Category Archives: Martial Arts

Injured 🤕 

Everyone will agree that being injured sucks balls, not being able to do what you do whether it’s in sport, martial arts, work or even just walking can turn you insane!
The past 7 or 8 weeks has been a nightmare for me.

It started when a group visited my instructor down in Newcastle 8 weeks ago where I dislocated and fractured one of my toes no ones apart from my own as I usual tape my toes up to prevent this happening, ,pretty painful and I’m still getting bother from it. Soon after that I was rolling… I can’t remember who with or if it was in Perth or in Dundee but my knee popped and resulted I pulled my MCL. Both injuries on the left hand side.

Fast forward a few weeks to yesterday when I was teaching kids Jiu Jitsu class, I started with our normal warm up of animal impersonations, got to the second move which was gorilla walk to the top of the mats and run back down to the bottom, as I started to run down my calf on my right hand side decided it wasn’t playing anymore! Pulled calf muscle for Granty.

After the kids class I had the honour of hosting a seminar with my instructor(I’ll go into this in more detail another time), before the seminar one of the students was getting a private lesson and I was the guinea pig which resulted in my right elbow popping and cracking as a result I can’t bend or fully extend my arm.

Last injury of the day came during the seminar. Again I was the guinea pig and the subject was footlocks. My instructor Speedy applied an Achilles hold which was fine but as he was explaining what to do my ankle made a nice loud pop! He gave me the look and held on to my foot which seemed as if he let go my foot would just fall right off… it didn’t and didn’t seem to hurt but I can’t tell because everything else hurts so much!! 

As a result of yesterday’s endeavours I shall be resting up and taking the rest of the week off with plenty of physio therapy  appointments.
Love and respect

🙏😇

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The Boy

About 5 maybe 6 weeks ago I bought my youngest son Flynn a gi for his 10th birthday, he’s been on at me for ages to learn Jiu Jitsu so now is the time.


Since start Flynn has taken to it like a duck to water. He’s learnt most of the Gracie games which I think is a great way to keep kids interested and most importantly having fun.Flynn is very tenacious especially when doing ‘crazy horse’ or taking the back with hooks and seatbelt control looking for the finish. His side control is also very good. His enthusiasm out of the gym is top notch also, always asking questions… 

“what’s that choke called again?”

“Rear naked choke?”

“No the other name!”

“Mata Leon?”

“Aye that’s it… the lion killer!”

So it was with great pleasure to give him his first stripe tonight. Couldn’t be more proud of him.

Long may his commitment and enthusiasm reign.

Love and respect.

🙏😇

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. https://www.facebook.com/Granite-Strength-and-Fitness-445909262280079/

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.

Return of the Pollock

Last nights class was a doozie!(yeah that’s right I’m down with the kids). A very busy class with lots of fresh white belts and one or two of the old guard.

Billy did more on taking the back and sinking in the RNC but he also added in body triangles, these suck, it’s bad enough someone taking your back and trying to choke you unconscious without adding this hainous manoeuvre but he also taught escaping body triangles which was a godsend. Once we were done struggle with this we sparred!

Now as the title suggests there was a guest appearance from Neil Pollock… 

Some say that Neil died, others say he caught his foot in a bear trap and had to gnaw off his leg just below the knee but the truth is he’s just recovering from knee surgery of the ligament kind and has a new job in Edinburgh.

I’ll tell you his name might be Pollock but I was the one floundering like a fish out of water!(yes I did a fish joke and I’m not ashamed!) 

Neil has a very strong controlling top game with an arm lock sequence that is top notch, needless to say I defended for the full spar not able to attack, not even once, four minutes felt like 30, at one point Neil had a choke sunk in but due to his lack of gi training his grip strength has all but gone and that was the only thing that saved me! 

I was crushed and broken, not just from Neil but from two sparring sessions with Frankie who’s like a mini Hulk but less green and stronger. Once he grabs you, you stay grabbed!! 

Thanks for the tough sparring sessions guys.

It great to see Neil back on the Dundee MMA mats and hopefully see him again before he moves to the Capital. 

As always…

Love and respect

Getting In The Groove

As you lot know I started back training last week and again I was at Jiu Jitsu last night. The class was top notch, working sweeps from half guard, Z guard and also the knee cutter pass from top position. We drilled this for a while with resistance from our training partner before swapping with another person to feel their pressure and movement. After this we rolled and It felt like I got flattened and destroyed but hey we all have off days.

Today is a new day and even though I had a case of the DOMS I went and seen my friend Joseph McNamara for a much needed catch up, a work out and most of all the banter. Joe as always put me through my paces, today we worked on our back with lots f deadlifts, bent over rows and lat pull downs. I found it really tough, especially the TRX workout at the end. I felt weak, probably because of the couple of months off or maybe recovering from being ill but I gave it my best and came away feeling confident of regaining the strength I had before.

Tomorrow it’s more Jiu Jitsu. Till then…

Love and Respect.

Be Like Water

Nearly everyone of a certain age when asked why they got into martial arts they say it’s because of one man. That man being Bruce Lee. 

 I was no different. As a youngster I grew up on old martial arts movies starring the likes of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li and of course Bruce Lee.

Starting my martial arts journey at the age of 12(I’ve most likely went over this before) with Tenshinkan Karate then progressing to kickboxing at the age of 14, fast forward to 2010, almost 20 years after trying various other martial arts along the way and I found myself in a car travelling up to Inverness to a MMA seminar by some guy I’d never heard of before called Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliott, all I knew was he was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and a veteran at MMA.

Speedy vs Bobby McVitie

When the seminar started Speedy’s now wife Ritu took the warm up with a thing she calls Monster Walks! To this day I haven’t forgiven her for this most hainous of crimes against my quads but I can see later when she picked this warm up as Speedy taught some knee bars, toe hold and a rolling toe hold. Thankfully my legs and ankles were warmed up properly.

This seminar blew my mind! 

So it was decided there and then I wanted to learn Jiu Jitsu and went and bought a gi. All set and ready to learn myself and Billy Beckers(who was a blue belt at the time) started training every Sunday for a few hours. After a couple of months Barry Lewis bought a gi and joined in and it went from strength to strength and now 5 years later I’m a purple belt under Speedy and the Origin Jiu Jitsu Team. 

 
So what’s this gotta do with the famous Bruce Lee quote?

I was staying over at the Elliott household after the bimonthly Interclub and the morning after Speedy invited me into his gym for a roll and like I’d miss an opportunity to roll with a 2nd degree black belt I jumped at the chance.

For the next hour Speedy put me in all kinds of positions, crushing, stretching, choking, smothering but pointing out tips along the way. He has a crushing pressure game but also flows like water(see it all makes sense now), flowing or crashing when he wants to be in the blink of an eye. 

Since that sparring session 2 days ago I’ve had this quote running around in my head which describes Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliott perfectly!

 

As I have been pondering over this my goal is to also Be Like Water my friends.
Here is a little interview from Speedy himself and also him doing and exhibition match Speedy vs Marc Walder

As always… Love and Respect