I was privelaged to get to spend the weekend with my good friends Aaron and Trev training at their gym the Dungeon BJJ and MMA Academy in Sunderland.
I gave two classes while I was there and got to train with their excellent team. The great guys at their academy were not only super friendly (apart from when trying to maul me on the mat :-) ) but also really technical. Both which are a testament to their coaches Aaron and Trev as it's a direct reflection of both of them as coaches.
Aaron addressing the class at the Friday session.
A few of the guys after the Friday session at the Dungeon.
I was also privelaged to get help corner one of Aaron's fighters, Craig "Bull" Bulmer for his 2nd MMA fight on Saturday night at Total Combat 29.
The event was held at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton Le-Spring.
The weigh in, medicals and pre-fight interviews were held at 3pm Saturday afternoon. It was cool being at the venue as everything was being set-up and it was also a nice change from events in South Africa in that the rules were proper MMA rules with no stand-ups unless there was inactivity on the ground and experienced, knowledgable refs controlling the fights.
After the weigh in we shot out and grabbed something to eat. Aaron and Sam made sure we had all of Bulls equipment and we returned to the venue with Bull eager to kick some ass.
Bull at the weigh in.
Bulls fight was scheduled for 2nd to last, 18th on the card, so we had an opportunity to sit and watch some of the under card fights. Ive attended a lot of MMA events and although the feelings are familiar, they are always there, like magic. The growing tension as the event kicks off and you make your way through the crowd and pockets of fighters and supporters ready for the fight. The focus as the prep begins, hands wrapped, warm ups started and a last few words of encouragement and then, the rush as the music starts and you make your way to the cage.
Bulls opponent was Lee Keegan from Leeds True Spirit MMA Club. The fight stated slowly with both guys feeling each other out and the round ended fairly evenly.
Bull came out storming in the 2nd round rocking his opponent several times on his feet and working well in the clinch, seconds before the end of the round Bull dropped his opponent with a beautifuly timed punched and jumped on his opponent looking to put him away, but the round unfortunately ran out.
His opponent made his way slowly back to his corner and was very slow coming out for the 3rd with the ring doctor having a close look at a nice cut under his right eye. He came out strong realising he was behind on points but ate another big shot to his right eye putting him down again, the doc was called in again and the fight was stopped.
Bull winning by TKO in the 3rd!
It was a great weekend serving to remind me how much I owe to Jiu-jitsu. Not only my life-style but the strength and wisdom to overcome the obstacles life throws up and the opportunity to see new places. Discipline, emotional control, improved health but most of all the friends Ive made.