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Lockdowns hit martial arts gyms hit hard 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 time when we have been told to stay safe and socially distance, martial arts practitioners have 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 – in other words social distancing of precisely zero metres. REORG...

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Black belt breakdown: how to avoid injuries after time off the mats -By Dr Marc Barton, chief instructor at Kingston Jiu Jitsu  After more than a year of disruptions, we are finally daring to hope that jiu-jitsu life will get back to normal soon. But with so much time away from the mats, there are many pitfalls to avoid as you start training again. Before leaving the medical profession to teach jiu-jitsu full time, I was a doctor working in the Accident and Emergency department of a busy London hospital. It was an incredibly stressful job, and involved, as you can...

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‘Once a Royal Marine, always a Royal Marine’ When Royal Marine commando Mark Ormrod was injured on duty in Afghanistan, he thought his life was over. He stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2007 and lost both legs above the knee and his right arm above the elbow. He was very lucky to be alive, 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 with Mark. He was the UK’s first triple-amputee to survive the...

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Jiu-jitsu grandmaster Mauricio Gomes 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...

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How Brazilian jiu-jitsu transformed martial arts 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...

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