I am a Gracie Barra purple belt under Dave Birkett and Marc Walder. I train at Dartford BJJand I am part of the Mauricio Gomes Origin BJJ Team.
My martial arts journey began in my hometown of Rochester, NY in the new year of 1998 in an American ‘ninjitsu’ system called IOMASDA Ryu. In the autumn, I re-located to Glasgow, Scotland for post-graduate studies in British Social and Gender History; I became heavily involved with the Glasgow University Shorinji Kempo Club and achieved the rank of shodan in 2001. In 2002, I moved again, this time to London, England. Struggling to launch my academic career meant the finances weren’t there for martial arts training, until I re-trained as a software developer. I began training at the Bob Breen Academy, then in Hoxton Square, in the fall of 2004. That’s when I met my coach, Dave, and began my grappling journey; I started training at his club, Dartford BJJ, in the spring of 2008. As the BBA transitioned out of Hoxton Square, I left, and I now train full time at DBJJ.
I competed in BJJ as a white belt in 2008 taking gold in my division at SENI and silver at the Kent Open. A rupture to my left ACL soon after promotion to blue belt interrupted my ability to compete. I have trained through this injury which I have nursed with a committed physio regime and operation, which also benefits a slightly older injury to the right MCL. While I would very much like to compete again, as I found the experience hugely useful, my priority is to maintain my health and fitness in order to enjoy a lifetime of training and evolving on the mats.
I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.