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  • Writer's pictureGavin Boardman

The Day That Changed Everything

Back when I was a teenager, everyone had that one guy they knew that had all the weird videos - snuff films, executions and all that horrible stuff. In 1995, this guy I knew had a VHS copy of The Ultimate Fighting Championships. I had heard about this before but never had the chance to see it. Fortunately, this is the only tape I got off him.

I remember the first time I watched it. It was 3am at the end of a house party. Everyone who was left, sat there eager to watch these 8 martial arts experts go to war. We ended up watching in silence as a skinny Brazilian walked through the competition, seemingly without breaking a sweat, and without throwing a punch!

At that point in time, most people had never heard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or the Gracie family. Yet here was a young Royce Gracie showing the effectiveness of his family's art. Anyone watching this display had no doubt that this was the art for a smaller person to be able to overcome a larger opponent.

I had to learn this art!

The only problem was, back in the 90s I couldn't find anyone to teach me. From that point on, my life has been dedicated to learning the most effective martial arts, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has always been at the core of it.

When I see today, the ease with which you can learn what we had to struggle to even get a glimpse of, it is amazing. Not only the number of Academies across the UK, but the number of online tutorials that we could only dream of.

The day I was promoted to Black Belt in BJJ by Rodrigo Antunes is the most memorable day in my Martial Arts life, and I encourage everyone to learn the art of Jiu Jitsu wherever they can. The benefits are far beyond what I would have imagined back then.

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