Each month I'm going to post a fighter or instructor profile - just a little snapshot of people that I meet in my BJJ life. It'll include some stats, an interview and of course photos. To kick us off with the March 2010 entry, I introduce to you 11 year-old Jay Herridge:
Jay Herridge is a BJJ prodigy. Anyone who has watched him fight comes back open mouthed at the sheer proficiency and awesomeness if this 4'6" wunderkid. People are often heard to say; Oh my god, this kid rolls like a miniature black belt adult. And its true, he is a phenomenon - smashing all the other kids his weight and bigger at competitions. Jay will just as happily spar with adults three times his size as he does with kids his age. He recently travelled to Brazil where the kids there couldn't handle him. Let me say this again - he went to Brazil and beat up the kids there! Like Oh my god, who does that?
Here is my interview with the little lutador, but do also watch the videos I've linked to as well - oh, and Jay beats me up in class on a regular basis:
SY: Hi Jay, first of all, tell us how old are you, and where do you train?
JH: I am 11 years old and I train at a few places, depending on where I can get to, they are BJJ School, RGA Mill Hill and Brazilian Top Team.
SY: How old were you when you started and did you do BJJ because you chose it, or did somebody suggest it?
JH: I started BJJ at 8 years old with Felipe Souza at the Roger Gracie Academy in Ladbroke Grove. I did a few martial arts before like kung fu but the place I trained closed down, so we looked for somewhere else and tried out BJJ. I liked it straight away
SY: What's your comp record (medals won, tournaments entered, win-loss-draw etc)?
JH: I lost my first 4 fights in BJJ when I was 8 and 9 but since then have not lost yet. I have 26 medals all together from both BJJ and Judo. BJJ wise, I have 14 gold.
SY: What was your fastest ever win or submission in a comp?
JH: My fastest win was in December in about 9 seconds with a takedown straight into americana
SY: How many times a week do you train and in what martial arts?
JH: I try to every day, I train also in judo and have just started a bit of wrestling with my friend who has been doing it for years.
SY: What is your ultimate ambition?
JH: I would love to one day win the Mundials
SY: What else are you in to apart from martial arts?
JH: Apart from martial arts I LOVE my xbox, I spent most of my free time on there
SY: Who do you most admire in the BJJ or MMA world?
JH: My favorite BJJ fighter is Cobrinha, I really like his style
And here are some recent videos of Jay in action. Don't worry, none of them are very long! With each fight, Jay takes down his man with ruthless efficiency and bypasses the guard to land in side control. Once there, it is only a matter of seconds before he transitions to mount and finishes off with a killer armbar.
Oh to be young again!