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The journey of an aspiring fighter: A new chapter #5

Published On August 10, 2015 | By Helen Harper | Blog

Coming from someone who repeatedly says that they don’t write a blog any more because nothing ever happens around here – it’s very strange that the only reason I haven’t written a blog in the last two weeks is because I have been so busy!

So what’s been keeping me so distracted? (apart from shiny things, which you will all agree are very distracting)

Firstly on the 8th August, I took a trip down to sunny Bournemouth to compete in the DSD weekend. This was run by Alex De Souza and his wife Katie at their brand spanking new gym. The gym itself is a very good size, and in a fantastic location. My favourite things being the beautiful white mats and the fact it has showers (always a bonus).

dsd white gymI love white mats!

The competition was originally going to be run over two days (Saturday – gi and Sunday – no-gi) but unfortunately due to low numbers it was held just on the Saturday. You would think that would dampen the atmosphere – but in fact entirely the opposite happened!

Alex started out by giving us a sort of seminar, going over some of the basics and tightening up our existing skills. This was the perfect way to start, and get our heads thinking “submission”. Can we do this at all the comps??

After an hour or so, we got in to the matches. There were around 12 white belts – split in to divisions, 4 blue belts (myself included) and a purple. The blues and purple formed two weight divisions and an absolute.

Within the blue and purple division, I was the only female – so I got to test my skills against not only men, but men much bigger than myself. I do love a challenge!!

Overall during the ‘gi’ phase of the competition, I managed to bag myself three medals – a gold and two silvers – and had four matches. Realising that my competition was a lot tougher than usual, I made myself different challenges (mainly survival).

I did manage to submit two of the guys, but the other two matches were with the same guy. He was extremely technical and very strong. In my first match with him, I didn’t manage to score a single point, however I did last until the end of the match without getting submitted, so I took that as a bonus.

During the second match with the same guy, I actually scored some points! I don’t usually look at the score board, or remember the score, but on this occasion I was quite proud of the fact I managed to score more than ‘0’! The match ended in 13-9, so although I lost, I did feel like I had progressed.

We then went on to the no-gi section of the day, where we were split into three groups of three. My group consisted of myself and two other guys. One of which was Rees from ARBJJ (who by the way is ridiculously strong and extremely good at wrestling).

Unfortunately I lost both of my matches on points (close but not close enough) so got a bronze medal in the no-gi.

I felt a bit gutted after that, so went to get changed to leave. Fortunately, as I was about to say good bye and thank you to Alex, he had other ideas! He decided he wanted to roll, and who am I to disobey a black belt?!

We ended up having one of the most awesome rolls I have ever had in my 4 years of BJJ – and I was dressed in my shorts and t-shirt ready to head to the beach!! Jiu Jitsu everywhere and anywhere….

I have to say a massive thank you to Alex and Katie for the DSD day on Saturday because it really was a brilliant day out – I can’t wait for the next one!

more medals dsdSilver, gold, silver, bronze

In other news, myself and my good friend Nate have started a Podcast by the name of “Choke Nation”. We realised a gap in the market, of UK based BJJ and MMA chat – so we took it upon ourselves to fill it.

So far we are two episodes in, and have some great feedback. You can listen to our first episode here, and second episode here. Why not like and repost it while you’re there too?

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Whilst I am on the topic of podcast content, something we mentioned in the second episode is my latest fight announcement.

I am fighting the gorgeous Ffion Davies on September 26th in Harrow. It’s the first time I have fought someone I consider to be a friend, so it’s a weird one for me. However I am ridiculously excited about it, and hope that Ffion and I can put on a good fight that everyone enjoys.

ffion helen fight posterIf you would like tickets, please email

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About The Author

English Mixed Martial Artist fighting out of Andy Roberts BJJ and Legacy BJJ with a pro record of 4-1.

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