Friday, 20 February 2009


Its been a week or two since my last update! There is a bad stomach virus going around which I caught over the weekend so that was my Saturday training out of the window. I havnt been sick like that for a while! Couldn't hold any food or water down and was continously throwing up. Eventually also got a bad fever. Thankfully Rach was around to take care of me...must suck to be sick by yourself! I even went to the hospital but, the UK health system being what it is, they reccomended an anti sickness medicine I could have bought without a prescription! Well I am much better now and training is back on track. Slowly I am managing to tap a few blue belts and only get tapped by the purple belts now. Must mean I am improving slightly!

Life is very hectic at the moment. University is very busy with many deadlines and assignments to do. I'm not very motivated to do any of it but its the last push before I finish so might as well put in the effort and get a decent mark. When I finish university I want to travel a bit before doing my masters, maybe a nice long training holiday to Brazil? :) That would be a nice holiday indeed!

The Bristol Open is in one week now. I still need to loose two kilos! I'm running in the morning on an empty stomach and doing light weight circuits. Also only having carbs with breakfast. This week I should be training everyday. That combined with my restricted calories and extra exercise should shed some extra weight. One week left then its crunch time!

Monday, 9 February 2009


Right lets recap on what I'v been up to these last few days. Saturday was a busy training day as usual. In the morning class we helped one of the guys get ready for his MMA fight. There were only 4-5 of us so we split up in groups, with some people doing a round of stand up with Ian trying to take them down as they punched him, and some of us did no gi grappling right after the stand up round. I was in the no gi grappling group. It was fun to roll no gi as its nice to be free of all the grips and collars of the gi for once. Feel so much more fluid and free with no gi! Anyway the sparring went well even though I didnt get a submission - Ian weighs in at 95kg so out weighs me by a good 20kg. In the afternoon session we went over the bramber (I thin kthats how you spell it) choke from half guaard and then from side control. This slotted into my game very well as now I have a move to use when someone tries to pull half guard! Got to roll with some newbies who were going all out (as usual with newbies) and got a good string of submissions off. Agin it was no gi as they didnt have gis yet. Also had a roll with Rach where she got me in a really good triangle from spider guard but I managed to hold it till time was called.

Sunday I went down to Sparta gym to help Tolly out with a private. He is training Rob for an MMA fight aswell and needed someone for him to spar with as his knee is a bit messed up at the moment. We did stand up with takedowns in MMA gloves before working on escaping side control. I felt I could hold my own again a considerably bigger opponent. Always good! However after the session I went home and started to feel a bit under the weather. Had a nice hot bath and did some revision for an exam I had on Monday.

The exam went well but I cant shake the feeling I am getting sick. I had a nap when I got back from my exam and woke up feeling hot and cold, headache, usual fever symptoms. Also all my body feels very achey and tired. I decided to skip training tonight and just eat as much food as I can in the hopes I will stop getting properly sick. Tomorrow I have another exam, helping Tolly with a private lesson and then we should be going to London to train with Ze Marcello from BTT UK! Lets hope I feel better by then. Time for some more chicken legs.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Today I was supposed to go help Tolly with a private but his girlfriend wasnt feeling well so he cancelled. Nevermind! Went down to the gym anyway and had a good upper body workout taken from the 'body for life' website. Its a nice simple workout plan and the training before breakfast will help me loose a bit of weight. The workout has one exercise per muscle group with a superset at the end e.g: incline bench press x 12, 10, 8, 6, 12 (last set of 12 supersetted with dumbell flyes x 12). Heres what I did today:

incline bench press: x 12, 10, 8, 6, 12
(supersetted with)
dumbell flyes: x 12

upright barbell rows: x 12, 10, 8, 6, 12
(supersetted with)
front raises: x 12

barbell rows: x 12, 10, 8 ,6, 12
(supersetted with)
close grip pull ups: x 12

overhead dumbel extensions: x 12, 10, 8, 6, 12
(supersetted with)
french press: x 12

preacher curls: x 12, 10, 8, 6, 12
(supersetted with)
dumbell curls: x 12

I checked my weight and it was at 77.8kg after eating one meal. Could i get down to 76kg in gi? That would be good! I would have to be around 74kg to get into the lightweight category. Thats 20 days exactly to loose almost four kgs. I'm going to try and get down there anyway and see where I am on the 20th and then I'll choose my category.

Apart from this I didnt do much else today. Just going to make some food and chill out and watch some TV with my girlfriend. I am thinking about going down to Brighton tomorrow to a different BJJ school and see how I compare. Theres no training tomorrow so I wont be missing out on anythingand it will be good for me to see how I compare with other white belts that I dont usually roll with. We shall see! For anyone looking for more info on the Bristol Open 2009 winter leg here is the website:

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Well the weather cleared up quite nicely. The news predicted snow storms and blizzards but it turned out to be blue skies and sunshine! Maybe I should become a weather man... My exams got cancelled because of the snow so they will probably be rescheduled for next week some time. Good thing too cause I could use some more revision time!

Today I went down to Adam's gym to help my instructor, Tolly, with a private class he was teaching. The guy who was doing the private is a nice guy who has been training for around 7 weeks now. The thing is he only does privates! It seems he doesnt want to roll with other people cause he doesnt feel ready yet. But Tolly convinced him to have a few rolls with me at the end of their private this week and I think he had several epiphanies. One was that fitness plays a huge part when you actually spar with someone! He was still trying to go all out for the whole round, ending up with him gasing less than 2 minutes into it. Eventually he calmed down a little bit and started using his strength when he needed it and relxing a little bit when he had a dominant position. Another thing that he realised is that he needs to actually roll with people to practice all the moves he is learning. It really opened his eyes to how complex BJJ can really be and how it is more similar to a chess game than a arm wrestling match! Got me thinking too about my gameplan. Hopefully he will start coming to one of the other classes so he can try his skills against a wider variety of people. Tolly asked me to help out on Thursday as well so hopefully that will give him some incentive. I kept my game at around 50% and focused on positioning instead of submissions. He is quite stronger than me so its good for me as it allows me to work on controlled a larger opponent.

After the private session I went home and went to the cinema with my girlfriend to see Underworld... what a kick ass movie! Definitely better than the first two with loads of action and a semi decent plot line. These kind of films always bring up the dilema of whether I would rather be a lycan or vampire. Brute strength and being able to walk in day light or superhuman skills and lots of kinky bondage sex? I cant decide! Definietly in my top twenty best films I reckon. When we got home I was still feeling like some training so I went down to the gym to do a weights session. Did a slight variation of the '300' workout and have to say it was quite effective! also took a few snaps of the gym:

25 pull ups
50 deadlifts with 60kg
50 push ups
50 box jumps
50 leg raises
50 reverse crunches
50 kettle bell clean and press
25 pull ups

Monday, 2 February 2009


I just thought I would express how happy I am! Yesterday and last night saw quite a bit of snow fall in the south east of the UK and because of this none of the trains or buses are working so the University was forced to cancel their exams! Yay! Now I can spend today doing something more productive than sitting in a hall for three hours writing about Pavlov's dogs. I do think its a bit crazy what a bit of snow can do. Other countries that see regular, heavy snow continue as normal and life goes on. But here in the UK not even 5 inches of snow causes all London airports to close, loads of flights cancelled, lots of major motorways closed, trains and buses not working and a host of other problems. So what should I do today? First I want to take a walk down to the seafront and take some pictures of the snowed beaches. I'll put them up once I get them uploaded. But for now I am going to kick back, make some nice wintery comfort food and enjoy the chaos!

Sunday, 1 February 2009


Yesterday's training was a good one! Saturdays are always brutal with 1.5 hours at Canton Gym followed by another 2 hour session at Sparta Gym. Its nice to get so much mat time in one day and really helps me to work on anything I need to improve. We went over guard passes and side control escapes in the first session with some sparring from stand up. In the second session it was a submission combination from guard involving breaking posture and moving to the side of your opponent, almost as if you were taking their back. From here we drilled a kimora, collar choke, sweep and armbar combination, and finally taking the back from the same position. It was a small class with sparring consisting of rolling with a newbie, my girlfriend (more on her later) and my instructor Tolly. Was fun and I got to practice my triangles from guard and a few reverse ones! One move that I picked up over Christmas which I am finding very effective is to pull guard and then go for an armbar. Once the opponent begins stacking you, let them pull out their 'armbared' arm and switch your grip to their other arm which should be inbetween your legs. Move your knee that is closest to their head to the other side of the neck and close the triangle. Move hips to opposite side to finish! I seem to be pulling off a good amount of triangles with this move as people stack you which brings their head nice and low making it very easy to slide your leg over their face and lock in the triangle with suprising speed.

I have a Human Resources exam tomorrow so today I need to get my act together and get a bunch of revision done! It is way too easy to distract myself with training - before I know it I am going through different game plan options of formulating a plan of attack for a particular opponent in one of the BJJ classes! Must Work!!! I will probably break up my revision with a gym session just to get some sort of training done. I am still in two minds over whether to train for strength or mix it all up. One day I will feel like doing some traditional powerlifting routines and others I want to train everything in one workout. Right now I am playing it however I feel it and doing what I want. After the Bristol Open I will try to get my weight back up to around 80kg so I can compete at 82kg. Right now I am at 77kg down from around 85kg and feeling a bit skinny! Never mind, after the competition I can work on getting some size back but right now I need to focus on coming up with an effective strategy.

One last rant! I cant get my beautiful koral gi clean! For the first 6 months of my BJJ training I used a huge, baggy judo gi which made it horribly easy for opponents to use it against me. Now that I have an actual BJJ gi, I appreciate it so much. But one of the gyms I roll at has these mats which tend to make your gi go a grey/black colour on the back, knees and elbow areas. I currently wash my gi on the 'hand wash' setting at 25 degrees but it still comes up with 'patches' of colour on it. These gi is new! Like brand new! Someone help! I might just leave it in a lukewarm bath tub for 3 hours and see if that works. I should have just got a blue gi like Rach did so that the dirt doesn't show up. Anyone else have this' dirt patch' problem?