By the time John Will had left Wellington on Wednesday he had changed the face of BJJ in New Zealand, again. After a week of seminars in Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, Napier and Wellington, John had taught some very cool techniques and concepts to the BJJ NZ Will – Machado schools.
But more importantly he had promoted some of his most loyal BJJ NZ followers.
While in Auckland John ran two sessions for the GroundControl crew in Howick. During the seminars John took the opportunity to promote several of GroundControl’s senior students to Blue Belt. The following were rewarded for their commitment to training, Lee Warden, Brent Lang, Leyla Oakley, Matt Hogan and Kody, congratulations all.
GroundControl in Auckland continues to go from strength to strength. The new blues will find they are needed during the upcoming restructuring of the crew. With Glen Tarrant returning to his home town of Wellington, there will be a huge gap in the Auckland BJJ team. Glen is returning to Wellington to be closer to family support and will form a new GroundControl in Wellington, good luck with the relocation Glen.
Also in Auckland, during seminars run by Michael Gent’s former students, John promoted two of the members of the Maai Hyoshi Dojo’s. Karl Norton and Steve Cockell were both awarded BJJ Purple Belts for their hard work and dedication to the BJJ style.
In Napier, another former student of Mr. Gent was awarded an even higher honour. Shayne Cox of Twin City Martial Arts was graded to BJJ Brown Belt. Shayne has been active in competition in both New Zealand and Australia. Recently competing in the Will – Machado Nationals in Australia, Shayne took 2nd place in the Purple Belt division. And in Auckland a few weeks ago Shayne stepped into the competitive arena for his very first MMA fight, which he won convincingly.
Shayne has been a steadfast supporter and member of BJJ NZ for many years and this promotion is another step in is never ending quest for knowledge and skills.
In Wellington, John ran another highly successful training session at the Royal New Zealand Police College, where he imparts knowledge and techniques to the trainers and instructors. John also helps formulate training programs for the police and recruits of the New Zealand Police Force.
John later taught a BJJ Seminar at Wellingtons GSW Martial Arts. Where he also took the time to promote several of the clubs deserving students. Cain Harland and Brendan Pfahlert were both awarded their BJJ Blue Belts. The promotions are the result of years of dedication to the club and consistent BJJ training.
Also promoted on the night were Jonathan Bares and Jason Murphy. Both were promoted to Purple Belt.
Jonny is a fierce competitor and has twice defeated some of New Zealand’s best BJJ competitors at the Douglas Santos competitions in Auckland. In both 2006 and 2007 Jonny won his Blue Belt division. Jonny has also recently stepped into the MMA arena, testing his grappling skills in a limited rules fight, which he easily won.
Jason Murphy is a quiet mild mannered thinker and a tireless workhorse. Jase has been part of the GSW club for almost 5 years, and in that time has been a consistent and dedicated part of the clubs infrastructure. Recently Jase has taken up the job of running classes and writing the news for the extensive GSW website, both of which he performs with meticulous precision.
The big news of the night though was the promotion of GSW’s head instructor Geoff Grant. John Will awarded Geoff with the coveted BJJ Black Belt. Geoff has been a member of BJJ NZ from the very beginning and started his BJJ training with John in 1995. The promotion represents over 12 years of hard work and dedication.
Geoff’s Black Belt promotion puts him in a very select group as he is one of only two Will / Machado BJJ Black Belts in New Zealand.
Congratulations to all the Will / Machado students and instructors and thank you to John Will for another fantastic year of BJJ in New Zealand. We hope to see you on the mat sometime soon.