Huge happenings at GSW – Rigan Machado – John Will – Robert Drysdale – New School

Looking at this news page you’d be forgiven thinking that there is nothing happening at GSW…
Well you couldn’t be more wrong.
The fact is there is too much happening!
In the last couple of months we’ve been struggling to get the new location up and running in Taranaki St. We’re so close but still waiting on mats and some final touches before we can take in new members. This is driving me nuts, as we have had so many people interested in training at the new facility when it’s finished! Soon, very soon.

While that has been going on we have had another visit from BJJ royalty. Rigan Machado once again graced our mats for a seminar after being in Australia for the Will / Machado Nationals. We have also recently had another visit from our coach John Will. We managed to shift some mats into the Taranaki site and run a seminar with over 50 people on the mat! As always the session was epic, but what made it more so, was the promotion of GSW’s first BJJ Brown Belt – Hemi Pou. Never has our mat seen a more deserving rank handed out.

DrysdaleThis month while we hope to put the final touches on the new location, we will be hosting one of the biggest names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the world!
Robert Drysdale is coming the GSW for two nights and running a No-Gi session on Wednesday the 8th and a Gi session on Thursday the 9th. It took a bit of work to get him down to NZ but he was in Australia doing a series of seminars with Will / Machado schools and after several back and forward emails between various people, he agreed to pop over for a couple of days.

I have to thank Gareth Lewis for talking to his contacts and getting the dialogue started and also Sophia Drysdale for all her hard work behind the scenes in getting it all finalised. Thanks you both.

This is a huge coup for GSW and Will / Machado in NZ and we have kept these first sessions with Robert closed to our members only, (I’m hoping that there will be more opportunities to train with Robert in 2011) and the response has been overwhelming. As I write this, the Gi session is fully booked and the No-Gi has only a few spots left. Looks like it’s going to be an enormous couple of days. Hopefully I’ll have time over Christmas to update you on the seminars and progress of the school.

For current members, please be aware, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th classes will be at Taranaki St. Wednesday and Thursday will be the Robert Drysdale seminars (don’t just turn up expecting to get a spot) then we will be changing everything for the following week. Check Back!!

Till then Take Care and I’ll see you on the mat sometime.


GSW’s tenth birthday Party and Richard Norton Seminars

With little under 2 weeks to go all GSW students should be gearing up for our 10th anniversary party 28th August Corner Store Brooklyn.

As you should all be aware it’s a costume party. You can choose anything starting with the letters

Thats right Caglan, any of those letters.. :) I have already booked my ‘Slash’ costume from “The Costume Company” and there are several other company’s in the Wellington region that offer costume hire. Try Google >>

Here’s a list of ideas >>

As an added incentive, although costume is required, I am offering up a cash prize for the best costume. The winner will be selected by Richard Norton, as he’s played ‘dress-up’ more times in his life than any of us…
$100 1st place and $50 each for 2nd and 3rd…

Also on the night we will be having a small auction to raise funds for the new location, items being auctioned will include Books, DVD’s, Gis, Gear Bags, Private training sessions and other assorted goodies. If you have any item or service you would like to add into the pot please contact me as every little bit will help.

Also in conjunction with the Party on Saturday night we will be hosting a couple of Richard Norton Seminars during the day.
The seminars will run at GSW Lower Hutt, 11am for the Whites and 1.30pm for the coloured Belts. Cost is $50. Coloured Belts will finish at 3.30pm which will allow everyone to get home grab a bite to eat at be at the Corner Store for 7pm.
Richard Norton at GSW
I know this will be a big a day and a bit of money will be spent but as I’ve mentioned at class this week, I’m not a big one for parties, I shout the occasional pizza, pool night and Blue Belt dinner but this is the first serious party I’ve ever thrown for the GSW crew and I’m looking forward to celebrating everything we’ve achieved over the past decade!

See you there


The New GSW location

The New Wellington Location is coming soon and I’m going to need your help.nz_dollar

The new place needs bit of a tidy up and ‘many hands make light work’ so I’ll be calling on EVERYONE to help with a couple of working bees in the not too distant future.

But more than that is the need for mats!

Jamie Smith has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this all happen. Apart from single-handedly organising the location and landlord he has also been in contact with mat suppliers overseas and secured super cheap mats for us.

Now I say super cheap but that’s relative! The mats will cost somewhere around $15000!! On top of the new lease and cost of getting the new place ready I’m going to be stretched beyond my means. So I’m going to do something I hate, but what several of you have suggested, and ask for help.

The main thing that everyone has said is they would be prepared to buy one mat. So if you are able and willing to donate to the fund or buy a mat then please feel free.

If you want you can donate online you can click the donate button below or talk to me at class. Or you can buy one of our new GSW Rash Vests or the new BJJ Gis. Or just tell me to piss off!!

Or even better, if you run a company or work for a company that wants to sponsor New Zealand’s Biggest BJJ school, then I can offer some incentives. Pages or Banners on my sites, signs up at the schools, Patches on the Gis and many more ways of getting your companies name out there!

Think about it.. every little bit helps!


Shihan Geoff

Target 200 square mtrs
Total @ 4th August 2010

Richard Norton Seminars GSW Wellington

Once again GSW had the immense pleasure of hosting another BJJ Black Belt under the Machado Brothers.


Richard Norton is known by many in the Martial Arts world as a Action Movie Star who has appeared in over 60 movies, alongside greats such as Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yasuaki Kurata, Benny “the Jet” Urquidez, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and Cynthia Rothrock. But personally Richard is more than just a name and a face on the big screen.


In 1996 Ko and I traveled to Geelong to attend seminars by Jean Jaques Machado run at John Will’s academy. Richard Norton was in attendance as well and he took the time to assist us both as we struggled with the concepts and ideas that JJM was trying to instill in us. It was a profound time in our training. Meeting legends in the Martial Arts and forging stronger ties with our coach John Will.


Recently Richard has returned to Australia from his home in LA to start work on Mad Max 4. Richard also started running seminars for local Martial Arts Schools, so I approached him about coming to NZ for a couple of sessions at GSW.


Richard ran 2 sessions for the GSW crew, one for the white belts and one for the coloured. As we have had so many sessions with John Will we did not know what to expect from Richard. But very quickly it became clear that while Richards teaching style was different from John’s, his skill and ability was beyond awesome.


While I was personally disappointed with the turn-out from both the GSW crew and our associated schools, the students that did attend were rewarded with an inspiring and thought provoking set of skills and drills. Richard was engaging and entertaining in his delivery and, like John, his stories and anecdotes reminded us why we are so privileged to be a Machado school.


Through our association with John Will and BJJ Australasia, we have been granted access to BJJ royalty and those that were there at the beginning of the BJJ revolution as we know it. Not only can we claim a direct link to the source but we have trained with those that help create the BJJ that we know and love.

Richard session covered many topics as he gave us what he called his ‘tea tasting’ in other words a broad range of skills and insights into concepts for our games.

For me personally it was a great look at things from a different perspective and the next day the feedback from everyone has been nothing short of astounding. Everyone knows that John Will is the very best coach and we are well versed in John’s delivery and execution of his seminars, which is why they now cater for 80+ people, but Richard provided a fresh insight into old skills and new twists and tweaks as well as new concepts. invigorating to say the least.

I won’t run through a list of what he covered as the group that made the effort can claim those things as their own, this is not a hiding of skills or a keeping of secret knowledge but an acknowledgment to those the gave up their time and took a punt on the unknown.


Richard also ran a session for the local Zen Do Kai students and instructors, held at GSW. Through sheer diplomacy I will keep my opinions to myself, other than this.

I cannot express how validated I feel in my decision to run GSW as I do, our mat culture is awesome and the people who attend our classes and fit the ideals of the school should hold their heads high and revel in their ability to absorb information and encourage the outpouring that this attitude inspires in our visiting instructors. You Guys and Girls rock.

Photos from the sessions can be found on our flickr page:>>

Richard Norton GSW BJJ seminar >>

Richard Norton GSW Zen Do Kai Seminar >>

John Will – GSW BJJ seminar June 2010

John Will returned to GSW in Lower Hutt for another round of BJJ Seminars. Once again due to numbers the seminars were split into two sessions.
White Belts and Coloured Belts.

The White Belt session was attended by 40 BJJ Students from GSW and Submission Martial Arts in Whitby. John covered a bunch of Immediate Action techniques in a seminar that he called a Vaccination Seminar.

Basically John covered answers to several of the problem areas that he sees beginners getting caught in during their first months of BJJ training. Things that John covered were, Crossover Guard defence, Side Control Escape (Hip in Pocket), Switchbase escape, Elbow Escape from Mount, Side Mount Escape, 1/2 Guard pass, Head to Head (Sit-out) and Front Choke Escape.
At the end of the White Belts session 4 New Blues were Presented 1 from Glen’s Submission Martial Arts and 3 from GSW. Conrats to Melvin, Kym and Kelvin
Kelvin, John, Geoff, Kym and Melvin

The Coloured Belts session covered getting the back and was attended by 30 of GSW’s Blue and Purple Belts. John had given us some great chokes at the last seminar and this time he went into several ways of gaining and controlling the back using several vital principals involving leverage and weight placement.
Coloured Belts Session

As always Johns seminar left everyone with something to take away and think about, as well as many things that instantly fitted into peoples grappling. Johns next session will be November 24th..

Our next seminar at GSW is with Richard Norton one of John Will’s training partners and multiple Black Belt, including his BJJ Black Belt from Jean Jacques Machado. Richard has starred in dozens of movies, with many top Martial Arts Movie Stars. Richard has also travelled the world as personal protection to performance artists. Richard bio can be found at his site

Richard will be running BJJ Seminars at GSW Lower Hutt on the 3rd of July 2010. Each seminar will be $50 and last 2 hours. Jump onto the GSW facebook page to register your interest as places are strictly limited and filling fast.
Wellington Saturday 3rd July 2010
BJJ Seminar White Belts 1pm – 3pm $50
BJJ Seminar coloured Belts 3.30pm-5.30pm $50

Wellington Sunday 4th July 2010
MMA / Street Defence Seminar (for Zen Do Kai Students)
Sunday 4th July
9am – 11am

Will / Machado NZ National Competition 2010

The boys and Girls in Auckland are hosting this years Will / Machado BJJNZ nationals.

Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010
Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm
Location: AUT, North Shore Campus
Street: 90 Akoranga Drive
City/Town: Northcote, New Zealand

Download the NZ Nationals Poster A4 >>

Online registrations can be made here >>

A facebook event page has been set up for all information and news:
Facebook Event Page Nationals 2010

Here is all the info from the facebook page. We look forward to seeing all Will / Machado BJJ Students there!!

Early Bird Entry Fee, before 5th July
$40.00, includes free competition t-shirt

After 6th July $40.00 entry fee plus $20.00 for competition t-shirt

Online entries at

Weigh In 9:30am


* You must be a member of a Will/Machado affiliated academy to compete



WHITE BELT - 5 minutes

BLUE BELT – 6 minutes

PURPLE BELT – 7 minutes

BROWN BELT – 8 minutes


WHITE BELT – 5 minutes

BLUE-PURPLE BELT – 6 minutes

2KG allowance for Gi

NB: Divisions are subject to entries, there may be an adjustment in weight split to make for better competition pools

GSW and The Poneke Dojo seperate

It’s done.. decision made… GSW and the Poneke Dojo are parting ways. Pretty sad, after a stellar relationship for 8 years. But we need to move onwards and upwards.

Classes get bigger and bigger, no matter what I say people still keep coming along. So I’ve made the decision to run all classes out of the Hutt for a few months while we finalise a new Wellington location!

Wellington will be Bigger Better More Classes and More Variety. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

The last class at Prince of Wales Park will be this Sunday 9th May!

I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to Chris & Jill Gower for everything they have done for me and GSW over the years, you guys are the very best.


BJJ Fundamentals Lower Hutt: Monday 19th April

Purple Belt Darren Brown took class tonight as Geoff was away. With almost 40 on the mat it was a challenging class.

Class Mon 19 Apr

2 types of kneeride – first grab behind their head while other grabs far knee, then pull up to align your knee, hip and shoulder turning your opponent into the letter U. This sucks their energy. The other kneeride is low and hunting for the opportunity for a submission. Your shin is across their belly with little to no weight on your foot, the other leg floats out for support. Your right hand is outside your knee, acting as both a post and to block their hip while they go spastic, like in side control, again without too much weight. Your left hand is controlling behind their head.

Near armbar – grab behind their tricep of the near arm (thumb down). Straighten your body and pull up on their arm. Step your left foot over their head with control – you’ll know your doing this if you can step back and forth to reset and your upper body doesn’t move and you don’t kick your opponent in the head. Slide down the back of their arm, so you get good hip penetration and use your right arm to wrap their arm close to your body. Weld their little finger to your chest, thumb up and break the arm.

Far arm bar – from the low hunting kneeride, fake an attack on the near arm. They don’t need to put their hand on your knee. Reach under their far arm, grab their tricep, and up and crush by putting your elbow through their solar plexus. They make a funny noise, change colour and turn towards you. Spin on the ball of your right foot and kick them in the belt with your left foot, staying low while you spin. Get good hip penetration, squeeze your knees, attach their pinky to your chest and break their arm.

The more you fake for an armbar on either side, the more the attack their arms, exposing their neck. Put your left hand behind their head. Put 4 fingers low inside their lapel and zipper them up to make the baseball grip (your hands don’t have to touch). Bring your top elbow down to your bottom elbow, this will turn you towards their head, they may try to defend by putting their near arm in the way, kill this by driving your knee over the top of it and get it out the way by ’sliding fir home’. Put your head on the side you just came from and shoulder on their belly. Tripod up and pull your elbows to your back.


Back to Prince of Wales Park

The Poneke Dojo @ Prince of wales park has been repaired and rematted and is ready for us to use. Our first class there will be Thursday the 15th of April. Remember there is limited space so please don’t come. You are encouraged to make the drive to Lower Hutt where several Blue Belts will be on hand to help you with your game and have a roll. Other than that if you can only make it into town then I’ll see you on Thursday.

GSW Wellington Prince of Wales Park, Salisbury Tce, Mt Cook


8.00 – 9.30 pm: BJJ Intermediate (Open – Gi – grappling)


8.00 – 9.30 pm: BJJ Intermediate (Open – Gi – grappling)


7.00 – 7.45 pm: BJJ Fundamentals (new members)
7.45 – 8.30 pm: BJJ Apartheid (Coloured only)
8.30 – 9.00 pm: BJJ Grappling (Gi – grappling)


6.00 – 6.45 pm: BJJ Fundamentals (new members)
6.45 – 7.30 pm: BJJ Apartheid (Coloured only)
7.30 – 8.00 pm: BJJ Grappling (Gi – grappling)

Sunday the 28th of March Fundamentals

1:Here we started off on our partners hooks.We dropped our base to the mat,and our hands came down and around to grab their butt,so our biceps were blocking their knees pinning them down.With our left leg we stepped it off,and placed it by our right knee.

1b:Same again as drill 1 but this time our partner would be a bit more active and try to follow us with their hooks.

1c:Again same as drill 1 but this time our partner would follow us with their hooks and try and get underhooks.

2:Again we were on the hooks keeping low.With our right hand we pushed down on their left ankle,and scooted back(our weight doesn’t come forward).We then slid our right knee backward.Our left shoulder and bicep came into their right leg,as we switched base into hips to pass the guard.

2b:Again we went for 2 but out partner would give us a bit of grief by following with their hooks.

2c:This time they would try grabbing our arms,as well as trying to follow with their hooks.

3:Same again as drill 1 but this time our partner had the underhook on our left side.With our right hand,we pushed down on their knee keeping our base down,and coming around to pass the guard.

4:Here our partner had the hooks,and were attacking out arms.We would block the knees,and shuffle back keeping down until we were in a comfortable position,until we could pass the guard.

5Here were were still on the hooks but our head was in the middle of our partners stomach,and we were between their legs.Staying as low as possible,and stretching down (going backwards) we walked around to our left side,so we their right knee would come to the ground with our body weight.We walked all the way around until we could secure side control.