Wolfslair Charity Open Mat Event – Saturday 22 January 2005Unable to attend the grand opening of the Wolfslair Academy in October 2004, which featured none other than MMA legend Minotauro, I finally managed to honour my kind invitation from the Wolfslair fighters and joined in the fun and games at their charity open mat event, which was organised in aid of the Oxfam Tsunami Appeal Fund.
Invitations were made to grapplers from all over the North West to come down to train and see at first hand the new facilities on offer and it was a case of bumping into past training partners and good friends, including Shane Rigby, Darren Rigby, Chris Brown, Scott Pickering, Lee Threlfall and Barry The Bastard Scargill, as he`s affectionately known to his friends, to name a few.
Sadly, Kazeka Muniz was away in the US that weekend, but attendees were not to be disappointed as the first part of the session was taken by Minotauro`s ex sparring partner Sukata Peixoto and assisted by another Brazilian by the name of Junior (Antonio da Silva); now don`t let the name Junior fool you – the guy`s 6`4″, 120K, a purple and only twenty three years old and the possessor of the largest hands I have ever seen with my bare eyes. This man`s ENORMOUS!
Sukata took the class through a number of slick no gi attacks and takedown defences and after a quick roll with partners, it was time for the mini four man tournament; the guys were split into lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight, which made for interesting match ups. Lightweights ranged from 65-85K, the middleweights 83-92K and the heavyweights were heavy!
Chris Brown and Darren Rigby gave a good account of themselves fighting at the lower end of the lightweight division, but it was Scott â€˜Kojak` Pickering`s day, as he won his division with an excellent display of no go fighting, with some crisp submissions and a slick ground game.
In the middleweight, there was only going to be one winner – Shane Rigby. Shane`s been wrestling since a child and has been all over the world representing his country at the sport and soon enough I came face to face with one of my old instructors. It`s hard to describe rolling with Shane, other than comparing to taking on a steamroller and it was an honour to be tapped at will and have my nose bent out of shape and my tongue almost halved after our six minute tangle.
I was unable to witness the heavyweight guys as they were going at it in the cage, but from what I saw the action was just as fast and furious as the rest of the lads and the eventual winner was Lee Dickson.
Now it was time for the champs to fight it out for overall winner and in stepped Barry the Bastard, who gamely made up the numbers and fought Shane in the finals and what a match this turned out to be; both are very good friends and train regularly together and both put on one hell of a fight and gave a demonstration on how to use as many illegal techniques as possible.
The oilstick guard pass made an appearance, followed by two fingers in the nostrils guard pass and then it was all out madness, with neck cracks, chins in eyes, fingers in eyes, fishhooks, slaps, punches, elbows, all the while cracking gags and playing up to the crowd. After fifteen minutes of WAR, Shane tapped through sheer exhaustion and Barry was declared the winner much to the delight of the crowd and was given a huge round of applause.Full credit to the Wolfslair back room team for arranging a great day of training and being extremely hospitable and friendly to all the attendees.
The gym itself- my purpose at the gym was twofold, to support the charity event and have a gander at the facilities and I was not to be disappointed. The Wolfslair has everything under one roof, whether you`re into BJJ or MMA; a massive twenty six foot cage, a huge pro boxing ring, weights, bags and a massive matted area which extends to head height on the walls. Clean changing rooms, a sauna and an overhead juice bar area completes the picture, where you can have a drink after training and watch the fighters go through their paces.
In my opinion this has to be the best MMA gym in the country on all counts:-
â€¢ Top class facilitiesâ€¢ Two black belt BJJ instructors, one purple belt instructor and boxing tuition from boxing legend Tony Quigley Seniorâ€¢ A friendly non threatening environment to train – no cliques or attitudeâ€¢ Good location – over the Runcorn Bridge, first exit, two right turns and you`re there.
As ever, don`t take my word for it. Regardless of where you train and in what style, get in touch with the guys and arrange a training session with them and see for yourselves. Speaking to the guys after the session, I was told that Kazeka, Sukata and Junior are scheduled to fight on an upcoming Cagewarriors show, so keep your eyes peeled on the forums guys, these guys are gonna kick ass!
Scott Pickering – Lightweight winnerShane Rigby – Middleweight winnerLee Dickson – Heavyweight winner
Barry â€˜the Bastard` Scargill – champ of champs
For more details and to arrange seminars contact, Wolfslair Academy, Cromwell St, Widnes, 0151 422 8242.