On Progression: “Have You Got Game From There?”

Last night, I got my blue belt. I’m still pretty blown away by it, and can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting it at all. Perhaps because, as someone who came into jiu jitsu from a Muay Thai background, the concept of belts and gradings still seems a bit foreign to me.

I have been putting a lot of work into my grappling, particularly since losing my last MMA fight. I felt so disappointed and humiliated by that loss that it lit a fire under me and made me determined not just to be a “striker” who had some take-down and submission defense, but a legitimate MMA fighter, with real jiu jitsu and wrestling skills. I don’t want to have to be afraid of being anywhere in the cage. When posed with the quintessential question “Have you got game from there?” I want always to be able to answer “yes.”



On Performance Issues

Photo courtesy of my team-mate Dan Dwyer. Follow him on Instagram @dandwyerbjj
Photo courtesy of my team-mate Dan Dwyer. Follow him on Instagram @dandwyerbjj

Yesterday I competed in the Synergy Typhoon Haiyan NoGi Competition. For those of you who don’t know, it was a no-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition organised by Synergy Fight Shop to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. It wasn’t a prestigious comp – no medals, no prize-money, no chance to qualify for anything – but it was a great chance for everyone in Adelaide to test their skills and help some less fortunate people by doing something we all love.

For me, the comp had some personal significance as well, and I thought I’d share it because it involves an aspect of performance that not many people seem to want to talk about. I have to swallow my pride a little bit to discuss this openly, but here goes…


“How Committed Are You?”

“How committed are you?”

I was asked this question today by a prospective client (who went on to demonstrate his commitment by putting his name down for weekly sessions.)

Usually, I’m the one asking that question. (“How committed are you to this? How much do you want it? What changes are you willing to make? How much time can you give me?”) The people who know me don’t even need to ask the question. My commitment is evident in all my action, in my own goals, in my sessions, in my own training, in my kitchen, in the way I structure my time. But a new client doesn’t know me from Eve. All he has to go on are some less-than-satisfactory experiences with some less-than-professional trainers.

This particular client went on the explain his question by telling me about other PT’s he had met or heard of who would turn up to sessions late or hungover, or cancel at the last moment. Wow! Some people really don’t deserve their qualifications!

It got me thinking though. There are people who bring personal training and the fitness industry as a whole into disrepute. They fall for the hype of training organisations who market a career in fitness as being a chance to be paid $60 per hour to keep fit and have fun. These trainers usually lack the discipline, entrepreneurial mindset, athletic lifestyle and technical skill to be good role models or trainers. Being a personal trainer is not just about showing up and telling clients what to do. It’s about being practising what you preach, being a walking endorsement for what you do.

To add to this problem, there are some people who think that you don’t need a qualification at all. While there are some brilliant coaches out there without formal personal training qualifications, the system of qualification and accreditation is there for a reason. It helps to foster growth in the industry, to encourage continuing education amongst trainers, and it sets standards regarding scope of practice and duty of care. Ultimately, it promotes professionalism in the industry and ensures the safety of clients. It pays to check that your trainer is both qualified and registered to work as a personal trainer.

Anyway, for all the people who don’t know me, here’s a little information about myself, which should help you to ascertain whether or not I’ll be a committed trainer to you.