I have an absolute passion for defence and escapes. My interest in defence was fired early on when my teacher in London mentioned that he thought his teacher in Brazil had one of the best defences in the world. I met that teacher in Rio de Janeiro in January 2007 – it was claimed that he ‘never found himself in trouble’ and from what I witnessed, he never had to rush or speed up his defence, he was always in control.
When I first started training, I was often sparring with people who were much heavier than me and often younger. At an early stage, I decided that I wanted to learn an escape for every submission attempt. Although I always want to submit my opponent, it is also very satisfying to escape a submission attempt with a clever escape. Using technique is the essence of Jiu-Jitsu.
Roger Gracie has also suggested that he believes his strong defence is a huge asset of his overall game – Roger hasn’t been submitted in competition since he was a Blue Belt and was the champion of his division for 10 years. When a longstanding champion reveals what one of their secrets to success is – you want to emulate them in the hope for your own improvement.
I have spent many hours looking through books hunting for answers to my Jiu-Jitsu defence and escape problems – seeking the answers to problems is very interesting and if through practice, you can make new ideas work under pressure – it’s extremely rewarding.
I will be passing on all of my knowledge and will make sure that the team has rock solid defence to promote confidence when we are representing BJJ Lifestyle Team at competitions.