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I started training BJJ seriously in September 2013. I had dabbled a bit before then but I only did a few lessons and then got knocked out with an injury. I got my blue belt in January 2015, and then not long after that suffered a shoulder injury that knocked me out of competing for a long time.

The rehab was pretty rough. Getting back into competition was hard. I tried a bit in 2016 but wasn't really ready. Did a few in 2017, but was suffering from bad competition nerves and just generally wasn't feeling it. This year I decided to force myself to compete as much as possible. I did the Surrey Open, London All Stars, Hereford Open and Hereford Masters. I started getting into the groove and my results slowly started getting better.

A few more defaults than I'd like.

My competition year was plagued by no-shows, and I did end up with a few more defaults than I would have liked, but I ended the year with an earned gold at the Hereford National Masters. I'm the number 13 ranked blue belt in the country according to the UKBJJA, and ranked number one at Light Feather (which sounds more impressive before you realize that there are only two of us with points in that category, but I've been chasing the leader for a long time!).

Goals for 2019

I've spent the holiday season pigging out, but now it's time to get back to training. My goal is to compete whenever I can get a match this year. I've signed up to Grapple Industries in London, and will be doing the no-gi there.

I'm also looking to do Manchester in February, and UAEJJF in March, and want to keep up with the 'at least one a month pace' for the foreseeable future. I'm finally healthy and starting to get some confidence back, and I'm aiming for a spot in the top 10 in the UKBJJA rankings.

If I can take another regional gold, then I want to do an IBJJF tournament as well. The IBJJF requires membership for blue belts as of 2019, and I don't want to pay for membership, renew my passport and fly somewhere if I'm not completely ready, so I want to rack up some more UK competition time first of all.

Let's see how this goes!

What are your goals for 2019?