Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Malta

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NEWS 2010

BJJ Rome Training 8 till 14 February 2010

During the week from the 8 till 14 February 2010, Keith Darmanin went to Rome, Italy for a full week of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. There he was training with the Rogerio Olegario Team under the direct supervision of Rogerio himself. Rogerio Olegario is a 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Master Osvaldo Alves 8th Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

During the first part of each session Rogerio showed various BJJ techniques including submissions (arm locks, shoulder locks, chokes), sweeps and guard passes. Keith had the opportunity to try these moves while being watched carefully by Mestre Rogerio to emphasis the detail of every technique. Then the next 45 minutes of every session continued with 6 - 7 minute rounds of sparring (rolling). Here Keith found himself always trying various moves on taller and heavier training partners. Rogerio complimeted Keith with every successful move that he managed to perform.

At the end of this week of intensive BJJ training, Mestre Rogerio Olegario presented the Blue Belt to Keith Darmanin. Thus Keith became the first ever Maltese to hold a rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is now the official representative in Malta of the Rogerio Olegario Jiu-Jitsu Team.

Roma Jiu-Jitsu Challenge 2010 & Rome Training

On the 30th May 2010, our instructor Keith Darmanin headed to Rome all alone to take part in the Roma Jiu-Jitsu Challenge 2010. This was the first time for him competing as a Blue Belt in BJJ after only 3 months since he got his Blue Belt from the hands of Master Rogerio Olegario. For his first match he came against Valerio Mori Ubaldini, the current European Juvenile BJJ Champion. During this match Keith managed to score a takedown plus took the rear mount, from there he continued to attack to try to finish the fight with a Gi choke from the bottom rear mount, and eventually ended winning the game for 6-0.

His next match was against Roberto Cardu, who won the last two BJJ competitions in Italy. Cardu went immediately down for the guard and from there the game proceeded with Keith trying to pass while Cardu tried to sweep or finish with a submission. After a lot of action Cardu managed to finish the fight and continued on his way to win the category.

After nearly 6 hours, waiting for all the games and categories to finish, the registration for the absolute category were open and Keith registered himself. Again, he had a tough pool since he came across a strong Di Martino who was weighing more than 80kgs which is +12kgs advantage over Keith who was weighing 68kgs. He managed to get a takedown and tried to pass Keith’s guard but Keith immediately went into half guard. From there Keith tried to sweep or regain guard while Di Martino tried to maintain his position while trying to pass. After a long period in the half guard Di Martino, utilising his strength, weight and technical knowledge managed to pass, mounted and finished the fight. He immediately complimented Keith’s ability for the match. One has to point out that this opponent continued on his way to win the Absolute Category and was awarded his Purple Belt on the podium after about 5 years as a BJJ Blue Belt. He also fights in MMA competitions in Italy.

On Monday Keith went for a good training session with Rogerio Olegario and his group at Portuense, Rome. After some technical explanation from Master Olegario about the half-guard it was time for some ‘heavy’ BJJ sparring.

Again, this was another positive experience for our instructor and our club. Now it’s time to train and work even harder so that next time we will try to go abroad to compete as a team, supporting and helping each other. Special thanks goes to all the members of BJJ Malta for their support especially Andrei, Joseph, Jozua, Tyrone, Daniel, Noel and Mate’ who attended those extra sessions in preparation for this event.

Master Rogerio Olegario Jiu-Jitsu Seminar - September 2010

For the first time ever, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt conducted a seminar here in Malta, which was organised by Keith Darmanin, who is the local instructor of BJJ. Master Rogerio Olegario, who is a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Professor Osvaldo Alves 9th Degree Red & Black Belt, was in Malta to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a whole week. Training sessions were divided between Gi and No-Gi sessions and all classes attracted a considerable number of students. All students from BJJ Malta participated in this seminar along with other martial artists who expressed their interest in learning some BJJ moves.

During the various sessions that we had, Mestre Rogerio showed us different BJJ techniques, both basic and advanced moves: sweeps, guard passes, submissions, counter attacks, etc. Every move was linked with one another and everything was explained in great detail. On Saturday at the end of the seminar, Rogerio and Keith rolled with all the students for more than 45 minutes of non-stop rolling, 3 minute with each participant. Then Mestre Rogerio awarded some stripes on the belts of certain students that stood out from the group. These are Joseph Abela, Andrei Spiteri, Jozua Curmi, Tyrone Camilleri and Michelle Zarb. Mestre Rogerio was very happy with the progress the Maltese BJJ Team is doing and also congratulated Keith for the excellent job he is doing in teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu here in Malta.

Once again congratulations to you all and thanks to all those who participated in this seminar. A special thanks go to those students and instructors who, although coming from different martial arts background, stepped on the mats with us. Hope we will be able to host another seminar with Rogerio Olegario in the near future.

Milano Jiu-Jitsu Challenge 2010

On Saturday 27th November 2010, 5 athletes from BJJ Malta together with BJJ Malta's Head Instructor Keith Darmanin took part in the Milano Jiu-Jitsu Challenge 2010. This is the largest BJJ event in Italy and for this year's edition there were over 300 athletes that registered to compete, with athletes from Italy, UK, Spain, Greece, and other European countries.

The Maltese Team was composed of: Jozua Curmi White Belt -64kgs, Tyrone Camilleri White Belt -70kgs, Charlo Spiteri White Belt -76kgs, Joseph Abela White Belt -82.5kgs, Michelle Zarb Female White Belt -53.5kgs & Keith Darmanin Blue Belt -64kgs. This was the first time that 6 Maltese athletes travelled together as a group to compete in a BJJ competition abroad. For all the BJJ Maltese group the Milano Challenge was a very positive experience with excellent results. Jozua Curmi managed to place 3rd in the White Belts -64kgs from amongst 30 competitors. He managed to win 2 games and lost his 3rd match, which was a very balanced and exciting game, by points.

Tyrone Camilleri and Joseph Abela, who played in the White Belts -70kgs and -82.5kgs respectively, both won their first 2 games and unfortunately were stopped in their third match. Thus they both ended amongst the first 10 athletes from over 40 participants in both categories. Meanwhile, Charlo Spiteri, who trains with the Bushido Academy but also trains BJJ under the guidance of Keith Darmanin, won his 1st match in the White Belt -76kgs category. Later he was stopped in his second match. Michelle Zarb, who is the first female BJJ practitioner and competitor managed to gain 1st place in a category which was above her weight. Michelle registered to compete in the Female White Belt -53.5kgs category but unfortunately no one registered in this weight category. Therefore she had to fight in the -58.5kgs category giving a +5kgs weight advantage to her adversaries. Michelle, managed to dominate and win her final fight scoring an impressive 16 - 0 point advantage over her opponent. Thus Michelle, apart from being the first Maltese female BJJ practitioner and the first female BJJ competitor became also the first Maltese female to win a BJJ competition abroad.

Finally, Keith Darmanin, who was responsible of the whole group in their preparations for this competition, competed in the -64kgs Blue Belt category. In the final match Keith had to face one of the toughest BJJ athletes in this weight category who is also a member of one of the best Italian BJJ clubs, ie. Tribe Jiu-Jitsu Roma led by the 1st Italian BJJ Black Belt. The final match was a very tough and balanced match, with Keith scoring 2 points early in the match and thus ended up winning this game and achieving 1st place in the Milano Jiu-Jitsu Challenge 2010. For Keith this was a very much anticipated moment since he had been dieting and training for this event for more than 10 weeks. He was also complimented on how he managed to build such a good team, considering that locally BJJ is still a new growing sport.