Friday, 9 May 2014

The launch of


This Will Be the my last ever post on blogger-but never fear! I have everything Transferred to:

I'm super happy with the website (which I have more plans/updates for very soon).

There are separate sections for my Jiu Jitsu Style magazine articles, and my BJJ athlete interviews. I will continue to blog, and continue to update my ACL rehab process (week 2 summary has-been uploaded already!).

Head over to now to check it out!


Saturday, 3 May 2014

INTERVIEW with Robert Drydale Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt: Kristian Woodmansee

Like small guy Jiu Jitsu? I sure do. One of my favourite guys to watch compete is Kristian Woodmansee.

I met and trained with Kristian in Miami a few years ago. Get to know him a little better in this interview he did for SHEBEASTBJJ:

Hi Kristian, introduce yourself; BJJ Rank and Team:

Kristian Woodmansee. Brown Belt from Team Zenith

How long have you been training Jiu Jitsu for?

I just hit my 6 year mark in march

What would you say is your biggest success to date?

Winning the World Championship last year. Working on a No Gi Grand Slam currently (Pan Am, World, European, Brazilian National no gi titles in 1 year)

I met you in Miami a few years back, when you were training under Mestre Roberto Cyborg Abreu. Now you train and teach at Robert Drysdale's Academy in Las Vegas. You've had the privilege of training under different world champions. Do academies share similarities in teaching practice, or do all schools do things differently?

Each academy has a different style to it, like a personality. Each instructor brings different characteristics to the mat and it's awesome to experience and a privilege to partake in that under so many great practitioners. Each school trains hard though, it’s a kill or be killed world on the mat when you are with a bunch of world-class guys.

Both Cyborg and Drysdale have produced world champions too. What influence does a coach have on helping a student become a world champion?

The impact a coach has on his students is extraordinary to me, that relationship that exists between student and teacher is very important when it comes to progression. In my opinion to be a great jiu jitsu practitioner one must be open minded, I must have the will to possibly fail over and over again to succeed, both Cyborg and Drysdale have taught me that.

I'm a massive fan of "little person Jiu Jitsu". As you compete at rooster weight, what are your favourite positions/techniques that work best for you, against larger opponents?

I am naturally a rooster, that’s where I have all my titles at, Problem is not a lot of roosters exist out there, at least at the lower ranks. I rarely train with anyone my size. On a good day my lightest training partner will be about 20lbs heavier than me. I try to develop my game to work at any level, gi or no gi, and against any gender or size. I stick to focusing on the weak parts of the body when it comes to the guards I play and the submissions I attack, this equalizes the size difference for me.

What advice would you give to a smaller guy who gets disheartened rolling with monsters all the time?

It definitely can be difficult on the mind and ego if not looked at properly. No one is awarded medals for how they train on the mat, as discouraging as it may be winning and losing there doesn’t really matter to me. There is a reason why we compete in weight classes, so fighting someone out of my weight class during training isn’t as impacting to me since it really isn’t realistic to my personal goals when it comes to competition.

You've recently had a brief stint in the UK. How did you get on? And how does the BJJ scene in the UK differ to that of the US.

It was nice to travel to compete and see the competition that exists outside of my normal range, and the people are awesome. I was lucky enough to compete and then travel to teach 2 seminars afterwards, by far the best experience of my life thus far. It feels like the jiu jitsu in Europe is a tad bit behind when it comes to what techniques are being executed and the intensity of the competitors. I would imagine the internet has helped spread jiu jitsu all over the world more easily but there aren’t as many top level guys teaching in Europe like there is here in the states, I think that may a reason why it’s a bit different.

You've tried your hand at MMA a couple of times. Does your Jiu Jitsu change in comparison to competing in BJJ competitions? If so, how?

My jiu jitsu is more of a no gi style, I personally hate the gi but I love jiu jitsu so I do both. My no gi game translates very well to mma so I feel comfortable relying on my ground game for mma. I would like to keep it that way since mma will be my main focus soon.

Credit- Kristians Facebook fan page

Your nickname is 'Dream Killer'- How did that come about?

When competing everyone is there to win, the reality of that is that only 1 person can be crowned a champion and everyone else has to deal with the consequences of that. It’s a bit intense but at the end of the day most people dream about winning a world championship, all I want to do is to people those people. One day someone just called me it and it stuck.

You're easily recognizable from tattoos, how many have you got? And are any of them BJJ related?

I don’t know of the exact number but I have a few in my eyes, I am actually typing this while getting tattooed so its ironic timing. I have no bjj related tattoos and the only one I plan on having will be after I receive my black belt, as for what it is a secret for now.

What are your plans/goals for the future?

I would like to continue training hard and constantly progress on and off the mat. My goal for the season is to win No Gi Brazilian Nationals and complete my no gi grand slam as a brown belt. After that I will only be focusing on my no gi game in preparation for the 2015 ADCC’s, where I will be busting my ass to be invited to. I have a lot of work to do to be ready for it but I am lucky forward to it tremendously.

Thanks Kristian. Do you have any shout outs/thank-yous you'd like to make?

Just thank you for reaching out, always a pleasure to be connected to people who are equally as passionate. 3Fu3l for sponsoring me, my team for the support and help, Patchez and Andi and all my supporters and family.

Check out this unusual submission demonstrated by Kristian:

You could also SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel

Photo credit: All Kristian's personal photos unless otherwise stated.
 Shout out to Mike Calimbas who has very kindly given me the go ahead to use some of his photos of Jiu Jitsu athletes in future interviews. He's one of the best in the business so check out his work at 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Post op- Day 7

Day 7

And on the seventh day, I FREAKIN' walked. Not far, might I add. But I'm confident enough to not need the crutches. Something must have happened in my sleep man, because I was wobbly as hell yesterday. I've even left the house (by MYSELF) and gone for a short walk/hobble around the park. Felt a bit achey afterwards but I've been elevating and icing since and overall I'm feeling gooood.

Check me out;


3 x 10 knee flexion
3 x 5min knee hangs
3 x 10 quad strengthening
3 x 10 resisted hamstring pulls
15mins slow paced, old man style stroll

I've sacked off the straight leg raises as they're easy enough to do now. Knee flexion drills feel great, no tightness around the knee or stitches (again, hopefully due to the reduction in swelling). There is a slight pull (like when a bone catches a tendon, a little bit?) when I pull my knee to 100-110 degrees. I was aware of it yesterday too. I've been stopping right before I feel that pull, and will ask the Physio what they think it is when I see them on Tuesday. It may well be something catching as it'll be inflamed and swollen in there still. It's not painful anyway, just, weird.

 Knee hangs are still feeling good. Think I might be getting closer the a slight hyper-extension. Swelling is visually reduced again (my bad knee is only slightly larger than my good knee). There was also a feeling of numbness towards the outside of my knee, which seems to be regaining feeling again. I've read it's fairly common to lose feeling close to the main incision site after arthroscopic surgeries.

Icing (30mins)


So... much... icing. Will continue to do this, along with taking ibuprofen as it seems to be doing the trick nicely. It's helping my swelling, as well as keeping any post exercise aches at bay. Very happy with the results of the icing.

Well guys, that's day 7. I'm expecting to continue progressing, but at a slower rate. Slow enough that there won't be much need to warrant a daily blog. So at this stage I'll make 2 announcements;

1) The post ACL surgery blog will become a weekly blog.

I will summarise each day still, but in a weekly release. I'll mainly use it to highlight any milestones/dramatic changes in my recovery.

2) Shebeast blog will soon become WWW.SHEBEASTBJJ.COM

The BJJ community is the best. Not only have I had people from all over message me wishing me the best of luck in recovering and sending me links to instructional DVD's to watch. But I've also had someone very very experienced offer to help transform this blog into it's own website. An improved layout, easier to access, and just a whole lot awesomererer. This is something I'm very excited about, so I'll keep you updated on any developments regarding that one.

Right, back to Ryan and his deepy hawf stuff. See you in a week!



Thursday, 1 May 2014

Post op- Day 6

Day 6

Another day of improvements. My ROM has increased yet again and I've managed to carry out all my usual exercises painlessly. So in terms of rehabbing, another successful day. But, another boring day. This has literally been my view:

So... bored.. I'm not a big movie person, so I've been watching old Metamoris fights on YouTube. I like little people Jiu Jitsu like Jeff Glover and Kristian Woodmansee. Those guys movement is soooo good. I've also been searching through Mackenzie Dern's Facebook and instagram, trying to work out when she had her patella tendon ACL replacement in an attempt to predict how soon I could be back on the matt. Stalker much? 

In additional all that excitement, I've been writing a diet plan. Here's an example of the sort of thing I have to look forward to if I'm to maintain/lose weight whilst I'm largely immobile:

Om nom nom
I get my diet/supplement advice from Crossfit Man (aka Chris Longley) from Crossfit Westcountry. Dude knows his stuff and I appreciate all the advice he gives to me, so I'll be following his advice on how I can maintain muscle mass and lose fat once I'm more mobile.


3 x 15 knee flexion drills
3 x 5min knee hangs

3 x 10 straight leg raises
3 x 10 quad tensening drills

My phsyio sheet says to stop doing the straight leg raises when they become easy to do again, so I may do them tomorrow for the last time. Knee flexion was awesome again. I upped the 10 to 15 reps today, as they weren't causing me any issues. Knee hangs are feeling good, I need to remember to relax my glutes and my whole leg in order to really let me knee sink.

I attempted (ppfft, using that term real loosely) another exercise today. Lying on my front, and attempting to bend my leg back (ultimately so my feet can reach my butt). It was a foul experience. Super tight on my stitches. I'll have to ease slowly into that one, but I'm sure as hell not looking forward to it..

I've got my first Physio appointment and my GP checking my dressing booked for this Tuesday (6th May). Will be good to get some advice/recommendations regarding rehab exercises and what I need to do next.

Icing (30-40mins)


Yeah, icing like crazy today. I think the reduction in swelling is what has made my knee flexion exercises easier, so I'm going to continue icing at least 4 times a day.

In terms on my walking progression; I'm still wobbly as hell. I'm a little gutted really, as I'd envisaged myself off crutches by day 7. Then again my nerve block didn't wear off until day 2. My walking technique is good (I'm not doing anything funky with my hip or relying on the crutches) but I still need them both. Weight bearing isn't painful, as I can stand still with no crutches with what feels like a 60:40 weight distribution just fine. But no such luck when it comes to walking. *Shrugs*. Might be a mental thing. I'll keep trying. Getting there slowly!


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Post op- Day 5

Day 5

So my tubey-grip tried to attack me last night. I woke up at 3am with my knee area hurting like hell, only to feel that my tubey grip had all rolled up and was digging in super right right above my knee. You know when you wear a pair of socks that are too tight around your ankle, and it digs in, and you get a good itch from it where it's gone all red? Well, it was like. Only, replace the satisfying itch with excruciating pain. I might start sleeping with it doubled over rather than tripled over. I fell back asleep again, s'all good.

I've taken some swelling pictures. I'm pretty impressed. There's not a lot of difference, from my biased perspective.


I know, I know. You want a close up of these bad boys. Well here you go.
Still a bit squidgy

I am, however, legitimately concerned that I may have been beaten up by the surgeon and his team. My leg looks like a prop from The Walking Dead..

Corpse leg vs normal leg

EURGH. From this angle, my bad leg is definitely more swollen. Mainly in the calf and ankle though. It doesn't seem to bad looking down on it. On second thoughts, I have done such an unreliable photo. The picture of my bag leg was taken considerably closer to my leg than my right one. And I'm a freakin' scientist. How embarrassing. Anyway, I digress.. 

I've officially hit boredom today. The weather is too inconsistent to lie out in (I'm lying out in the sun for like, 7min intervals. It's hardly worth lowering myself into the sun lounger), my brother has just gone back to uni so I have nobody to bully, and I suck at PS3.

I'm about to write a diet plan so I a) avoid turning into a super fatty and b) can return to Jiu Jitsu just sucky, not fat and sucky. I eat pretty good on the whole (too many treats recently) but I know what works well for my body and how to lose the weight properly (I've lost about 40lbs since starting Jiu Jitsu). I'll have to keep doing bits and pieces like that to keep myself busy. I'm really hoping I'll be able too do a small upper body workout maybe tomorrow or the next day. I've bee feeling good today, so we'll see.


3 x 10 Knee Flexion
3 x 5 mins knee hangs
3 x 10 straight leg raises
3 x 10 quad tensening thingies

My exercise regime has yet to change, as I'm following my rehab notes given to me when I was discharged from hospital. It says to do this stuff from day 1 to day 14. I'm booking a Physio appointment tomorrow sometime, so I guess I'll be doing the same thing until then. 

It's good because I can tell I'm getting better at them. I don't have to shout "Up! UP!" at my leg when doing straight leg raises anymore, and I only swear a little bit when I do the knee flexion drills (again, they felt really good today, maybe even reached a 110 bend)

I've been slacking on strengthening my quads. Which is stupid because one of the things I was worried about was having one hench leg and one chicken leg, yet I'm doing nothing about it. The exercise is to literally tense your quad. When I do that, I feel it over my entire knee cap. I just did it then, as I typed this. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. It's foul. No thanks.

I'm waiting until I can weight bare better, then I've read that they start getting you to do baby squats. Maybe I should just man up and do the tensening drills though..

Knee hangs are fine again. Feeling like I can relax more, and really sink into them. Weeeee.

Here's a video of my knee flexion drills. I reckon I'm close to 110 degrees on them:

Icing (20-30mins)


My best friend (the cryocuff) is serving me well still. Oh, that reminds me. I lied yesterday. I said I took no pain killers. It got to about 7pm and I felt really achey so I was persuaded to take them. Today I took some ibuprofen late morning, it's 4:30 as I type, so I may take some more at dinner. I guess they're antiinflammatory too. Bonus.

Technically today has been another success, I'm just feeling a little deflated. It's one thing being off work, but if I can't train/go to the gym/paddleboard/DOANYTHINGILIKE then what's the point? Man, I can't even carry anything anywhere. I roll my bottle of juice down the hallway as I make my way to the lounge. Winner.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Post op- Day 4

Day 4-

Woke up at 5am. Not in pain or anything, but that was the time my body decided to wake up, and I was wiiiide awake. 

Not much to report today, other than I've stopped taking painkillers. I figured I'm not actually in "pain" much, it's just a dull ache. And I figured I could (wo)man-up enough to not take any pills anymore.


3 x 10 knee flexion
3 x 5 min knee hangs
3 x 10 straight leg raises
3 x 10 hamstring strengthening contractions

 I'm putting it down to the lack of painkillers, as today has been tougher than yesterday. I'm not so naive to believe that every single day is going to be an improvement on the last, as today has proven. I couldn't manage any more flexion in my knee, but I'm still managing the 95-100 degrees which I'm happy about.

I've focused a a lot more on knee extensions today. One of the common side effects of not following rehab thoroughly, is be the long-term inability to fully straighten the leg. I can't afford to not be able to lock out my leg, so I've been making sure I do my knee hangs. Where possible, I've been 'hanging" my good leg too, for comparison. The pictures don't show it very well (at all) but I was very close to full extension today. It's a case of really really relaxing. Any tense muscles and it prevents your knee sinking into the hang.

Knee hangs- comparing good and bad knee
 The suns been out lots today so I've taken the opportunity to lie out in the sun in a reclining sun lounger whilst resting.

Icing (20-30mins)


Side note; my Mum/Brother freakin hates me for asking them for ice so much. Haaaaaa. Love.

That's all for today really. Not much to report, but I guess there will be days like this. 

In terms of general exercise, I decided before my operation that I'd give myself 5-7 days to fully rest. I figured my body needs to spend time healing before I try and do anything (which will primarily be upper body stuff for a while). 

Tried some walking today. Not much, because I'm a bit achey. My ankle and calf are still a little swollen, maybe a little less than yesterday though.

Yawn, bit of a boring one today. Hopefully more to report tomorrow.


Monday, 28 April 2014

SWOT Test in BJJ

I've just nabbed this off the UK BJJ Underground Forum. Richard, the guy who runs the BJJ website/blog Attack The Back uses this, with the guidance of his coach, Gary Davies at Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance, to help self evaluate his Jiu Jitsu.

I'm a massive believer in setting goals to achieve things. Specific goals, not general goals. The best way to progress in anything in life is to assess your current situation, and work out what you need to do to improve. Which is why I get a little annoyed when I read posts from experienced people in the Jiu Jitsu community telling newer people to "just train" in order to get better.                        
 "You need matt time". "Just train". "Shut up and train". 
 Well, no. Not really. If you're doing something shit, you're going to continue doing it shit if you use that approach. Yes, you figure a hell of a lot of Jiu Jitsu out for yourself. It's a massive game of trial and error. You work out what techniques work best for your body type, height, strength, flexibility etc. But for people to achieve their potential in anything (not only Jiu Jitsu), they need targeted, specific, individual guidance. S'what we do in the education system, innit.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Here's how the guys at Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance use it;
"We were all given print outs that our instructor had made specifically for members of the club and asked to fill it out in our spare time, he would then spend some time with our answers, roll with us and write out a personalised analysis about our game and how we can improve."- Taken from Richards blog which can be found --> here
So Imma have a go. But I'm going to make 2. Because I'm going to be off the mats for a few months, I'm going to do a physical SWOT test (for when I can train again) and a mental SWOT test, for now. To keep me sane.

So, let's do this;

Physical SWOT 


  • Knee slide pass
  • Regaining half guard
  • Movement when on top (always moving to maintain a strong position in side control)


  • Speed. I'm slllllllllow.
  • Attacking mentality- I lack it. Too often I find myself on the defensive rather than pushing forward and being offensive.
  • Passing/sweeping on my "bad side". 


  • Bestest coaches and training partners. Ranging from monsters to tiny little people, white belts to black belts.
  • An ego less atmosphere to train in.
  • A coach who encourages you to try new things, not be afraid of getting smashed, and to develop your own style of Jiu Jitsu.


  • I'M CRIIPPPLLLLEEEEEEEDDDDDDD. Stupid freakin' knees.
  • I might forget, EVERYTHING. By the time I get back on the mat I'll have forgotten how to shrimp, and will think a peruvian necktie is an item of clothing.
  • I'll be super paranoid about my knee when I train. Might make me hesitate and slow down any progression until I build back my confidence.

Mental SWOT


  • PMA. (It's fizzling out by the hour..)
  • I have plenty of cool stuff to do; edit videos, take photos, write for Jiu Jitsu Style magazine, bore people I don't know to death with my blog.
  • Goal setting. I've set myself some things I'm going to achieve next year. And imma do it.


  • I miss training alreaaadddyyyy. 'Obsession' might be an understatement. I'm waiting for the shakes to kick in and I can't imagine not rolling hard for 9 months. If I don't think about it, then it's not real. Right?
  • I like food. I manage to maintain weight quite nicely when training. But that's 3 x Jiu Jitsu classes, and 4 strength and conditioning classes a week. I will might get fat/ter.
  • Uuuuhhhhh... I'm cranky when I can't train. Which means I might make those around me cranky. Crankiness for everyone!


  • I'm moving into a new house. A house with 2 spare rooms. I have permission to make one a Jiu Jitsu room. I have the mats and everything already. A FREAKIN' MATTED ROOM. Myself and Flavio are going to live in there. 
  • Spend more time with significant other/family/friends. Time to remind them all that Jiu Jitsu isn't my only love.
  • My coach wants to help keep me sane by coaching the junior class, helping out in classes, as well as doing the odd bit of reffing. More stuff to help keep me in the loop.


  • Falling behind at Jiu Jitsu. Stupid ego. 
  • Becoming frustrated at myself for not being able to train, or not progressing in rehab as fast as I want to.
  • Did I mention I like food? Food is a threat. A sweet, sweet, tasty threat.

The physical SWOT is something I will give to my coach Darren when I'm back training again. I guess the mental SWOT is for my own reference. 

Fightworx guys and visiting Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance guys

So, in order to progress, self assess yourself. You know what you're good at and what you suck at. Tell your instructor those things, and along with them monitoring you at training, they will be able to see where/how you're going wrong and will be able to recommend how you can improve. THIS is how you get better at Jiu Jitsu. As well as lots of trial and error..

Massive thanks to Richard for introducing me to the idea of using this strategy.Give it a go! And check out his website here.