Friday, 13 November 2009

Blast From The Past 4 - My Most Favourite Match Ever.......

Was around 2000 and was an amateur Vale Tudo match (which is a contradiction in terms and quite funny when you think about it) as the phrase Mixed Martial Arts had not really been used at this point. The match took place at the inaugural amateur trials held by Lee Hasdale's Total Fight Forum and was against a Brazilian guy who's name I can never remember, might have been Pereira or maybe not. Anyway he was over here to help teach at the Anaconda BJJ club in London (which by the way, spawned some awesome competitors despite the fact that the instructor didn't have the best reputation but had some cool gloves)

At that time I was watching tons of Brazilian Vale Tudo stuff and thought that the Brazilians were the be all and end all of fighting, after all the guys I had been watching were some of the world's best, so to have the opportunity to fight one was awesome, there is just something about competing against someone from the home of the style you are doing.

The fight was up and down, we both landed strikes, got takedowns and had a roll around before the fight ended all too quickly. The fight was declared a draw.

I was real happy with my performance and thought that maybe us English had a future in BJJ after all.

Blast From The Past 3 - Marco Ruas

I remember watching UFC 7 seeing this big Brazilian dude smashing the hell out of everyone which really inspired me to try this 'Vale Tudo' as it was called then (more about that another time) to see how people performed under this extreme pressure. I was very fortunate that a little while later I heard Marco would be in this country so decided that whatever the cost we would have to go train with him.

Drove down to Worcester on the Sunday and got there late but just in time to see Marco guillotine a guy unconscious because the guy did not tap quickly enough. The seminar was brilliant and picked up some excellent Luta Livre anti –jiu Jitsu techniques that I still use today in no gi.

Hearing then that he would be in St Helens on the Friday we decided that we would have to make the trip over and get in another session with him. Arriving a little late again (it's a curse) I walked in first and Marco stopped the seminar, he made his way over and came to shake hands thanking me for travelling over. He started the seminar then stopped it abruptly again when Helen appeared doing the same with her.

The guys there must have wondered who the hell we were, 2 random people turn up and he stops the seminar for them, they never realised we were just 2 people who had trained with him previously and were bad timekeepers.

He got the seminar back on track and taught another excellent session.

Got to hang out with him afterwards and mess around getting some photos and stuff. He told me to get him in a rear naked choke so he bent down so I could reach around for the choke. Before the photo was taken he just said "can you breakfall?" I replied "sure" next thing I was launched over his shoulder with seionage from hell, as I hit the deck he dropped into a perfect arm bar just as the photo was taken.

The photo ended up in Combat magazine with Marco laughing his head off as he was arm barring me.

Absolutely awesome guy, so humble and friendly. It's a pity that he stopped coming over to the UK because I would have loved to train with him more.

Check this out the highlight reel