Monthly Archives: October 2010

Zen and the Art of BJJ (or how I found peace)

Well I recently posted on facebook about how I have found a peace in life that I have long looked for and of course received the requisite hammering from my friends 🙂

So maybe I worded it badly or did not have chance to quite explain fully and frankly I don’t care which is once again testament to the place I find myself in.

Those who have known me for some time will know that I was a fairly reckless youth once a knee injury put paid to my rugby career as I discovered the joys of drinking and fighting on the tarmac tatame. Then in the last four of five years I have battled a few problems which have seen many an adventure but not always in a good way (but that is a tale for another day) seen a few friends become ex friends and generally I have felt a bit on the outside here and there.

However in the last month or so it has struck me that this feeling has gone away and I feel far more centred, relaxed and happy than I can remember in a long time. The reasons for this are of course a strong family, a strong relationship which was the saving of me, a good set of mates and work is also going well, though I do have to miss too much training for work including tonight 😦 but nothing is perfect.

Then the final piece of this puzzle has come with The Forge and BJJ, and it was when I grabbed my chance there stopped worrying about my game as much and what I could do and how when this and that happened and I stopped and took stock and realised all that had been given to me with this. I have a brilliant set of mates down there most of whom kick my ass on a regular basis but do it with a smile and a word of advice which is different to my street warrior days 🙂

John is a constant source of advice and help as well as a great coach and is building an amazing club, I have been behind the curtain 🙂 and trust me when I say the new MMA setup is amazing it really is. I felt like a kid in a sweet shop and just got a bit giddy but it also made me think that the Forge is really a place to be proud to train at and call yourself part of the family.

Personally while I am not good enough to ever coach anyone or offer techniques really I will always try to help and encourage and a few people have made some really nice comments about that recently which again has brought a smile to my face. It also made me to worry less about my game and just to try and help and improve along with everyone as a family, I now am as happy to be tapped by someone who I have tried to help and watched develop as I am tapping them (well almost 🙂
Then there are those moments of support which are out of the blue such as when I had my wallet lifted everyone asked how I was and I saw three un-prompted acts of generosity which again made me glad to be part of the whole BJJ thing. So to Ross, Naz/Sal and Seymour one of the extended members of the BJJ circle of friends I have my thanks to you.

Things like this and Pete Dutton sorting out, burning and sending me a DVD of our epic Big Man BJJ tussle at the Seni which went the full time and was only split by a tiny margin just make me realise that I am lucky to have found this sport, ethos, philosophy, lifestyle, spirit call it what you will.

Now all this may sound a bit Disney and happy chappy and to be frank I am not that bothered it is really written as a thank you to all who have stood by me over the years and those that have welcomed me in the past couple of years. To anyone reading this thinking of coming to BJJ and worrying about it or the way it will be I suggest if you are near enough come down to the Forge and if you are not look for your local club and give it a go, it will be the best decision you made.


Leave a comment

Filed under BJJ, forge, John Goldson, mma, seni

Feliz aniversário para Mim

Well as I have pointed out a few places elsewhere today is my second anniversary of training Gracie BJJ at Gracie Barra Sheffield down at the Forge under John Goldson and Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodriguez.

It has been on the whole an immensely positive time yeah I have had a few low point but they have mainly been in my head and not really connected to the gym and don’t we all have those moments.

I have gone from 26 stone to 22 stone, from a no belt to a blue belt one stripe and from someone who had never fought legitimately to someone who now has a silver medal at the Gracie Invitational at the Seni. All in all quite a change around in my outlook and they way I am, I would never have thought I would find a sport again which I loved as much as I did Rugby League but I have.

I never thought I would enjoy that ache and fatigue of a good workout but now if I go too long I miss it, hence rolling while on holiday in Spain.

The other big positive of it all has been meeting a very good set of people who have mostly become good friends and who support me and I will be there for as long as I can. So to Gregg, James, Chaz, Naz, Rich G, Ross, Damo, Damo, Dom, Max, Dunc, Steve, Big Dave, Chris, Yousef, Hayden, Guy, Tracy, Ben, Pete Dutton, Dan, Taffi, Fiddy, Dmitry, Ellie, Ming, Big and Wee Paul, Pete, American and English Rob, Ryan, Seymour and of course my coaches John, Lucio and Lagarto as well as all those at ShootFighters, Manchester and anywhere else I have trained I thank you and you have my respect and my gratitude for helping me on my journey and for your continued support. (anyone I forget I apologise)

These are the folks who supported me through thick and thin and who recently when I had my wallet lifted all checked to see I was OK before they started taking the mick, well all but Gregg, Ross even donated a very nice wallet to me to replace the one I lost, thanks bro.

The Forge continues to go from strength to strength and last beginner class I went to had over 40 people on the mat which is brilliant. The MMA part is due to start soon and I helped carry the cage in last week it is going to be awesome.

So to all thinking about MMA or BJJ please come along FORGE OPEN DAY sadly I will not be there as I am off to watch the NFL in London which I booked back in Feb but I will be back soon. Also to anyone who thinks they just fancy MMA I suggest you give BJJ with the Gi a go it is brilliant and truly the best decision I took.

With all this in mind I have this to say as I finish, I do not know if GB Sheffield is the best gym or has the best this or that, all I do know is that for me I have never found anywhere better. No gym I have trained at has felt as much like home and as much like I am getting better and stronger every day and that is what matters to me.

Here is to many more years, more stripes, more belts, more medals for us all but most importantly more friends and a bigger and tighter family at GB Sheffield.

13/09/10 Starting weight 22st 11lbs / 319lbs / 145kgs
20/09/10 Now 22st 8lbs / 316lbs / 143.5kgs
06/10/2010 Now 22st / 308lbs / 140kgs
20/10/2010 Now 22st / 308lbs / 140kgs

Total loss 11 lbs / 5kgs

(edited to correct Portuguese grammar)


Filed under John Goldson, Lagarto, mma, seni, Uncategorized

On a personal note

Well this one is more of a personal note that usual but do not worry it is not a self aggrandising post just a little state of my union address I guess.

Honestly things are going well, why is this? Well the Forge continues from strength to strength and now teaches MMA with a 20ft cage to be installed this week this will all be christened by an open day join in here

This is great as I love to see the Forge going from strength to strength as it really is my home from home and I am as happy there as I am anywhere else but home.

John Goldson went on Sheffield Radio last week and did a sterling job promoting the club and the sport listen again at
this link

On a personal note things are also good:

Work as ever is busy as a busy thing but is going well and they even accept the warrior t shirts and the odd bruise and Gi burn to the face.

I feel much more comfortable in my game than I have in ages with a new found love of the half guard position and a couple of cheeky little sweeps as well as a nice submission ankle lock taught to me by Mr Ross Pettifer it is lots of fun. I am finding myself stuck on my back rarely now and when I do know what I should be doing to get out even if at times I cannot always do it.

I now have an early morning training session at the gym with Damien, Ross and by the looks of it others will join and this can only help with things and so far my weight loss is still going on which is also a good thing.

Finally it is great to see the progress of my mates at the gym, Big Naz is becoming harder and harder to tap using his RDR style :-), Chas as ever it is a nightmare and a pleasure, Gregg elbow on hand is a killer but your advice is always so helpful, Ross, Damien, Mr Rayner it gets better every time and finally a mention to 15 year old Jake who weighs about a third of what I do (well maybe half) who tapped me with an arm bar displaying the most perfect of technique.

With a team like that how could I go wrong, I want push forward and better my stripes and in time my belt when I am ready to do so, it is a long journey but one I love.

13/09/10 Starting weight 22st 11lbs / 319lbs / 145kgs
20/09/10 Now 22st 8lbs / 316lbs / 143.5kgs
06/10/2010 Now 22st / 308lbs / 140kgs

Total loss 11 lbs / 5kgs


Filed under BJJ, forge, John Goldson, mma