of Grappling Fight Team in the final.

Jonathan Torres X Marcelo Mafra

Last year, JT Torres, then of Lloyd Irvin's team, now of Atos, lost to Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes of Soul Fighters in the lightweight final. Like many who watched the match, I thought the referee got the award of an advantage to Tanquinho wrong and it effectively cost JT the gold medal.

But he was very impressive in this year's final with Marcelo Mafra of Checkmat. Mafra has made a name for himself this year. You may remember he was leading Clarke Gracie with seconds to go in their Pan Jiu-Jitsu middleweight final earlier this year, before Clarke pulled out an Omoplata to take gold.

Again, JT wins 2-0 with a takedown.

Murilo Santana X Lucas Leite

I thought this was an interesting one. Lucas Leite of Checkmat is a seasoned Jiu-Jitsu player. You may remember he lost to Rodolfo Vieira in the heavyweight final of this year's Mundials, despite clearly not being a heavyweight. He'd already won a silver in the heavyweight division of this championships after a gentleman's agreement with his impressive team mate Jackson Sousa, before facing Santana of Barbosa JJ in this absolute match.

It's Santana who wins this one and he went on to win gold after a gentleman's agreement with Leandro Lo in the final.

Rafael Lovato Jnr X Fabiano Schemer

Lovato, of Ribeiro JJ, is one of the most accomplished American Jiu-Jitsu players. In fact he became only the second American to win the Brasileiro (Brazilian Nationals) at black belt earlier this year. The first was BJ Penn. This is his ultra heavyweight final match with Schemer of Team Quest.

Lovato wins 3-1 on advantages.

James Puopolo X Leandro Lo

Puopolo is one of Rafael Lovato Jnr's students. He had already won the super heavyweight gold, defeating Eliot Kelly of Coalition 95 with a guillotine. This is his absolute semi-final match with Leandro Lo. It's Lo who emerges from this one with a comprehensive points win.

Eduardo Telles X Felipe Penna

There are a few other movies on GracieMag's YouTube channel, but I wanted to link to this one. It's the Turtle Guard legend Eduardo Telles of Brasa Caio Terra in his medium heavyweight final with Felipe Penna of Gracie Barra.

Telles once formed the now defunct TT Team with Fernando "Terere" Augusto and was one of the starts of Alliance then Brasa in the early 2000s. This match has a really good finish to it with Telles and Penna on 2 points each but Penna ahead on points as they go into the last few seconds.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Belt Promotions

Hey Guys,

I've neglected the blog site for a number of reason this year. Mainly to concentrate on my own training…every minute is precious. I'm going to try and be more regular, but first I need to catch-up, particularly with belt promotions. So here goes. I apologise for the quality of the photos. They were taken with various versions of iPhone. 

First is Michael "Serge" Serginson. Serge has been with us a while but has only fairly recently started to train is a gi. He's one of the nicest guys in the gym and this was a popular promotion to blue belt at the end of June. 

The first junior promotion I've ever made was a grey and white belt to Angus Major in August. Angus is pictured below with his proud dad, Laurie. Respect to Angus for rolling with adults and, if he works at it, he could be a very good fighter one day.

And another blue belt promotion in September. This time to James Bennett. James joined us recently, but was already training Jiu-Jitsu elsewhere and in my view, is well worth the blue belt. He has a well-rounded game.

And at the end of October, Graeme Allsopp made his first two promotions. Unfortunately, we still need to get a decent photo of his award of a blue belt to Dan Allsopp…no relation. Dan, like Serge, initially came to us to improve his grappling for MMA, but has since become one of the core of the team, training at both my classes and Graeme's. And the results of his mat time and hard work are reflected in the improvement he's made and how difficult he is to roll with.

On the same day, Graeme promoted Dan, he also awarded an orange belt to Johnny Green, pictured here between Graeme and me, and with Simon Ball and Ed Drysdale. Johnny is only 14, but has a really good level of skill. If he works hard, the sky's the limit.

Here's Ed congratulating Johnny.


Friday, 3 May 2013

New Purple Belt

Hey Guys,

I know I'm a couple of weeks behind with this, but congratulations to Aldo De Georgi on receiving his purple belt. 

Aldo is a fairly new to Combat Base North East but was easily worth his grading as we all know! Aldo's stand-up and ground games are excellent, particularly his Guard passing which is going to improve all of our Guards. And he's a nice guy who has immediately become a well-liked member of the team. 


Friday, 12 April 2013

New Blue Belt

Hey Guys,

I'd like to congratulate Reece Potts who was awarded a well deserved blue belt tonight from Graeme Allsopp, Ed Drysdale and myself.

As I've said many times, I won't give anyone a belt who doesn't have takedowns. Reece ticks all the boxes for blue belt, with very good standing and ground games. It was a real pleasure to give him the news and see how much it meant to him. 

I know he's a popular member of the team and everyone will be happy for him, but be careful...he was a nightmare to roll with afterwards.