It’s been called ‘the gentle art’. And sure, while you might end up with “ears like cabbages”, according to Myles Price, the sport is very much about technique and problem solving and also very much on the rise locally.
Big name big money fighters like the UFC’s Frank Mir, BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, Jacare Souza and Fabricio Werdum may be more household names in some circles and while the art of jiu-jitsu is merely one element of their in-ring arsenal, their foundations in the sport have pushed them to the top of their respective games.
Locally, Sully’s Gym (affiliated to Team Ryano out of Dublin) in Purcellsinch, Kilkenny, is home to Price and a plethora of other aspiring MMA athletes, beginners and professionals alike. It’s also boasting rising numbers and subsequent competitors in the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
But what’s it all about?
“The primary objective of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is for the smaller, weaker opponent to beat the bigger, stronger opponent using leverage and technique. It’s brains versus brawn. If you don’t have your technique down, it will soon be found out because you can’t use strength or speed. They have to be taken almost completely out of the equation.”
One of the big quirks for beginners is thinking it’s going to be too hard, thinking you’re going to end up on arse and while that’s extremely possible, it gets put to rest in our chat today quite quickly.
“It’s very quick – you learn how to deal with failure. That’s what holds people back a lot of the time, being afraid of failure. When you go in there and realise that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is based on failing on the time, and using failure to your advantage, that’s when you get that addictive bug. It’s a test of character and you have to persevere through that and accept that the more time you give it, the easier it gets. Anybody listening should probably take on board that it’s a way bigger thing in your head than it is in real life.”
The last time we had Price in the studio, he was getting set for the BAMMA 26 card at the 3Arena, which has subsequently been pushed out to 10 September. This time, he’s talking all about BJJ, what’s going on in the gym, what newcomers to the sport can expect and more over a rather insightful ten minutes or so.
This weekend sees and open day with a grading led by Team Ryano’s Andy Ryan – their way of “getting the family together” for the love of the sport, a barbeque, throw the doors open and let people find out what it’s all about. Team Ryano’s Neil Seery, who most recently competed at UFC Rotterdam (he lost a unanimous decision to Kyoji Horiguchi), will also be at the gym for the day. This is all before the next intake of BJJ students don a gi on Monday for their new 7.30pm beginner classes.