All posts by Can

Artemis BJJ was founded in 2014 by D贸nal Carmody and Can S枚nmez. We offer Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) in Bristol at Bristol Sports Centre, five days a week.

Using MyDonate For Your BJJ Charity Event

If possible, I generally use JustGiving for GrappleThons. However, sometimes the charity I want to support is smaller, so goes for a free fundraising platform instead. From my experience, MyDonate is the best of the free platforms. That’s run by the large UK company, BT. It has a few advantages over JustGiving, the main one being that they don’t charge charities a fee to use their service (unlike JustGiving, which charges 拢15 per month). The downside is that MyDonate’s interface is a bit more clunky and setting up a page is rather more fiddly too. However, the advantage of not costing the charity anything is considerable, so that’s worth some hassle. 馃檪

Here are the steps to set up your fundraising page on MyDonate, using the 2017 Artemis BJJ GrappleThon for SARSAS as an example (click on the pictures for a larger image):

1. Sign up to MyDonate

2. Click on ‘Start Fundraising’ at the top. Alternatively go to ‘my account’, then click on ‘Create fundraising page’ in the left hand menu.

3. Select ‘Create my challenge’

4. Type ‘SARSAS’ in the ‘search for a charity’ box

5. Select ‘SARSAS’ from the list that pops up, then click through.

6. Select ‘Other’ from the list of fundraising challenges, then put in something like ‘grappling’ or ‘GrappleThon’

7. If you want to add the address, select ‘Yes’ on whether or not the challenge is taking place at a specific location (handily, this creates a map on your fundraising page), then enter:

Unit 4B, Dean Street
United Kingdom

8. The next part is important, as this determines how long your page stays open. Put in the date as starting 15-04-2017 from 14:00 through to 16-04-2017 at 14:00.

9. You can pick however long you want for keeping the page running after the event finishes, ranging from 3 months to 12 months.

10. Pick whatever url you want for the fundraising page (note it has to be all lower case), then be sure to link your page to the Artemis BJJ GrappleThon 2017 team: the reference number is 532098561. When you click ‘Validate’, the name of the team and owner will appear in green.

11. Select ‘No’ for the two tick boxes under Gift Aid.

12. In the fundraising story, you can write whatever you think will best inspire people to donate to your page. If you’re looking for an example, this is what I put. Note that the ‘page title’ has to be less than 50 characters.

13. Next, pick an image if you like (there’s also the option to link to your Flickr and/or a YouTube video).

14. After that, you can set a target if you want, then you’re ready to (finally!) move on to the next page and finish. 馃檪

Position of the Month: Side Control

BJJ Bristol Artemis Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Side Control
Can has D贸nal in side control. Normally his head would be down: he’s looking up for the camera!

At Artemis BJJ, we believe the optimum way to learn is by focusing on specific positions for extended periods of time. That’s why each month, all lessons will cover the same position, enabling students to really concentrate on enhancing that aspect of their game. We’ll be looking at maintaining, escaping and attacking the position, through drills, specific sparring and multiple techniques.

For our first official month of operation (we’ll include the last week of January, as we started on the 27th), that position will be side control. 聽BJJ terminology is not standardised, so this has a few other names. The most common alternatives are ‘side mount’ and ‘cross side’: for a listing of some others, take a look at Can’s BJJ聽glossary.

In jiu jitsu, you will find that – especially early on – you will spend a lot of time trying to escape from under side control, so it’s an essential skill to develop. Can covered one method last week and there will be further lessons on the topic as February progresses.

Maintaining the position is also important. Side control tends to be the preferred top position for beginners, as it is initially easier to hold than mount (though as you’ll discover in the coming months, mount is just as powerful, if not more so. However, the nuances of holding mount can be a bit tricky when you’re starting out).

That was the topic of our first lesson, where D贸nal went over some excellent concepts to help you solidify your side control. We will of course also be investigating a few attacks from side control as well. Once you can maintain side control, it becomes a great platform from which to launch your offence.

As always, Can will be writing up every class he attends over on his website. So far, you can read about the session Can taught on escapes here, while D贸nal’s lesson about maintaining side control can be found here.

First Class at Artemis BJJ!

Artemis BJJ in Bristol at Bristol Sports CentreThanks to everyone who headed to the Bristol Sports Centre for the first official Artemis BJJ聽class today! There was a mix of purple, blue and white belts, which was really great to see.

If you would like to join us, the next session will be on Wednesday at the same time, 19:30-20:30. Full details of how to find us are over on the Locations聽page. We hope you’ll join us then: remember, it is currently FREE to train at Artemis BJJ!

GrappleThon 2013 Post-Event Press Release

On Saturday 4th May, a 鈥楪rappleThon鈥 in which at least two people sparred in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for a day and a night took place at a martial arts club in Bristol. The event was attended by grapplers from all over the country, part of a collective response from the BJJ community to a recent rape at a US martial arts club. So far, the GrappleThon has raised over 拢8,500 for the charity RapeCrisis.

70 people took part in the event this year, sparring round the clock from 9am on Saturday until 9am the following day. The event was streamed live online so people around the world could watch.

“Jiu jitsu is a very close contact sport and is all about trust,” says Can S枚nmez, a prolific BJJ writer and organiser of the event. “The international BJJ community was therefore totally outraged about this rape. We wanted to turn that strong feeling towards something positive.”

The violent rape and beating of a woman by two of her team members from Team Lloyd Irvin was perpetrated on New Year鈥檚 Eve. In a church car park, the two men beat their team mate in and out of consciousness while raping her repeatedly. They were indicted on nineteen felony counts in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

鈥淢any women will start training BJJ to avoid exactly this situation,鈥 says Can.

Katie Russell, a spokesperson for Rape Crisis (England and Wales) added, “We are extremely pleased and grateful that the organisers and participants of the GrappleThon have chosen to support our vital work with this event and to highlight important sexual violence issues. This is particularly important because only around 15% of women and girls who are raped or sexually assaulted ever report to the police and around a third tell no-one at the time.”

The GrappleThon took place at Gracie Barra Bristol and involved at least two people wrestling at any one time. “Christian Sayer managed almost 10 hours of grappling, closely followed by Danny Suman and Shane Chittenden, who were the first on the mat and the last to leave.鈥 said Can.

Raphael dos Santos, a black belt who runs several BJJ clubs in Cornwall, was on his way to a seminar in London when saw the GrappleThon mentioned on Facebook. He immediately decided to make a quick detour to Bristol so he could take part.

For full details about the event and how to donate to the GrappleThon, please go to this link:

The GrappleThon Project

If you’ve been following me on over the last two years, then you’ll know that I’ve put an increasing amount of time and effort into organising something I’ve dubbed the ‘GrappleThon‘, an idea which I first saw in March 2011 via a live stream from Martial Arts Planet in Ontario, Canada. I arranged my first event (changing the name from ‘Grapple-A-Thon’ to simply ‘GrappleThon’) in September 2012, in support of the charity I currently work for, Meningitis UK. The second GrappleThon took place last weekend and went really well: we raised a fantastic amount of money for RapeCrisis (almost 拢8,500 at the time of writing, which is over $13,000!).

Fundraising for charity is a great feeling. I was also really impressed at the way the BJJ community came together to help a good cause. I want to expand that community aspect, enlarging the scope beyond just national. I hope in future to do simultaneous GrappleThons at various gyms around the world: we almost managed it in 2013 with a club in Arizona, so for 2014 that’s one of my goals.

As somebody has apparently snapped up (which wouldn’t have been suitable anyway, given the GrappleThon is very much about charity, not business or profit), I thought I’d better grab before somebody squatted on it. I’ve got big plans for growing the event, so we’ll see what happens over the next few years! 馃檪

If you happen to be viewing this on the mobile template, don’t forget to check out how to run your own GrappleThon, here. 馃榾