Pressure Pressure Pressure

The morning after the day before and my body is broken, I feel like I’ve been run over and the car stopped and reversed over me again!

So yesterday Danny(the white belt in the picture) and I decide to go visit our instructor down in Newcastle. The drive down was an adventure in itself with torrential rain, thunderstorms and power cuts in the petrol station but 4 hours later we got there safe and sound.

As we walked in we were greeted with Tyrone a high level brown belt that will no doubt have his black belt in the near future, Dom a black belt and owner of Origin BJJ Darlington and Speedy a 2nd degree black belt under Marc Walder, head of the Origin clan in the North of England & Scotland, a foot/leg lock specialist and an all round bad ass on the mats. Pretty intimidating for anyone really but when you are a 1 stripe white belt like Danny, only been training for a few months and meeting these guys for the first time properly… Well you could imagine how he felt!

Right off the bat Dom grabbed me and we started to roll, Dom’s game is super tight… He’s a black belt of course it’s super tight. As we were rolling Speedy was giving me instruction, I was giving him too much space and not enough pressure. I’m not gonna lie it felt like I was in the headmasters office by told off but it’s things that need to be said to give me the kick up the arse I need and it’s not just me as another team member was down the week before and rolled exactly the same way so it’s a problem that’s more on a club than an individual level.

So with everyone ready to learn Speedy asked us what we wanted to do. On the way down Danny decide he wanted to concentrate on triangles which was fine by me as its been a while since I worked on triangle set ups and by Christ Speedy gave us triangles!!
We did the classic push/pull set up to start with but with the essential tweaks to make it super tight with unbelievable pressure. The second set up was from a double wrist grab but the grab felt a little unconventional at first but works a treat. The third was from on top side control and this was a neck busting brutal inverted number with horrendous pressure! The last was set up from mount, Dom had question on this one about transferring your weight but guess what? When done by Speedy it felt like your chest was going to explode and you ribs were going to crumble with a super tight triangle to finish.

Now yesterday I thought I was learning the finer details of the triangle but writing this I realise I wasn’t, yes I was shown triangles but everything was about pressure! The subconscious lesson that you don’t even realise that you’re learning until that brain explosion. I need to change my game… No I need to change my pressure don’t give people space to do their game and tighten up my submissions. This is my next goal!

Once we had finished we drilling triangle techniques we sparred, 6 minute rounds. Speedy, Dom and Tyrone, not once but twice maybe three times each. Dom was first and it wasn’t as pleasant as our little warm up roll. He exposed my loose game and crushed me to death, tapping me in all sorts of maneuvers. Tyrone did exactly the same pinning me in side control and finding it near impossible to get out of and tying me up in knots with his rubberband Jiu Jitsu. Speedy… Speedy crushed me at will but flowed from move to move capitalising on my lack of leg lock game which is embarrassing when he has specialised in this area!

The time flew by, three hours we had trained. Afterwards Speedy explained to Danny how he gave me a harder time because of the colour of my belt and to be honest I deserved it, I felt like I knew nothing(even though that’s not true) a white belt stepping on the mats for the first time. A humbling and eye opening experience that keeps you thinking and wanting to better yourself. So much to work on, I’ll get there it just takes time and patience. I just need to nurse my swollen toes & ankles and all the other niggles first!

As always…

Love and respect.


Granite Strength and Fitness

So the other night Baz of Lazygrappler fame and I received a message from some dude(luckily we were pre warned of this from Euan ‘Barata’ Sloane), the message was from Paul Garvie from the neighbouring city of Perth(Scotland not Australia… Bagpipes not didgeridoos!). Paul is a strength and conditioning coach and part owner of Granite gym and he was looking for a Jiu Jitsu coach.

I for one was a bit shocked and honoured at being asked. Shocked because Granite had a Jiu Jitsu coach then all of a sudden didn’t but business is business and sometimes relationships breakdown and its best to part ways. 

This was a hard decision to make with Baz and I discussing pros and cons. I also discussed it with Sharon my wife, Speedy and Marc Walder my Jiu Jitsu coaches. Baz decided that he couldn’t commit to the nights that it currently ran but if it changes in the future who knows and hopefully Baz will jump on board but I on the other hand with the encouragement from my wife & coaches went for it!

Granite Gym is set in an old nightclub called The Ice Factory(I used to frequent this club back in the mid to late 90’s) quite a bizarre set up as part of the gym is still used as a nightclub from time to time. One half of the old club is filled with heavy strongman lifting equipment including atlas stones, the other half is still a functioning nightclub/matted area for striking arts & Jiu Jitsu.

My first lesson was last night. Lots of thoughts went through my head, obviously the old coach going and new one starting… Who’s going to show? Will anyone show? Will those who do show be bitter? But when I got there and met Paul my mind was put at ease. Paul is a very friendly and bubbly character with a positive can do attitude.Well 5 guys turned up, a mixed bag of white belts, 1 newbie Luke, 3 Gracie Barra lads in Grant, Ed & Johnny and 1 of my Origin lads Danny. Everyone of the lads were very welcoming and willing to learn which made the class a joy to teach.

The class was nice and easy starting with the usual shrimping up the mats, 4 corner sit out drills and cross collar sit ups then it was back to basics, none of your flying berimbolos or upside down spinning kimura locks here just straight forward cross collar chokes from mount. We did three variations of the choke that work whether you’re on top or you get swept to your back. 

After drilling I set the timer for 4 minutes and we rolled but we started with one guy in full mount, it’s hard to start being fully mounted but we had just practiced moves from that position so time to put these moves into action!

 Danny couldn’t roll as he has a MCL injury so I stood out first round and watched. Next round Johnny had to leave early as he was on the nightshift so I stepped up, I made sure I rolled with everyone on the mats I took it nice and easy as I wanted to see where everyone was at in their game, putting myself in positions that normally you’d dread to be in but it’s all about getting comfortably uncomfortable!

Everyone had a decent game, it was a joy to share the mats and my knowledge with  this group and can’t wait to do so again.

If you’re in the Perth area you should certainly check out Granite gym.

I have to say thanks to Paul Garvie for the opportunity, Paul Patrick and Euan Sloane for recommending myself and Baz. Lastly to my wife for helping me along and being part of my Jiu Jitsu journey.


Love and Respect.