There really are no excuses!

I stumbled upon Kyle Maynard online this morning, a congenital amputee grappler and MMA fighter.

With each video I watched or picture I saw I became truly awestruck.

This man is truly an inspiration. As an avid BJJ player I understand how challenging this sport can be for an able bodied person like myself. Kyle Maynard has raised my understanding of what a person can achieve, no matter what ‘excuses’ or difficulties they endure.

Find below some of the pictures and videos that have inspired me this morning. I implore you to watch some of them.

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Jiu Jitsu has given me the resting heart rate of an ATHLETE! ;)

I had my resting heart rate taken today for the first time ever as part of a Dr’s appointment for my knee (a whole new blog post to itself!!!).

He did the mandatory new patient health checks as I am a new patient to the surgery tested my resting heart rate as part of it.

I was quite shocked when he stated my resting heart rate was 50 and that of an ATHLETE! The only real exercise I do is BJJ (about 3/4 times per week) and I used to be VERY unhealthy before I started BJJ.

This just goes to show how good rolling on the floor with sweaty men in pyjamas is for your health!!

See below table for reference:


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Sweet armbar transition from bottom side control

Sweet armbar transitions from bottom side control tweeted by Ryron Gracie today.

I like.

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As a Joe Rogan fanboy I have heard him sing the praises of functional exercises and their benefits for jiu jitsu numerous times on his podcast.

One functional whole body exercise is Kettlebell exercises.

The only physical thing I have been doing for the last couple of years is BJJ, but I have been meaning to do some kettlebells for some time with the simple goals of becoming functionally stronger for BJJ and improving my physique (vanity!!).

One of my training partners, Tom, is a EKI level 1 qualified kettlebell instructor and a BJJ purple belt. He teaches kettlebell classes at Pontcanna Dojo (where I frequent BJJ open mats) on Thursdays and Sundays.


Tonight was my second session, and I enjoy it immensely! My first observations are that it’s really different to weightlifting with barbell/dumbbells like I have done in the past and very demanding!

I’m a wreck! Last week My hamstrings were aching for 4 days after sunday’s session and I fear it will be much the same this week.

I’m gonna have to MTFU and keep this up though. It’s tough but it’ll be good for me, and my jiu jitsu! 🙂

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Interesting article on turning your passion for BJJ into a business

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Do you?


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Worst surface for grappling?

I think a urine covered toilet floor is possibly the worst I’ve seen.

I filmed this last night at a local MMA show, a bit of banter turned into a full on grapple. In the bogs. Classy eh?

— – – 06/05/2013 EDIT – – —

One of the guys featured in the video flagged the video as inappropriate on youtube and it has therefore been removed. Bit of an over reaction I think but I won’t re-upload it out of respect for his feelings.


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The UK BJJ Belt Register – Register NOW!

I just wanted to make more people aware that this website exists. The more it is used the more we can weed out fake belts and keep away the problems TMA’s have been facing for years.

My training partner Sean Browne has set up the UK BJJ Belt Register ( where all BJJ practitioners can update their profile including belt rank and competition success.

This will in time be an invaluable resource for the UK BJJ scene, so don’t be shy, get involved and get yourself registered!!!

This is my profile:


This is the UK BJJ Black belt verified list!!


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Best rashguard ever!


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Confidence is your fren, Fren.

I’ve been a butt flopper pretty much since I started jiu jitsu. I love all open guards, closed guard, butterfly, spider, de la riva…. I can’t get enough!

The problem is my top game sucks. So over the last couple of months all I have been doing is playing top, trying to only use my guard to get a sweep and get back to playing top. I haven’t willingly pulled guard for a loooooong time. My top game still doesn’t feel much better but I know I have to stick with it and eventually things will click.

My conundrum came on Sunday at the Welsh Open. I have pulled guard within seconds of every fight in every competition I’ve ever entered. This time, due to my current goals, I decided that I would not pull guard. I wanted to be on top.

I suck at takedowns and I have the balance of a one legged drunk, not pulling guard is a risky strategy. I needed my opponents to pull guard on me.

I decided that my gameplan was to walk out on to the mat and not to adopt the typical bjj posture.


By that I mean I would not lean forward with my hands in front in the typical stance. I would stand upright, my hands at my side. I wanted to feign confidence, allude to a mastery of stand up. :/

I wanted to appear confident enough there that my opponent wouldn’t set grips and go for a throw, they would instead pull guard on me and allow me to be where I wanted to be, on top.



One opponent pulled guard and the other two shot for singles! (which is good for me as my sprawl is much better than my throw defence!) It would probably suck if I came up against a Judoka but luckily I didn’t and I achieved what I wanted.

Lesson learned?

Confidence, even if faked, is a very powerful string to your competition bow.


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Thought I’d share a pic of my garage…

…now finished and tested.

…and it’s great! It was worth all the effort and the (surprisingly little) expense!!

Whaddya think?


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The lead up to Competition…


You’ve been training hard. Now it’s time to enter beast mode.

It’s the day before the Welsh Open and you want to win one of these.


Check weight? CHECK (88.1kg with gi on)
Gameplan? CHECK (not gonna share here obviously haha!)
Kit ready for tomorrow? CHECK (washed & dried, club patch sewed on, placed in bag)
Kit bag filled? CHECK (bag filled with drinks, snacks and camera)
Nervous? Damn Right! (But a good type of nervous where I’m excited!)

My last training session was Wednesday and I am dying for a roll.

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my current jam…

Music is a powerful tool.


It is used in adverts to sell to us. High tempos are pumped to us as we eat a McDonalds in order for us to eat faster, and leave. It affects the way we drive. It can calm us, motivate us, or annoy us.

Music affects my BJJ.

I have some favourite songs to play when rolling at my home space. Each has a different effect on the way I roll at that moment.

Pride & Glory – Troubled Wine


The upbeat rhythmic rock gives me rhythm. What I mean by that is, as I start to nod my head in time with the music I can feel my body start to react by feel rather than thought during the roll. This happens with a few songs, but this one in particular gives me this effect.

System Of A Down – Radio/Video


This song is fun, therefore make me have fun when I roll. I’m 500% more likely to go for something ridiculous when rolling to this song. The last time it was on I tried to cartwheel to pass guard. I can’t even do a cartwheel when not rolling lol!

Tool – Schism

For some reason the rhythmic base gives me focus, my mind is still. I am calm and have a clear vision of where I want to be or what I want to do.


I also think it’s cool that the person singing to me also trains in BJJ and that somehow resonates the lyrical tones with my psyche. (Maynard James Keenan is a Purple Belt under Rickson Gracie)


Pantera – Walk


This song has always amped me up, and does so when I roll. This song is amazing for hard rolling, it transports me back to days when I would spend my weekends in moshpits, headbanging my flowing locks.

I never used to get tired in a pit, you would simply not allow yourself to stop until the song had ended. That mentality helps when rolling hard. Keep going. Don’t stop. Walk.

Is there no standard anymore?
What it takes, who I am, where I’ve been
You can’t be something you’re not
Be yourself, by yourself
Stay away from me
A lesson learned in life
Known from the dawn of time

Respect, walk

Riziero Ortolani – I Giorni Dell’ira

This is a western style instrumental that I discovered hon the Django Unchained soundtrack. When I roll to this I actually start to almost forget I’m rolling, I start to imagine the film, or I imagine a scenario, or I think back to playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’ as a kid. Not being in the ‘moment’ when rolling is strange.


Thinking about something else enables you to just roll.

Muscle memory, instinct, habit. Not over-thinking is liberating.


I’m looking for additions to my ‘Rolling’ playlist, comment with your favourites and what effect they have on you!


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Helpful tip to keep ringworm & staph away

Want to stay ringworm/staph free?

Staph Infection




Wash in antidandruff shampoo after training.

Antifungal agents (such as ketoconazole) are often found in antidandruff shampoos. This is a good and cheap way to keep horrible nasties at bay. plus you’ll have less dandruff. Win.

Other things that could help stave off these skin infections and other nasties include washing your gear straight after training, BELT INCLUDED!!!

Common ingredients found in antidandruff shampoo:

Ciclopirox olamine (Loprox)
The cream and lotion form of this agent is used to treat fungal infections of the skin. The lacquer form is used as part of a treatment plan to treat fungal infections of the nails. The shampoo form is used to treat and prevent dandruff or to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Piroctone olamine (Octopirox and Nivea Complete Control)
Piroctone olamine is sometimes used as an antifungal agent, and it often used in dandruff shampoos in lieu of zinc. Piroctone olamine is said to be less toxic than other antidandruff agents, often bypassing some of the normal FDA warnings, but still must be used with care, and only externally.

Zinc pyrithione (Head & Shoulders, Johnson and Johnson ZP-11, Clinic All Clear, Pantene Pro V and Sikkai Powder)
An antifungal and antibacterial agent first reported in the 1930s, zinc pyrithione is best known for its use in the treatment of dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis. It also has antibacterial properties and is effective against many pathogens from the Streptococcus and Staphylococcus genera. Its other medical applications include treatments of psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, fungus, athletes foot, dry skin, atopic dermatitis, tinea, and vitiligo.

Selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue, Head & Shoulders and Vichy Dercos)
Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Selenium sulfide is available as a 1% and 2.5% lotion and shampoo. In some countries, the higher-strength preparations require a doctor’s prescription. The shampoo is used to treat dandruff and seborrhea of the scalp, and the lotion is used to treat tinea versicolor, a fungal infection of the skin.

Tar (Neutrogena T-Gel)
Is effective as a therapeutic treatment to control scalp itching and flaking symptomatic of scalp psoriasis, eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.

Tea tree oil (Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap)
It is used topically as an ingredient in creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, and shampoos. In addition to antifungal properties, tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral actions. It is also effective against mites (such as scabies), and lice (such as head lice).

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Superman BJJ

This gallery contains 1 photo.

This is the infamous Mr Wayne Samways, a good friend and training partner of mine. Currently a BJJ Purple Belt under Chris Rees. This meme is awesome.

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