Monday, 30 March 2009

The great BJJ pigrimage and other news

For a very long time Ive been thinking about doing a BJJ tour of all the clubs in the UK. Ive always really enjoyed meeting and talking to people at competitions and even on other blogs and forums. Its going to be an adventure and hopefully will do something to show BJJ unity in the UK, we have plenty of rivalries (which Ive said can be a good thing) but they can also turn petty and do more harm than good. This is genuine and I am doing it, it may take a very long time as I gotta fit it around real life but Im in a very good place to do it. Im near London and often am in Worcester which is ideal for going to Birmingham and Wales.

As a proof of UK BJJ and a trophy of sorts Im also going to get myself a patch from every club and put it onto a GI. Faixa Rua have amazingly sponsored me for this mission and are supplying me with 2 gi's. One to wear as I visit each club and a massive A5 one to put all the patches on. Ive recieved alot of great feedback so far, the Carlson Gracie clubs have offered me free patches from each of the clubs AND a free lesson at each club as well. Which is worth quite abit. Its quite likely they will be some of the first clubs I visit as quiet a few are in surrey. If more clubs help me out like that its going to save me alot of money and allow me to do this much faster.

This whole thing is further made more possible by the legendary Slideyfoot who has created a BJJ map of the UK! which really puts the whole thing into perspective, its around 150 clubs strong. See the map here . In the more densely club populated area's I hope to hit 2-3 in one day. Might even be able to do the whole of Scotland in one weekend, Wales should only take one or two trips. Dasmoose who Ive talked to on the bullshido and efn forums has very graciously offered to put me up in Ireland, so could hopefully do those clubs in only a few days.

Im still trying to work out some idea's to maybe get some sort of funding for the travel, or maybe sports relief sponsorship. Andy had a great idea about doing a T shirt as well with all the clubs on the back (band tour stylee).

My focus needs to be more on the here and now but am also giving thought to maybe seeing if a BJJ mag would be interested in the story or the fightworks podcast. I am thinking of this now in case they require the story not to be on my blog (this is just a synopsis really :P ).

Onto other news now -
Had a session where my legs were replaced with tissue paper and everyone destroyed my guard, fixed that next session though by breaking posture more as I realised I was being lazy as my hands were hurting.

Taught a beginner class which I really enjoyed, would love to do this more regularly which hopefully might happen. We did a sit up sweep series, as I think its much easier to remember when all the moves are related (this is true in mneumic terms). It went:

Sit up sweep - Sit up sweep into kimura - sit up sweep guillotine - defending and escaping the guillotine - kimura escape and counter - proper sit up sweep defense (not posting the arm out). It sounds like alot but I think it flowed together well.

Been taking some warm ups as well, got them doing a pull up exercise where someone stands over you and you pull yourself up using sleeve grips (so doubles as grip and arm strengthening). Couldnt think of the real name for it, so I just called it the "teabag".


slideyfoot said...

Sounds awesome! Looking forward to both the delicious BJJ travel prose and the handy fact-checking for the map. ;)

Anonymous said...

Good idea regarding the club pilgrimage. Just looked at the list and there are some good gyms/Instructors out there. I can personally recommend Kevin Chan from Kamon, a top martial artist and BJJ black belt under Mauricio Gomes. Have also heard good things about Rick Young. Maybe sometime in the future you could do a US tour and maybe Brazil?

Jadon Ortlepp said...

Have heard really good things about Kevin, I went to uni in portsmouth is am particularly keen to hit that club soon. There must be a rediculous amount of clubs in the US and brazil. But just read a story where a guy did a charity sponsored around the world trip using Twitter!. So anythings possible. If I could get travel paid for I would do it.

Badshah said...

The Mataleon gang have just had their patches made up, let me know when you come to E15 and I'll have a patch waiting for you

Anonymous said...

Kevin Chan started life out as a Wing Chun Master and instructor. He used to visit Thailand to cross train in Maui Thai so he could incorporate that into his Wing Chun teaching.
Then when the UFC and MMA in general became popular he started BJJ. It says a lot about the guy that he was prepared to start learning a new Martial Arts from scratch when he was already a very successful Wing Chun instructor with dozens of schools all over the country. Now he is also a Black belt in BJJ and has his own school under Mauricio Gomes. I’m pretty sure if he was 10 years younger we would have seen him in the Octagon by now.