Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art based on submission grappling, particularly on the ground. It teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique. The goal is to control your opponent to the ground, and apply submissions forcing them to ‘tap out’ (give up). Taught in a syllabus based format with emphasis on grappling in every class, Clinch offers you, the student, the opportunity to learn and apply BJJ techniques in a safe and friendly environment.
There are four main levels within the BJJ system; blue belt, purple belt, brown belt and, finally, black belt. Sometimes years are spent on each belt, so even within the system itself, things progress slowly but surely. Many schools outside of Brazil are run by blue and purple belts, and fewer again by browns and blacks.
Australasia’s first BJJ instructor, John Will, began his training under Champion Rigan Machado in 1988 in Brazil.
Rigan (above – centre figure), an 8th degree black belt, began training at the age of 5 with his cousins, the Gracies, when his mother’s sister married Carlos Gracie. Rigan began competing at the world championship level at the age of 14, and went on to achieve a legendary stature at the world championship level by amassing a record the likes of which have never been seen again. From the age of 14 through 21, Rigan won the World Championships every year and every belt division. He amassed a record of 365 wins and just two losses, and created a record by having 19 matches in one day and finishing all of them by submission. Today, Rigan and his brother Carlos are regarded as part of the inner circle of the authentic BJJ tradition.
John Will received his black belt under Rigan in 1998 and became Australia’s first official Machado representative. BJJ Australia, the original Brazilian Jiu Jitsu network in Australia / New Zealand, was founded by John and is the official arm of Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Australasia. John Will travels the globe every month to train with the best of the best in BJJ and no-gi grappling.
Clinch head coach, Karl Norton (photo above – Karl with John Will), travels regularly to Johns school in Geelong, and brings the latest BJJ techniques – both gi and no-gi – straight onto the Clinch mat.
BJJ gradings at Clinch draw their credibility from this lineage.