Welcome to Open Guard Sarah, Thanks for taking time out of your day to join us. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little about your Journey so far?
Hi, Thanks for having me. I’ve been training for about 15 months now and competing for about a year. I train at Absolute South Yarra in Melbourne and also a little bit at the CBD Absolute when I can. I’m relatively new to the sport, but loving it so far!
Awesome. Well you have definitely found a great place to train. What was the initial attraction to BJJ over all the other arts that Absolute offer?
I moved to Absolute 6 months ago and had already been training a bit of BJJ elsewhere. I did try MMA, Muay Thai and wrestling when I first started at Absolute and enjoyed them all for different reasons. I’m not sure if it was because I tried it first or because of the complexities of the sport, but I have ended up focusing the majority of my training time on BJJ.
It sounds like you feel in love with the art from the get go, as it is with many others who take the step on to the mats. I know from day one I was hooked. I can’t imagine life without BJJ these days. You mentioned you where training elsewhere before you got to Absolute. What was it that drew you to your new club? And what is it that keeps you there?
I think there were multiple reasons for my move. Probably the biggest would be to be able to train with my partner more often. The proximity to home was also a factor. Now that I’m here, I just love it! I’ve found such great training partners and supportive coaches. The attention to detail in the techniques taught at Absolute have helped my Jiu Jitsu immensely. There is also a great women’s group and we have a class every Friday that I look forward to all week!
It always helps to have great coaches and training partners. I know from previous conversations we have had that you spend almost all of your spare time on the mats. Are you heavily involved in the competition scene at the moment?
Yes, I do try and train as often as I can! I also try and compete as often as I can. I see competition as a really good learning tool. I like to record all my fights and analyse them. Often mistakes that I can ignore in training become blaringly obvious. This helps me focus my training and drilling. I write lists of mistakes or positions I was weak in and both drill and actively hunt these things. It’s always interesting looking back on old competition footage and seeing how far I’ve come!
So true. I was speaking with Sophia Drysdale last week and she mentioned that strength training is a very important component to being successful in competition. Do you do any other training off the mats that helps with your success on the mats?
Not very much at the moment. I’m very inconsistent with weight training and I think lack of time is the main reason why. It is definitely something I want to incorporate more of in the future. I also want to start cross training in wrestling (I guess that’s technically on the mats)
Brilliant. There seems to be an influx of wrestlers starting to get among the BJJ competitions here in Australia, which is great for our sports. It is making the pure BJJ practitioner think more about attacking take-downs and a solid take-down defence. Having a good base in both sports would be beneficial. Have you had any recent successes on the mats? Do you have any plans for the rest of the year competition wise?
I’ve think I’ve gotten better the more I’ve competed. My biggest achievements so far would probably be winning gold medals at Melbourne Open and Grappling Industries a few weeks back. I will be going to LA soon to train and compete at worlds. After that I’m planning to jump into every competition I can afford!
LA is a great place to train and competing at worlds would be a great experience. Will this be your first time you have traveled to train and compete?
Yes, unless you count going to Sydney for Abu Dhabi Pro Trials. I’ve trained at a few clubs in Hawaii and Singapore when I was travelling, but have never traveled specifically to train. I am really looking forward to it!
Excellent well I for one look forward to following your journey to the worlds and can’t wait to see you succeed at whatever it is you set your mind to over the next few years. Do you have anyone you wish to thank or anything extra you would like to add?
Yes, thank you for giving me this opportunity to chat today. Sounds cliché, but BJJ really has been life changing for me so far. I’m very excited for what the future holds.
Awesome if anyone wants to follow your journey how can they keep up with your competition results and what you have been up too?
If you’d like to follow my journey, look me up on Facebook or Instagram (@sarahchappyman)
We already follow Sarah, we suggest you guys do to!