14.11.12

BJJ Interview: Champions of the Labs Interclub October 2012


Recently, our club, The Labs @ Fighting Fit Manchester, ran their first BJJ gi interclub competition. The whole day was sponsored by Black Eagle Martial Arts, Brutal TShirt and iMMAculate Fightwear. I contacted the various category winners and the interview below is the result of our conversations around BJJ, life and the balance of the two. I hope you find it useful and enjoyable.

Hello guys. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself?

Patrick Leung (The Labs) PL

I'm Patrick Leung, 26 and I'm from Blackpool.

Rich Cadden (Chokdee Academy) RC

My name is Rich Cadden and I am 36 yrs old and I live in York

Oliver Von Herder (The Labs) OH

Hi There. I'm Oliver von Herder, I'm 24 and live in Manchester

Gaz Louth (Stealth) GL

I am from Audenshaw, I am 29 (nearly 30)

David Minto (Stealth) DM

Well my name is David Minto I’m 33 years old and I am a full time firefighter with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service although I’m actually a Brummie* (the only West Bromwich Albion FC supporter in the whole of Manchester I think!)

Are you currently working / studying? Is that Full time / Part time?

PL

I work full time as a forklift driver, about 45 hours per week.

RC

I was made redundant in 2008 and I have since set up 4 businesses. I am a degree-qualified Engineer, Master NLP Mind Coach, Hypnotherapist, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. I am also a two-times world champion thaiboxer having competed since the age of 18. I have had over 60 bouts with a large percentage being in Thailand.

OH

I work full time as a Wing Chun Instructor

GL

I work in IT for a  bank I used to be a Personal trainer at virgin active, I have just finished a foundation degree at night school this September

DM

I’ve always wanted to be a fireman since being a little kid so it was definitely a lifetime ambition achieved when I got accepted as a fire-fighter. The main benefit of the job can also be the negative. That is, I work shifts so some weeks I can train BJJ lots then some weeks hardly at all, although my girlfriend would say I still train most days! Another benefit is I get quite a good amount of holidays each year, which for me means more training time!

You also set aside time to practice a sport. Which sport(s)?

PL

MMA, BJJ, No-Gi and Boxing.

RC

Now that I run my own academy, I partake in pretty much all the classes from kettlebells to skipping, from yoga to muay thai....this is when I discovered Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Historically I have partaken in Judo and also played professional rugby league

OH

I train Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

GL

I currently train in judo and BJJ, I rotate them daily and do either of them every day resting when my body tells me to.

DM

I train (BJJ) Brazilian jiujutsu mainly and any other training ie strength and conditioning revolves around this we have BJJ focused strength and conditioning classes at Stealth BJJ so I attend a few of these classes to supplement my BJJ training.


How long have you done that?

PL

Sporadically, year and a bit now.

RC

Without getting too zen, I see my learning of martial arts a life-long journey. I had an interest in boxing watching professional boxing and an avid Rocky fan since I can remember.

OH

I've been grappling on and off for around 18 months now.

GL

I have done BJJ now for nearly 4 years and I used to practice judo when I was young because my dad did it  but I have only been taking judo seriously for a year.

DM

I’ve trained BJJ for just over 4 years now, which is scary as I don’t know where the time has gone! It all started September 2008 when my girlfriend knowing I wanted to try BJJ paid for me to have a private with Steve Campbell at his house, at the time I was about 16 stone mainly muscle and quite a fit lad, anyway Steve came to the door and without wanting to sound cocky. To me he was half my weight, and half my height, I was actually thinking how I’d better go easy on him! Needless to say after that first humiliation (not that Steve even bothered to smash me) I was hooked! Since that date I have trained under Steve at Stealth BJJ from white belt to my current purple belt.

Do you follow any special diet? Do you use any dietary supplements?

PL

I was eating quite healthily and I have used supplements in the past but up until recently I was pretty skint! So not at the moment.

RC

I follow the structure I offer on my website www.chokdeeyork.co.uk . Check out the articles page and there's tips on healthy living. This is what I eat and how I fuel myself. Supplements are few and far between but used when required. I am very in-touch with my physical and emotional well-being, doing the jobs I do.

OH

I follow a diet called the Practical Nutrition Diet. No processed foods are allowed, and it focuses on digestive efficiency and nutrient density.

GL

I don't follow any particular diet I just train hard and get enough fruit in, I tend to over indulge on cakes which will probably catch up with me soon. I sometimes take protein shakes because I am mainly vegetarian and the only meat I eat is fish and my iron level drops and I feel tired. I also don't really drink if I ever do its usually in my house.

DM

In general I just try to eat clean and eat 4 good meals a day and maybe take 1-2 protein drinks a day I always take 1000mg of omega 3 every day. That’s about it.

How do you manage to fit your training around work, study and family time?

PL

I generally try to make it to training straight after work, depending if I have to do over time work or not.

RC

My wife and family come to the gym so I am able to cover many management areas in my life from my business. I have a great support network around me, which I am truly grateful.

OH

The best time to train is first thing in the morning, when you are much more relaxed. I don't always train my BJJ that regularly but I do a bit of something everyday. Consistency is more important than intensity. Intensity is nice too though.

GL

Work and train is all I do I get up and go to the gym then go to work and then go to BJJ or judo  I am single so I have the time to train for now and I make the most of it.

DM

This can be hard! I think, in fact I know I’m very lucky that my girlfriend Leanne knows how much I enjoy training and competing. Quite often I can set off to work at 7.30am and not get home till 10.00pm after training, during that time she will have been to work herself, picked our daughter Ava up and put done all the parent stuff till bedtime. It helps that Leanne is a shift worker herself so quite often we manage to balance it, so long as she can get to the gym or a boot-camp class she’s happy to let me train. As for my daughter well she’s been coming to BJJ classes and competitions since she was born so it’s a way of life for her!

Do you compete in your sport(s)? Have you won any competitions?

PL

I have a little bit, just interclubs at the moment. I recently won The Labs Gi Interclub Comp. At Novice, u65kg.

RC

I have played at a good level in all the sports I have played, from rugby to judo, through to kickboxing, muay thai and recently I have started my ju-jitsu journey.

OH

In BJJ I have won a beginners No-Gi and beginners Gi tournaments, as well as two MMA fights (no headshots)

GL

I have competed in BJJ now for 4 years and I have always medal I have 3 bronze 3 silver but this is the first time I came out with gold, I might enter this weight cat again haha, not!.

DM

I try to compete as much as the shifts allow, My first ever competition was the Bristol open after just 3 months training, I travelled down with a lad from Stealth called Jake Corrigan, we were so sure we were going to medal it was unreal. Anyway he got took to hospital via ambulance after nearly breaking his arm, not tapping in an armbar, and I dislocated my shoulder taking down my first opponent. That meant an operation on my shoulder which included 4 staples in my shoulder and no training for 12 weeks (I was back in 8) and a desire to get better at this game!

After that humiliating experience medals started to come. I got silver at the British nogi in 2009 and started picking up medals at local and regional comps, I was awarded my blue belt in October 2010 and revisited the Bristol open the next year where I got gold in super heavy masters. I was lucky enough to then travel with some fellow BJJ enthusiasts from Stealth BJJ and Factory BJJ to the IBJJF Europeans in January 2012 where I got the gold medal in the super heavy masters category, after this I was awarded my purple belt by Steve Campbell.

What is the greatest thrill you have gotten out of practising your sport?

PL

The challenge, there is something about the struggle against punches, kicks and chokes that gets the adrenaline going!

RC

The biggest thrill I have had from sports has to be winning my world title on TV in Thailand in front of 100,000 crowd on the Kings Birthday celebrations in Bangkok. I thoroughly enjoy the thrill of competition and I am always on the look out for new challenges and adventures to colour the tapestry of my life.

OH

Winning the No Gi tournament in April of this year was the biggest one, because it's the first time I've ever competed in a sport and was something I'd been putting off for a long time.

GL

I suppose the greatest thrill for me is actually surviving the talents of my piers in training and performing well against team mate and opponents I see as better than me.

DM

Well that’s a hard one….. Winning the euro’s has personally been the pinnacle of this journey but I get pleasure out of a lot of different things, silly things like a new technique working in sparring or watching newer people progress, watching friends medal at competitions. Just last weekend a good friend of mine ‘Gaz Louth’ from Stealth BJJ got gold in the under 95KG category at your very own Labs comp, he walks around at 80kg to me that was honestly more of a thrill than me winning gold.  

Give us your top tips for time-management (to fit exercise around life)

PL

1. Planning ahead
2. prioritising
3. predicting accurate ETAs and allowing sufficient time to complete a chore...all of which I fail at from time to time!

RC

1. Plan/ Use a diary ( 6-P’s - Poor planning precipitates piss poor performance)
2. Drag every ounce of experience out of every second possible
3. Get your support network on board (family and friends)
4. Be strict with your time
5. Set longer-term goals as well

OH

1. Do the same exercise when you wake up in the morning every single day.
2. Once the routine is established, you don't need to think; training happen automatically
3. Identify the things in daily life that are the most important, and minimise everything else as much as possible.
4. Have goals for your training. By introducing structure you actually give more scope for creativity.
5. Plan your training a week in advance and make the basics an overwhelming majority of what you do.

GL

If you have a family or little time you need to maximize your training time. To do this you need to super set exercises or train at home and use your imagination, the world is your playground\gym!

DM

I’m probably the worst person in the world for this! It’s a running joke that I run around on Jamaican time I’m always late for everything! The only thing I seem to do well is prepare for the day ahead. No matter what time I get home each evening I pack my training bag for the next day, sort my meals out and then load it all in the car, that way there is no forgetting anything the next day, I’m slightly OCD like that.


Now let’s balance that with what you consider the top time-thieves.

PL

1. The Internet and by extension 'social networks'
2. television
3. the couch
4. people bailing on me.

RC

1. Facebook
2. TV
3. Poor relationships
4. Poor self-management/ Emotional management
5. Poor nutrition which leads to a lack of energy

OH

1. The internet!
2. Overenthusiastic planning with no action. Trying to get everything perfect never works.
3. Lack of adequate rest/sleep/nutrition
4. People who try to start meaningful conversations while training
5. Lack of enthusiasm. Find what you enjoy the most and make sure you get it.

GL

Nothing really apart from work. If I was in a relationship then that would have to take priority

DM

My daughter is my number 1 time thief! I think in general being disorganised and maybe not really wanting to train deep down are the main reasons you can end up not training. Personally if I cannot get to training for whatever reason I will try and get some training/rolling in with some friends in a local sports hall or garage, I’m quite lucky I have a few friends who are BJJ brown and Black belts who are happy to just train and roll and this helps me get the mat hours in.

Do you have any regrets?

PL

Many but if I didn't accept them I'd go insane.

RC

None. I do not have any regrets. I have learnt from my mistakes and therefore ‘mistakes become lessons’

OH

Not training more!

GL

My only regret is that I didn't have the passion for judo when I was younger when I could of been so much better, instead I was playing football competing against every kid in the world.

DM

Well I wish I’d started training BJJ 15 years ago! But regrets? Well a good friend of mine always use to say of life never have any regrets just learning points, the point being we make mistakes but don’t dwell on them just learn from them. Personally I think that’s a good motto to follow in life.

Finally, why do you train? What drives you?

PL

In the beginning I just wanted to get fit, then it was about the high I got from pushing myself, then it was seeing how my body and mind-set changed. Now I honestly don't know...there is something in me which compels me to keep struggling.

RC

Enjoyment. Live in the moment and enjoy your life with furious passion. I want to leave a legacy for my son and my family name.

OH

It helps me to relax, and helps me to express myself.

GL

My dad was the Northwest judo champion at his weight and short listed for the common wealth games, he was also a county champion boxer so I supposed I do it just to carry this legacy on and try and achieve what he did.

DM

What drives me is I want to be the best I can be at this game, yes I want a black belt one day but I want to be the best black belt I can be and to carry on developing.  What I love about BJJ is that every day you go on the mat and you prove yourself. Some days are good some days are bad, but every belt and every promotion is earned the hard way with hard work, sweat and in a lot of cases pain!

Could I just say a huge thank you to Steve Campbell Victor Scott and Colin Robinson and all my training partners whether they be at Stealth BJJ, Ground Central BJJ and Factory BJJ.


*from Birmingham

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ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters

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