It is my utmost pleasure to have my team mate and prolific competitor Jack Burrell on board my small but very cool band of Meerkatsu endorsed BJJ competitors.
Here is a short interview with Jack, find out more about his obsession with pie charts and how he came to win one match listed under 'terror'.
Q: Please give our readers your name, rank and BJJ training background?
Hi Seymour, my name is Jack Burrell I’m a blue belt in BJJ training under Nick Brooks at RGA Mill Hill. I’ve been training for about four years, I started training with Jawaad Khan (an old school brown belt who was fighting on some of the original UK MMA shows) in a school hall in North London. I always take a gi when I travel and have always received a fantastic welcome whenever I visit gyms, from Sweden to Hong Kong. I once turned up to a school in Vietnam and ended up being asked to teach a class to a bunch of enthusiastic white belts.
Q: Is it true that people call you Gentleman Jack because you actually pronounce syllables and never clip your vowels?
I thought it was because I hold doors open for everyone and for my attempts at comically bad Movember moustaches. When I was a kid I was interviewed for BBC World Service about the 50th anniversary of VE day, I reckon that’s why I’m so well pronounced. You wouldn’t guess I went to University in Essex.
Q: You like statistics, and list every single match on a gigantic Excel spreadsheet, why?
|Data as of 17th August 2015|
I think it came from reading High Fidelity, I always had lots of lists of my favourite bands and albums so carried that over when I started Jiu Jitsu, I was lucky I did it from the start or it would be a nightmare to recall all the matches I’ve had. I like being able to track submission percentages and win rates, I’ve also been recording all my mat hours for the last two years and it’s great to be able to see that improvement over time, everyone says it but the only way to get better is to go train. I find spreadsheets really useful not just for statistical analysis but as a memory prompt, I can look back at a series of matches and pull out a few things I need to work on, or if I notice I’m losing to a particular submission I can review the defences with my team.
Q: I see on the pie chart, you won one match by 'Terror' what was that about?
Haha that was a match at the British Open that had been back and forth until I managed to sweep and pass the guy with 40 seconds left on the clock, as soon as I secured the pass he tapped out. I was struggling to find a way to record it and remembered reading about a Joe Moreira fight where the opponent submitted due to Terror after seeing how beastly Joe looked coming out to the ring, it made me laugh so I wrote it up as submission by terror.
Q: But seriously, you do enter a lot of tournaments, how many in total so far?
I like having a competition on the horizon to give me something to gear my training towards, we have a strong competition team at Mill Hill with a good mix of belts and sizes, who are more than happy to beat me up in the lead up to a tournament and push me to get better. I’ve done 32 competitions and 120 matches, I’ve been trying to focus on doing the UKBJJA ranked tournaments as a stats geek I love a good ranking table and I’ve managed to climb to the top for blue belt masters. I also really enjoy how social competitions are and enjoy bumping into friends and past opponents from other academies.
Q: You are also, according to the UKBJJA, the top ranked blue belt at Masters (as of 30th August 2015), well done!
I'm happy to have an organisation led by the UK BJJ community that recognises the work that myself and all the competitors put in all year round. Acknowledging the talents of masters and seniors as well as the fantastic skills of all the junior athletes coming through in the sport.
You can follow Jack via his blog: Weekend Warrior
and his Instagram account https://instagram.com/jattavk/