What Brexit means for this Aussie in London

To be honest, who the heck knows.

I’ve had family and friends contacting me, asking whether I’ll be impacted (as I’m here on my EU passport) and if I’ll now need a visa.

As my Maltese citizenship is what allows me to live and work in the UK indefinitely, it clearly influenced my vote to remain in the European Union (I got to vote because I’m a Commonwealth citizen). I considered other arguments for and against, and I felt that it was far better in than out for Britain. The result, in case you’ve been living under a rock, ended up being 51.9% for Leave.

It was a sucky feeling the morning after. A “what on earth have you done, Britain?!” feeling. At work we expressed our disgruntlement, 59.9% of London voters wanted to remain. I am very aware though that as much as I can have my opinion on the Referendum and be disappointed, my ‘working knowledge’ of this country only goes back three years. And it’s London-centric. I don’t for a second claim to fully understand the wages, property and health services pressures being particularly felt by those in working class areas, how being part of the EU contributed and ultimately influenced their decision to want out.

What I DO know

  • The fact that I’m already in the UK means I’m unlikely to be affected by any changes to freedom of movement, which wouldn’t happen for at least two years anyway.
  • Australia appears eager to negotiate new trade and immigration deals with the UK – so ironically if the unlikely DOES happen and my Maltese passport suddenly limits me, my Australian passport may suddenly open doors (borders?).
  • There are a hell of a lot of unknowns. Formal Leave negotiations won’t begin until Britain activates Article 50 (IF it does?), and since it’s never been invoked before it’s going to be a new experience for everyone.

In the meantime, it’s life as usual for me in the UK.

 

 

 

 

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Time To Drop The Cage Ban, Victoria.

My home state is known as the sporting capital, but it still makes MMA fighters compete in the potentially dicey surrounds of a boxing ring.

Gustavo Falciroli’s ‘no contest’ result against Kai Kara at AFC 7 is just the latest example of why it’s high time the State Government moves to legalise the octagon. Seriously, it’s a no brainer – and hello, we’d see more UFC fights down under.

As the UFC’s Tom Wright indicates, think of the money, Victoria! 

“Today I SHOULD have won my fight by KO. 

Unfortunately, the fight was bizarrely called a no contest due to a plastic water bottle and the ridiculous cage ban in Victoria.

In the second round, I landed a combination, finishing with a knee that sent my opponent through the ropes (for the second time in the fight) and the referee stopped it. I came back to the corner and celebrated, saying that the knee landed perfectly and it was clear to everyone that I won.

Post fight, however, the commission advised that my opponent hit his head on a plastic water bottle (initially it was claimed to be a table) when he fell through the ropes and that he was not able to continue due to the clash with the bottle. 

Obviously this is absurd so we will be lodging a formal complaint in an attempt to overturn the no contest.

We require video from the fight to lodge a complaint so if anyone has any, please contact daniel.herbertson@absolutemma.net.au urgently. The water bottle allegedly responsible for the knockout blow has been apprehended and is being questioned.”

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Aussie Jits Girls Represent!

I was sitting in the newsroom at work when this came on one of the five TVs on the wall – I totally squealed “that’s my girls!”

It’s stupid awesome to see the Australian Girls In Gi get national media coverage.

For those unfamiliar with Aussie television, Sunrise is (most of the time?) the number one breakfast TV program. Great exposure for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

If you’re a local BJJ girl or from overseas just visiting, definitely hit the group up for the best Aussie club, and female only open mat meet up recommendations.

Meantime at the Worlds …

Livia Gluchowska won gold!

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I have known this woman for only a short time through AGIG, but she is the most inspirational BJJ gal I know, so incredibly hard working and focussed. Huge congratulations Livia!

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Pic via IBJJF

My First BJJ Seminar

Sophia (McDermott) Drysdale, Australia’s first female BJJ black belt.

Recommended by AGIGI honestly didn’t know what a BJJ seminar involved! I was envisioning a uni lecture where you sit and listen to someone speak, and take notes.

Or I figured you just watch them demonstrate moves.

Thankfully I asked, found out it was more like a class and made sure I packed a gi!

Cool vid put together by Jess Fraser.

I brought a notebook and my phone out on the mat too, though it’s up to the individual whether they allow photos/video and since I didn’t ask Sophia before she started, I decided to play it safe and keep my phone to the side.

Ditto the notebook it turned out. Other than a couple of scribbles in drink breaks and during the Q&A at the end, I really didn’t have the time or the thought to take notes.

After a quick warm up Sophia got us into pairs and we took turns moving around our partner who was flat on the floor, chest to chest, arms behind our backs.

It was all about using your whole body when on top to keep the pressure on your opponent, as opposed to most of the strength coming from your arms. Also altering that pressure as your opponent tries to escape (“be like a water bed”) and being on your toes so you’re able to move and adjust quickly!

From there we worked on the most effective positioning when in side control, and step by step went through a few of Sophia’s favourite armbar moves.

A few things I’ll be working on (no brainers but hey, unco white belt I be!)

–       Move on your feet, not on your knees, ‘duck walk’ around for the far armbar.

–       Be more parallel than crucifix to apply the correct pressure to the best areas in side control, including hip to hip.

–       Hips forward ladies!

–       Post/grab your gi as you’re settling in for the armbar, you don’t have to lean back for it until you’re ready.

– Do your warm ups and drills fast if you want to roll fast – sprints not long runs, short but intense push ups, sit ups etc, rest then do it all again.

At the end Sophia invited questions, and talked briefly about her journey through the ranks. She revealed while she never felt a BJJ gender issue in Australia, training overseas including in Brazil she was treated differently as a woman on the mat.

But at the same time she says we have to accept we’re participating in a male dominated sport “you’ve chosen to be in it, don’t expect special treatment, although also don’t be afraid to speak up to say this is what I need” ie. to sit out, or to go over something again.

Sophia believes there’s nothing wrong with tweaking an instructor’s move a little to make it work for you and your body.

And just in case I wasn’t finding this seminar with Australia’s first female BJJ black belt inspiring enough, Sophia told us she’s planning to compete at the Worlds in less than two months time, despite the fact her second child will only be about four months old!

My BJJ motivation has definitely returned.

Sophia Drysdale Melbourne seminar 2013.
Sophia Drysdale Melbourne seminar 2013.