Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Last training session at Gracie Barra Plymouth

Last night (Tues 28th June) was my last training session at Gracie Barra Plymouth before I head to Miami, and then move to London.

I've been there since September 2010 and have progressed from a 3 tab white belt, to blue belt during my time there. It takes a lot being a girl and just walking into a new club, but the guys were really welcoming right from my first training session (despite being one of very few girls to have ever trained at the club) and made me feel like part of the team. They're a skilled bunch of guys and I've loved every minute of training with them.

My Jiu Jitsu has progressed a lot since I've been at GB Plymouth. I've always relied on my strength when sparing against other girls. Going from a club where I had 3/4 girls to regularly train with, to a club that was 100% guys (and strong guys) has forced me to modify my game.

Tom's "small person" style of Jiu Jitsu is fast, strong (in the right way) and immensely technical. I've learned 
to truly appreciate technique over strength whilst training here. I have felt the benefits in the 3 competitions I have fought in this year. My cardio is better, my technique is better, and I'm using my strength more efficiently- for fast explosive movements, and maintaining strong positions rather than just being a biffing shebeast. It's been invaluable training under Tom and I've truly appreciated all his advice and help when coaching.

I wish them all the best in future comps and will see them all at ADCC to cheer on our coach Tom Barlow as he got a wildcard entry to the event!

P.S 2 days till Miami..

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Normal packing vs BJJ packing

A rough packing list I conjured up this morning. 4 gis- oh yeah..
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.9

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Street scrap

Just a quick one..

Back in February we had a bit of a college reunion. We went out for a meal, and then a few drinks. My old training partner, Bert, was going on and on about how much he missed training at Fightworx in Torquay. He was bugging me all evening for a little roll. Just as I was leaving, he jumped me and started on me on the balcony of a pub in Torquay. Ross filmed the outcome.

Ross's drunk commentary is probably more entertaining than the fight itself...

On a side note: 9 days till Miami..

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Cauli Ear

So, I'm due to fly to Miami in 2 weeks time (exactly) to train at Fightsports with Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu. I went out there to train last year and I was welcomed into the family. I made a number of friends out there, who I'm looking forward to training with again and pushing myself to progress as a blue. Anyway, enough of that. I'll get to see them soon enough... Onto this topic- Cauliflower ear.

Whilst I was out there last year, the 4 hours a day training, and a strong focus on stand up sparring really started to take a toll on my ears. Takedowns and drilling made it sore, but it was one helluva tight guillotine slapped on by Sofia Amarante (brown belt and world nogi champ) that blew my right ear. Check out the pictures...

Slightly inflammed, but just a little sore
The following morning
What started off as a burning sensation for a few days, became very uncomfortable to touch. It was one morning where we were doing shrimping drills up the long mats that I shrimped onto it and it really, REALLY hurt. Cyborg saw my cupping it in pain, to which he pointed to the corner of the gym and demanded I put on some ear guards. This was towards the end of my trip, so I didn't have to sport such a sexy fashion item for too long.

After it had gone hard

Cyborg insisted on draining it, so he did...

Only, it filled up again the following morning before I flew home. I saw it as something I got to remember Fightsports by :)

I now wear some Brute earguards I bought upon my return home. Not every lesson, just if they start to feel a little sore again. I'm quite fond of my mini cauli's- but I'm not sure I'd rock the full on wrestlers ears..

Anyway, I thought I'd share my ears with you.... as strange as that sounded..

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Terere and I

This (100% spontaneously) took place at the 2011 UK Premier BJJ Championships in Bristol. Our casual chat was interupted by James Olouch-Olunya passing a microphone to Terere. Instead of talking about him, he passed the buck to me.... 

Thanks to James Olouch- Olunya for the video footage :)

Monday, 13 June 2011


So, a week or two before I received my bluebelt, I received something equally exciting- sponsorship!

After e-mailing them my achievements so far and an accompanying e-mail rambling about how much I love the brand and would love the chance to represent them, Scramble ( to sponsoring me.

Scramble produce the best in nogi and BJJ gear. They are a UK based company, but are spreading like wildfire through the BJJ community and across the globe.

I've managed to join the likes of Oli Geddes and Dan Strauss (who are amongst the most prolific competitors in the UK), in representing Scramble on the competition circuit. This is a very exciting time, and a chance for me to step up and and be considered one of the best girls in UK BJJ.

Gogoplata-ing my instructor Tom Barlow in my scramble tee, rashguard, rainbow spats and grappling shorts

Anybody interested in top nogi/BJJ grappling gear with bold designs with a funky japanese theme should check out what Scramble have to offer. Face it. Rainbow spats. You want some too..

Scramble rainbow spats

I am yet to compete whilst representing Scramble, as I want to ensure I am at my best when I compete. The next competition I am due to enter is the Grapplers Quest competition at Coral Springs Florida when I head over there next month (blog to follow). I will do my best to rock my rainbow spats whilst representing Scramble and the UK in such a massive event...

Blue belt

On  May 7th 2011, after he came down for seminar at Gracie Barra Plymouth  I receieved my bluebelt off Braulio Estima. It was amazing to get my bluebelt off such a an incredible BJJ legend. The past 20 odd months of training has been amazing, and BJJ has become such an massive part of my life.

 The seminar focused on gaining (and keeping) good side control. He also covered a few attacks from side control (chicken wing americana, armbar and triangle).

Below is the whipping I received. Everyone was fairly nice to me (apart from the 6 or 7 guys I train with regularly- try and guess which they were!)

Mahooosive thanks (yet again) to Darren and Tom who are the best coaches in the world, ever. Science fact.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


I was introduced to competing early on by Darren. He told me that it's the ultimate form of testing your jiu jitsu. Not only does it show you what works well for you, but it also exposes holes in your game.

My competition record is as follows;


UK Premier BJJ Championships- 74kg- gold
                                                 -absolute- bronze
Bournemouth Open                    - 69kg+- gold


UK Premier BJJ Championships- 69kg+- gold
                                                 -absolute- gold
                                                               Welsh Open-                              69kg+ - gold
                                                               British Open-                             69kg+ -  gold

Final of 2010 Bournemouth Open
                                                               12-1 (5-0) (by submission)
Gold in 2010 UK Premier BJJ Championships
Gold at Bournemouth Open 2010
Double gold at 2011 UK Premier Championships (Me, Terere and Sasha

Absolute Semi Finals- UK Premier BJJ Championships 2011
UK Premier BJJ Championships 2011- gold

British Open 2011 Gold

UK Premier BJJ Championships 2011- absolute gold