For the second time this year, we had the pleasure to host Master Rogerio Olegario 5th Degree Black Belt for a three day weekend seminar. Seminar sessions kicked off on Friday 9th November and Rogerio showed us some De La Riva and X-Guard sweeps. On Saturday we had double sessions; first No-Gi followed by Gi training focusing on bottom half-guard and turtle attacks. On Sunday Rogerio covered some side control attacks and the seminar ended with lots of sparring! At the end of the seminar Rogerio awarded stripe to the following students: Matthew Azzopardi 4th stripe White, Isaac Zammit 2nd stripe Yellow, Noel Montebello 1st stripe Blue, Joseph Abela and Jozua Curmi 3rd stripe Blue. Also, Shylon Vella was promoted to Orange Belt while four adult members were promoted to Blue Belt: Joseph Vella, Elton Aquilina, David Agius and Neville Thomas. After the Blue Belts Rogerio Olegario approved that Michelle Zarb will be promoted to Purple Belt and invited Keith to change her belt. Immediately after he promoted Keith Darmanin to Brown Belt. The seminar ended with some heavy belt whipping!!!
IBJJF London Open/European Open Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi 2012
A record of 7 members from our Team went to London on the 20th and 21st of October to compete at the IBJJF London Open and European Open No-Gi 2012. This was the biggest group taking part in an international competition abroad. The group was composed of Joseph Abela, Michelle Zarb, Noel Montebello, Joe Vella, Elton Aquilina, Matthew Azzopardi and Neville Thomas, everyone competing in his respective category.
On Saturday it was the London Open tournament were our team managed to win 6 medals: 2 gold medals by Noel Montebello and Neville Thomas in the senior heavy and senior medium-heavyweight categories, 3 bronze medals by Michelle Zarb, Elton Aquilina, Matthew Azzopardi in the female light-feather, master feather and adult feather weight categories. Another bronze medal was won by Noel Montebello in the Senior Open category. Both Joe Vella and Joseph Abela had a good performance but were stopped in their preliminary rounds.
On Sunday, the first ever European No-Gi Championship was held. For this event, only Michelle Zarb took part and she managed to get second place silver in her female category losing her final match by only one advantage against her.
This was the best result in terms of medals for our Team. Well done all!
This was the best result in terms of medals for our Team. Well done all!
On Sunday 16th September 2012, our member Neville Thomas competed at the Hereford BJJ Open Championship in UK. Neville managed to win two Gold medals by winning both his weight and absolute category. He had an excellent performance in his weight category winning all of his matches by points and later on he managed to win the final of the absolute category by submission. This was an important success for both Neville Thomas and also for BJJ Team Malta.
Every Friday we are having No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu classes aimed for those who already have a good Jiu-Jitsu background and want to train Jiu-Jitsu without the Gi. These classes are ideal for those who want to compete in No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu tournaments or want to improve their Jiu-Jitsu for Mixed Martial Arts. During these training sessions No-Gi takedowns are also drilled to improve every fighter's takedown ability.
As from Tuesday 21st August 2012, we will be shifting our Tuesday and Friday advanced classes from Fgura to Pembroke. We will be training at the Malta Judo Federation's dojo which is situated at Alamein Road, Pembroke (near the Local Council, Sprachcaffe Village, STC Computer Centre & St. Michael School). This dojo, which is larger than the one we are currently training in Fgura, is equipped with proper Judo mats, has changing rooms and shower. This was possible since we are now affiliated with the Malta Judo Federation & Associated Disciplines. Therefore BJJ training at Pembroke will be held every Tuesday and Friday 7:00 - 8:30pm.
During the second week of August we had the pleasure to have with us Esther Tang, UK's 2nd female to be awarded the Black Belt from Professor Lucio 'Lagarto' Rodrigues. Esther managed to be with us for one Gi and one No-Gi session during her holiday here in Malta and showed us some very useful tips. Hope we meet again soon.
Here's a link to her blog http://esthertangbjj.blogspot.com/
Five martial artists from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team Malta have just taken part in the BJJ British Open, held over two days at the NEC Arena, Birmingham.
Joe Vella returned home with a silver medal after four fights in the White Master category. He won his first three matches by submission, which is the equivalent of a knockout in other combat sport, only losing his final match on points. Neville Thomas, who comes from a judo background, competed in the White Senior 2 category and managed a bronze medal after two tough bouts despite fighting in a higher weight category. This was the first Jiu-Jitsu competition for both Vella and Thomas, the latter having only had a few months of BJJ training.
Andreas Haaland, who hails from Norway but is studying here and training with the Maltese team, won his first fight in the White Adult class but was eliminated in the second round by points. In Adult Blue, Jozua Curmi was having a good showing in a heavier category before losing his bout on points.
Keith Darmanin, the instructor of the Maltese group, had an outstanding performance in the Purple Master category. A silver medallist at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Lisbon and the highest ranked BJJ martial artist on the islands, Darmanin secured a gold medal after three fights, eliminating his opponents who are member of more renowned Jiu-Jitsu academies such as Gracie Barra.
From L to R: Andreas Haaland, Jozua Curmi, Joe Vella, Keith Darmanin & Neville Thomas
During the last week of April'12, Brasa BJJ Black Belt Ken Van Gilbergen visited BJJ Team Malta for a week. Ken Gilbergen is a black belt under World Champion Filipe Costa and he was responsible for the growth of BJJ in Belgium.
Here is an article written by Ken Gilbergen about our Team.
During March 2012 our Team hosted another seminar with Master Rogerio Olegario 3rd Degree BJJ Black Belt. This seminar was spread over three days and nearly all the members of BJJ Team Malta took part. During every training session Master Olegario showed various techniques and finally every session ended with some heavy sparring. Master Olegario, was pleased that our Team is constantly improving and awarded various stripes to the current White Belts. Moreover he promoted two students to a higher rank. Both Andrei Spiteri and Noel Montebello, who have been constantly training with our team for more than two years, were presented with the Blue Belt by Master Olegario himself. Also, he awarded stripes to the current Blue Belts for their continuous improvement and success. Once again he was very pleased with the level of Jiu-Jitsu displayed by our team under the guidance of Keith Darmanin.
For the second year in a row two members from our team together with their instructor Keith Darmanin travelled to Lisbon, Portugal to compete in the largest Jiu-Jitsu competition in Europe. Michelle Zarb fought three matches in the Blue Belt female -53.5kgs category to achieve 3rd place Bronze. Instructor Keith Darmanin, who fought in the Purple Belt Master -70kgs, achieved 2nd place Silver submitting all of his opponents on his way to the final match. Later he also achieved 3rd place Bronze in the open weight category. Unfortunately Jozua Curmi, Adult Blue Belt -70kgs, had an injury just one week before the event so he had to drop out.
See more pictures in the photo gallery