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Coach Craven does it again.

Andrew celebrates his fight of the night performance

June 25, ICNZ 14 was a much anticipated event for GC.  Head coach Andrew Craven stepped up to pro class MMA and dropped down to lightweight to fight a dangerous opponent in Fightshop’s Adam Calver.  Andrew put on his most impressive MMA performance to date to take the match in the second round by rear naked choke.  Not only that, he was awarded the NZMMA fighter of the night.   A decision we can’t help but agree with whole heartedly.

Andrew’s preparation for this fight was intense.  Few people realise the total dedication and commitment required to truly prepare for a pro class MMA fight.   The many hours and rounds on the GC mat, the additional work Andrew did on his strength and conditioning (with thanks to World Health and Fitness Drury), the hours of honing his striking game (with thanks to Francis “Danger” Vesetolu) and of course the input of our own Neil Swailes.

As well as the focus on skills and strength and conditioning, Andrew dropped a weight class for this fight.  Cutting weight is an art, get it wrong and you can miss weight or deplete yourself too much before the fight.  Andrew’s focus and discipline saw him manage this process perfectly, comfortably making the much lighter weight (69.5 kgs) and coming in to the fight strong.

The hard work on all counts was more than evident on the night.  Traditionally a fighter that’s been most feared for his ground game, Andrew dropped his opponent with a right hand in the first round.  He then demonstrated just how well rounded he’s become with seemingly effotless takedowns off the fence, strong ground control and striking and solid defense.   To top it off he finished according to his game plan with the rear naked choke.

We congratulate Andrew on not just the result, but the discipline and focus that delivered it.  If anyone is looking for a poster boy for the concept of “train hard, fight easy”, we have just the man.

Good Showing at BJJ nationals

Saturday June 25 was a huge day for GroundControl.  It started with the BJJ nationals run by Douglas Santos and Paulo Sorisso.  Due to some event clashes we had a small bit perfectly formed team this time round from GC auckland, including Jono McFarlane, Travis Singh, Matthew Tusa and Andrew Davis.  Andrew, Matthew and Andrew all acquitted themselves very well against tough opponents.  We saw some great skills from these three, one of whom lost by an advantage to break a nil nil score, and another of whom came very close to winning points at the last minute.  Meanwhile Jono made good use of his attributes to move through the heavyweight division and take gold!  Congratualtions to Jono who is still at the start of his BJJ career – we are excited to see what you’re capable of with even more technique behind that brawn!

It was great as well to see our good friend Karl Norton Sensei from Maai Hyoshi dojos enter his first BJJ tournament.  Karl performed very well against an opponent with much more competition experience and we can’t wait to see him at future comps.  Also fantastic to see Serina Cole from our sister Machado club on the north shore (Submission Martial Arts) take another gold medal to add to her growing pile.

Travis with his opponent after the match.

Thoroughly impressive on the day were the Hamilton grapplers.  Our old friend Carlo moved through some stiff competition to take gold and the white belts racked up a third and second place as well.  And special mention must be made of GC Hamilton BJJ and MMA coach Travis Browne.  Travis looked to be down and out in his purple belt match as the clock wound down to a minute to go with Travis at a significant points disadvantage.   Giving up is a concept that somebody forgot to explain to Travis and as the clock ticked down he pulled off a spectacular last minute reversal to go immediately on attack and finish with a text book far side armbar!  The crowd goes wild!

Next stop, the Will-Machado Gathering in Melbourne in September.  Look forward to seeing folks there.

John Will brings more toys

The weekend of June 18 saw John Will back in auckland.  Many of the senior students describe John’s visits as christmas because of all of the cool new toys he brings.  If by toys you mean solid strategies to become more effective in MMA, BJJ and many other areas of your life.  And as always it was great to see some relatively new students get on the mat with John for the first time.  There’s no better way to start your training career on the right track.

This time round in MMA we covered the takedown system that Rigan Machado employed to win wrestling championships with little specific wrestling training.  As well as building on a previous session in terms of using the superman punch.

Then we hit the BJJ mat for a fantastic session focusing on some game changing escapes from underneath, followed by some very potent choke attacks.  If you weren’t there you will no doubt be noticing some of these techniques show up in your rolling with those that were.  As always John gave even more bang for buck by pointing out concepts that are not limited to the jiu jitsu match (improve by 5% and notice! the gains  you’re making).

For those of us who are BJJ groupies and followed John to other seminars where was additional gold on areas such as defence (or attack) from underneath turtle, head and arm chokes (anaconda, darce, guillotine), and new concepts to consider with guard.   All in all another invaluable weekend.  These sessions are always thought provoking, and spur us into the next period of highly motivated training as we look to change what we’re doing on and off the mat to incorporate our new toys.  We eagerly anticipate Johns return on November 26, talk to a coach if you have any questions about attending.

2 Coach Craven wins the World Trials

Will Machado Sweep the division.

Congratulations to Head Coach Andrew Craven for taking out the puple belt over 74kg division at the world trials in Auckland on November 13.  This was the heaviest purple belt division and Andrew had to overcome opponents who were heavier than hims as well as being skilled purple belts.  Some very close matches saw Andrew take the gold -once again cementing his reputation as one of NZ’s top BJJ competitors. 

Was also great to see Will Machado filling the podium for this division with GSW taking second and our good friend Warren Lambert from Submission Martial Arts taking third.

Andrew will be off to Abu Dhabi for the World Championships next year.  We look forward to helping him prepare.

Richie Cooper does us proud at King of the Door

Congratulations to RICHIE BOOM BOOM COOPER for getting through the first round of King of the Door last night with a dominant first TKO via GnP. Richie went onto the quarter finals to face a much heavier Felise “Fob Father” Leniu who beat Richie via GnP and went on to take out King of the Door 2010. Richie Boom Boom Cooper is the GroundControl Champ, awesome effort Richie you trained hard and we’re damn proud of you!!!!

Travis Moors takes GCMMA to Australia

Travis faces off against Shane Wescombe at the weigh in

On Friday November 5 Travis Moors represented GroundControl in our first international MMA match.  The fixture was the Fury event run by Advance Martial arts in Queensland.  Billed as an Australia vs. New Zealand event several NZ fighters made the trip across the Tasman – many of them like Travis with relatively few fights under their belts.  Travis was always going to be in a tough match, up against a much more experienced grappler.  He fought a great fight – his heavy hands forcing his opponent to go for the takedown time and again.  Travis did a fantastic job of regaining his feet and defending a couple of very dangerous guillotine attempts with some sick guard passing.  The third round saw Travis land some nice combos and damaging looking knees.  At the end of three rounds the judges could not separate the two fighters and announced the match a draw.

This fight was a big step up for Travis against quality opposition and we’re stoked with the result.  He showed the heart and composure we all knew he would and the GroundControl team are very proud of him.  Travis’ draw continues GC’s unbeaten run.

Lets make sure we get a good contingent to cheer on Richie Cooper at King of the Door on November 13!

4 John Will back in November

Remember, John Will is back at  GC Auckland  on November 20th running his world class seminars in  both BJJ and MMA.  John’s MMA seminars are unique to GC in Auckland and not to be missed.  In particular John shares leading edge thinking on how the various combat ranges can be more seamlessly stitched together.

John is internationally regarded as  one of the best coaches of BJJ and is highly sought after around the world   Anyone that’s been to one of his BJJ seminars knows it’s not to be missed!  Invaluable information on specific techniques as well as training and mindset tips to really accelerate your progress.

Check the forum or talk to your coach for more details or contact us here

1 GroundControl go 7 for 7

On Satruday October 23, three of our members fought in the Art of War promotion held at the Auckland Boxing Association.  This was a mix of MMA and boxing events and a great opportunity for some of the boys to show the results of the hard work they’ve been putting into training.

Shayne Young once again showed his mettle to take out a hard earned points decision in his boxing match.

Evander Agnew impressed with his composure in his first MMA outing to win with a tight armbar from guard in the third round.  These were two impressive results, particularly given Shayne and Evander’s young age.  Expect big things from these boys in the future.

Just as impressive was Luwayne Lowe’s MMA debut.  Luwayne also showed great composure and the ability to remember under pressure what he’d drilled only that week to defend a dangerous guillotine attempt in the first round.  He came back to dominate the second and third on the ground, almost sinking the choke and winning a unanimous points decision – to the joy of his huge support base.

It was an outstanding night which along with our success at the last ICNZ puts GCMMA into a 7 from 7 winning streak.  All eyes now turn to Travis’ fight in Australia this weekend and Richie’s preparation for both King of the Door and Supremacy.

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