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My weekend @ the BJJ British Open

Saturday 16th May I woke to the sound of my alarm going off at 5am. This only means one thing BJJ competition weekend.
My first port of call was to pick up BJJ Style writer Tom Bell before heading over to pick up Robert aka Thor . Once the team was assembled we set of down to the Sky Dome in Coventry arriving at the venue around 9am.
When entering the venue I could tell this was going to be a very special weekend and I wasn’t wrong. The first day I refereed Mat 3 with my professor and British Open Champion Matthew Callaghan aka Stalone . We started with the white belt categories and my personal highlight was watching UK Elite Squad member 14 years old George Tolley taking Gold in the adult division .
In the afternoon was the purple belt Divisions and that finished with me reffing an epic battle between two massive men in an exciting absolute final . Day one was done , it was 14 hours after I left sunny Preston , my feet throbbing my brain frazzled there was only one cure a ‘cheeky’ Nandos with the team . My fine dining experience was made even better with Jack Magee black belt absolute silver medallist joining us . The Chicken and laughs flowed and we finished the evening watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Premier Inn’s Ultimate Wi-Fi in room 606 .
2am – Bed .
Day Two
I wake about 7.30 am and check Facebook and see all the BJJ statuses about traveling down to the British Open and the excitement starts again .
After attempting to eat the hotel breakfast ( best avoiding ) it was time to make the short walk over to the venue . Day Two started with the blue belt divisions and tbh the toughest fight I had to referee all weekend , two amazingly technical guys with very similar games , I’m not going to lie it was one of the most mentally draining things I’ve done . The blue belt fights didn’t fail to provide the excitement I expected with lots of familiar faces on my mat during the morning.
The afternoon brought in the big guns , all the top brown and black belts entering the fighting area . Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of the Elite divisions as the Blue Belt Absolute ran at the same time but I’m not disappointed because I got to witness an amazing Final , the whole situation was special. There was lots of familiar faces over the weekend competing on my Mat and it was an Absolute pleasure to witness every single warrior that did BUT the moment that summed up my entire weekend was the second I raised Robert’s hand in the Semi final and realised he would be fighting Reece Doran in the final . That won’t meen a lot to most of you but Robert is a gym mate and Reece is someone I’ve seen grow and grow over the last 24 months , two great guys and friends . As a ref I have no problems staying neutral so the thought of refereeing the final between these two brought up different emotions , ones of pride and joy for both men . The final didn’t disappoint with Reece controlling the heavier Robert in the early stages of the fight before Robert stormed back in the last minute with Reece taking the Gold . Both athletes performed great .
Day Two finished with me watching the Absolute Black Belt Final between two great guys and friends Juniao and Jack with Juniao taking the Gold in an exciting final .
11pm I arrive back home a tired but happy man , feeling privileged to be part of such an amazing weekend with my friends .
I love BJJ
Lawrence

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

submission”