Monthly Archives: April 2011

Normal service will be resumed

I am off for the next ten days or so doing family stuff and getting life in shape generally, that and enjoying the sun 🙂

But there is loads to come blog wise in the coming months so don’t forget about me while I am ( some would say thankfully) quiet 🙂

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Mackenzie Dern – Interview

I sat down to talk to the daughter of BJJ legends Wellington “Megaton” Dias http://www.teammegaton.net and step daughter of Luciana Dias herself a munidal finalist and black belt, the charming and friendly Mackenzie Dern (center below) herself a top class and dominant BJJ competitor.

Tell me a little about your past and present, and your BJJ journey?

Well, I first started learning jiu-jitsu when I was three years old. I started competing when I was 7 years old and I competed in the kids division until I was 14. I traveled a lot to Brazil and San Diego and was then able to start competing in the adult division. Fortunately, Arizona, Brazil and San Diego are where I am able to do a lot of my competition training. Right now, I am currently in Arizona but the last couple of weeks I have been traveling a lot with my dad, doing seminars and competitions throughout Europe.

You have an extremely impressive competition record for one so young, what are you highlights?

Yes, thankfully I was able to start jiu-jitsu at a young age and with the help of my instructors and teammates, good results are starting to show! My main titles are 4x World champion, 3x No gi World champion, 2x American National champion, 2x European champion, Rio International champion and South American champion.

Did you feel you had to go into BJJ with such an inspirational father as a figure?

My dad definitely is the reason for me being in Jiu-Jitsu, but he never forced me to train or compete and because of this my passion for Jiu-Jitsu developed on its own. However, because he is such a well know BJJ fighter I do feel like when I compete I am representing him so I try to represent him and his jiu-jitsu as best as I can.

How do you feel the world of BJJ has changed for female BJJ fighters?

BJJ for females has evolved so much throughout the years. We have gone from purple, brown, and black belt together and now we have enough girls to just have brown and black fighting together. Unfortunately, I think girls are still far from being treated like the guys, but slowly we are getting more and more credit for our accomplishments.

Are you held back as an attractive female with a famous father do you feel you have to fight harder for recognition?

No, I think it helped me develop myself within the jiu-jitsu community, but after a while I was recognized for my wins and not for being Megaton’s daughter. I think being an attractive female competitor and having a famous father I have a lot of attention so I try my best to be a good role model and help get more and more girls into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What are your inspirations in life and in BJJ?

My dad is my inspiration not just as an BJJ fighter or instructor but as a person as well. Not only did he help me develop my commitment to jiu-jitsu that I have today, but he taught me to try and be a good person on and off the mats. Leticia Ribeiro, also has been a huge inspiration for me throughout my BJJ journey. She dedicates herself to jiu-jitsu for women and I hope one day I can make an impact in jiu-jitsu like she has.

What are your future plans within the world of BJJ?

My future plans in Jiu-Jitsu are to compete as much as possible. I hope to compete at least every two months so I stay on a good competition rhythm. I hope to accompany my dad on many seminars so I can get some experience. When I arrive in Arizona, in the beginning of February I will be assisting an all girls open mat and I am really excited about that! Also coming up, I will be competing in the Abu Dhabi World Pro trials in Canada and then I have the Pan Ams and Worlds planned. Then I will most likely stay in Brazil for a while.

Have you considered MMA?

No, MMA is not something I plan on doing in the future. I know a lot of people who go from BJJ to MMA, and are very successful, but I just see my future in BJJ.

What aspirations and dreams are there for Mackenzie Dern?

I hope to one day win all the main competitions at black belt. I would love to have an academy with a strong women’s team. Lastly, I would really like to have made an impact in Jiu-Jitsu and stay as involved with the Jiu-Jitsu community for as long as possible!

Can tell me about the comp in Canada Adu Dhabi trials how it went and what it means to you?

The trials went great! I had a bye my first round the second round was against a black belt from Chicago. I won that match by points 5 x 0 so that was good! Then i was in the finals against a purple belt that she had already beat me once and i had already beat her once so it was good to fight again! Luckily i won that fight by points too, i think it was 4 x 0 but it was sooooo cold! Lol

And the meaning of this to me is really big! Just that I am going to be able to take part in a tournament competing with some of the best of the best is going to be a great learning experience and a privelage! I am going to train my hardest and get ready for this exciting event!

Anything else you would like to say?

I would like to thank my family, friends, and teammates who help me get to where I am today. My fans for all the support. My sponsors ATAMA Kimonos, Versatile Fighter, and Fight Soap for helping me out, and thank you Stewart for the questions

Brilliant Thanks so much I will look forward to talking to you after the ADCC see how you, your boyfriend (Augusto Tanquinho Mendes) and your step mother and father get on (first time this has ever happened in an ADCC)

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Book Review – Bloody Revolution A Journey Into UK MMA

So I have just finished reading the new UK MMA book “Bloody Revolution A Journey Into UK MMA” click here for info

I should always mention that the cover picture was taken by my GB Sheffield team mate and recent forge blue belt and all round good guy Martin Rhodes as he can get a wee bit precious if he is not mentioned.

I thought this was a really god read, easy to follow, well researched and shows that this is something Mick has a real passion for.

I have been to a few MMA fights in the UK and frankly Mick captures it perfectly, a world of hard dedicated men who give all they can in cages and rings from tiny leisure centers to large arenas. He also captures beautifully the people who go and watch and this is perhaps the bit that I most associated with and laughed at, the cage side Royce Gracie’s dressed like a Burberry cologne bottle with more bad tattoos than the whole of Sheffield put together.

This then is what makes it so readable so much fun so interesting, it is not just another book about the fights, the fighters et al, as we have all read a lot about this and the events, there are sites galore out there that cover this in depth. This gets under the skin of what makes MMA in the UK so good and also at times so awful to attend and watch. How quickly the mood can swing, swing back and then settle again and how blood feuds as well as long term bonds are formed at these events.

It is a book I would highly recommend to all UK fans as you will associate with it and it will make you both smile and shake your head, for all readers over seas it is a great insight into the world of MMA over here and well worth reading.

Also published on the US websites http://www.mma.humankindpreview.com/book-review-bloody-revolution-a-journey-into-uk-mma

and on the front page of on the mat http://www.onthemat.com/blogs-posts/book-review-%E2%80%93-bloody-revolution-journey-uk-mma

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