26 Nov 2017

Tournament: The English Open 2017

I took a gang of my students from Borehamwood BJJ down to the English Open this Saturday. Three of the team competed and scored some very very impressive results. The Mill Hill Team as a whole won a hugely impressive third place in the teams trophy. And a few Meerkatsu sponsored competitors also won themselves gold medal bling! Mini report:

Team B'Wood
Young Lucas Small  kicked off proceedings with a very hard fought bronze medal. Unlike many other tournaments, the English Open operates a repechage system. This gives the chance for early round losers to pool together and fight for the bronze medal. Lucas won his first round with supreme dominance, then lost his second round (against the eventual gold medal winner). Lucas was then placed into the repechage and lost his first fight by tapping to a cross collar choke...except there was something a bit amiss. The referee consulted another, then disqualified the opponent for an illegal grip. He had used this one that Keenan calls the Force choke. Sadly that technique is strictly illegal under IBJJF rules (unbeknownst to the competitor himself.) So with that, Lucas energised by his good fortune, went on to fight a humdinger of a 'final' to secure his Bronze medal.

Next from Team B'Wood was the skilled Wayne Flesher. True to form he dominated his first and second fights granting him access to the final. Sadly, due to injury, Wayne has to pull out of the final, but it was such a joy to see him do his work on the mat today, including a quite stunning triangle choke submission.

Our final competitor was Steve Small, father of Lucas. Steve kicked off the day a bit worried about his weight division, he mistakenly thought was was a few hundreds grams over and proceeded to spend the next few hours trying to sweat off the weight. It turns out he was more than within weight to begin with. Despite our early scare, he went on to a superb win over his opponent and take the gold medal. An amazing debut performance!

Steve in action on top while a vein popping coach looks on!
All in all a wonderful day out for the club. It was also great to have the support of many of our club members who came along to lend their vocal encouragement.

Team Mill Hill BJJ
As an affiliate to my instructor's club, our efforts helped add towards the Team Trophy score tally for the whole Mill Hill BJJ affiliation of clubs. There were notable performances from many members of Boxmoor BJJ and Mil Hill HQ. It all resulted in Mill Hill BJJ landing the third placed Team Trophy, a spectacular result for our members.

Jack Burrell holding aloft the third place team trophy

Meerkatsu Army
Three of my sponsored people entered the English Open this weekend. Jay Herridge came into the tournament with a painful injury but still tried his best, however it was not his day today and for the first time in three years, walks away without a medal at this event.

Jack Burrell stormed his way to the gold medal in the purple belt division with three fights and three submission wins...wow!

Abbie O'Toole won gold in her blue belt division. Watch out for Abbie, she is a very talented young grappler who I predict will do great things.

Coaching thoughts
This is the second time I have had the chance to corner my students competing. The first was at the Bedfordshire Open a few weeks ago. This time around I had some pre-determined ideas on what I wanted to project to my students and the manner with which I wanted to do it. Of course all that fell out the window as I ended up screaming and shouting random not very helpful things across the mat.
Despite this, one or two of my instructions did get through with the recipient carrying them out and succeeding along the way, so something I said went right!
Good experience for me too, but boy, I lost my voice along the way so I'm very croaky as a result.
All good fun.

Some more photos from Day One...

Well done to the organisers of the English Open. They used a new venue this year - the Sports Dock at East London University. This place is massive and there is so much space to mill around, watch the fights, warm up, sit down etc. A great choice of venue!


About the Author


Author & Artist

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



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