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BJJ247 Heads North

The 8th Scottish Open is less than two weeks away, and  we are set for another recorded breaking event.

With teams flying in from around the UK and Ireland the standard is set to be to of the highest standard.

With less than 50 places left ….. Don’t MISS out on the chance to compete in this prestigious event held in Scotland’s capital  city.12814404_577951319023861_7091336379381441801_n

BJJ247 Rankings 2016



Points for rankings


2 man divison + 2 points
4-8 man divison + 4 points
8-16 man divison + 6 points
16+ man divison + 8 points



GI Divisons Rankings
Male >> White >> Adult
Hayden Myers  Forge Martial Arts 10
Plinio Barai  Lucio Sergio BJJ 10
Meshal Alhajimohammed Forge Martial Arts 10
Pawel Pajak  BST Northampton  8
Paul Anderson  Stealth BJJ  8
Daryl Small  10th Planet Birmingham 8
Edward Bretherton Preston Sukata  8
Alex Vernon  Fighting Fit  6
Benjamin Holt  MMA Academy Liverpool 6
Norman Russell  M4TC Fight Academy 6
Kevin Turner  SBG UK   6

Male >> White >> Master >>

1st Curtis Morgan       SGB UK   10
2nd Kasper Lasecki      BBB   8
2nd Slav Wojcik  Fighting Fit Grapplers 8
3rd Alec Robinson Team Sukata  6
3rd Greg Raper  DMAC   6
Male >> White >> Senior
1st Anthony Hall Forge Matial Arts 8
2nd Paul Anderson Stealth BJJ  8
3rd Kevin Waterhouse Warrior Martial Arts         6
George Lees  Warrior Martial Arts 10
Majid Gilani     10  Fighters Hive  8
John Moffat  MMA Academy  10
Alex Eyres  Lucio Sergio BJJ 10
Darryl Small     8
Benjamin Gratton SBG UK   8
Mike Reay  Gracie Barra Preston 8
Richie Worrol     8 Brassa 99
Radoslaw Romanek Grace Barra Preston 8
Nick Fenwick  Combat Base  8
Liam Grindrod  Next Generation  6
Matthew Turner  Voodoo Combat Base 6
Ethan Whike  Checkmat  6
Dave Thompson  NGT Combat Base  6
Bartosz Pietrowski Next Generation  6
Brett Harrison  Forge Martial Arts 6
Liam Grindrod  Next Generation  6

Male >> Blue >> Master >>
1st Majid Gilani Fighters Hive  8
2nd Paul Watson  Phoenix FT Jiu Jitsu 6
Male >> Purple >> Rankings
Hafiz Islam             Checkmat  10
Laurence Irving  Checkmat  10
Greg Cook  Warrior Martial Arts 8
Lee Whitehead  Enigma   8
Abdul Choudhury  SBG UK   8
Alan Howcroft   Stealth bjj  8
Stephen Bowie  Combat Base  8
Luke Lofters  nine nine  6
Sam Kaye  Gracie Barra Preston 6
Adil Uddin  Arlans Siqueira  6
Hazif Islam Hamid Checkmat  6
Alan Howcroft     6



NOGI WOMEN >> Beginners
1st Bezhan Mahmudi  Next Generation MMA 10
2nd Maia Holmes                 Forge Martial Arts      8
2nd Becky Bursnoll  Warrior Martial Arts 8
4th Sophie Keenan  Next Generation  6
4th Steph Queen                 MMax                    6

NOGI MEN >> Beginners >> RANKINGS
Kevin Turner          SBG UK   10
Alex Vernon          Fighting Fit Grappling 10
Thomas Glover          MMA Academy Liverpool 10
James White          Impact MMA Wresxham 10
Ryan McMahon          MMA Academy  10
Mark Butterworth          Mundo   8
Edward Bretherton         Preston Sukata  8
Michal Massalski         Gracie Barra Preston 8
James Curtin          Fighting Fit Stone 8
Curtis Morgan          SBG UK   8
Norman Russell          M4TC Fight Academy 8
Mustafa Alan          Checkmat  6
Cal Rawson          Forge Martial Arts 6
Benjamin Holt          MMA Academy Liverpool 6
Meshal Alhajimohammed         Forge Sheffield  6
Christian Lawrenson         MPR Academy  6
Szymon Lisiak          Ippon Gym  6

1st Kasper Lasecki  BBB   10
2nd Peter Jones          MPR Academy  8
3rd Michael Whittle  Lucio Sergio BJJ 6

1st Slav Wojcik          Fighting Fit Grapplers 8
Andy Fu           Next Generation MMA 6


NOGI WOMEN >> Intermediate >> Rankings
1st Edyta Opalka  Carlson Gracie  10
2nd Flavia Masini  RGA Gymbox  8
3rd Lesley Harrison          Origin BJJ Newcastle 6
NOGI MEN >> Intermediate >> Rankings
Antonio Sheldon          SBG UK   10
Ethan Whike           Checkmat BJJ  10
Ben Gratton                     SBG UK                  10
Jack Grant          Doncaster Martial Arts 10
Lewis Bayley                    Fighting Fit Grappling  8
Hayden Myers                    Forge Martial Arts      8
Piotr Pajak          London Shootfighters 8
Kieran Flaherty          CFS BJJ   8
Daryl Small          10th Planet Birmingham 8
Aaron Jordan          Next Generation MMA 8
Mike Reay             Gracie Barra Preston  8
Kieran Flaherty          CFS BJJ   6
Leuan Lewis           IPC Wrexham  6
Matthew Turner          Voodoo Combat Base 6
Dan Rooney                      SBG UK                  6
Mason Cooper          Doncaster Martial Arts 6
James Kirkham                   MMA Academy Liverpool   6
Joe Katterfield          Combat Base HQ  6

NOGI MEN >> Intermediate >> Master >> Rankings

1st Matthew Pickering         Lucio Sergio BJJ 10
2nd Benjamin Gralton          SBG UK   8
2nd Ant Miles          Mundo MMA  8
2nd Majid Gilani         Fighters Hive   8
3rd Paul Watson          Phoenix FT jiu jitsu 6
3rd Pawel Famurat  Ippon Gym  6
3rd Tim McKnight  CFS BJJ   6
3rd Nick Fenwick  Combat Base  6

NOGI MEN >> Intermediate >> senior >> Rankings
1st Rob Collyer          Warrior Martial Arts 8
2nd Noel Callan          RGA Gymbox  6


NOGI MEN >> Advanced >> Rankings
Sam Kaye          Gracie Barra Preston 10
Harry McKnight          Next Generation  10
Lee Whitehead            Enigma BJJ  10
Stephen Bowie          Combat Base  8
Jordan Desborough         SBG UK   8
Chris Davidson          Fighting Fit Stone 8
Stuart Meschia          Viva Combat Base 8
Adam Corrie          Icon   8
Abdul Choudhry          SBG UK   6
Lawrence Irving          Checkmat  6
Daniel Havelock          Kenny Baker BJJ  6
Luke Lofters          Brassa 99  6
Nick Fenwick          Combat Base  6

NOGI MEN >> Advanced >> Seniors >> Rankings
1st Maciej Ploch  Ippon Gym  8
2nd Adil Uddin          Arlans Siqueira  6


NOGI MEN >> Beginners >> Absolute
1st Alex Vernan          Fighting Fit  10
2nd Norman Russell  Made for the Cage 8
3rd Kasper Laseck  BBB   6
3rd Edward Brotherton         Sukata Preston  6

NOGI MEN >> Intermediate >> Absolute
Ben Gratton          SBG UK   10
Majid Gladi          Elements BJJ  8
Matthew Turner          Voodoo Combat Base 6
Lewis Bayley          Fighting Fit  6

NOGI MEN >> Advanced >> Absolute
1st Jordan Desborough         SBG UK   10
2nd Luke Lofters         Brassa 99  8
3rd Sam Kaye          GB Preston  6
3rd Maciek Ploch         Ippon Bournemouth 6

NOGI WOMEN >> Beginners >> Absolute
1st Maia Holmes          Forge Martial Arts      10
2nd Bezham   Next Generation  8
3rd Steph Queen          MMax   6

NOGI WOMEN >> Intermediate >> Absolute
1st Edyta Oplka          Carlson Gracie  8
2nd Jacquie Espelle  nine nine

Male >> White >> Absolute

1st Norman Russell M4TC Fight Academy 10
2nd Edward Bretherton   Preston Sukata 8
3rd Alec Robinson Team Sukata 6
Kasper Lasecki  BBB  6
Women >> White >> Under 64kg
1st Maia Daily     8
2nd Becky Bursnoll    6

Gracie Barra Nottingham’s Sean Coates takes purple belt Europeans package

Gracie Barra Nottingham’s Sean Coates takes purple belt Europeans package

Victor Estima student and long revered purple belt talent, Sean Coates, left Blackpool on Sunday

knowing he was heading to the IBJJF Europeans in January, courtesy of BJJ247.

He secured that knowledge after clutching gold in the purple belt absolute, winning a prize package

from which will see him flown to Lisbon, Portugal in January – with accommodation

and entry fee included.

Speaking on the day, fresh off a successful day in the office, Sean said:

“I feel good, really, really good.” Sean beamed. “It’s great that in Jiu-Jitsu we’re getting more and

more professional deals and professional competitions. This event attracted all the best purple belts,

there were loads of guys and I managed to get the win.”

The purple belt absolute included Kojak’s Sukata purple belt standout and long-time opponent Lee

Simpson, BJJ247 referee Phil Clegg, Sebastian Szyszka – Abu Dhabi silver medallist, technical

supremo Lukasz Baranowski and Grant Short, a seasoned competitor from Team Lagarto Teeside –

amongst others.

“I was keeping an eye out for which guys entered and there were loads of guys that I knew and had

fought loads before. There were recognised names and obviously when there’s a big prize on offer

that you want to go and get, you have to be prepared for everybody.”

With upcoming white belt and female absolute Europeans packages to compete for, Sean shared

some of his knowledge ahead of the Brighton International Open next weekend.

“When it comes to the absolute I would say you should definitely not go with the flow. I’ve fought in

a lot of absolutes and had a fair bit of success but your tactics for an ultra-heavyweight shouldn’t be

the same as the tactics for a super featherweight. You have to consider the physical characteristics

of a person like the shape, mass and proportion of a person as well as their movement, speed and

strength. Obviously you don’t want to be on bottom if you’re against a big guy!

You also have to consider the way you play guard, playing De La Riva against an ultra heavyweight is

probably not the best idea. Spider guard is probably better so you can keep him away, but with a

small guy you don’t want to give him an inch of space. It’s about learning to take each fight as it

comes, changing your tactics and method of winning. That’s how you’ll get absolute success in the

long term, rather than being stubborn and sticking to what you’re comfortable with.”

Sean returned straight to back to training at Gracie Barra Nottingham, with the European’s in mind,

believing the prize represents peace of mind, as well as a chance to become European champion.

“It’s a massive opportunity. I went for the Europeans this year and I got silver, just falling short. I felt

it was a good performance for my first year, I beat some really tough guys, including one guy who is

considered one of, if not the best purple belt in the World, but I fell just short when I got to the final.

So to have another crack at the whip – I’m absolute chuffed! To have that set in stone, rather than

worrying about saving up or finding a place to stay is a really big deal. It’s a huge aim of mine to

become the European champion.

Silver is never a nice medal to get, so I have another chance to perfect it this year. To get purple gold

is going to be sweet, I really, really want it.

The great thing about these packages, like the blue belt package that was won in Birmingham as well

as all the upcoming packages, is that when you win you don’t just get the guarantee of going, but

you get the confidence and momentum by winning. You enter knowing you deserve to go, instead of

paying to go, which gives a huge psychological boost. All these other guys wanted this great prize,

but I won it so psychologically it’s great.

You get a financial boost and a confidence rush that you deserve”

Introducing George Tolley

George Tolley is a orange belt under Neil Simkin and has been competing regularly for many year.His achievements to date are as follows:

  • 2014 pan ams bronze
  • 6 x British gi gold
  • 2x nogi British silver English
  • uma gold
  • 2x naga gold
  • 2x Nottingham open gold
  • Bjj 24/7 Manchester gold
  • Bjj 24/7 Blackpool double gold

We look forward to seeing more of George at our competitions and wish him all the success in the future.

Battle at the Ballroom – Purple belts aim to shine

Battle at the Ballroom – Purple belts aim to shine

BJJ247 returns to the historic and grand setting of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Sunday to hosting the 4th Blackpool International Open, with an added incentive for purple belts, who will have the chance to win an all-expenses paid package to compete in the IBJJF Europeans 2016.

Spectators , staff and competitors alike will be gearing up to watch the purple belt absolute from the elegant stalls and balconies of the ballroom, which dates back as far as 1891, as some of the best purple belts in the country have registered their names to compete for the package. The Tower was previously the home of the Blackpool Open and welcomes BJJ247 back with open arms following a venue hiatus in 2014.

Listening to competitor feedback, BJJ247 will run the adult purple gi divisions in the morning and provide competitors with an hour break before the absolute starts. This will ensure all competitors who register for the absolute are in the best condition to win the package. Alongside the Europeans prize, provided and the Bad Boy Gi bundle worth over £180 by the BJJ Shop, the absolute winner will be featured on the BJJ247 website, giving a large amount of exposure for the athlete who emerges top of the pile.

Spectators and competitors alike will know the purple belt absolute will be a spectacle with the Birmingham International Open setting the bench mark. Carlson Gracie London’s Mateusz Flaga took gold in the blue belt absolute and secured entry, accommodation and travel to Lisbon in January and Gi bundle courtesy of the BJJ Shop, during an action packed day at the Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre in Birmingham.

There has been a large amount of purple belts register ahead of the event, with some big names on the domestic circuit, including: Sean Coates, a Progress Jiu-Jitsu sponsored athlete and highly decorated purple belt under Victor Estima. Sebastian Szyszka, a powerful and explosive competitor, fresh off Abu Dhabi silver medal success under Lucio Sergio dos Santos. Both Lee Simpson and Steven Playfair who went to war at the TUFF Invitational this weekend in Essex – Lee is one of the most active competitors in UKBJJ and trains under Scott ‘Kojak’ Pickering and Charlie McDonald, two Mario Sukata black belts, and Steven is an experienced and dangerous competitor having competed and trained under Rick Young, one of the first black belts from the UK. Team Lagarto Teeside’s Grant Short has also registered, as has Oliver Falkingham of Gracie Barra Preston, who made waves at blue belt, looking for his first taste of success following his recent promotion.

Phil Clegg, an extremely experienced Ultra Heavyweight and BJJ247 referee will also compete, as will Nadip Khera, one of the most active competitors in the UK – from one of the country’s most respected gyms in Gracie Barra Birmingham, the home of Braulio Estima.

Ahead of the event, BJJ247 Director Lawrence Dutton said:

“July 12th 2015 will now always be an important weekend in my BJJ247 journey. BJJ247 are bringing BJJ back to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom – the battle in the ballroom!” Dutton explained.

“This iconic venue always gives goose bumps as a standard and we are really happy to have signed a 2 year exclusive deal with the Tower, meaning competitors can look forward to 2016 already.

The last event in Birmingham brought world class Blue Belts threw the doors resulting in some amazing matches and Im really pumped about watching the Purple Belt divisions never mind the Absolutes. I see guys like Steven Playfair, Sean Coates, Lee Simpson, Dez Parker and Grant Short competing at our events regularly, so to be able to offer them such an amazing prize to compete for is a dream come true.

I hope you all enjoy the Blackpool International BJJ Open and see you all in Brighton!”

Bamma Golden Boy Thomas Denham Enters Blackpool International

  • Name: Thomas Denham
  • Age: 23
  • Last Fight: March 28, 2015 in BAMMA
  • Weight Class: Heavyweight | Last Weigh-In: 253.8 lbs
  • Affiliation: Hard Life MMA / Darlington
  • Height: 5’11” (180cm)
  • Born: England
  • Fighting out of: England

Hard Life Fightwear sponsored athlete Thomas Denham is only 23 years old and was unbeaten for 9 years in wrestling representing Great Britain,He has now moved into MMA and fights under the BAMMA Banner and recently against beat the pundits by beating former UFC  fighter Phil Defries by way of first  round stoppage. Thomas has entered the Elite Nogi Division of the Blackpool International BJJ Open and is looking to test himself against some of the top Grapplers in the country.


Kojak’s Sukata black belt Charlie McDonald: “The aim is to compete as much as possible”

Taking three medals in the advanced and black belt level in a competition is something most grapplers dream of, however Scott Pickering black belt, Charlie McDonald, was not happy with his performance despite leaving Birmingham with three medal haul..

McDonald, who has gone from white belt to black belt under his coach, fought Jack Magee in both nogi and gi competition, with the latter bringing the more success with a submission victory to secure gold.Known to be a familiar face on the circuit and one who has been found competing at every level throughout the years, The Tatami Fightwear sponsored athlete spoke at the BirminghamInternational Open.

McDonald explained his attitude towards training and competing:“The medal haul isn’t really what I wanted. I wanted triple gold to be honest. I really thought I could win the no-gi but it was a tough fight, Jack Magee is always a tough opponent. He competes a lot and when I saw him down on points I thought I could win it.“It did turn out to be a different story when we met in the gi. I prefer the gi, I like to fight in it and I knew I had more of a chance winning in that match.

Jack Magee is renowned for his tenacity on the mats and humour off it. He is a black belt under Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues and a regular competitor at BJJ247 events, competing in Birmingham and Manchester, with further competitions planned in the calendar.

McDonald spends most evenings working on the wings of aeroplanes, but he believes his hard workin life helps him to fly when it comes to his Jiu-Jitsu.“I work through the nights” McDonald explained. “But Monday morning we train nogi, Tuesdays I’ll teach and train, Thursday is the same, Friday I can be found in Warrington at Scott’s for fight night.Saturday morning again is nogi, so between Shotton, Warrington with Scott and working, it’s pretty much a slog, with a six year old too!

“The aim is always to compete as much as possible, from white belt to black, it’s to compete as much as I can. I don’t see the point in training all week not to. Some people, that’s their thing, they don’t want to compete, for whatever reason, I don’t know. Sometimes it’s nerves and they don’t like the way it feels, which is fair enough, but if I’m slogging my guts out on the training mats, why not come and compete?

McDonald has been training around eight years and was handed his black belt last month, becoming the first of Scott ‘Kojak’ Pickering’s black belts. He dived straight in at the highest competitive level, competing in the British Open just weeks after being promoted.

“I’ve been a black belt for a couple of months now at Kojaks in Warrington and I now train at Sukata

in Shotton which I’ve been running since brown belt, around eighteen months, two years now. I’ll always be Sukata, always and I went from white belt to black belt under Scott Pickering and the Sukata banner.McDonald went on to proudly explain what he felt the day his professor tied the belt around his “I was nearly crying! I did not expect it. What happened is Scott was handing tape to me during promotions and I was putting it on the belts to make the promotions quicker. I had two stripes already on my brown belt and he gave me two more, but then he gave me a fifth stripe on my belt.I was like ‘Kojak! I’ve already got four!’ and then he pulled out a black belt and I was like ‘Jesus!’Everyone was screaming and shouting ‘Speech! Speech!’ and when I started talking I felt like I was atmy wedding. My voice was going!”

Who is Peter Parker

I have been training for about 2 years at Ground Control Hamilton in the central north island of New Zealand, I was promoted to blue belt just before we left to the UK for our 2 year working holiday. My coaches were Errol Watson and Travis Browne and the school is affiliated with John Will Machado.

We had just a week ago arrived in England when I saw the Birmingham tournament event pop up on facebook. Because we were about to start touring England checking out the Bjj academies and prospecting for cities to live in, I saw this tournament as a great opportunity to get some insight into the local Bjj scene.
I was very impressed with the professionalism of the tournament, the skill of the competitors (I’d never seen anything like the UK youth team before,  let alone the black belt decisions). The food at the tournament was great, and I got to chat with a bunch of the competitors from all over who were real friendly and gave me advice on where to visit.

Next we are checking out Liverpool, Manchester, and then back through London to checkout the checkmat hq in Bristol.

Carlson Gracie London’s Mateusz Flaga secures blue belt Europeans package

The BJJ247 Birmingham International open attracted high level blue belts from across the Jiu-Jitsu landscape on Saturday, with a special prize package awaiting the winner of the blue belt absolute

An all-expenses paid package accompanied the gold medal, supplied by sponsors and who ever emerged top of the pile would find themselves on an plane to Lisbon in January.

Twenty year old lightweight, Mateusz Flaga was handed the package to complete a triple gold swoop in Birmingham, taking gold in the gi, nogi and absolute divisions.

Speaking minutes after claiming his medal, Mateusz Spoke to with a beaming smile on

“I like to compete a lot.” Flaga said. “This year I have compete nine times already, I have won a couple of gold medals but there was never any kind of big prize. This is the first time I’ve won something significant.”

Flaga has already mixed with the best lightweights in Europe, competing in Lisbon last year, but declared himself as “very happy” with the fruits of his labour, securing a page in the BJJ247 history books to be the first to win the new belt colour Europeans packages that will take place in upcoming events throughout the country – including Blackpool, Brighton, Liverpool and the Northwest Open.

“I have been to the Europeans last year, but it was not a good competition for me. I cut a lot of weight and made a lot of mistakes during my fights and I lost my second match. But this year, I am coming back stronger and for a gold medal so I am very happy that I won this trip. I am even happier to be the first guy to win this.”

Flaga was happy to have experience ‘a good day’ in Birmingham and credits his coaches and team mates in Hammersmith.

“It depends on the day and today was a good day. I train with a lot of tough, young guys and we do a lot of sparring, a lot of positional sparring and I have a lot of good training partners with a lot of different styles so whoever I meet in a competition I am prepared.

“I train at Carlson Gracie London under Dickie Martin, Simon Hayes and Wilson Junior but I will be moving back to Poland soon where I will train at Copacabana in Warsaw

“We have no easy classes, there is no easy training and a lot of tough guys. Everyone is welcome to come and test yourself.

Mateusz also wanted to thank his friend and coach, Maciej Kozak, whom his history in grappling

starts with.

“When I started BJJ in Poland, in my town, we were just a group of people who liked Jiu-Jitsu and there was no regular coach. He started to come one, two times a month to our gym and pass his knowledge. Since the first time he asked who wants to compete I have only raised my hand.

He’s a very accomplished grappler in Poland, he has medals at WPJJC brown belt level and lots of grappling competitions. I still work with him, I send him my fights and we speak about competition. He is still my coach and I hope will be forever.”

BJJ247 are delighted to see Mateusz travel to Birmingham and are looking forward to seeing him compete in Portugal next year.

The purple, brown, white and mixed blue and white women’s packages are yet unclaimed and will be up for grabs in the next few months.