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News 2015

End of Year Annual Meeting 2015

This year's End of Year Annual Meeting was held on the 19 December to celebrate another year of Jiu-Jitsu together. Most of the members showed up this special session, during which our Instructor Keith Darmanin demonstrated various techniques. After the general warm up, it was time to drill two powerful throws with their application in sport competition and self defence. Later Keith showed four different acrobatic guard passes, finishing off with two lapel guard sweep. After the technical part it was time for everyone to roll with one another.

The meeting ended with various members being awarded another stripe on their respective belt, although the highlight of the event was the promotion of another two Blue Belts. Stephan Swain and Edward Muscat were both awarded with their Blue Belts after years of hard work, effort, commitment and dedication. Well done all those present and thank you for supporting our Team.

Joseph Abela wins again in MMA

On Saturday 28th November 2015, another MMA event was organised in Malta with semi-pro and pro rules. For this competition three, members that train at our club, who also cross train in other disciplines, took part. Our Purple Belt Joseph Abela had a tough challenge against a pro-fighter from Serbia. In the first round Abela, although he took some shots, managed to grapple, neutralise and take down his opponent on several times. The second round was similar to the first one, with Joseph being able to get the takedown from the fence. take his back and apply a rear choke to end the fight.

Matthew Camilleri, who recently won Gold at the IBJJF London Open, also managed to dominate his opponent with takedowns, positioning and GnP to win the fight by points. On the other hand Daniel Xuereb, who started Jiu-Jitsu recently to compliment his striking, managed to defend various takedown attempts by his opponent to keep the fight standing and eventually won his fight by points.

Gold & Silver Medals at London Fall Open 2015

Three of our members competed at this year’s London Fall Open, which was organised by the IBJJF on the 17/18th October 2015. Zack Galea and Chris Flynn, who resides in Irland and used to train with us for the past months and competed under our flag, registered in the Adult White -76kgs. Flynn managed to pull an armbar victory in his first match but failed to win his second match. Unfortunately, Galea wasn’t able to pass his first round and was stopped on points. Stephan Swain, who competed in the Master White -70kgs category, managed to reach the final winning his semi-final on points. He ended up winning the Silver medal since all his efforts weren’t enough to change the 2-0 score.

Highlight of the day was the up and coming Matthew Camilleri, who at 19yrs of age, on his first BJJ competition abroad, managed to dominate all his opponents in the Adult White -70kgs category which was composed of 20 competitors. Apart from winning the Gold, he didn’t suffer a single point in all the four matches he had on the day. Thumbs up for Matthew!

BJJ Team Malta Seminar 2015 - Mestre R. Olegario

For the fifth consecutive year we had the pleasure to host another seminar with Mestre Rogerio Olegario, 5th Degree Black Belt. A good number of members attended this seminar, which consisted of two Gi and 1 No-Gi sessions during which Rogerio showed a variety of basic and advanced techniques. 

On Sunday, the last day of the seminar, different students were awarded with another degree on their respective belt whilst Neville Thomas was awarded his Purple Belt after 3 years as an active Blue Belt.  

1st World Combat Wrestling Competition in Bulgaria

On the 22nd August 2015, two members of our team headed to Bulgaria to take part in the 1st World Combat Wrestling competition. They reserved their place after winning their respective category in the Maltese trials. The rules for this competition are very different from the Jiu-Jitsu rules. The pointing system is different and also the use of the closed guard is prohibited. Matthew Camilleri competed in the -68 kgs were he managed to win his first match by points but was stopped in his second round. Meanwhile, Joseph Abela -82kgs, won his first match by submission and his second match by points, thus securing his spot in the final. The final was a very close match against a Bulgarian athlete, who emerged victorious 4-2 by points. Silver for Joseph Abela & Malta.

IBJJF Rome Gi/European No-Gi 2015

Neville Thomas and Keith Darmanin competed in the IBJJF Rome Gi/European No-Gi Open held in Rome on 10-12th April 2015. Neville Thomas competed in the Rome Gi Open and managed to win a Silver medal in his division after he advanced to the final. Keith Darmanin, who was competing for the first time as a Black Belt, returned home with two Bronze medals after he was eliminated on points in his semi-final matches in both Gi and No-Gi. Monica Alarcon, who is currently training with our team since October 2014, managed to grab Gold for her team - Roger Gracie Spain. 

Malta 1st MMA Competition

On Saturday 28th March 2015, the first MMA competition (Class C) was organised in Malta. For this competition 3 active members of BJJ Team Malta took part. Our Asst. Instructor Joseph Abela, who currently holds the rank of Purple Belt, made his MMA debut and had to fight against a Polish fighter who had already fought in professional MMA fights. In fact this fight was featured as the main fight of the event. After 3 rounds of non-stop action, Joseph Abela won this fight by unanimous decision. In the first round he managed to takedown his opponent and was also close to finish the fight when he secured a tight rear choke in the last few seconds of the round. Rounds two and three had the same outcome were Joseph was able to achieve several takedowns.

In the same event, Stephan Swain, who also trains MMA apart from BJJ, won by decision against another foreign fighter. He managed to land some takedowns and was also looking to finish the fight through submissions, although his opponent defended well. Another member who regularly trains Jiu-Jitsu with us, Matthew Camilleri, who also trains MMA, won by an unanimous decision. He was matched against another Maltese guy in what looked like an easy fight for Matthew were he was able to takedown his opponent several times and land a lot of body shots and knees from the ground. On the same night, Daniel Xuereb, who also trains MMA and recently began to train Jiu-Jitsu with us, managed to secure an armbar victory.

IBJJF Munich Open 2015

On Sunday 1st March, Neville Thomas competed at the Munich Open organised by the IBJJF were he had an excellent performance. He won both his weight and the absolute categories without having a single point scored against him. In his matches Neville Thomas had a very good strategy and game plan and showed excellent control over his opponents. 

Double Gold for Mr. Thomas!

IBJJF London Winter Open 2015

Two of our members competed in the London Winter Open, organised by the IBJJF on the 21st February 2015. Matthew Azzopardi competed in the Blue Belt Master division where he was unable to make it to the final and earned the Bronze medal. Meanwhile, Stephan Swain who took part in the White Belt Master category won his semi-final match on points. During the final, which was a very balanced match, he had a clear advantage not given to him. Instead the referee made a mistake of awarding the advantage to the other opponent. Despite the protests after the match, were even the referee himself admitted that he signaled with the wrong hand, the officials decided that the decision couldn't be revoked since the other competitor was declared the winner. Thus our member Stephan had to ‘accept’ the Silver medal.