BJJ – Mobility Vs Flexibility

In BJJ and MMA we tend to focus on technical training, increasing strength or putting more gas in the tank so we can spar/fight for longer. I have been guilty of neglecting 2 very important aspects of fitness and it common for both to be bundled under the same category … but they are very different.

Mobility is how the joint moves and the range of motion surrounding the joint. Flexibility is the length of the muscle which can effect an persons mobility, if the connected muscles don’t stretch far enough to allow the movement. It is worth noting that there are other issues that can cause problems, inflammation of tendons and joints to name a few.

For BJJ/MMA Athletes you are only as strong as weakest attribute and I often see flexibility and Mobility been an issues for most … but specially Athletes who are at the heavier sides (either fat or muscle). For Older practitioners spending time on Flexibility and Mobility can be at times more important then than sports (BJJ, MMA, Kickboxing … stc) based training.

I used to train with a 3rd degree Black Belt in TKD and a Purple Belt in BJJ, when we practiced Guard Passing Drills his ability to do a full box splits allowed him to retain guard very easy, He spent a lot of time working his flexibility.

I have been guilty of neglecting both of these aspects in the past, so I am planning on doing the following to help address these areas:-

Foam Rolling – Rolling your muscles over a foam tube, lacrosse ball or even a barbell can help release tight spots through self-massage. There is a bunch of information on Youtube and even Argos are now selling foam rollers.

Mobility Drills – Kelly from MobilityWOD is the man when it comes to Mobility, the Drills are geared around improving your range of motion in your Joints. His book “Supple Leopard” is a fantastic resource and I am currently working through leg exercises. Supple Leopard book –

Stretches – I have signed up to “Yoga for BJJ” and I have started some of the Shoulder stretches after training, I am really looking forward to seeing my improvement over the next few months. So follow me and I will post some pictures up.

So what is your plan?

When to Spar in a Class?

Everyone wants to spar …. but when is the best time to do it?

Traditional in Martial Arts the format of a session is usually the same …

  1. Warm up
  2. Lean a new Technique/Drill
  3. Spar or Roll

John Kavanagh

There are wide variations on each of these sections of a class are delivered and the practicality depending on the Instructor, how they coach and the  level of the students you are teaching. In the “Learn a new Technique/Drill” section you can also have Progressive Resistance or positional sparring which sit on the blurry line of “What is drilling and What is Sparring” argument… but that is for another time.

I attended a seminar with John Kavanagh at the old Cage Steel gym many years ago and one of the things John did in his seminar which I found very interesting … Everyone sparred straight after warming up!

His explanation why he did this was as a coach very through provoking, John explained that some students are just waiting to spar, so if you get that out of the way early then students can focus on the techniques.

What made me remember this seminar was an article I came across by Ollie Geddes a BJJ Black Belt and world champion, where the structure of his class was very different to the “Traditional” class format.

Timeline for a 90 minute class

Warm-up and mobilisation – 15 minutes
First rolling period – 10 minutes
Technique – 25 minutes
Technique sparring – 10 minutes
Sparring – 30 minutes

Click on the below link for the article:-


Does this method work for MMA or other martial arts?

I think this is a really interesting idea, but I would like to hear from Instructors and Students who are currently running or attending a class which is structured this way, so please leave a comment.


X-Guard Movement Drill

The last week in the BJJ classes at Fulinkazan we have been working some X-Guard sweeps, but we have been doing this drill which I came a across on the Grapplearts Youtube channel

This is a great drill for both the bottom and top BJJ player, the bottom player has to move around and the top player has to keep their balance.

Bradford’s Most Interesting Man

I am throwing my gauntlet down …. I am Bradford’s Most Interesting Man!

This is something that occurred to me in the last week and as Bradford’s Most Interesting Man (BMIM) I promise to do good with my new found powers, but I know there are people who may doubt my claim to this prestigious title…. But I am Bradford’s Most Interesting Man and this is why:-

1. I run a very successful Mixed Martial Arts Academy (


We teach and compete in a wide range of Martial arts including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Combat Submission Wrestling, MMA (also called as Cage Fighting), JKD, Kickboxing and much more. We have multiple British champions in different disciplines and on 6th December Team Fulinkazan we celebrated our 10th year anniversary at the Glyde House (

2. By day I am a mild mannered IT Manager

As well as running a MMA Gym and having 3 blackbelts, I am also a IT Manager by day who specializes in Infrastructure. Servers, Networking, desktops, clients, VIOP, security at some point I have had to do it all …. Geektresting !

3. I am a movie star

I am sorry kid …. I don’t do autographs. That is right BMIM has been in such blockbuster hits as “Bloodline” and “We don’t Fight Cages”, but I also like to keep it real and product and start in my own youtube videos:-

4. I have started a Zombie Protection Group

If you are worried about the Zombie Apocalypse like any sensible person should you will be happy to know the BMIM has got your back! You can join the ZFS and prepare yourself for walkers by making sure you learn the Zombie fighting System


5, I head the C.A.M.P activist group 

Have you ever been short changed? or under chickened ? I feel your pain, The campaign Chicken Appreciation for Man Sized Portions (CAMP) is fighting for you rights as we speak. Nandos can not get away with service small portions … as your prices increase your chicken shrinks.

Tweet now! @nandos #CAMP @Spenfu

6, I am … 

Are you looking for online training? need some help preparing for a Martial Arts competition? Head over to now! We offer online training, fight camps as well as general health and fitness advice


Still doubt my title? Well the fact you have read to this point only proves you are interested in what I have to say which proves I am …. Bradford’s Most Interesting Man ….. BMIM