3 Jun 2012
I had the great pleasure of attending the SENI Expo yesterday. SENI is a biannual expo for the martial arts industry and is always a great magnet for students, instructors, apparel and gear makers all over the UK to join together in one venue.
I was there to compete in the London International BJJ Open, which I helped by contributing designs for the official winner t-shirts and posters (as modelled in the photo above). I competed in the purple belt masters category in the under 65kg division. I only had one other competitor - Brendan from London Fight Factory. I fought Brendan before at the last SENI two years ago. Previously I was puled into Brendan's guard and submitted with a cross collar choke. This time round I fared a little better. I managed to pull guard, sweep him and then worked my closed guard. Unfortunately I can't quite recall how I made a mistake but I did and Brendan managed to pass my guard and land an excruciatingly painful knee on belly. I nearly tapped from this alone, but he transitioned neatly into an armbar. I quickly tapped, relieved that the knee was off my stomach. Despite the loss, I can take lot of positives from the fight, I feel good that I managed to at least work some of my game and to be honest, maybe I'm wrong for not taking things more seriously, but I had a blast! I love competing for the pure rush of fighting on the mat. I don't really get too bothered about losing (which admittedly, happens a lot!). Anyway, I have no plans to stop unless old age or injury decide for me.
The rest of the tournament was brilliant to watch. My own team mates performed exceedingly well against some very tough opponents. For a photo gallery of the day, check out my Facebook page gallery here.
It was also lovely to meet so many people - familiar faces, friends from other academies, fightwear contacts, art clients and just regular readers of the blog and my FB page. Oss to you all!
Finally, here's a nogi fight that was happening on the mats next to our BJJ tournament. It features my friend Danielle 'The Curse' West. Check out her gravity defying submission around 1min18secs. I've met Danielle many times at comps in the past. I also created her personal logo, which you can see below the video. I casually dubbed her armbar submission a Flying cartwheel armbar but I then dubbed it the Flying Cursebar. Anyway, looks like her fight as gone a bit viral!!