7 Dec 2009

Mill HIll at the Hereford Open

A massive Big Up to my comrades who were in action this weekend at the Hereford BJJ Open.
This event was for white belts only and for most of the participants, this was their very first tournament.
Unfortunately I could not go and watch myself, but of course, I got the full lowdown from speaking to some of the guys afterwards...

Hereford BJJ Open
Mill Hill BJJ Club entered a team of 8 and came away with two golds, three silvers and one bronze medal - all of which were fiercely fought (the rules in this comp mean you have to fight at least two fights, including a repechage system for bronze). But top honours must go to my BJJ training buddy Hana, who at only 16 fought her very first competition against a much older, heavier and more experienced female, with tremendous spirit, drive and determination beyond her years. She may have lost out on gold, but she won admirers from everyone in the crowd that saw her fight.

Although BJJ itself is an individual pursuit, it is also much more of a team sport. Every medal won is not just a win for the competitior, but for every one of his academy training pals who have helped him to get to this point. It feels great whether you personally win a medal or whether your training pal wins. That's what it feels like to be part of a team and I'm really proud of my pals this weekend.

Countdown to the European Championships
The buzz for the Euros is growing as the event gets nearer. But also the gripes. The organisors have just announced the rough schedule - but Thursday and Friday are vaguely scheduled as having blue belt matches. I was counting on thursday being just white belts (as they have been in the past) so I booked an Easy jet flight on that day. But now I've had to alter my flights and hotels schedule - at considerable extra cost!
In addition to that, they have also announced the entrance fee - $120 for early registration, and $140 for afterwards, just before the deadline of Jan22nd. Ouch!

But I'm commited now, and I'm determined to enjoy myself come what may.

Media news
Check out the January issue (out on Dec 10th) of Martial Arts Illustrated magazine for my interview (and some of my photos) with BJJ School's Felipe Alves de Souza. As you may recall, I spent a brilliant training session and afternoon chatting to Felipe - he's definitely of of the most genuine and nicest guys in BJJ I have ever met.

Finally, very quickly, BJJ fans should tune in to The Fightworks Podcast (TFP) to listen to Rener Gracie (son of UFC founder Rorion Gracie) defend his Gracie Academy system against criticisms by his uncle, Renzo Gracie, in last week's episode of TFP. The interview with Renzo is probably the most enjoyable TFP episode I have ever heard - Renzo does not hold back! -  so it would be interesting to see how Rener would respond. You can check it out here.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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