28 Jul 2008


Recently I’ve been coming across a lot of newspaper articles about up and coming young sports athletes who are supposed to be the great British hope for medals when the Olympics comes around to London in 2012. But we have a number of young talents in the UK who are already winning gold medals at non-Olympic sports, and in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is arguably no brighter star than 17-year old Daniel Strauss.
I’ve just got the news that Daniel, who is an assistant instructor at Nick Brook’s Mill Hill BJJ club and regular crusher of Meerkats, has won gold at the blue belt, featherweight category at the Rio de Janeiro State Championships. This tournament is pretty much up there amongst the big prestige events in BJJ, OK it’s not quite the Mundials, or the Pan Ams, but it’s still Rio and attracts the top competitors around the world. So to take it to the Brazilians and beat them at their own game…5 fights – 4 won by submission…is an out of the world achievement. Read more about Daniel’s fights here.
When he comes back, I shall give Daniel the honour of beating me up yet again, erm, pretty much as he always does anyway. God, and when I think back to my days as a very lazy, spotty, geeky 17 year old, obsessed with girls but too scared of them (hey, who said nothing has changed??), it's hard to fathom just how much work, dedication and personal sacrifice it takes to rise to the pinnacle of this, or any sport.
But, the Wagon-Wheel of success doesn't stop there folks. Of course I should also mention Nick’s own fantastic achievements at winning Gold in the brown belt category at the CBJJ International Masters & Seniors Tournament, also in Rio.
As one comment from a poster on the European Fight Network forum affectionately observes:
“This is further proof (as if it were needed) that of all the skinny old brown belts held together by sticky tape, Nick is the best”.

Indeed! But it's also pretty cool that I'm training at a club full of successful and decorated competitors. I shall take this as inspiration when I myself attempt to win a gold medal at this year's Jikishin Nationals in the slightly less than Copacabana surroundings of Southend on Sea.

The Winner Takes It All

Recently I’ve been coming across a lot of newspaper articles about up and coming young sports athletes who are supposed to be the great Bri...

18 Jul 2008

Well Meerkatsu world is not exactly alight with martial art prowess at the moment as the ankle, despite making good recovery, is still too tender to run on or do anything jitsu. Still, it doesn't mean I am not busy, as the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body coaching certification course is looming.
Let me remind readers what this mighty honour involves. First you need to have a senior grade. Purple belt is accepted but to be honest, most coaches apply for their licence when they reach first dan. Then you need CRB clearance. Understandable of course, who wants crims running our ju-jitsu schools...God forbid they might even know how to fight too. Then you need your first aid badge up to date (within last 3 years). This is mightily sensible and I won't be trite about this issue. Several bits more paperwork and then, here comes the really onerous bit - the homework you have to do before being allowed to participate on the 2 day course which costs £100 plus travel.
Now, for some reason, I got my wires mixed up and did not realise that my 'distance learning pack' was actually a single letter with essay titles and a website url to visit. Somehow, in my pea sized brain, I simply did not read the letter properly until the deadline to submit these lovely essays passed by.
So after a few stern words from the BJJAGB officer and I am allowed to submit them a week later. Realistically, what with small issues of children that wake at 4am, a day job and a ju-jitsu club to run, it leaves me only two days (make that two late nights burning the midnight oil) to write 11...yes 11 essays each filling up one A4 page.
Oh boy, now I don't mind a bit of background reading around the subject. Heck I don't even mind exams. But to wade through pages and pages of bland, unstimulating, GCSE-sports-science articles about health and safety policy and communications skills doesn't exactly fill me with excitement. But I gotta do them since I run a club and it would be weird to be a coach and not be qualified to be a coach.
So, forgive me if I seem a little stressed, but it's been decades since I had to submit essays for homework and and I've 3 more essays to write (yes, the time really is 1:34am, leaving me with 3 hours sleep before my kids wake screaming). Oh joy of joys.

By the way, as light refreshment, see if you can make out if this guy in the youtube video, is real or a spoof. Those who have done even one minute of BJJ will see that the techniques offered are not bonafide BJJ, but the chi power thing made me suspect it as a spoof. Anyway, see what you think (thanks for Nick Brooks for passing this on).


Testing Times

Well Meerkatsu world is not exactly alight with martial art prowess at the moment as the ankle, despite making good recovery, is still too t...

 

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