Category Archives: Blue Belt

Dói, mas passa

Well I survived training which was in itself a thing of doubt and it was hard, even harder than I expected.

As ever the guys at the forge were brilliant and it was great to be back but when I was dying on my shield half way through the slow jog as part of the warm up I realised this might be a long and physically difficult night……….

………….and it was.

My fitness after so long away was just horrible and I struggled even when drilling but I got through it and after some light sparring with my good mates Gregg, Chris and Chaz everything held together and nothing popped, cracked or more importantly ruptured into my spinal column 🙂

I got home and after an hour sat in the chair I felt like I might not be able to get upstairs to bed as I ached, I then spent most of the night running in my sleep and aching, and mostly awake. But this is not much different to how it used to be and will get better as I put the hours back in and my body gets used to the knee/elbow in belly/sternum and the elbow in thigh among other fun things.

This morning I feel like I have fallen downstairs into a barrel of kendo sticks and rolled round for an hour but my back feels OK and that is the main thing.

So with all that in mind am I back or is it all too much for me, well I will be back again Thursday to do it all again as despite the aches pains and moans I loved being back. I still want to progress in this sport more than anything so what else can I do but keep pushing on smiling and aching all the way.


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Filed under BJJ, Blue Belt, forge, injury

Guess who’s (broken) back

Well 2014 rolls around and I am making my second attempt at a come back, the first attempt was just over a year from my surgery to take a disc out of my back and chuck a new one in and was too soon I was too injured after every small effort at training to keep it up and setting myself back.

I am back walking properly no sign of the permanent limp they said I might have and bar a few issues left over from damage to my spinal nerves I am healed and well.

So once again I am back to BJJ which I have sorely missed and have always had it in my mind that I wanted to come back and one day earn my way through the belts. Who knows it could happen I just have to re dedicate myself and start the path again.

It has now been 19 months with no exercise bar a couple of hours and as such it is hard to see how I will do as I am less fit now than I have ever ever been but that will all come back with training and work.

Since have been away my mate Gregg is a brown belt with a stripe and James is a brown belt, well done to you both it is an immense achievement and something to be very very proud of.

Steve W is a black belt and that is fantastic and something that I genuinely aspire too and cannot say well done enough or how deserved it is.

If I have missed anyone it is because I haven’t been around and don’t know so my apologies.

Lets see how tonight goes and how I feel tomorrow I can’t wait but am also a bit apprehensive as another break down would really annoy me but I feel very positive towards it all.

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Filed under BJJ, Black Belt, Blue Belt, forge, injury

BrokeBack BJJ

Well I nearly made it back almost for a bit and then I didn’t just as quickly again, its been a long and painful journey which is not finished yet but is a lot further down the line than it was.

Let me also just state that this injury was nothing to do with BJJ in any fashion.

To quickly recap I had a micro discectomy on my L4/L5 S1 vertebrae on June 2nd 2012 which involved the removal of a disc in my back, some spinal fusion and a great deal of messing about. I had severe nerve damage as well and at one point was told I would drag my leg for the rest of my life and possibly end up with many other awful side effects. I was also told that it would be 18 months before I could look at any kind of sport or real exercise.

Well only a year down the line I have had a few relatively gentle sessions of BJJ and also some really excellent and gentle Judo sessions taught by the patient, calm and skilled Ming Wong. This has me way ahead of schedule and that is a great, I am not dragging my leg and only suffering one fairly annoying and sizable side effect but with time that will go away.

Recently I have had to hold off training again as I have been suffering a good sized whack of pain probably due to the amount of walking I am now doing on a daily basis but also down to the fact that I have been pushing pretty hard. However the fact that I have got back at all has been a major benefit to me and has further re enforced my love of BJJ and also Judo I just love being back albeit having to sit out again at the moment for a bit.

The main point of this though has been to say that once again the forge and the guys there especially John, Gregg, Ming and Naz and also the ladies there on a Saturday morning who have laughed at my co ordination issues have been brilliant. It has been like going back to a second family and has really lifted me from what can be at times quite a low time as it is hard to go from competing in big competitions and even medalling at the Grace invitational in London to being barely able to walk onto the mat.

So while I am not there yet I am getting there and sooner rather than later my journey back towards blackbelt will continue and one day I will get there that is a promise.


Filed under BJJ, Blue Belt, forge, injury, John Goldson

Dave “The Iron Giant” Keeley

My good friend Dave Keeley was promoted to blue belt in BJJ at the weekend and I just thought I would post this profile of him as he is surely going to break it big time in the next year.


  • Height:  6’10”
  • Weight:                260 lbs
  • Team:  Gracie Barra Sheffield
  • Management:  Suckerpunch Entertainment
  • Titles: Strike and Submit Heavyweight Champion, Yorkshire White Collar Boxing Champion


Standing at nearly seven feet tall and fighting in the premier division of combat sport, heavyweight, Dave is undisputedly one of the most recognisable and fastest rising fighters in the UK and European MMA scene.  Couple that with the fact that he has begun a successful foray into the massively untapped and hungry MMA scene in Asia and you have an exciting prospect just waiting to explode onto the big stage.

Dave has already been picked to fight for his country as the heavyweight fighter on the M1 global team at an event in Holland shown worldwide and on Bravo (part of the Virgin TV group) in the UK.

Even at this early stage in his career he has begun to fight a who’s who of both UK and worldwide talent.  He suffered a controversial defeat to UFC veteran Neil Wain who after the fight was unable to take his shot against Hall Of Fame fighter Jeff “The Snowman” Monson.  Dave stepped up to the plate at very short notice and took the Monson fight shown on Sky TV.  Dave did considerable damage to Monson cutting him badly and only fell to a choke which has been named after Monson himself who is a legendary and decorated grappler.

Primarily known for his excellent striking utilising his huge reach the defeat to Monson only made Dave redouble his grappling training at the world class GB Sheffield where he often trains with world champion blackbelts and which is run by John Goldson himself a blackbelt and respected BJJ trainer.

Dave’s wide appeal has been shown with his fights for Cage warriors in both London and Jordan which were shown in the UK on Sky TV and worldwide to an audience in 42 countries.  Couple this with his victory by an arm snapping arm bar in the KF-1 tournament in Korea shows across Asia and you have a fighter who is building into a global attraction.

This will only grow with his return to the KF-1 tournament in October where he fights in the next round of this event run by the South Korean government who see MMA as the next big thing.

In November the Iron Giant goes to China for M1 global again and this is promises to be a massive show shown worldwide and a win guarantees him another M1 fight.

All of this is very impressive and coupled with the fights on Total Combat and Strike and Submit cards as well as being the Strike and Submit Heavyweight Champion and Yorkshire Heavyweight White Collar boxing champion and you have a fighter early in his career who has already made giant strides.

Dave is available for sponsorship and provides an excellent opportunity to anyone looking to see their name on not only a UK wide but a global stage. coming soon





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Filed under BJJ, Blue Belt, UFC, UK MMA

Don’t you forget about me

Well I will be away for a few days next week and probably not doing too much actively online but there is a mass of stuff all to come which I am very excited about.

I have a new logo in the works done by my very talented mate Richard see his work here

My gum shield fitting for the review is due next week which I am looking forward too and also have the same old dentist fear so let’s see how at ease I am put.

The Roy Dean No Gi app review will be up soon as will the huge Draculino subscription app and website review, I have also been asked to review a couple of other BJJ apps and will be going through these over the next few days, initial glimpse looks good so far.

The Tatami Gi review is well under way with some great photo’s done, measurements, rolling, more photo’s, washing and more measuring already having taken place and I think I might be falling in love, however I have had word from a couple of other suitors who hopefully I can come to a Gi review arrangement with so I will not commit too soon 🙂

My interview with Ross Pettifer has been completed and he is a compelling person to talk to this will be going into a newly redesigned MMAD magazine shortly so watch this space as the Ross Pettifer story has only just begun, this is a man going places.

I also have a fascinating interview with John Goldson owner of the Forge Gym where I train talking to him about everything from the future of BJJ and MMA in the North as well as the time he was a corner man to an iconic UFC fighter.

Most recently my good mate Rob from across the pond has hooked me up with Team Quest BJJ instructor Carlos Zapata read about him here which is very exciting.

Finally I have a BIG announcement (yes it is that big) about a BJJ Hall of Fame Black Belt and multiple world champion coming up in the next few days.

Watch this space and come along with me I promise an interesting journey if nothing else

If you have ideas or feedback please give me a shout on here or

mail me stewnorriss @
Twitter @stewnorriss

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Filed under App Store, BJJ, Black Belt, Blue Belt, Draculino, FaceBook, forge, Gum Shield, iPhone, iTunes, John Goldson, Reviews, Team Quest, Twitter

Draculino BJJ Training – Blue Belt Basics

I just got a copy of the Blue Belt Requirements iPhone App from Draculino at no cost with the aim of reviewing it and hopefully some others out there on the market. I am reviewing on an iPhone 4 running IOS 4.1 (8B117).

This is a fledgling market and is the second full course application I have reviewed the other being the Roy Dean Blue Belt course.

As with all new apps and technologies there are bound to be teething problems and issues so I have taken this into account in this review. It is not the same as reviewing DVD’s, Gi’s or belts as these are all established and should be at that point of perfection, or at least nearing it.


The App Icon is of course the well known and very strongly positioned Draculino Vampire style bat logo, once you see this you know who it is and the same for the app.

There is no disclaimer at the start of the app, about the risk of the sport and the fact that you take this on yourself and should always be aware but this seems to be something which varies across apps.

When you access the app you get a strong Draculino image and a link to the site which is good strong branding.


The menu system is nice offering 42 technique videos which include:

Americana from mount
Ankle sweep going to mount
Arm bar from guard (standing opponent)
Arm bar from knee on belly
Arm bar from mount
Arm bar from side control
Basic guard pass on the knees
Basic guard pass standing up in posture
Bump/Portuguese sweep
Collar choke from back
Escape from side control by recovering the guard
Escape from side control by turning on fours/turtle position
Escape from the back (hands on the neck)
Escape from the back (no hands on the neck)
From double to single leg take down
Getting the back from mount position (Back pack and Hooks)
Half guard pass to mount
Ippon seioi nage when opponent tries standing one hand choke
Ippon seoi nage by fake single leg attempt
Jumping over the leg guard pass
Keeping the open guard (foot on the hip and biceps)
Keeping the open guard (spider guard control)
Kimura from guard
Kimura from side control

The main screen also has little images of each technique along with the description which is a nice touch and gives you a good idea of where the technique is carried out from. This is a point which makes the application stand out initially from others.

Oddly the one thing I would change is the opposite of the Roy Dean app which needed more granularity. In this app that is done perfectly but in my opinion it could do with some top level categories just to neaten the offering.

Each set of techniques could come under a menu for example:

Techniques From Mount
Side Control

This would make the initial scrolling a bit quicker and easier to jump to a section but this is a minor gripe to be honest.

Video Content

The videos themselves however are of the very best quality as you would expect from someone who has so embraced the technology. As a blue belt student I have watched them again and again and they offer something to everyone blue belt or not. The sound is as good as I have heard on one of these apps and works very well through headphones which I think most people will use when viewing a phone application like this.

Each technique is shown, explained, shown again, then issues and adjustments are looked into before finally showing the technique from all angles. One of the things that I have not seen before is that before you watch the video you get a bullet point breakdown of the technique and how to do it which is a nice touch. As before each section is as good as you would get from a DVD with the added portability that this format offers you. Couple this with excellent scaling to the screen of an iPhone make it an extremely valuable tool for a BJJ practitioner both new and experienced.

So what do you get:
Price 23.99 currently discounted to 20.99 until Nov 14th courtesy of yours truly and the good people at Draculino BJJ
Videos 127 minutes and 8 seconds (2 hours 7 mins 18 seconds)


While you do get slightly less video content in terms of time than with the Roy Dean app there is absolutely no filler and you get as many techniques as with the former app. I would say that from what I have seen, this is the premier BJJ iPhone app out there on the market and links well into the training delivered at

Over all for an app that is in it’s earliest stages I would wholly recommend this and at the discounted price until November 14th it is certainly worth every penny and more. This is something which really helps to push the sport into the modern day using the internet to reach a whole new audience and it is great to see. It is all of course about personal opinion but personally if I would be happy to pay the full price for this app and feel I had done well.

The on-line subscription app review will follow but it has even more content so the going is a little slower.

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Filed under App Store, BJJ, Blue Belt, Draculino, iPhone, iTunes, Reviews, special offer

Draculino iPhone App – Special Offer

After chatting to Draculino and the marvellous guys on his team Justin and Colby I have got a special discount agreed on the Blue Belt Complete iPhone App until November 14th

In the UK it will drop from £23.99 to £20.99 and in the USA the price will drop by $5 to 34.99 a similar discount will be added worldwide.

If your iTunes is still showing the original price then just wait for Apple to refresh and remember you have until November 14th so the race begins.

My review of the app will be up tomorrow for anyone wanting to wait but trust me this is one app worth it’s money and then some.

For more info please visit the official site at

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Filed under App Store, BJJ, Blue Belt, Draculino, iPhone, iTunes, special offer