On Saturday 17th December 2011 we held our BJJ Annual Meeting to end the year 2011
A one-day martial arts festival – the Bujutsu Taikai – was hosted recently by the Hibernians Budokwai Judo Club. The aim was to introduce newcomers to martial arts. The disciplines featured this year were Judo, Aikijitsu, Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The event was conducted by veteran Sensei Joseph Caruana, a 6th Dan judo black belt and a respected figure in the local martial arts scene. At the venerable age of 76, Sensei Caruana is still active promoting martial arts as a way of life.
The opening session was reserved to judo demonstrations where Hibernians Budokwai Judo Club sensei Joseph Castillo explained the various techniques, particularly throws.
Renshi Martin Camilleri, the founder of Takeda Dojo, supervised the second session. He focused mainly on wrist-locks and their application to restrain aggressors. He also showed various effective aikijitsu techniques which could be applied in different situations.
After lunch, instructor Lawrence Attard and his young team from the Qawra Wrestling Club showed what a competitive bout really consists of. They ended their session with a demonstration on different transitions, from standing to ground techniques.
Keith Darmanin is credited with the introduction of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Malta. He founded his club almost two years ago and his students have already achieved prestigious results in overseas competitions. Darmanin talked about groundwork technique submissions as his elaborate examples provided all participants with an insight into jiu-jitsu moves.
A certificate of attendance and mementoes were presented to all participants. The Bujutsu Taikai was sponsored by Nestle Malta.
Once again our Team invited Master Rogerio Olegario, who is a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Professor Osvaldo Alves 9th Degree Red Belt for the second time, to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a week here in
The sessions where divided into gi and no-gi session and thus covered a vast variety of techniques whereby the student was challenged to adopt specific techniques in differing situations. The techniques displayed by Master Rogerio Olegario covered a wide spectrum of both simple, yet efficient moves, to accommodate those new to the sport and also advanced techniques for those with more experience. At the end of each session, all students are awarded the opportunity to ‘spar’ with one another in order to enable them to put into practice that which they have learnt throughout the session against a resisting opponent.
During this seminar Master Rogerio Olegario promoted the Blue Belt to a number of BJJT’s top students. These are Joseph Abela, Jozua Curmi, Tyrone Camilleri and Michelle Zarb. These students are the first students of BJJT Malta to ever achieve this grade. Also, this promotion makes Zarb, who is the current European Champion, the first Maltese female to be awarded the Blue Belt in
Master Rogerio Olegario further proceeded to promote Keith Darmanin with the Purple Belt, as a recognition for his impressive achievements in this sport, not only as a competitor himself, but also as the Head Instructor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team - Malta and for his ongoing commitment to his students, leading them to bring home a number of medals in numerous international competitions including the European Jiu-Jitsu Championships and the Abu Dhabi World Trials. This promotion to the Purple belt division provides Darmanin with the honour of being the first Maltese to ever wear this belt and is the highest ranking practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu here in
Two Maltese athletes from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team, Malta took part in the Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu-Jitsu Trials held in London, a relatively new and fast growing event, organised by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Hundreds of athletes from around Europe gathered at this event to compete against one another with the hope of snagging a first place and ticket to the Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Abu Dhabi this April.
The Maltese team was composed of Jozua Curmi, competing in the adult male, 68kg white belt class and Michelle Zarb, competing in the adult female, 63kg white/blue belt class.
Curmi dominated his category with an impressive two wins, thereby securing himself third place in his category. In his opening match Curmi defeated his opponent with ease causing him to submit by means of an armbar. In his second match Curmi used excellent control and positional technique scoring a significant number of points against his opponent before being declared third in his category. On the other hand Zarb, who recently won the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Lisbon, lost her first match against a Norwegian opponent who outweighed her by nearly 10kgs.
Well Done !
For the first time ever, four Maltese athletes of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu took part in the European Jiu-Jitsu International Open in
The Maltese team was composed of Tyrone Camilleri, Jozua Curmi, Michelle Zarb and their Instructor Keith Darmanin. Both Tyrone Camilleri and Jozua Curmi competed in the Adult Male -70kg White Belt Category which had a total of 53 competitors. Camilleri managed to win his first match by a perfectly executed arm lock, thus securing his place for the second round. Unfortunately he lost his second match by points. Curmi, who normally competes in the -64kg, had a good performance but lost his first match on points.
Michelle Zarb, who took part in the Adult Female -53.5kg White Belt category had an excellent performance. For her first match she faced a Brazilian athlete from Gracie Humaita of the legendary Royler Gracie. Zarb managed to score several points and finally ended this match by making her opponent surrender by applying a tight choke from the back. For her second match she came across a French athlete. Again Zarb managed to secure points early in the match thereby winning her semi-final match. For the final match she faced a very tough Polish athlete. Again the Maltese athlete managed to score points early in the match whilst defending well against all the attempts made by the other athlete. After 6 minutes of non stop action, Zarb had her arm raised and declared European Champion for her category. Thus she became the first ever Maltese athlete to win a competition organised by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), the largest BJJ federation in the world.
Meanwhile, BJJ Malta Instructor Keith Darmanin competed in the Master -70kg Blue Belt category where he had to face an American competitor coached by Andre’ Negao, one of the top BJJ Brazilian coaches. The match was quite balanced with the American player scoring minimal points in the middle of the match. Darmanin attacked with a wonderful combination of techniques but the other player defended well and won the match by minimum points.
This high level competition confirmed that, although this sport is relatively new to our country, the technical level continues to grow stronger. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to our country by Keith Darmanin at the beginning of last year after he became the first ever Maltese to be awarded his Blue Belt by Rogerio Olegario, head coach of League Jiu-Jitsu Italy.