Travelling Teams: Peter Thompson, GFTeam Glasgow


With a taste for BJJ24.7 competition following last month’s hugely popular Scottish

Open. Peter Thompson, hailing from Port Glasgow, Scotland, took it upon himself to

register for the next possible event, meaning he was heading south of the border to

compete in Manchester Open.

Just one of many travelling competitors at BJJ24.7 events, Peter tells us his story,

where he came from and where he’s going in his Jiu-Jitsu journey.

“I have been training since the beginning of 2013 out of Grappling Fight Team or GF

Team for short. My own coach is Purple belt Chris Carmichael who travelled,

coached and trained with Fabio Coringa Nunes at GF Australia in 2014. The head of

GF team is Julio Cesar Pereira. His students include multiple world champion

Rodolfo Viera.

Leaving Scotland on Friday, Peter slung his competition gear over his shoulder and

hit the road. He explored every possible angle to ensure he could get to the event for

as cheap as possible, highlighting that with proper planning, all BJJ24.7 are

accessible, even those with a small budget.

Furthermore, he travelled alone and fought with nobody in his corner on the day.

“Nothing glamorous about the trip down!” Peter chuckled. “The cheapest way

possible was a MegaBus from Glasgow to Manchester during the day on Friday. I

stayed over at the Britannia hotel nearby the venue as the Ibis hotel even closer was

sold out! Bus, hotel, comp fees all came to 120 pounds.

But why bother when there are closer competitions, well, you can come away with

much more than a medal for your efforts, as Peter explained:

“I enjoy competing and I have travelled to train previously. I thought I’d combine the

two and try and another type, location, different fighters and ultimately a different

weight category. Manchester was not too far so I thought why not, I am glad I did to

be fair. I will be returning I am sure of that.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the schedule and making sure I get to a few, maybe not on

my own this time!”

So how did he get on? Peter did well, very well in fact and proudly left the Sugden

Sports Centre with three medals around his neck on the day, representing his team

in the best way he could and his two golds and a silver show that.

“I went to a higher weight class than usual at under 94kg for Gi and over 94kg for No

Gi. I managed silver in No Gi. I won gold in Absolute No Gi and gold in under 94kg

Gi. All in all it was a good day and well worth the trip.

I am a white belt in the Gi. Manchester was only second no -gi competition. I do not

think any competitor gets anywhere without team mates, training partners and

coaches. We have a small, close knit team at GF Team West of Scotland and

wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

Travelling Teams: Niall Wilson, Team Torres Derry

Each BJJ24.7 event attracts many competitors, from many backgrounds, from many teams and from

many countries. Each competitor has their own story and BJJ 24.7 spoke with Niall Wilson, who flew

into Liverpool before catching the bus to Manchester to compete.

Niall travelled alone and proudly represented his team, displaying his team’s colours on the day.

“I’m from Derry, Northern Ireland and I represent Team Torres, who represent our head coach

Sebastian Torres. Our lineage is from Alessandro Charuto, from Brasilia, Brazil and that’s what makes

I am came with no team, no coaches, I just decided to fly over and represent.”

Niall is regular face at our events and BJJ 24.7 happily rewarded Niall a gift, a free gi, for taking so

much time, money and effort to regular compete for top spot on the podium.

“For me, it started last year in November. I’d just come back from Brazil and I wanted to jump into a

competition real quick because I felt sharp. The promotion held the Liverpool Open so I flew over

and competed there. I quickly realised it was a particularly well ran competition. It’s cheap to get

transport over here and they give me something to come back for and here I am.

The reason I came over, even though there’s so many competitions in Ireland, is I knew you will see

a different kind of game over here. You tend to see and face the same competition, time after time,

staying local. Every time you compete, there’s a good chance you’ll fight somebody again. I’ve found

that by travelling you’re seeing a different style, you’re getting a different taste for it and you’re

seeing a different part of the world. I would encourage everybody.

BJJ247 is delighted to welcome increasing amounts of international competitors to its events and

Niall would encourage his team mates and fellow competitors to consider flying in

It’s not expensive, I got flights for £40 return and the bus was £12 so if you’re prepared to sacrifice

that bit of money, then travel and Jiu-Jitsu is for you. I’ve found that a lot of people just want to

compete in their own town but you’ll just learn how to fight against those same styles.”

Niall’s commitment rewarded him with a bronze medal that he’ll happily take home with him to

Derry and he believes his experience has served him well for future competitions.

“I competed in the gi at 82.5kgs and that’s the lightest I’ve ever got down in my life, so I feel happy. I

faced a really tough guy in the first round and unfortunately I left my arm hanging and got arm

barred – I’m disgusted at that! But you know, it was good experience and you can’t win them all.

I also competed in no-gi in the -86kg category and the absolute, where I got d’arced by a monster.

But I’ve been taught some things I wouldn’t have been by not coming, it’s lit a fire in my belly and

being here has motivated me to do better and look towards lots of competitions coming up.

Jack Magee issues open challenge to compete for BJJ 247 free Euros package

Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues black belt, Jack Magee, has issued an open call for black belt opponents

who have been given the opportunity to compete for a free trip to the Europeans in 2016.

Introduced by BJJ247 earlier prior to the Scottish Open, any black belt competitor is given free entry

to compete at all BJJ247 tournaments, with upcoming opportunities in the Southern, Birmingham,

Brighton, Northwest and Liverpool open, amongst others.

BJJ247 will present the opportunity for black belts to win a place in a league system, with each

medal accumulating points which will be tallied up at the end of the year. The winner will receive

flights, entry and accommodation for the IBJJF Europeans in Lisbon, Portugal held next year,

completely free.

Magee, a well-known figure in UK BJJ, has made an early start by securing double gold at the

weekend. He expects more black belts to take advantage to hone their skills and gain valuable

experience completely free throughout the year. Speaking at the Manchester Open, he said:

“I definitely want to come back. I’m going to do as many as I can and it’s such a good idea! I had four

fights today, you can’t complain at that.

It’s a no brainer. If someone is offering you something for free for doing something you love, why

wouldn’t you do it?

“Obviously with my modelling career now I’m not desperate for money and there are other Jiu-Jitsu

guys who aren’t as fortunate with their looks as me [laughs] but I’m surprised there aren’t more

black belts clutching at this yet, with the prize on offer as well.

In a rallying call that he will fight whomever it takes, he issued a statement to other black belts and

called for them to step up and meet him on the mat, with nothing to lose. Affirming that he will be

waiting for any opponent, at any event.

“You can expect to see me compete if I’m injured, you can expect to see me compete if I’m tired. I’ll

always be ready to compete no matter what. If I’m not tied up that weekend then you can expect to

see me there to compete against. You’ve always got a match if you want one.

I know for a fact there were other black belts at the Manchester Open today. They may have their

reasons for not competing but come on, jump on the mat!

Don’t be worried about your reputation with your students or what people are going to think of you

if you win or lose. I’ve competed nearly every weekend this year so far… and I haven’t won them all.

But I’ve still got the same students, I’ve still got the same friends and training partners about me.

It’s great, it cleanses your Jiu-Jitsu. You’re always going to improve and you’re putting it on the line if

On the day he ended up fighting out of his usual weight category but welcomed the challenge with

open arms, rising to the occasion and submitting every opponent in the elite no-gi and no-gi

absolute divisions.

“There was nobody to fight today in the gi division, which I would have loved to have done. So I

signed up to do the no-gi elite division with nobody in my weight, so I moved up to 100kg division

and won gold in that, followed by the absolute where I won gold in that with all fights by