If you are a follower of the UK BJJ scene then one name will have been consistently heard over the past year or more - Sam Gibson. I first got a chance to see Sam in stunning action when he represented London in the recent City vs City challenge (Pro BJJ Cup Tournament). Sam had two fights, both against black belts (Sam is a brown belt). He submitted the first black belt and defeated the second by a huge points margin.
I'm pleased to say Sam has agreed to represent and endorse my Meerkatsu clothing brand (see opening photo). Sam is also sponsored by the gi company Faixa Rua. I spoke to Sam to find out more about his BJJ training...
Q: Hey Sam, please introduce yourself - where do you come from, age, when did you take up BJJ etc
Hi, my name is Sam Gibson, I am 23 years old. I started training in 2003/ 2004, just once a week to keep my dad happy. As the years went on I fell more and more in love with the sport, until I ended up where I am today - training every day, 3 times a day!
Q: Where do you train and what rank are you?
I train and teach at Carlson Gracie London, Surrey, Essex and at gymbox Covent Garden. I am a brown belt under Richard Martin.
Q: What is it about BJJ you enjoy so much?
I love the fight. More than anything I enjoy going for the submission. To me that’s what Jiu Jitsu is about - finding the easiest and most direct path to finish your opponent. I also like the family aspect of the sport. When you train every day with a group of people you form a family-like bond where everyone looks out for each other.
Q: You are very active on the tournament scene, what is your favourite fight/win?
My favourite win was this year in the British Open Absolute final against Ross Nicholls. Ross has beaten me a few times in the past and is a high level competitor at Brown belt. So to beat him in one of the biggest competitions in the country and win the absolute of the British Open was a highlight of my year...so far.
Q: You are known as a bit of a black belt hunter, and for good reason, how does that make you feel?
I’m not sure if I’m worthy of the name, yet! haha. But I’m happy I had an opportunity to show my jiu jitsu against two good opponents and come out on top.
Q: What are your goals for the next few years?
I want to win some major IBJJF titles and prove I can be the best feather weight brown belt, first in Europe then the world! I also want to actively help build the new Carlson Gracie academy in Surrey with both my Dad and our good friend Dave Pawan.
Q: Anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
My instructor Richard Martin, for all the hard work he puts in to me and the whole team, all the instructors at Carlson Gracie and my sponsors Faixa Rua and Meerkatsu.
Here is a highlight reel showing some of Sam's blistering pace and technique:
My thanks to Sam for repping my brand and best of luck to him as he continues upward in his stellar BJJ career.