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Do not forget to register for the May 28th class!!

Drac's Blog - Tue, 2016-07-19 17:10
Do not forget to register for the May 28th class!!! Follow the link for more info

Finding a role model for your kids is a huge respo

Drac's Blog - Tue, 2016-07-19 17:10
Finding a role model for your kids is a huge responsibility. We have it covered. Photo by: Kasey Neal

"In the middle of every dificulty lies an opportun

Drac's Blog - Tue, 2016-07-19 17:10
"In the middle of every dificulty lies an opportunity" Nothing better than letting out the stress of a Monday than with some good, hard kicks and punches. Our Muay Thai kickboxing program is perfect for all skill levels, come in and try a free class.

Students who have been promoted to the next belt.

Drac's Blog - Tue, 2016-07-19 17:10
Students who have been promoted to the next belt. Fell free to share and/or tag these with yourself, your friends and/or your family.

Vinicius “Magoo” Canevari

BJJ Heroes - Tue, 2016-07-19 08:56
Vinicius Canevari, commonly known as Vinicius "Magoo", is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Eduardo "Brigadeiro" and one of the pioneers of this martial art in the state of Paraná. A Brazilian National and South American champion, Magoo started his work in Londrina - PR during the mid 1990's, developing one of the strongest teams in the south of Brazil: Magoo Jiu Jitsu.

Metamoris 7, Tonon Vs. Gracie Full Results

BJJ Heroes - Sun, 2016-07-17 19:42
Full results of all the superfights in Metamoris 7, a card headlined by the president of the grappling promotion, Ralek Gracie vs Garry Tonon, one of the top figures of our sport.

EBI 7 Featherweights Tournament Full Results

BJJ Heroes - Sun, 2016-07-17 17:03
One of the best featherweight tournaments of the year returned to Los Angeles on the 17th of July, 2016 to ascertain the king of EBI's under 145lbs division. Here are the results of every individual match.

BJJ Seminar & Summer Grading: New School BJJ with Helio "Soneca" Moreira

The Part Time Grappler - Sun, 2016-07-17 10:47

The day started with 7 black beltsI recently had the pleasure & honour to attend Professor Helio Soneca's Summer Grading and seminar at Ernest Bevin College in Tooting, South London. The seminar was open to all and was immediately followed by New School BJJ's Summer Grading.

The Instructor
Helio Pires Moreira, aka Soneca, is a big deal. The man is a bit of a legend to be fair. He's one of the first black belt produced by the powerhouse Gracie Barra back in the old days. The NAGA, Brazilian Nationals- & Mundial champion has a lot to teach so when I heard he was coming over to London for the third time to teach and grade at his affiliate New School BJJ, I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, how many black belt do you know who started jiujitsu at the age of 8? Exactly!

The attendees
At a scan, I counted no less than 50 bodies on the mat with no less than 6 black belts (to start with), a host of brown and purple belts and lots of eager white and blue belts.

Since the seminar was linked to the Summer Grading, the vast majority of the attendees were students at New School BJJ's various locations around London.

Soneca gave an excellently thought out seminar on open guard attacks. It was very well structured, and all the techniques built on one another.

As much as he could, he tried to build in ample drilling time, which was appreciated by the attendees as it allowed him to walk around like a general and check everyone's technique, constantly monitoring and observing, helping, and fixing...and cracking jokes. The man was a nonstop machine!

It was clear that Soneca was very keen on the seminar attendees drilling correctly and only instilling the best of habits and movement patterns; the sign of a passionate and engaged instructor.

The overall atmosphere was pleasant. Not too serious, but not totally informal either. Soneca kept the whole crowd on their toes with his humor and old school stories and laser sharp attention to details. He had that special quality that great teachers have: They make everyone in attendance feel like it's their own private session with him.

As mentioned, Soneca's focus for the seminar was attacks from the open guard, but with a Soneca twist.

This meant that he had everyone start from the closed guard then  walked everyone, step by step, to the open guard from where we investigated sweeps, triangles and omoplatas and a bonus armlock that I'm still trying to get my head around.

While the first step of transitioning from closed to open guard may seem trivial to some, if you are a fan of detail-oriented jiujitsu like me, it was heaven.

Every grip, limb placement, shrimp motion, bridge...etc. was calculated and accounted for. It was clear to see we were in the presence of a teachers' teacher.

Every technique built upon itself in a logical order and what I mean by that is that as an observer, I was studying the techniques being taught and thinking: "This is brilliant! But when they do this?" and guess what Soneca showed? The solution the grappling question / situation I had in my head but never asked!

Soneca was very meticulous in guiding the room so everyone was drilling in one single direction and on one particular side: The Carlos Gracie side. This allowed him to quickly scan the room for mistakes and correct them promptly. I had seen this teaching technique employed by experienced world circuit seminar teachers such as Eddie Bravo and John B Will and I must admit, it works like a charm.

While I am sure he welcomed them, the seminar did not have a Q&A slot which I am sure had a lot to do with the time constraints. This is not uncommon when seminars are linked to gradings, especially a huge one like NSBJJ's Summer Grading.


Anyone who follows this blog will know the great people at New School BJJ hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. The main one is the environment they've succeeded to create and maintain at their school. While creating a jiujitsu hub of technical training and competition performance by any measure, they've established a healthy culture where anyone and everyone is welcome and made part of the family. This meant when belts were awarded, everyone was happy and proud and, yes, tears were shed.

It was great to see so many get awarded their blue belts and quite a few purples too (and even one very well deserved brown belt!) but all the eyes were tuned on the black belt gradings.

New School BJJ is a well established jiujitsu team already with multiple black belts on the mat at any random session but there had been a few 4-stripe brown belts that everyone had been eyeing with excitement. These were: Edward Margot, Leo Marcantonio & Nicky Robinson.

Ed's speech summed up everyone's feelings very well:

"Thank you to Soneca, Nicky & Tony (Head coaches) and of course to Felipe (De Souza, founder of BJJ School, the forerunner to New School BJJ) but not to forget, a big thank you to everyone who makes this school what it is".

As the happy day drew to a conclusion, a couple of enthusiastic friends rushed to hug and congratulate the new black belts. As I was walking towards the door I heard Nicky respond to being called "Professor" with the words:

"Friend and coach. That's all. On Monday, we get up and do it all again".

Photo credit to Dovile Francis--------------------------------------------------


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The Mechanics of Luck

John Will's Personal Blog - Sat, 2016-07-16 18:07
If you succeed at something, you can expect a certain element to accuse you of being lucky. Personally, I find this a little insulting; not because luck doesn’t exist, it does, in roughly equal proportion to ‘bad luck’.
I find it insulting because such people are usually the kind that are not ‘risk-takers’ themselves and just don’t appreciate the work and effort that underpins the success they view as a product of dumb luck.
Watching a martial arts movie is not the same thing as training in the martial arts. Going to school to learn about success, is not the same thing as succeeding in the actual world. Taking action is what ultimately counts; it's what drives us forward and colours the unfolding of our lives.
As the old saying goes ‘the more we prepare the luckier we get’. Or as Louis Pasteur has been quoted as saying “fortune favours the prepared mind”. Both amount to the same thing; the balance of good luck and bad luck can be swung in one direction or the other depending on the choices and actions we take.
Those who want to carve out a life of verve and adventure for themselves - those people, make their own luck. - JBW

Lucas Lepri Putting North Carolina on the BJJ Map

BJJ Heroes - Thu, 2016-07-14 06:52
Interview with jiu jitsu world champion Lucas Lepri regarding his move to Charlotte North Carolina, the current state of the sport and his grappling legacy.

Gumby speaks out!

The Fighting Photographer - Thu, 2016-07-14 02:45
My good friend from across the pond, Alan Marques, AKA Gumby, writes an article that I agree with 100%! 


Review - Whisky Wolf Hard Soap

Meerkatsu - Wed, 2016-07-13 17:22

It seems in the world of jiu jitsu, MMA and grappling, we do love our artisan soaps. Whisky Wolf is a UK based company. They sent me their Okami Kit Tin Can package, which contains their red label soap bar, soap tag, skin balm and stickers.

The tin itself looks like this:

Once opened, out pops the contents...

The 'Hooch' skin balm is designed for post training skin burns and abrasions. It smells nice - a mix of tea tree oil and peppermint and once applied, it soothes the skin in a way that an oil rich ointment would.

The soap tag is like a clear guitar plectrum and you stick it into the soap bar and then hang it up in the shower...

I've been using this soap for the past 5-6 weeks after each training session in the shower. I can testify that the hard soap lasts a very very long time. Even after this many uses, the bar is barely 60% used up. The fragrance isn't overpowering like it is in some other brands. There are the faintest traces of exfoliating seeds (actually coffee grounds) inside which I personally am not a fan of, but they're not as obtrusive as in other brands that use poppy or other larger seeds.

One observation I had was that the soap doesn't lather up very much. It creates enough slipperyness for you to cleanse yourself in the shower with, but it's just not that lathery, which is something I kind of expect in a soap.

Overall however, beautiful packaging and sturdy long lasting appeal make the Whisky Wolf Okami Tin a nice present to reward yourself with all the hard training.


BJJ Gi Review: Globetrotters Competition Gi - New Release!

The Part Time Grappler - Wed, 2016-07-13 09:03
Short BJJ Gi Review

BJJ Globetrotters is a world spanning, yet accidental, Brazilian jiujitsu team. I say accidental because the founder Christian Graugart describes it like that and while indeed you can register for IBJJF and UAEJJF competitions through the BJJ Globetrotters, they represent far more than just another BJJ team. They’re a movement:

I reviewed the BJJ Globetrotter’s travel gi not too long ago and it’s still one of my favourite gis to train in. Understandably, the super light, ripstop gi is not competition legal so when I heard that they’d released a competition legal one, I jumped at the opportunity to review it. 

They real seem to have done their homework as the gi is both beautiful, aesthetically designed and tailored to the tooth. It's light enough to train in regularly and do local, national and international comps in.

 Simple and aesthetically pleasing reminders of the general ethos of the BJJ Globetrotters are strewn throughout this project.Disclosure and cost:Christian sent me this gi to review. BJJ Globetrotters normally sell the BJJ Globetrotters Competition gi for $199 which works out to around £150 (€180) but they're currently offering it for $175 (£132 / €158). Did I mention free shipping worldwide?!

Long Gi ReviewThe first thing that hits you with the BJJ Globetrotter's competition gi is the beauty and effort that has gone into every detail of its design. It's so beautiful.


The gi arrived in a white fabric gi bag with the now worl famous BJJ Globetrotters logo printed on the front. The gi weighs approximately 1.9-2kg, which is a little heavier than some other competition models but still a very reasonable weight.

The weave, if that interests you, is advertised as a pearl weave but to you and I, that basically means a tightly woved single weave. Translation: light yet sturdy. 

This is not the heavy and warm gi you might get from a TatamiTank that will keep you warm rolling on a cold evening nor the super feather of a BJJ Globetrotter’s travel gi, best suited for training BJJ around the world, but rather something of an in-between. Elegance and sturdiness for everyday training and, as the name indicates, competition.

The gi I was sent is an A2, measurements below:
Measurements:  Jacket:
Cuff 17.5 cm
Height 81 cm
Width 59 cm
Span 165 cm


Cuff 23 cm
Outside leg 100 cm
Inside 74 cm
Waist 54 cm


What's really nice is that what you see is what you get in terms of shrinkage. It doesn't shrink much from the original shape.

Measurements after 4 washes at 30 degrees:  Jacket:
Cuff   17cm
Height   80 cm
Width  58 cm
Span  164.5 cm


Cuff   22 cm
Outside leg  98 cm
Inside  72 cm
Waist  53 cm

The general fit of the gi is a tad on the snug side, but I am on the husky side (85kg of pure muscle or 187 1/2 lb, 1.76 m or 5ft 9Inch) and it fits me to a t!

Remember, it doesn't shrink much so if you're skinny, expect it to remain a bit baggy.

Design and aesthetics:The gi is, as mentioned, very tastefully adorned with the BJJ Globetrotters' branding. This is embroidered onto the gi and the teach patches are supplied with the gi for you to attach (or not!)

Here are some brief info tidbits from the
The first ever, fully competition legal gi from BJJ Globetrotters. This is our most premium quality gi so far. We have been cutting no corners and compromised on nothing in terms of attention to details.
  • High quality, 100% cotton 550GSM pearl weave fabric
  • 10 oz canvas pants
  • Cotton gym bag
  • Separate BJJ Globetrotters patch
  • Comes with free white belt
  • Free world-wide tracked shipping upgrade

In short? If you need a great looking, reliable competition legal gi and you don't mind canvas gi pants (as opposed to ripstop cotton like the Fuji Suparaito) - buy the BJJ Globetrotters Competition Gi!



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Artwork - Mat Life Comic Strip

Meerkatsu - Wed, 2016-07-13 03:05
Above: First appearance of our hero, Matt

Mat Life is a comic strip I created for publication in Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine. The character, Matt, is a complete novice and each episode followed his progression as an early beginner who makes all the mistakes that everyone else makes. The strip was also an excuse for me to attempt sequential art, something I had previously never tried before.
The first appearance wasn't an official episode 1, it was merely a two panel sequence to illustrate a written article. The next issue of the magazine expanded the format to a four panel story. Editor Callum then wanted the strip to fill the whole page, hence a six panel format appeared. I discovered that a six panel set was much more of a challenge. Telling the story without too much 'filler' material or repetition is a real art. I admire comic artists who can deftly add story, action, humour, drama and dialogue, all within the space of one page. 
It was a great exercise for me. Sadly, I have decided to end the strip, the final episode appears in Issue 33 of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine. 

Above: This first nerves when lining up for sparring!

Episode 2: perpetuating one of the many BJJ memes out there

Episode 3: dreaming of success and glory!

Episode 4: sucked into the gi addiction gameEpsiode 5: trying out a bit of nogi for the first time
Episode 6: Finally, the day has arrived! 

Last night's class

The Fighting Photographer - Tue, 2016-07-12 01:22
Once again, another busy Summer class, even with over half a dozen absent due to work or holidays; keeping up the momentum, preparing for the Brighton Open at the end of the month, there was plenty of hard work and lots of sweat left on the mats, just how it should be.
We had one happy student, our Portuguese friend Artur, who helped brighten up the team photo with his country's flag.  Many countries and religions are represented every week at the club and that's how it will always be at Checkmat Wimbledon.
We are one.

EBI 8 Female Tournament Line-up

BJJ Heroes - Mon, 2016-07-11 10:35
The famous Californian submission only jiu jitsu tournament is showcasing a full female cast for the 8th edition of the Eddie Bravo Invitational. Meet the cast of EBI 8 here and support women's BJJ.
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