About that phone call I got when I was at the Newcastle Open, it was from my instructor Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliott.
Let’s back track for a bit, a few weeks prior to the phone call Speedy and I were discussing two students, Shaun and Scott Edmondson. Speedy thought they were blue belts but they were still white, Shaun with 4 stripes and Scott with 2. For whatever reason they never managed to get to grading days and were there for further behind than what they should have been. So the plan at the time was for me to give Scott another 2 stripes and in November the brothers would receive their blues from Speedy.
Well that all change when I got the phone call.
“You know why I’m calling right?” Said Speedy. “YOU need to give them their blue belts!” Speedy proclaimed.
A million thoughts went through my head the biggest being that I’m only a purple belt but Speedy reassured me that I had his permission to do so.
The following day(Sunday) back home in Dundee I got the ball rolling by ordering two blue belts then contacted Baz to tell him the mission. Baz was only too happy to help. So we organised to go through to Markinch, Fife where they teach a MMA class at a Taekwondo gym the following Sunday.
The facility the have there is top notch, it’s an old factory building where the ground floor is all matted out, punch bags, changing rooms, reception area with plenty seats. The first floor was still under development but had a descent weights area with acres of room for expansion and possible another matted area to run two classes at the same time.
Baz and I arrived there around 6pm, Shaun was already there with his wife Gemma and a couple of students, Colvin and another Scott. Scott Edmondson and his partner Sharon came in shortly behind us and we got started with a class.
I took the warm up with shrimping, bear crawls, break falls and Torreando pass drills then I handed the mantel over to Baz and he taught a sweep triangle set up leading into 4 variations of an arm bar which were tight as fook! Before we sparred we had a short water break and Baz and I got the belts ready, we lined them up and did a short speech.
Now Shaun and Scott have been on the MMA scene in Scotland for a number of years, training with Ian Freeman and Michael Bisping along their journey. Shaun has had a few Pro MMA fights whilst Scott has had a few amateur and both are grappling monsters so obviously this promotion was well overdue.
It was a great honour to tie the belt around the waist of a very surprised friend on Speedy’s behalf, an experience I’ll never forget. Thanks to Speedy for this opportunity.