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CSA kids step up to World stage
July 22, 2018
Combat Sports Academy’s junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team travelled to Wolverhampton on Saturday to compete in the Junior World BJJ Championship, taking on the toughest test of their skills to date against a deep field of the best and brightest competitors from around the globe.
With a total of seven CSA students taking to the mats, hopes were high for podium places and medals but tempered somewhat by the recognition of the true challenge presented by the high calibre of entrants the team would be tussling with.
Oliver Thackray, 10, faced an intimidating opponent in his first round match-up and had a hard battle to break through the boy’s defences. With the fight on the ground for the duration, opportunities for a submission finish for either competitor were few and far between but, as the bout approached time-limit, Thackray was caught in a chokehold and forced to submit and was eliminated from the tournament.
Joe Cole, also 10, had a similarly tough encounter in his first round match, with a furious spell of grappling dominating the encounter. Trading points-scoring opportunities with each other, with Cole passing guard and taking mount whilst his opponent took back control twice, the exhausting battle was decided in the dying seconds of match time when the other boy once again took Cole’s back to tally a further 4 points, settling the score at 12 – 7 to eliminate Joe.
Lennon George, 13, took to the mats with confidence for his group’s first round, tackling his opponent looking for a throw before both fighters took to ground. Grappling with the other boy in his half-guard, Lennon was caught and submitted by an elbow-popping americana arm-lock and eliminated.
Elliott Cole, aged 9, had a little more success in his category, submitting his first opponent by kimura arm-lock following a spell of frantic grappling for positional control. Onto his second fight and Cole was able to quickly capture his foe in closed guard to control the fight in his customary style to hunt for and apply another kimura arm-lock for the submission victory. Round 3 next and Elliott attacked with a pull to guard but failed to execute the play. Taking the fight back to stand-up, Cole and his opponent tussled for a throw, with Elliott being tripped and taken to the floor to give away two points to the other boy for the takedown. Immediately closing guard around the boy, Elliott attacked for submissions and sweeps but found his offense ably defended. The fight went to time-limit and with the score at 2-0 in favour of his opponent, Elliott was eliminated.
Eight-year-old Lilly Antley scored the club’s first podium of the day, fighting through a group of five evenly-matched girls to take silver. Going to ground with her opponent in her first match, Lilly fought to pass guard and take a controlling position but was unable to make any moves stick and the fight ended a pointless draw with the win awarded to Antley’s opponent by referee decision. Stung by her first round result, Antley unleashed a more determined attack on her second opponent, grappling on the ground and scoring points but ultimately ending the contest with a firm cross-collar choke to submit the other girl. Advancing to the group final, Antley again committed herself to a full-blooded attack but was met by solid resistance and was unable to score. Her opponent, whilst strong in her defence, was unable to launch any counter-attacks and the bout ended a pointless draw with the referee decision once again going against Antley. Disappointed to not be climbing to the top step of the podium, Lilly was proud to have earned a silver medal.
Aman Kumar, 15, and Cameron Hibbert, 14, both long-time CSA students and veterans of the club’s original junior BJJ squad, were on the mats fighting in the teen green and orange belt combined divisions.
Kumar faced a tough group of experienced teenagers, squaring up to an old adversary in his first round match. With their encounters at previous tournaments sitting at 2-1 in Kumar’s favour, perhaps the other boy considered this a grudge match and was looking for something to prove, but either way he attacked hard and fast, putting Kumar on the defensive. Keeping a cool head, the battle-proven Aman quickly deployed solid jiu jitsu to parry his opponent before launching a counter-attack. With the fight reaching a relative stalemate quite quickly, Kumar’s opponent suddenly launched a strong attack to capture Aman in a dangerous spot with his arm exposed. Unable to defend and reposition quickly enough, his arm was soon extended to force the submission by armbar, eliminating Kumar from the contest but, by virtue of other results in the category, earning him a consolation bronze for his efforts.
Hibbert stepped forward to face his round 1 bout and a typically explosive display of jiu jitsu was on offer, with Hibbert neutralising his opponent’s attacks and controlling him in guard before quickly catching the boy in a triangle choke hold whilst also applying a savage armbar to earn the submission victory. Onto round 2 and a more tactical battle was in the offing, with technical and positional work dominating proceedings. Points were scored by Hibbert for a guard pass and, as the match time-limit expired, this settled the matter and allowed Cameron to progress. With high stakes at hand in the group final, Hibbert engaged in a dizzying battle of wits with his opponent, each deploying some pristine jiu jitsu to foil each other’s attacks. Ultimately, the strong and talented opponent was able to catch Hibbert in a difficult position and, seizing control of Cameron’s arm, applied a powerful armbar to end the contest by submission to relegate Hibbert to silver placement.
Combat Sports Academy owner and head trainer, Lee Johnstone, said "We didn’t get all the results we wanted to, but it’s good to see our whole team fighting with heart and passion. The World Championships is a major challenge for any competitor, with entrants travelling from as far away as Australia and South America it really is a huge achievement to podium here. Our young team has worked hard all through the year to get themselves in fighting shape and, whilst some came home with medals and others didn’t, they are all on a journey and are all improving week on week."
Sam Diplock, CSA lead kids instructor said "I’m very proud of how our juniors performed, to see them put into practice their training is incredibly satisfying, with a few medals coming home a big bonus."
"Our junior team is growing in strength and skill", Lee Johnstone continued. "The kids will all be back in the gym next week to work on their jiu jitsu and get themselves ready for the next competiton. It’s inspiring to see these youngsters work so hard to achieve all that they do."
The CSA junior BJJ team will be back on the road at upcoming tournaments in Colchester, Newquay, Wolverhampton, Gillingham, and Bournemouth through August and September.
Kids classes see two new assistants!
June 24, 2018
We are pleased to announce that two of our most experienced junior members, Aman Kumar and Gabby Hall will be helping assist in our kids classes!
Both Gabby and Aman have been training with us for almost seven years and are products of our Big Dogz Competition Team, having competed nationally and internationally, winning English, British, European and NAGA titles along the way.
Gabby and Aman will assist our main coaches during the lessons and lend a watchful eye over our students, offering technical advice and encouragement.
Medals for all as kids storm Bournemouth!
June 10, 2018
Combat Sports Academy is once again celebrating competition success for our junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team, sending eight kids to fight at the Bournemouth BJJ Open, all of whom returned with a medal!
Izzy Haviland, aged 10, fought through a tough group of girls, losing to her first opponent on points but beating her second by submission via kimura arm-lock, and came away with a silver medal. Archie Haviland, aged 5, went to time-limit twice, winning his first fight convincingly with a deft showing but narrowly losing his second, earning silver. Gracie Haviland, 7 years old, fought valiantly in a group of accomplished fighters but lost both her fights by a slim margin of points, earning a consolation bronze medal.
Oliver Thackray, aged 10, made his competition debut and did so in style, dominating his first opponent before taking the submission victory. In his second fight, Oliver faced one of the recognised best boys in the country but was able to give him a run for his money, blocking his attacks with relative ease before succumbing to a polished armbar submission to leave with a bronze medal. Oliver Connor, aged 10, was fighting in the same division and was able to win his first fight by a large points margin following dominant technical jiu jitsu work, before losing his second bout by armbar submission to the same boy as had his teammate to place joint bronze.
8 year old Lilly Antley was matched against a single girl in her category and set about her in aggressive fashion. Happily going to ground with her opponent, Lilly used her physical power and grappling skill to overwhelm and attack for gi collar chokes, leading to a brutal clash as the other girl furiously defended her neck. Switching to attack her opponent's arm in search of a kimura arm-lock, Lilly scored points for a guard pass before resuming her hunt for a collar choke, taking the fight to time-limit and the championship gold for Lilly on points.
Elliott Cole, aged 9, fast becoming a competition veteran with multiple podiums already to his name in 2018, faced a tough group of boys but was able to attack and quickly subdue his first opponent, earning victory by kimura arm-lock, before tackling a formidable and respected opponent in the group final. Going to time-limit, Elliott took gold by a points score of 5 to 3, having scored a take down and guard pass in a hugely entertaining and frenetic match, and came home a deserved champion.
Maisie Connor, aged 8, squared up to a large group of girls in the grey belt division but through a dazzling display of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was able to walk away the victor. A natural grappler, Maisie was able to defend her first opponent's attempts to pull her to ground before overwhelming her with physical pressure and forcing a submission. Maisie's second fight went a similar way, powering through her opponent's defence and scoring submission by neck crack. Onto the final, and Maisie once again countered her opponent's attempts to pull her into guard position, escaping and then racking up a large points score via throws and positional work before finally earning a submission via shoulder pressure to be crowned division champion and go home with gold.
Combat Sports Academy owner and head trainer, Lee Johnstone, said "Our juniors work hard in all of their classes, and training for competitions really forces them to focus. The results from Bournemouth speak for themselves, our team is developing into a highly skilled group with many of our juniors already winning championships on a regular basis."
Sam Diplock, lead CSA kids instructor, said "Seeing the team bring home such a haul of medals is just fantastic, they work so hard in class and they all push each other to try harder and be better."
"I'm very proud to see our junior team do so well", Lee Johnstone continued. "Combat Sports Academy has produced many champion fighters over the years and it looks like the next generation is well on their way."
The CSA juniors are heading to the World Championships in July, but have several smaller competitions scheduled in beforehand to keep them match fit so will be back in the gym immediately to continue developing their game and prepare for the next battle.
Written by Stephen Cole - www.jitsphoto.co.uk
CSA Kids Programme goes from strength to strength!
June 04, 2018
Combat Sports Academy has long since had a well respected kids programme, offering Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA since 2009. Having been well represented in BJJ across the country, with many former junior members joining our adult ranks and going on to compete in MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing and BJJ, it's easy to say that we've been at the forefront of childrens martial arts in Medway for some years now!
With an ever-increasling busy schedule and more and more children choosing to train and compete with us, we are looking to constantly improve and build our programmes to new heights. From September our children's classes will have assistant coaches helping our main coaches in all classes, which we feel will help add more technical input and make all classes safer, with more eyes to watch over our young students.
We will also look to add award ceremonies for Muay Thai and MMA, on top of our regular BJJ gradings, to help offer our little ninjas goals and and standards to strive for and to encourage and reward discipline, hard work and team unity. Stay tuned for updates on our Muay Thai/MMA awards ceremonies, which we will look to bring into effect very soon!
Saturday parking at Combat Sports Academy
June 04, 2018
Our Saturday schedule continues to be one of our most popular days, with a whole host of classes including Muay Thai, kids MMA, BJJ and more! Due to this, our parking is quite limited, as is our business neighbours, Johnstones and Halfords. We, therefore, ask that all CSA members please respect each company's space and try as best as possible to use our allocated parking spaces. Due to the busy nature of Saturdays we suggest that members, or parents of members, find somewhere local in Strood to park, or walk to the gym if very close, to ease the situation.
Havilands take the fight to Wales
May 28, 2018
Combat Sports Academy is celebrating the tournament success of three of our junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students at this weekend's Welsh Kids BJJ League in Cardiff. Siblings Izzy, Gracie, and Archie Haviland, of Rochester, made the journey to Wales with their eyes on the prize of competition silverware, and all three returned with medals.
Up first on the mats was Archie, aged 5 years, facing a tough opponent in a bout lost narrowly on points to the eventual category winner. Archie bounced back to claim victory and bronze placement with a slick performance to overwhelm his second opponent and score a submission victory by rear naked choke.
Gracie, 7 years old, was the next CSA student to fight, in a best-of-three contest against a single opponent in her category. Unleashing a huge judo-style throw at the start of her bout, Gracie was able to dominate her opponent on the ground with technical positional grappling, racking up a large points score in the process, before forcing a submission via kimura arm-lock. The second fight played out in almost exactly the same manner, earning Gracie a gold medal.
Finally, 10 year old Izzy took to the mats, winning her first fight with a textbook display of controlling her opponent in guard position before finishing the match by kimura arm-lock. Izzy's group final was a back and forth affair, with both girls trading attack and defence, but after an excellent start Izzy was submitted by cross-collar choke to walk away with a well-deserved silver medal.
Combat Sports Academy owner and head trainer, Lee Johnstone, said "The Haviland kids are amongst our hardest working students, with Izzy, Gracie, and Archie training hard at the gym several times a week. It's great to see them on the podium and that their effort is paying off."
Sam Diplock, lead CSA kids instructor, said "It's a pleasure to teach these three young warriors, they all come to class to work hard and improve in their jiu jitsu. We're very proud of the success they've earned at this competition."
"Our juniors are going from strength to strength", Lee Johnstone continued. "They're putting Medway on the map for children's combat sports and it's very exciting to see the next generation of fighters come into their own."
With major tournaments looming, the Haviland siblings will be heading back in to CSA to resume their training and preparations immediately, but for now are enjoying the spoils of their success.
Monday 28th May - Bank Holiday
May 27, 2018
Monday 28th May brings us another Bank Holiday and a revised schedule for the day. Classes will not be running this day but we are offering an open mat from 9am - 11am. Perfect to get your training done early with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day.
All members are welcome and free to train whatever they please, from padwork and drilling to nogi and gi sparring. Our last Bank Holiday Open Mat saw approximately 30-40 people on the mats, so you'll have plenty of options! See you on the mats!
New Combat Sports Academy BJJ Black Belt!
May 21, 2018
Fresh off his brown belt gold medal at the British Open last weekend, longtime CSA member Dave Chapman was presented with his black belt by Lee Johnstone this week. Having trained with Lee since our days in Strood sports hall, Dave has represented our team in MMA and BJJ, having won numerous titles and belts including Adrenaline FC's amateur Light Heavyweight belt and multiple national BJJ gold medals across all belt levels.
After his promotion Dave was put through the customary Shark Tank, where he has to spar every member in attendance, with no break. His promotion now takes the club's tally to SEVEN black belts.
New daytime schedule comes into effect!
May 20, 2018
On Monday 14th May the gym saw the introduction of our new daytime schedule!
No more is our 1:30pm MMA class! Instead we now offer a 10am class every weekday, a time slot that has proved much more popular. With our Monday and Friday 10am Muay Thai class becoming a consistently attended staple, we now offer MMA classes at 10am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! With the class now at a time more accessible to more club members we hope to build the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday classes to match our morning Muay Thai lessons!
And to not disappoint our 1:30pm loving members we now offer a scheduled open mat 1:30pm- 2:30pm so that they won't miss out on valuable training! If you're still unsure of our new schedule you can check out a full timetable here!
Combat Sports Academy send five fighters to compete on MTK show.
May 12, 2018
Sunday night saw five of CSA's MMA team compete at the debut MTK show at the Indigo, O2 Arena.
Kicking things off was Jim Chapell, making his MMA debut at 77kg, losing an incredible 20kg since joining us. In what turned out to be an evenly matched war, Jim landed some spectacular and frequent takedowns but could not sway the judges minds as he lost a razor close decision.
Ellis Thomas returned to action for his third fight in quick succession, after an impressive performance last month. In a whirlwind fight which saw many heated striking exchanges and grappling scrambles, Ellis succumbed to a second round armbar, despite valiant efforts to escape.
Craig Benjamin also returned to action, repeatedly scoring takedowns and showing great composure and timing. After three hard rounds of constant back and forth action the fight was declared a draw, despite the majority of onlookers believing Craig had just done enough to warrant the W.
Joe Draper once again proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in his division, as he stormed to another dominant victory, this time by head and arm choke in the first round. After winning the stand up exchanges, The Gentleman executed an impressive Kosoto Gari takedown off the cage to take it to the floor and finish the match to improve his record to 6-1.
Tony Hall finished up the night's action with a quick and dominating 15 second win by leg kicks. The finish added to Tony's recent wins where he has showcased an excellent arsenal of punches and kicks, showing that his game is ever improving and expanding. Tony then proceeded to donate his money from the fight to the Wisdom Hospice, solidifying his place as CSA's nicest man (This title has since been reclaimed by Luca Trimarchi, who bought Mick some dissolvable Magnesium tablets).
The staff and students of CSA are proud of you all for stepping up and representing the club. Congratulations all!