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The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has been vast, and as we wait for the vaccine roll-outs to take effect, we all understand the need to stay safe. But during this whole timewhen we have been told to stay safe and socially distance, martial arts practitionershave been hit hard. No matter what martial art you do, it is a contact sport. Whether it is MMA, kickboxing,karate or jiu-jitsu, to be done properly, all martial arts involve physical contact – inother words social distancing of precisely zero metres. REORG Trustee Trent Scanlen owns Elevate Martial Arts & Strength in West London.“The biggest impact...

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A couple of years ago Chris Hayes found himself at an all-time low. The former RoyalMarine had suffered years of mental health problems and had even attempted to takehis own life. Then a chance encounter with REORG founder Sam Sheriff completelyturned his life around. “I could barely walk,” Chris said. “I had just come out of hospital after making a prettysolid attempt at finishing myself off. I was shuffling around in a terrible state, mybladder was shutting down, I needed to go back into hospital and I just couldn’t see howthe misery would ever end. Then this guy I’d never...

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When Royal Marine commando Mark Ormrod was injured on duty in Afghanistan, hethought his life was over. He stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2007 andlost both legs above the knee and his right arm above the elbow. He was very lucky to bealive, but devastated to be told he was going to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But the expression “once a Royal Marine, always a Royal Marine” is one that stuck withMark. He was the UK’s first triple-amputee to survive the conflict, but he didn’t want tolet that define him and hold him back. So...

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The evolution of Brazilian jiu-jitsu The speed that Brazilian jiu-jitsu clubs have sprung up around the world over the last quarter of a century has been phenomenal. Originally a Japanese grappling art related to judo, old-school jiu-jitsu was adapted by some very tough Brazilians to become the devastating martial art it is today. Meaning “gentle art” in Japanese, jiu-jitsu dates back well over a thousand years and has its origins in the unarmed combat that Samurai warriors practised in case they should ever find themselves on the battlefield without a sword. In the early 20th century a Japanese jiu-jitsu practitioner called...

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Everyone at REORG owes a big debt to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu grandmaster Mauricio Gomes. The 8th degree coral belt did more than anyone else to help establish Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) through the United Kingdom in the early 2000s. Mauricio is also the father of Roger Gracie-Gomes, the REORG-supporting legend who is widely regarded as the greatest jiu-jitsu competitor of all time. Mauricio, originally from Rio de Janeiro, was awarded his black belt by Rolls Gracie – the son of Brazilian jiu-jitsu founding father Carlos Gracie. Rolls Gracie was just 31 years old when he died in a hang-gliding accident in 1982, but...

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