'Fundamentals' mused, who needs them?

Our fundamentals classes are thriving. They have quickly proven their worth and become an essential part of what we do at Triccs. I decided to take this opportunity to look at the rationale behind our fundamentals program. 


While students are welcome to more or less any class, gi or no-gi, it is in the Tuesday and Wednesday classes held at James Alleyn's Girls School (JAGS), at 7.30pm and 7pm respectively, that we work with our newest members to equip them with the technical foundations of our art.

Jiu-jitsu is a vast, complex, and , importantly, living martial arts system. It is about actual rather than stylised combat. At times jiu-jitsu can also appear vast; so vast that you can get lost in it. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. 

So in our fundamentals classes we take deep dives into key positions and techniques, often combining this with specific positional sparring so we can match theory to practice. This Tuesday, for example, we looked at the mount position: how to maintain it, how survive it, how to attack from it and how to escape from it.

Each week we try to follow a similar process so that people can start to understand and connect different positions. So that they can begin to navigate their own way through the maze of techniques and, eventually, begin to find their own 'game' or style and express themselves through the art.

Note that world championships in BJJ, submission grappling and MMA are rarely won with flamboyant or exotic techniques. This is even more acutely the case for real physical confrontations where the stakes can be life or death. It cannot be overstated that everybody needs the fundamentals and time spent on them is never wasted, regardless of your belt colour. 

So what does win?

The answer lays in the percentages and can be seen in the games developed by the giants of our art. The Roger Gracie's, the Demian Maia's and the Jacare's. A solid mount. A simple guard pass. A well-drilled sweep. A properly executed choke. 

Simple, mechanically sound basics. Precisely what we cover in our fundamentals classes.

Hillingdon BJJ Kids & Teens Invitational - 4th Feb 2017


After some good competition training the team were feeling confident and for some of them it was their first competition

We took eight competitors in total and 3 other academies were taking part, this would be a good test for the Triccs kids and also give them a chance to utilise their skills

Our youngest competitor Toran won his first fight with a “cross collar” choke, he then went into the final with a strong competitor in which he lost but picked up the “Silver Medal”


Enoch in his first competition surprised us all with winning his first 2 fights with a big points victory and then winning the final with a beautiful “arm bar”, first Gold!!!!


Lena just proved how good she was on the day; she was up against 3 boys which did not bother her at all. She submitted her 2 opponents and won the final with slick “arm bar”, second Gold !!

Now time for Nathan who saw younger bother Enoch win gold, he did the family proud by submitting all his opponents and showed how confident he is with his “guard” game. Nathan wins our Third Gold!

Otis, Micah & Andre all competing in the same bracket!!!!

Andre come up against his team mate Micah winning by points, Otis playing guard in first2 minutes and then attempted a “rear naked choke” , Otis surprisingly let go as he thought the opponent “tapped”, we restarted in same position and Otis put a triangle choke on the opponent to which he tapped.  Final Andre v Otis which was very tight and Otis won by slight point’s advantage.

Gold & Silver!!!!

Last person to compete was Charlie in his third competition and itching to win Gold again.

Superb first fight submitting opponent in with an “arm triangle”, second fight was very classy confusing his opponent with quick transitions and them securing a tight “arm bar”. Final, great takedown and then submitted opponent with an “arm bar”.

Medal Tally :

5 Gold's & 1 Silver

The kids showed they were all team players, great commitment and sportsmanship.


IBJJF European Championships Gi - 21st Jan 2017

Patrick James -  silver Medalist

Debut as a Black Belt at the European Championship Gi 2017

Back here in Lisbon once again but this time as a black belt, feeling extremely anxious and nervous, but ready for the challenge ahead.  My preparation was not as thorough as I would have liked but I knew I would give it my all.

My first fight was against against a well established black belt from the Unites States, who had been at black belt level for the last four years.  I started, as I always do, getting a feel for my opponent who went to ground straight away, I pounced into 'half guard' but then my opponent had a 'lapel choke' on me, I took a deep breath and gathered myself.  After a minute I got my head out and maneuvered into 'side control' but the referee did not award me any points, which confused me, to say the least.  

As the fight progressed, I made attempts to 'take the back' and then a 'bow and arrow choke', with 40 seconds left and a point each, I decided to hold out and control my opponent.

The referee raised my hand, I was overjoyed!

On the final fight, I was up against a Brazilian who held a black belt for 6 years, so probably the toughest opponent I have ever fought in a competition, he started by 'pulling guard' then 'sweeping me', I managed to get back on top but eventually 'swept me' again and attempted an 'ezekiel choke' which was tight.  I battled through but lost the fight on points.

After the fight numerous people acknowledged my achievement which only sunk in the next day, I am extremely proud.

Next stop Rome, Italy - European Championships No Gi 2017


Surry Open BJJ - 11th Dec 2016

MJ - Unfortunately his opponents did not want to fight so wins default gold.  He decided to go for Absolute and fought courageously, losing by a choke late in the fight.

Mark - An irritating fight as his opponent went to ground and stayed on top without making any attempt to fight for the remainder of the bout.

Aimran - Got to the Venue and went to weigh in, unfortunately he was slightly over weight, so I took him for some sprints and burps to cut weight which he did.  So onto the fight which started well for both fighters, after 3min it was 4/4 and the Aimran started to tire losing the fight.  We knew it was going to be tough cutting weight just before the start of his fight but he did do really well.

Just so you all know these guys all went to the comp today with less experience than some of their opponents to test their ability and make corrections to aspects of their game, which we will work on in class.  We learnt so much today and as always very proud.



World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi IBJJF Championship 2016 - San Francisco

Bronze Medalist - World No Gi Championship
Happy with my performance and thought I won my opening fight but was to eager to submit my opponent should have completely taken back and establish points.

After my disappointment I decided to challenged myself in the absolute knowing I was going to face Super Heavy weights.

Silver Medalist - World No Gi Championship Absolute
First 2 fights against 2 Super Heavyweights, done my favourite double leg and controlled the first fight, the second fight was a great fight and very proud off winning by rear naked choke.
In the final it was very tight no points, got to the end and everyone I mean everyone thought I had won it.

I thoroughly enjoyed my fights and this experience in only my second ever No Gi competition.


2016 English Open - Junior/Juvenile BJJ Championship

Butterflies in the stomach as we head out on a beautiful sunny afternoon to Dartford Judo Club with Charlie competing in the English Open.  We arrived early, ready to take on the challenge ahead, but at the weigh in, we realised Charlie would be competing two weight categories up, he would be competing at the 55kg category only weighing in at 45kg.

Andre was there to support his team mate and it was good to see the two boys enjoying themselves in the warm up, with Andre wishing he was also competing.

The fights were fast and furious with 4 minute rounds, Charlie did well in the first fight, avoiding an Americana and fighting with a lot of heart, during the second fight the weight advantage of his opponent was apparent and it was frustrating at times for Charlie.

He persevered to make us proud and achieved silver.  Next year we will be back stronger and hopefully with a few more competitors at this tournemant!

On the drive home, Andre said to me 'in BJJ you either win or learn', I thought to myself we did a little bit of both today.




No Gi is back every Thursday

Yesterday's no gi class had an 'old school wrestling' feel about it, especially as many of us forgot our rash guards.  

Our new class got off to a flying start when Patrick and James hit the mats with some Capoeira inspired moves.

Did I prefer gi or no gi?  I am not sure,  one thing I did find during the training session, without a gi the game was much faster and it was very difficult to hold down your opponent.

 I am looking forward to future classes, I am sure Patrick will teach us how to lock down a slippery opponent, perhaps even with his signature heel hook, which I remember getting submitted by.

Maybe I don't need to decide which I prefer and I can simply use the no gi sessions to improve my reflexes during the high speed rolling and fine tune the submissions which don't need a grip.  

After the class I thought about the similarities to Koshti Pahlaviani, a form of submission grappling prevalent in Iran, which was practiced by my late father, maybe no gi is in my blood and I just don't know it yet.

Roll on next Thursday with or without a rash guard!!!!


Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Interclub Competition Results

We went into this competition with 4 competitors & no comp experience. We were the smallest team but came out with great success.

Sydney - Came up against kids that were heavier and older, in her first fight she got taken down but she stayed on top for the whole fight and controlled.  Second fight, she lost to a girl that has been training for 3 years.  Overall I was very pleased and excited for her, she had tremendous will power and technically astute.

Gian Luca - His first was awesome it was back and forth but GL showed determination, technique & strength to win his first.  Onto the Final - what a fantastic fight, he came up against his friend who had been training for 4 years.  He got taken down, then swept his opponent and the points were 2-2, he managed to stay on top.  The buzzer went and the decision went to the referee.  This time he got Silver which is a great achievement. 

Charlie - he got taken down early but this was strategic as he then used this to set up his signature arm bar and submitted his opponent very quickly, Impressive Jiu Jitsu, next match the final.

Andre - Also got taken down, his opponent was trying all sorts of things, he tried getting the elbow down the neck but was unsuccessful, Andre managed to get his hips out and take the back finishing with a cool 'rear naked' choke, next match the final.

Final Andre v Charlie  What do I do, teammates fighting each other?????

Normally teammates don't fight but I wanted them to fight and they trained to hard not to finish the job.  Charlie wins the fight but both are winners in my eyes.

What we achieved today was fantastic but I did expect this.

I love this group of kids and am exited and honoured to have them as my students.