NewCastle BJJ Competition

North East BJJ League dip their toes in competition waters!BJJ competitions are pretty thin on the ground this year, so when Peter Irving announced their first BJJ event, attendance was mandatory; travelling up the night before with student Will Burke and enduring a horrendous four hour journey, we were met at the other side of the Tyne Tunnel by my good friend Ian Barnfather (Pud) and whisked away to West Sleekburn, Pud`s home town and into the nearest pub for a well earned drink to soothe frayed nerves from the drive up. Suitably quenched, Pud took us to the local Chinese for ‘a bit of bait` and once back at Pud`s house we began to unwind and get ourselves in fighting mood by watching Mundials and Pride DVD`s.

Day of the competition arrived way too soon and we left for the Lightfoot Centre in Walker fuelled on bacon and egg butties and orange juice, proper fighter`s fare; after picking up Jimmy Welsh for the trip we took the coastal road through Whitley Bay and headed towards Walker and arrived just in time for the weigh in and rules meeting.

Two mats were in operation on the day and the white belts stepped to the middle to do business; GB Manchester`s Will Burke, with only five weeks training to his credit won the middle weight section with two submissions in two matches. After fighting off a tight triangle choke in his first match, Burke stepped up the pressure and attacked with a number of sweeps, which exposed his opponent`s arm and ended the match with a tap out. In the second match, Burke launched his opponent with a huge stomach throw that sent him to the other side of the mats; his opponent managed to pull guard and from there Burke sunk in a vice like guillotine and slowly applied the pressure to produce tap out number two. A calm and confident fighter on the mats, Burke is a name to look out for in the future.

In the Superfight it was GB Newcastle versus Combat Base as Dave Elliot and Varqa faced off in the middle; the fight was fast and technical and Elliott soon had Varqa in trouble with a triangle choke, but was unable to finish the fight, as both fighters fell off the edge of the mats. Restarted in the middle, Elliot continued with the choke, yet Varqa managed to break free and passed the guard and from there the match see sawed between both fighters. At the end of the match, Varqa`s guard pass was enough to secure victory. Staying with Combat Base, Vince Moran lost his first match on points and lost in the Absolute to GB Sheffield`s Andy Roberts; Dodd Granville won his weight category; Ben Mallowes won his first match with arm bar and lost the second match on points; Paul Smith lost his first match to a somewhat dubious judge`s decision and Mike Marriott won his first match on points and lost the second on points.

It`s not often that you bump into one of the UK`s most popular martial artists two weekends in a row, so it was a nice surprise to meet up again with Rick Young, so soon after the Braulio Estima seminar in Bolton; Rick brought down a sharp looking outfit and walked away with two division medals one in the white belt and one in the blue, as well as having a fighter in the Absolute finals.

GB Sheffield`s Andy Roberts lost his first match in his weight bracket and turned it all around in the Absolute by winning all five of his matches on the way to the Absolute title, doing what is known in the trade a ‘Dean Lister`. Roberts has now issued a challenge to all comers to fight him for his Gracie Invitational title at SENI in two weeks, another reason to attend this groundbreaking event!

With the onus on competing and coaching, I didn`t get to see as much of the competing as I would have liked, but I was impressed with what I saw; there were a few bad judging errors and dubious points awarded, but to avoid these in the future, as a fighter, tap the man out!

Full credit to Peter Irving and Victor Carvahlo and the team for hosting the event, together with cool sponsor goodies from Evolution and Showdown Fightwear, as well as an endless supply of bananas, chocolate and fluids; the event was to test the waters and based on their success, more future events will more than certainly follow.

See you on the mats!


White Rooster Ian Malone GB Newcastle Light White Gav Bradley GB Newcastle Middle White Will Burke GB Manchester Medium Heavy White Dod Granville Combat Base Heavy White Shaun Matthews Middlesbrough Super Heavy White Kevin Murray GB Scotland

Feather Blue Lee Smith Combat Base Light Blue Peter Tiarks GB Newcastle Middle Blue John Kennedy GB Scotland Medium Heavy Blue Carl Fisher GB Manchester Heavy Blue Aaron Naisbet Roger Brooking Super Heavy Blue James Dayle Advanced Fighting Centre

Absolute Andy Roberts GB Sheffield

Purple Belt Superfight Varqa Abyaneh Combat Base

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Carl Fisher