Gracie Barra Roundhay Leeds



Edition: #009

Published: 05/07/24

Author : Wai Yip

Kev Meredith

1. Hey Kev! What initially drew you to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and how has your passion for it evolved?

KM: I got into BJJ after 20 years of striking martial arts and wanting to try something to add to that. I had seen BJJ online and it looked fun so thought I would give it a go. It ended up being the main martial art I practice as I love the problem-solving and the immediate practicality of the techniques. Plus GBRL quickly became a second home as the community is incredible.


2. As a lead coach, what’s your favourite aspect of teaching BJJ to both kids and adults? And what are the most

KM: I love coaching people, as a PT and wellness coach it’s a similar skill set and being part of someone’s development and seeing the joy jujitsu gives them fills me with happiness. Kids and adult coaching have their challenges and rewards but with adults, you can get into the deeper principles of Jujitsu but some of the kids are incredible. Their ability to pick up techniques in such a playful way is always brilliant to watch.


3. Which favourite BJJ move or submission do you enjoy teaching the most and why?

KM: I love the deeper fundamentals of Jujitsu. I love being able to strip away the fancy moves and be able to apply simple and effective techniques. Roger Gracie is my hero, so being able to sweep into the mount and apply a cross-collar strangle feels like a classic which everyone knows makes it all the sweeter when you get it. My biggest buzz is seeing someone apply a technique well at the end of a class when they only just learnt it. That tells me I did something right as a coach.


4. You’re also a Fitness, Rehabilitation & Wellbeing Specialist, how do you incorporate your expertise into your coaching at GBRL?

KM: I get to coach all day every day whether in my gym or at Jujitsu so I’m lucky to live my passion. I think my rehab knowledge and mobility experience help to keep students moving better and ideally minimise injury. I have had lots of people take suggestions and plans and be able to move and feel stronger on the mats.


5. Care to share any secret recovery tips for those more intense training sessions?

KM: The key to recovery is to make it part of the workout. Having a plan to warm up before class and do something afterwards is a must. Ideally doing something every day to release tight muscles and improve blood flow will help. Like any sport, Jujitsu creates some imbalance in muscles due to the types of movements required. It’s good to understand this and have a plan to strengthen or release muscles that may be affected. This improves performance and minimises injuries.


6. We all have our go-tos! What’s your favourite submission to catch on unsuspecting opponents?

KM: Nothing beats a cheeky baseball bat choke if your opponent misses the set-up. Apart from the Roger seminar, I think the Magid one made the biggest impression on me.


7. If you could roll with any historical figure, who would it be?

KM: 7. Miyamoto Musashi – spending time asking him about his philosophy and learning his technique.


8. And lastly, tell us what your top 3 BJJ anthems are!

KM: I don’t have any top anthems as music is very much about mood. I think my top playlists for live training have to be Rock (ACDC, Chilli Peppers), Reggae (Marley, Toots) and Funk (James Brown, Funkadelic). If you like them they are public on Spotify.

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