3 Feb 2010


There's been some fantastic news concerning some really good BJJ pals of mine.

First up, David Onuma, who I first wrote about here, was awarded his black belt after winning GOLD at the Europeans for the third year running. An awesome achievement.

I remember seeing David compete at the very first BJJ tournament I ever attended (the London Open in 2003). Back than, guys like him who were blue belts were seen as exotic high ranking pioneers of the UK BJJ scene. Since then, David has been a source of great encouragement to me and I enjoy our regular chats about BJJ, family, blogging and everything else in Meerkatsu world. Check out his very good content-rich blog here.

The second awesome bit of news is my BJJ pal, and Half-Guard Wizard, Oliver Geddes, was promoted to brown belt by Roger Gracie, following Oli's storming success at the Europeans too. Oli managed to win five fights, all by submission, to take GOLD in his purple belt division.

I first met Oli when I responded to a flyer I saw on the Imperial College walls advertising BJJ. Back then I was a Trad JJ instructor and he was a blue belt looking to form a student BJJ club. The student BJJ club never happened but we kept in touch and when I eventually joined my current academy, I've had the pleasure of seeing Oli in action (we're all part of the Roger Gracie network of academies).

Late last year I took a private with Oli to find out more about his half-guard techniques, strategies and tactics. It was extremely enlightening and I've been able to add some of his advice into my game. Before then, half guard was something I tried to avoid, but watching him use it as a platform to great success, I was very much inspired to find out more.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to two jiu-jitsu warriors who I have the great pleasure of knowing and have both helped me enormously with my jiu jitsu. Congratulations guys!

Other News
I would like to take this opportunity to say well done to all my BJJ pals who took part in the Europeans last week. By all accounts it was an amazing experience.

BJJ black belt Ana Maria 'India' is in town this week. I'll be interviewing and photographing Ana Maria as well as attending her seminar this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it as she sounds like a fascinating person.

I am mid-way through my exhaustive and meticulous gi-review. I have chosen three top-selling brands and given them my analysis. I think this review will be the gi-review to end all gi-reviews. I am measuring, weighing, shrinking, wearing, rolling, tugging, pulling, washing, drying...these gis are gonna go through hell with me and I will report - independently and unbiased as I always am with product reviews - here on this blog all my findings.

Finally, just to say I am happy to accept Facebook (Seymour Yang, UK) friends and Twitter (Meerkatsu) followers, but just drop in a message to say that you read the Meerkatsu blog - I tend to reject blank calls to be Facebook friends unless I know who they are. Thanks!

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Liam H Wandi said...

Very nice. Congrats to all.

It's funny you should mention the ol' blue belts. I remember reading MAI back in Sweden back in '99 or 2000 and seeing several adverts in the back saying "if you're a blue belt contact so and so organisation. you can become the official representative for your area"

Ah...the ol' days. We are so spoiled now.

Meerkatsu said...

Yes spoiled indeed, I just read on the EFN forum a post by the guys at Diesel Gym in London, they have a permanent rosta of x3 black belts teaching and, with Ana Maria staying for the week, that makes four BBs!!!
Man, it took me 5 years before I ever got near enough to spar with a BB in normal class (not including seminars).

A.D. McClish said...

Congrats to all your friends who did well at the Europeans! And can't wait for your gi reviews!

Jadon Ortlepp said...

Was well chuffed for Ollie, I wonder if he has a normal brown belt or another antique.

Meerkatsu said...

Haha, yes good question Jadon, knowing Oli I imagine he would have given this some thought. More importantly, he'll want his sponsor to make him an even MORE elaborately embroidered custom gi.

Unknown said...

Hrm. Well, I have two Brown Belts already, with a third due in the post shortly, so I do at least have a choice. ^_^

I also will direct you to:


And gi wise...not sure where I'm going yet. Sticking with the current design, but am pondering a Black Flameburst gi, just because it has to be done. ^_^

And then a Flameburst Black Belt, down the line. You know it would be awesome, really!

And thanks. Much appreciated. ^_^


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