The latest from the Voice of MMA Europe
Mauricao Gomes back in the UK!
The last time Mauricao was in the UK, the SENI 04 tournament was breaking new records and drawing in the crowds; after a summer away from the UK, GBUK's main man was once again back on the highways and byways, visiting the new academies and calling in on old friends along the way.
The first stop on the agenda was up in Stockton-upon-Tees, home of GB Stockton; located on Skinner Street, the gym boasts ample mat space and a full size boxing ring. Tuition is available seven days a week under the watchful eye of Chris Crossan, who is enjoying great tournament success abroad, with a gold medal in Lisbon at the start of '04 and a very impressive second place at the Rio State Championships in Brazil.
Ben Pops has been travelling up to the club on a regular basis to help the club grow and expand, as well as joining Mauricao and Roger for the official opening of the club; the seminar was packed out as Roger and Mauricao gave a master class in passing the guard and of course the dreaded knee ride made its appearance! The second half of the class was given to no gi techniques, with some wicked no nonsense chokes and guillotines, before rounding off the class with some hard sparring. At the end of the seminar blue belts were given to the following people:-
Ste Dawson (Stockton)
Sam Bradley (Stockton)
Shaun Matthews (Stockton)
Ian Hunt (Manchester)
Well done guys and full credit for Chris and Ben's hard work and commitment to the club!
GB Manchester's official opening - a who's who of BJJ talent!
Three days after the Stockton seminar, on Wednesday 27th October, Mauricao and Roger paid a visit to GB Manchester's HQ in Bolton; although an evening session was organised, such was the popularity of the session, that an afternoon roll was also arranged, attracting the interest of brown belt Rick Young, who travelled from Edinburgh for the day, as well as Ben Poppleton, Chris Brown and Andy Roberts, who also joined in with over a dozen of the club's regular students for two hours of non stop rolling.
Then came the main event of day; over fifty people made the journey to the club's official opening, representing half a dozen of the North's GBUK academies, many here for the first time. The class was taken through the finer points of takedowns and guard passing and yes, that old devil, the knee ride made an appearance once more (on my stomach) and the pain never eases, it seems to increase over time!
After three and half hours training and sparring, more blue belts were handed out to the following deserving people:-
Melissa Leathley (Hull)
Manphreet Sangha (Hull)
Richard Wild (Oldham)
Andy Ashton (Manchester)
Adam Ashton (Manchester)
Neil Croston (Manchester)
Ian Fell (Manchester)
Andy Miles (Manchester)
Paul Hartley (Manchester)
Will Burke (Manchester)
Ian Wilson (Manchester)
Only eight months old, GB Manchester now boasts eleven blue belts and continues to have Braulio Estima at the club on a monthly basis, and will be hosting Ben Pops at the club on a fortnightly basis, as soon as he returns from Brazil, with the most up to date moves from the Barra HQ, in December.
Big shouts out to Darren Good, Mel Leathley, Ben Pops, Chris Brown, Rick Young, Andy Roberts, Steve Finan (for some great photos) for help making the evening one to remember and a massive well done to all the new blue belts - next stop purple!!
Chris Crossan can be contacted on Monday - Friday 6-8pm and 12pm Saturday and Sunday.
Carl Fisher can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org  classes Sunday 11-pm; Monday 6-730pm and Weds 7-9pm.
See you on the mats!