31 Jan 2007


Meerkat recently bumped into 4th dan ju-jitsu instructor Nick Brooks, who runs the Mill Hill Ju-Jitsu Club. Both of our clubs have had affiliations going back many years but it came as incredible news to me that Nick is actually one of the rising stars of the BJJ scene having recently won gold at the European Championships in Lisbon last week.
I spoke to Nick about his success and how he reconciles his interests in both traditional ju-jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

MEERKAT: You are having great success at BJJ comps at the moment, what is your current tally of medals won?

NICK BROOKS: Londinium grappling cup gold –73, London Open
gold featherweight, Emirates cup 2nd in pool a –66, Europeans 2005
gold featherweight, Gracie Invitational gold featherweight, Europeans 2006
gold featherweight, Urban Gorrilaz SENI gold – 66, masters & seniors gold featherweight, Europeans 2007 gold featherweight.

MRKT: You still teach and train traditional JJ (www.millhillju-jitsuclub.com), how different and/or similar do you find BJJ and Trad JJ?

NB: The main difference is in how ju-jitsu is trained, not so much what is trained. In my view, trad JJ is more about demonstration of a technique where as BJJ focuses more on application. The time spent drilling and sparring the techniques learnt in BJJ enforces this unlike in trad JJ where your training partner is standing still and letting you do the technique with very little resistance.

MRKT: How do you prepare for competitions?

NB: Preparation is the key. I start training 5 weeks out from a competition,
running 5 km 6 days a week & rowing 5 km 6 days a week. I train BJJ for 2
hours, 4 days a week with my own students & at the Roger Gracie academy. I also travel to Milton Keynes every Friday to train with Braulio Estima, When I compete, I try to be at my physical best. That way if I lose, it’s to somebody better, not fitter or stronger.

MRKT: Do you think Trad JJ students could learn something from training
sport JJ (ie BJJ or related) and visa versa?

NB: Definitely - we all have a lot to learn, the key is to have an open mind.

MRKT: What are your plans for the future?

NB: My goals are to win the world masters at every belt, and just keep
training and improving.

My thanks to Nick for taking the time to chat and I very much suspect he will go on to achieve more golds in the future (and please God let me never draw him in a competition ever!).

Nick Brooks interview

M eerkat recently bumped into 4th dan ju-jitsu instructor Nick Brooks, who runs the Mill Hill Ju-Jitsu Club . Both of our clubs have had af...

So I get this email from Endomol, the makers of Big Brother...

We are currently in the middle of filming our 16th series of BBC2's Ready Steady Cook and we are looking for new and interesting contestants to come on the show and do some cooking with our celebrity chefs! We would love to get 2 self defence experts onto the programme to tell us all about how important self defence is and to offer our viewers some tips and advice!

Our contestants don't need to be great cooks, they just need to be lively, chatty and willing to join in and have a bit of fun in the kitchen. Would this be something you might be interested in taking part?

I'll look forward to hearing from you.
Regards
Amy Tapper


Just mix one Oxo Cube, one slightly undercooked chicken and three racists for a wonderful melting pot.
Sadly, Meerkat declined this wonderful invitation.

Ready, Steady, Cook!

So I get this email from Endomol, the makers of Big Brother... We are currently in the middle of filming our 16th series of BBC2's Rea...

26 Jan 2007



I seem to take a perverse delight in showing everyone unflattering images of myself in action. Well, here's another one. Meerkat is bottom, Eddie Kone on top demonstrating a lapel collar choke.
You can see the full set of photos here and here

Two new forums have materialised that may be of interest to readers. The first is the Jikishin Ju-Jitsu Association forum and the second is the RGDA-UK forum.
You know me, I hate to chat. IF you find me clogging up those forunms with my inane banter, it's not me honest.

More news on the secret new martial arts product that Senseis Grant and Eddie have invented. It will hopefully be officially unveiled to Jikishin in February at the next Kobudo. I'm dying to show photos, but I guess I'll wait until Feb to unveil onthis blog.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I seem to take a perverse delight in showing everyone unflattering images of myself in action. Well, here's another one. Meerkat is bo...

17 Jan 2007


Hoorah, my new blog skin finally works! Hope you like it. The new year is obviously the time for make-overs as the RGDA-UK website got redesigned and Meerkat is on the front page! (The grainy b/w guy being choked from behind in the pic above)

New Year Make-over

Hoorah, my new blog skin finally works! Hope you like it. The new year is obviously the time for make-overs as the RGDA-UK website got redes...
Meerkat’s JJ dojo hit a record number of jitsuka last night – 30 bodies on the mat in all, the previous highest was 29 but that was two and a half years ago. At one point last month I was wondering if my club had hit the buffers as numbers dwindled to about 5-6. Mind you, that was in mid December when everyone was out partying (except me). My new advertising campaign is clearly working brilliantly – I hope the latest bunch of newbies fall in love with jujitsu as much as we have.

Last night was interesting for another reason. A black belt from Hungary visited us and asked if he could provide a demonstration of ‘his’ techniques. I’ve spoken to this chap via email for several months as he has been planning to come to London. His aim is to start a school of Nihon Tai Jitsu in the UK but wanted to hook up with senseis from the current scene. I wasn’t sure at first what to make of him. After all, one doesn’t just walk into someone else’s dojo and ask to teach their students. To some people, it may be seen as a sign of disrespect. But we’ve always pretty open to new ideas and I let him have half an hour to showcase his stuff.

What we saw was a very rock solid display of fairly standard classic ju-jitsu techniques. Mostly culled from very similar stuff we do on the second dan syllabus.
He did them very well and was clearly very proficient but I began to get nervous as some of the techniques were too advanced for the new guys and with so many people on the mat, I was paranoid there would be an injury. But to the newbies – it looked awesome. For the poor ukes he picked on, I could sense a little reservation and nervousness. A couple of techniques misfired since he was not aware that his uke was particularly flexible (Sam W), I mean really flexible.
His English was good although some aspects needed to be explained better and the techniques demonstrated a little slower. But as he stays longer in London, this will improve. For me, I was happy to give him a stage to demonstrate and introduce himself. It was also invigorating to watch traditional jujitsu especially when you see someone perform it so well. It is interesting to see that although from a very different country studying under and different style – the jujitsu is actually very similar.

Packed out

Meerkat’s JJ dojo hit a record number of jitsuka last night – 30 bodies on the mat in all, the previous highest was 29 but that was two and...

8 Jan 2007

I have finally got round to viewing the TV documentary: Fight Science, made by National Geographic. Here is my review:
Quick synopsis: dozens of MA ‘masters’ demonstrate their superhuman techniques by bashing car crash dummies under the close observation of scientists.
Highlights – Rickson Gracie making a rare appearance, shows off a couple of takedowns and chooses to have the geeks measure the power of his crucifix lock – the ‘science’ result: yes it is a very bad ass lock that could kill. As can the Muay Thai knee strike – ouch! Other highlights include two brothers who enjoy ‘karate’ chopping endless stacks of concrete slabs - those guys are truly nuts, but very entertaining. A Ninjitsu expert shows cat-like balancing skills as he prances on top of very wobbly poles. Iai masters slicing and dicing with their katanas – correctly identified as the ultimate MA weapon for balance, effectiveness and distance.
Lowlights – too much boring padding from the narrator and repeated clips. It’s supposed to increase the drama and tension but it just makes me hit the forward wind button. Also, very little real science involved. No controls, no taking into account the different weights of the guys punching/kicking the test dummy. Just lots of beardy chin stroking white suited types who look on and raise one eyebrow when their ‘tests’ show that the dummy got a right bashing. A little too much bare chested macho posing by sweaty men with big boobs – well actually just one guy.
Conclusion: This program is an excellent piece of eye-candy if you enjoy the thrill of seeing double spinning back kicks and samurai swords in one program. But the science was junk and there was a tendency to fuel MA myths. However, very nice to see the mighty Rickson in action – who is dsescribed by the narrator as probably the greatest fighter of all.

As for Meerkat training. My own super-human powers were conspicuously absent when, after a richly fuelled Xmas and New Year, I went back to BJJ training and somehow huffed and puffed my way through sparring. Time to get back into shape.

Fighting junk science

I have finally got round to viewing the TV documentary: Fight Science, made by National Geographic. Here is my review: Quick synopsis : do...

3 Jan 2007


Happy New Year – let’s hope 2007 will be another action packed year.

Meerkat entered the murky world of website analytics as the first set of stats for the Imperial website came up on the google analytics site. The adverts are clearly working as we are averaging about 50 clicks per day, and I had my first intake of newbies last night. The web stats are amazing. Did you know, for instance, that although the club website is really only aimed at Londoners, that I get people reading it from places such as Caracas, Bratislava and Melbourne! Truly a world wide web.

Meerkat is also helping out with the promotion for a newly invented martial arts weapon. It is top secret at this stage, until the patent number is released, but having played with the product, I can honestly say, it is very, very impressive. More details about this at a later date.

Happy 2007

Happy New Year – let’s hope 2007 will be another action packed year. Meerkat entered the murky world of website analytics as the first set o...

 

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