Category Archives: John Goldson

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

Not drowning just waving :-)

Well despite appearances to the contrary I am in fact still around and also round ūüôā

Last few months have been fairly hectic with family things and a new job over in Bradford which is going great but has stifled training opportunity a bit. However with my first pay day in about 7 weeks coming up (the joys of job moves) and GB Leeds being a short ride from work. I aim to be back training much more often as of next week and yes I miss it.

However some cool things are to be posted soon I attended a brilliant seminar with Felipe Jerry a world class black belt. I went to Professor John Goldson’s first big class also a great day.

Coming up are a profile of Dave The Iron Giant Keeley, news of Kim Taylor’s next seminar, a trip to the ADCC in September and hopefully the UFC end of the year as my fight club membership will give me early and discounted tickets so would be rude not too ūüôā


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Filed under BJJ, Black Belt, Jiu Jitsu Style, John Goldson

Did you spot the gorilla

Well it has been too long, far to sporadic and just not what I wanted but I finally feel well, healthy ish and in a couple months should be back at full silverback power.

The blog has also slowed down as it is hard to write and review about a sport that you love so much while you are not able to do it for one reason or another.

However I made a proper return to¬†training¬†and sparring last night and it felt great and this time I am back and pushing harder than ever, I will also be getting some Gi reviews, another couple of app reviews, Mr Samurai will be adding a review soon and even a book or two as I am a bit of a reader (don’t worry they will be BJJ/MMA/Fighter related).

I was really pleased when Jiu Jitsu style dropped through my door, it is an excellent magazine and is just what the british scene needs, also good to see Mr Yang spreading his media output even further.  I would heartily recommend a subscription you will not be disappointed

I also had a revelation when rolling with the newly promoted black belt John Goldson about 10 days ago, I was able to catch another blue belt opponent a few times in submissions but with John (while I never get close ever) it all seemed even further away than ever.  I was unable to get anywhere no small positional wins nothing.  John then asked me why I did certain things I did and I explained it was because I always did them and got away with them, in fact I had been getting away with them in the roll just before.

Then it struck me, Big Man Jiu Jitsu is a style as of course the game has to be adapted to your body style and size but do not fall into the trap that I had fallen into.  I was too reliant on the fact that I was so much bigger, heavier and a wee bit stronger than a lot of the lads I rolled with and either my size or my strength meant that I could get away with bad technique.  I could tuck my arm behind my head to defend a potential arm bar as a lot tried to rive it out and I won that battle.  However against John and others like the purple belts and some blues and especially the other hulks I compete against this does not work.  They are either strong enough to change my position which I have already made poor for myself or more often they have the technique to exploit what I do.  This was further re enforced last night while drilling a technique, I asked if the way I did something would also work as it seems too and the answer was the same yeah it does work against those who I can out power or who know less but it is not gonna work as I move on and up.

I guess then the advice is this, by all means¬†adapt¬†your game to play the one that works for you, John was talking to me about this, I need to play a big man game, control, control, position, control and then submission. ¬†Careful movements, all pressured and controlled and always use technique. ¬†It does not matter if you do not know 5 submissions from every place at first, just learn the position first and the submission will come and even if it doesn’t in competition¬†the¬†guy on top normally wins. ¬†Size and¬†strength¬†have got me to my blue, but only technique and application will get me further and I want to go further.

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Filed under BJJ, Black Belt, forge, Jiu Jitsu Style, John Goldson, Meerkatsu

John Goldson – Black Belt

Well I have to say it was a momentous day yesterday for GB Sheffield, I am so sorry I could not make it down but I am on the comeback trail and I will be back to the next Lagarto session all being well.

Why was it such a big day well there were quite a few belts handed out:

Young Jake received his Orange belt and I am pretty sure he is a black belt in the making that boy

Blue Belts went to Naz the Samurai, Adam, Dimitri and Kyle which is a great achievement and well deserved by all.

Also a number of stripes were given out, and my good friend and brother in arms Chaz got his second stripe which is¬†fantastic¬†and makes me feel better about the fact that he so frequently kicks my ass ūüôā

However the big news of the day has to be this:


pic courtesy of Gregg Rodgers


Our coach and a man who has given me so much support and help through the last 2 and a bit years received his black belt and received it from a great in the sport Lagarto.  This is such a well deserved achievement as John has worked so hard both personally but far more so for the sport both at the gym and in the north of the UK in general.  He has done all this in a selfless and tireless manner never in it for anything other than the love of the sport.  I am so sorry I was not there to see it but will continue to train with John and will see him tonight in his first full session as a black belt.

This is the goal that we all aim for and very few will make it all the way and it is something that John I am sure and all of us at the forge are immensely proud of and we will all go from strength to strength as a family and a team.


Filed under Black Belt, forge, John Goldson, Lagarto

John Goldson Interview

Check out my interview with John on the front page of major website

My first to hit like this with the Ross Pettifer one going into print soon.

Many many more to come John my thanks.


Filed under BJJ, forge, John Goldson, Lagarto, 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 ūüôā

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

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 ūüôā

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 ūüė¶ 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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā
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.

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