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Marc Walder is my coach's coach's coach. He is based in Essex and we don't get to see him often at all. In fact, the last time he came to Newcastle was in 2013 to give Ian (my coach) his black belt.

This time, he came to teach some self-defense techniques, and also to promote Tyrone Elliott, Speedy's son, who has been training BJJ since he was tiny. It was a well-attended seminar with people from all of the Origins in the north turning up for it.

Marc Walder is really big on self defense, so he focused on some basics - escapes from grabs, a self defense armbar technique from someone pushing/shoving you, and a way to stop people from picking you up. He also did some side-control techniques to stop people from being able to hold your head and secure the crossface. It was simple stuff, but incredibly effective.

After that he shared some of his thoughts about self defense, and about competition. I'm a very competitive person so I found some of what he said was a bit alien, but it was an interesting perspective.

I run into Marc Walder from time to time when I'm competing in the south and he's always been very friendly and helpful. It was great to finally get to learn from him. Hopefully it won't be four years for the next visit!