I went to my first session last night at 80/20 BJJ -


Who says they are inspired heavily by Matt Thornton's ideas on training -


After my disappointment at the Sambo school. (No real structure, kids rolling with adults). I got home and did a more focused search, finding a lot of schools with Blue belt instructors, I stumbled across 80/20.

It's a new school, that has just opened up. Due to my now natural cynicism after reading Bullshido. I searched the site for the instructors name and credentials. Finding none I sent a request, within twenty four hours I got this back:

" Hi I am interested in learning BJJ, but would like to know the
qualifications of the instructors at your school and who they receivedtheir gradings from?"

Sure, I'm the instructor. I'm a brown belt under Grayson West, who is a black belt under Marcelo Rezendes of Gracie Barra Sydney. I received my brown belt in December 2009.

I'm one of the main instructors at Gracie Barra Canningon (now Legion13). I've been teaching full time for nearly four years.

80/20 is a new club so the numbers are still growing. The advantage of this is that I get to drill with each student in every class. This means you get more personalised attention than you would in larger classes.

You're welcome to come along and try it out for free for a week or so to see how you enjoy BJJ.

Dion Mendel

Follow up question:

"You teach at Cannington as well, what were the reasons for opening a club in Midland?"

Travel time. I live in Midland and I spend about 9 hours a week
travelling to Cannington each week. I wanted to train more but didn'twant to spend any more time travelling.

So based on his quick responses and credentials, I went down last night for a class.

When i arrived Dion was really friendly and welcoming. There were only five people (No kids) in the class including Dion. We did a short warm-up and stretch (I hate long warm-ups that are basically conditioning, I have nothing against conditioning but when your just beginning and out of shape, this can screw you for the whole lesson and you dont really learn anything, and it you can cringe at the beginning of each lesson IMO I think the teacher should monitor beginners anyway to make sure they dont push too hard at the start.)

We then started to go through techniques with no resistance. Basic application, then detail applied, more detail, with a final demonstration of perfect technique. Then applying techniques with partial resistance. Once Dion was happy, resistance was increased.

Dion stressed that we should not be hurt and we should tap before it becomes damaging.

After those exercises, we rolled with partners, including Dion, for the last 15 minutes. I found I just had no idea where to get where I wanted to be, which was fun in a way. I could see that anything I did could be turned against me. So i just tried to focus on not getting submitted, which didn't work. I used my strength too much and gassed after about five minutes.

After rolling he explained to me, that as a beginner, side control is going to be my main focus for the next year or so.

So I wasn't planning on doing BJJ but its looks like I'm sold. I was disappointed about the Sambo but I think I might visit the Sambo guy anyway once a week if I have time as he is an Olympic wrestling coach and knows Judo as well and I think he still might have something to teach me. I think he is just trying to build a class on a relatively unknown system down here and has to take any students he can get.

Once I have been going for a while, I will do a proper review on both schools.