Bringing Brazilian skills home

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An Oamaru man has recently returned to his hometown to teach a martial art that focuses on technique rather than combat.
Adam Illingworth teaches Brazilian jiu jitsu, a sport he has been involved in for the past three years.
He said Brazilian jiu jitsu was a combination of Japanese jiujitsu and judo.
“It’s a non-striking art. There’s no kicking or punching –┬áit’s just grappling,” he said.
“The technique is about forcing your opponent to submit. It’s very technical. If someone is more technical than you, though you may be stronger, the more technical person tends to come out better off.”
Mr Illingworth has been given the opportunity to teach the martial art in Oamaru by My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu New Zealand’s Dunedin training centre.
“Oamaru is my home town, but I lived in Dunedin for five years and trained in jiu jitsu for one-and-a-half years before moving to here. From there, I continued to travel to Dunedin each week and trained out of my garage in Oamaru.”
After being promoted to blue belt, he was given the go-ahead to train people in Oamaru under the supervision of the Dunedin training centre.
However, he no longer trains out of his garage.
He runs two training sessions a week for those aged 16 and over, on Tuesdays and Thursday nights, and an open mat “sparring and rolling” night on Friday at the House of Breakthrough Oamaru hall in Severn St.
Mr Illingworth was pleased with how things had gone so far.
“It’s been really good. We’ve had a handful of new people come and try it out. We had numbers of up to 12 so far.”
He encouraged anyone interested to come down and take a look, and hoped to eventually have about 20 regulars.
“It’s designed for any body type. It was originally designed for people with smaller bodies by using technique and skill. We’re pretty casual and informal, and you can make a few friends along the way as well.”
There is also the chance to take part in competition.
The My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Dunedin club generally holds two competitions a year.
Mr Illingworth said two of the people he trained out of his garage competed in a Dunedin competition at Queen’s Birthday Weekend and won.
Gradings for belts also take place in Dunedin.
Further information can be found on the Oamaru Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Facebook page.