It was a long 6 months but it was worth every single sweat. It all started when our women’s judo coach Queenie Chew stumbled upon the registration to the Malaysian Invasion Mix Martial Arts, MIMMA in short. Queenie informed me and I remembered that Aik Tong once told me of his dream to have a career in Mix Martial Arts. I informed Queenie to register Aik Tong for the trials.This is the story of a journey of turning a dream into reality…
The journey started in January. Aik Tong went with Md Nashriq (Grappling Coach), Khye Ping (Striking Coach), Queenie Chew (Videolady and Chief Cheer Leader) and Kah Joon (Strike Partner). The tryout were held at Paradigm mall, Kuala Lumpur.
The cage for the tryouts at Paradigm mall
The team left Penang early in the morning as registration for tryout were at 10am. At the tryouts, the team met fellow judo friends who are also trying to make a career in MMA namely Gary Maclay and Fahkrul Izzat. Height and weight were measured and participants were tested in 3 areas. The first striking, then followed by grappling. If you passed both the test, you would then be given a chance to showcase your skills in the cage.
Photo-shoot of Aik Tong
Seen here Aik Tong mounting his opponent in the grappling tryouts
At about 7pm, I got a call from a very Queenie saying that Aik Tong has qualified for the ladder match. He passed the striking test easily, then dominated his opponent in groundwork and finally knocked out his opponent via TKO in the cage fight. A good start. The next fight was scheduled a month later.
Through the MIMMA official website, we found out the next opponent in the ladder match was Tan Yong Tan who has experience in boxing, muay thai and grappling. Aik Tong in the meantime started working on his striking.
Aik Tong delivering a barrage of blows just before the referee stopped the match
The ladder match bout was over in less than a minute. Aik Tong won via TKO. The striking training seems to work. I expected Aik Tong to submit his opponents but he has delivered 2 knockouts via striking so far. Next would be the quarter finals. His quarter finals opponent was Lim Yee Wei who is a kick boxing exponent.
Nashriq was not able to accompany Aik Tong this time so I went along. I was already in KL the day before to attend a meeting and I met the team at Paradigm at 10am. I had to admit when I saw the setups I was impressed. The organizers really did a great job.
Lim Yee Wei, delivering the first blow at the start of the first round
Aik Tong was interviewed just before his fight and I remembered him saying, he is confident in beating his opponent. He is not a guy who talks much so it was short and simple. The match started off at a fast pace. Yee Wei tried kicked at Aik Tong only for Aik Tong to parry the kick easily. Aik Tong then delivered a punch which connected to Yee Wei head. You could see that the punch rocked Yee Wei and he could not stand properly. Aik Tong then clinched Yee Wei and delivered his favourite throw, the Uchimata.
Inner thigh throw (Uchimata) seen he as executed by Aik Tong.
After the escape Yee Wei took the opportunity to reign some blows to Aik Tong while Aik Tong was in the guard position. Aik Tong caught hold of Yee Wei’s hand and delivered the arm bar to which Yee Wei tapped out. The whole match lasted under a minute.
Seen here the victorious Aik Tong being acknowledge by Yee Wei like true sports men they are.
So again we looked forward to the next fight. By that time we only had 4 guys left. Aik Tong, Chew Chee Chan, Reeza Azim and Teh Kah Wei. Aik Tong and myself stayed back to study the opponents. At the semi final level, we could see the standard of the opponents are higher due to higher intensity training in the past 3 months.
Queenie later informed me that Aik Tong’s opponent was Rezza Azim. We then formed a game plan to take the fight to the ground as this seems to be Reeza’s weak point. Reeza listed himself as free styler and we noticed that the ground game was not his strong point in his previous match ups.
I did not follow Aik Tong to the semi final match as Nashriq was free to go. I had to stay back to train the Penang Judo SUKMA squad.
To be continued …
A big congratulations to Nashriq aka Abang Facebook and Queenie for obtaining the blue belt rank in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Marcos gave the blue belts after the end of the class at Leverage on the 25th of June, 2012.
You could actually see the satisfaction in Queenie’s eyes….haha
A big congrats to Koo Kar Joon who obtained his 4th stripe white…next is blue…. he was nicknamed the Chinese Caio Tera after the grading…
There was also an after party after the training as Marcos is leaving back to Brazil for a while. The guys made a special cake for him. It was a dangerous cake all right….
After the cake ceremony what else but the belt celebration Marcos style…..Guys this is what you get when you get promoted in BJJ
Nashriq walking down the aisle
Queenie walking down the aisle
23rd of June was an exciting day for us as 11 of us made the journey down to Kuala Lumpur to watch our BJJ chief coach Marcos Escobar debut in his first MMA fight at ONEFC. The competition was scheduled to start at 7.30pm.
The arena was setup and you could actually feel the electrifying environment which setup the mood for the night. Marcos Escobar’s fight was scheduled as the 2nd fight of the night. The ring announcer the “PRIDE Lady” Lenne Hardt’s was just mind blowing good. Her voice and her tempo added another 100% to the excitement we already had. The fighters were introduced one by one to the ring.
The view of the arena from where we were seating…
The first match up was a fast one as local boy Peter Davis knocked out Singapore favourite Quek Kim Hock in under 1 minute. Next was the Marcos match up and you could actually feel the stadium coming down. Marcos had a lot of students rooting for him in the stadium. We were all just cheering non stop as Marcos fought Rodrigo Praxedes.
The match went to 3 rounds. In round one Marcos started aggressively from the first ring of the bell. Nearing the end of the round 1, Marcos managed to mount Rodrigo and started pounding him. The ring of the bell saved Rodrigo. The match could have ended here.
The second round started and was as exciting as round 1. Marcos showed some great foot stomps when he pinned Rodrigo to the cage. Rodrigo managed to land a punch on Marcos and Marcos fell. Rodrigo then mounted Marcos but managed to escape. Then it was Marcos turn to mount and punch.
Round 3…..Rodrigo is tiring fast and Marcos ups the tempo.Both fighters went to ground and Marcos managed to engage a choke hold. Rodrigo taps and the whole stadium erupted with cheers and applause for Marcos..
Marcos moving into the choke hold from here….
Referee Matt Hume hoisting Marcos’s hand signaling the winner…
The ONEFC event ended at around 11.30pm. We were told by our sister club Leverage that there would be a party to celebrate Marcos’s win at Bangsar. There we meet almost all the fighters and also the “Legend” in BJJ, Renzo Gracie. A renowned humble and popular BJJ expert ..
It was a truly memorable experience and we all had a great fun time during this trip. Looking forward to the next ONEFC in Malaysia…
20th March 2012 - 22nd March 2012
It has been a great Budo family outing. The team trained hard and was prepared for their maiden BJJ (Brazillian Jiu Jitsu) competition and a world trial at that!!! This trial was a 3 star trial with participants from over 20 countries. The Budo family consisted of Md Nashriq, Lucas Taylor, Alan Finlay, Kenneth Teh, Khye Ping, Victor Lee, Arai, Kah Joon, Ooi Aik Tong and Queenie Chew Li Ying. Justin, Melvin, Magen and Yi Jian were appointed as technical officials of the tournament. We had also our cheer leaders in Kah May and Hanani. Talking about a complete team!!!
We left Penang at about 9am and arrived KL at about 1pm and went straight to Leverage Combat Academy where the trials were held. It was the first time we went to our sister club new establishment at Solaris for the official weighing in. It was a great time as we meet our brothers and sisters from our extended Marcos Escobar BJJ family.
Kenneth and Khye horsing around in the cage while waiting for the weighing in.
Cheer leaders Hanani and Kah May preparing to document our travels.
After weighing, it was back to the hotel for some good rest in preparation for competition the next day. The next morning we were all ready and pumped up for the competition. The first recognized BJJ competition in Malaysia.
The view of the competition area.
Justin strapping Alan ankle for the competition.
The competition started at 10am. Adam Kayoum the chief referee gave all competitors a quick recap on the competition rules. The white belt light weight divisions kicked off. This was followed by blue belts and purple. Kah Joon match was the very first match on mat 1. His opponent was a Hong Kong player from Rodrigo Caporal team. Kah Joon lost by points. As the competition was a straight knockout, there is no 2nd chance. Victor, Khye Ping and Kenneth were also knocked out in the first round. Alan, Nashriq, Queenie, Arai, Lucas and Aik Tong progressed to the next round.
Kah Joon in action
Khye Ping in action
Kenneth in action
Alan in action
The white - purple belt divisions ended just before lunch and we obtained 2 gold from Md Nashriq and Queenie Chew, 2 silver Arai and Lucas and 2 bronze from Alan and Aik Tong.
1st - Queenie Chew (MEBJJ Budo ACademy) , 2nd - Magdaline Tan (MEBJJ Leverage) 3rd - Taya Leemeijer (Evolve)
1st - Md Nashriq (MEBJJ Budo ACademy) , 2nd - Justin Low (MEBJJ Leverage) 3rd - Sharul Hamizan (BJJ Borneo)
1st - Adrian Rodolfo (Atos) , 2nd - Arai Takumi (MEBJJ Budo Academy) 3rd -
1st - Jordan Roberts (Rodrigo Caporal Team) , 2nd - Lucas Taylor (MEBJJ Budo Academy) 3rd -MEBJJ Budo Academy
Competitors who qualified till the quarterfinals in their respective categories were given a chance to fight in the Absolute divisions which is a no weight category. The winners of the absolute division would be given an all expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi to compete at the World Championship.
In the absolute white division, Queenie and Nashriq got the bronze and in the blue belt division, Arai got the bronze.
1st - Jordan Roberts (Rodrigo Caporal Team) , 2nd -3rd - MEBJJ Budo Academy
1st - Magdalene Tan (MEBJJ Leverage) , 2nd - Chan Su LingMEBJJ Budo Leverage 3rd -Queenie Chew MEBJJ Budo Academy Evolve MMA
1st - Yang Seung Ho (Tiger Muay Thai) , 2nd - Andrew Wong KeeRodrigo Caporal Team 3rd -Takumi Arai MEBJJ Budo Academy Adrian Rodolfo (Atos)
Final medal tally from Budo Academy was 2 gold and 2 silver and 4 bronze and Marcos Escobar BJJ Team which is a combination of Budo Academy and Leverage we announced as overall champ with a medal haul of 4 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze.
Congrats to the whole Budo family. Special thanks to Professor Marcos Escobar and Aaron Goh for training us and we look forward to better times. We would like to thank all Budo friends like Mike Sethna and Mike Haw for training with us in preparation for the trials.
So after a hard competition whats next….. a rest at relax at Genting Highlands and some fresh air …….
The first interview - Aaron Goh
(Taken from: http://malaysianbjj.blogspot.com/2012/02/first-interview-aaron-goh.html)
Could you just briefly introduce yourself - name, age (if you want to!), job, nationality and anything else you would like us to know about?
Aaron Goh, and I just turned 30. I co-own and manage Leverage Combat Academy, a training facility that focuses primarily on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and its applications in various forms (Submission Grappling, Mixed Martial Arts).
How long have you been training BJJ?
I started in late 2008. I didn’t do too well in maths while I was at school, but I’m guessing that makes it more than 3 years.
Please tell us a little bit about what got you into BJJ and how you met Marcos.
Well, like every hot blooded male who was a product of the 80s, I grew up watching action movies and I have always had a fascination for martial arts. I didn’t believe that anything I saw was practical though, so I always thought that fighting and martial arts was just for the movies. Until one day, I sat in the cinema and watched a Donnie Yen movie called ‘Flashpoint” (now regarded as one of the best and most realistic action movie ever filmed). It was like a spark was ignited within and I told myself “Hey, this actually looks like it could work in real life”
At that point I was already 26 years old, and I have always been into keeping fit and I was an avid gym goer. I didn’t really want to pursue anything that is close contact physically, unless I thought it was practical and could actually work in real life. So I researched more and found out that Donnie Yen used “Mixed Martial Arts” to choreograph the fight scenes and that it was a combination of various martial arts, one of which was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I was extremely intrigued and I told myself, “I must learn this!” It so happened that 2 weeks later, The Star ran an article on Malaysia’s very first pro MMA fighter, Adam Kayoom. I got in contact with the gym that he was affiliated with at that time, but was told he was no longer teaching there. Undaunted, I went for a trial class, was immediately hooked and signed up on that same day!
The classes had a mixed bunch of practitioners, most of whom had already been practicing BJJ for a few months or a few years. I felt out of place as most of the techniques shown were beyond my comprehension and ability. It was no fault of theirs, but I was a complete newbie and so I began searching for a place that could fit me and my need to learn the basics. I mean, it’s no point learning a spinning back kick if you can’t even stand properly you know what I mean?
I remember searching for BJJ in Malaysia almost every day, constantly refreshing the search page, until one day I found out an ADCC champion and a Brazilian Black Belt was teaching here in Kota Damansara! I couldn’t believe my luck!
I went for the trial class that very week, and I still remember there were only 5 of us or so. One of them was Kenneth Lam actually! Hahaha! And that’s how I met Marcos and have not looked back since.
What’s your favourite submission and position?
The back take is my favourite position. Favourite submission guillotine (No Gi) and the bow and arrow lapel choke (Gi)
Gi or no-gi?
Man, this has been and still is an ongoing debate. I’m no Black Belt but I firmly believe both Gi and No Gi complement each other. If you want to get better at the Gi, you must train No Gi. Without the Gi, you must keep your game tighter and you cannot be loose otherwise you will lose position. And if you want to get better at No Gi, you must train with the Gi. With the Gi, you are forced to be more technical with your escapes and submissions. You cannot just muscle your way or slip out of bad positions. I enjoy the intricacies of both, and I honestly feel training both Gi and No Gi has helped my jiu jitsu tremendously.
Obviously you are now the co-owner of Leverage Combat Academy, what was it you did before opening the gym and going full-time with BJJ?
I was in the car customization industry for 8 years and I was the pioneer for a lot of stuff that are staples now in the local aftermarket industry. I was the first to commercialise airbrushed graphics for cars and I was also the only person to have successfully brought the king of car customization to Malaysia, the world famous West Coast Customs.
Not many people are prepared to give up their jobs and do their hobby professionally, what was it that made you decide to go for it?
It’s not an easy decision to make for most people. If they are not sure about their passion or hobby, and they just make the jump without careful consideration, that passion can quickly become a burden once it becomes a full time venture. I decided to go for it because I really believe in jiu jitsu, and I really believe in the relationship I have with my instructor and partner, Prof. Marcos. We both shared the same goals and we both are very passionate about BJJ.
I was also feeling burned out by the long hours with my car business. It was extremely stressful, and jiu jitsu was my constant outlet. So after some careful consideration, I decided to pursue my passion.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you felt when you decided to take that plunge?
Nervous. Worried. Not so much for how things might turn out for me financially, but more so for how my relationship with my instructor will pan out. I’ve been involved in numerous businesses since the age of 21, and I can honestly tell you that a business relationship is just like a romantic relationship. It’s all fun and laughter when times are good, but when times are bad; that’s when you know for sure if you can really work with and count on your partner. I have lost count of the many friends I have lost due to business misunderstandings and dealings. My own childhood friend whom I have known for 10 years even screwed me over, all in the pursuit of wealth.
I took those lessons to heart, and I really didn’t want to lose my instructor over business. It also helps that we train together, so for the most part if there’s any misunderstanding we can always sort it out on the mats. Of course he kicks my ass, but you can be damn sure I’m gonna at least try to not make it easy for him!
You are obviously very committed to spreading the word of BJJ throughout Malaysia - could you give us a few words about what BJJ means to you?
BJJ to me is a lifestyle. It is one that I personally feel many should adopt. It is a great tool to release stress. So many people go through life with a chip on their shoulder. They work a job they hate and for a boss that they hate even more. Everyday there’s the stress of traffic, deadlines, bills, appointments and family commitments. That’s why there’s so much road rage. These people are looking for an outlet. The majority of them are ticking time bombs, just waiting for that one incident that will set them off.
My advice? Try a month of BJJ. You will be so tired after training and rolling, you won’t even have the energy to get mad at the idiot that cuts into your lane.
I like to think of how similar BJJ and life actually is. In jiu jitsu, if you don’t sort out certain grips or if you ignore certain positions, you’re gonna get submitted! You learn to look at life’s problems similarly, without all the mental anguish that typically accompanies it. You become analytical. You start to think strategically. And when you get better at BJJ and as you get fitter, your self confidence increases and when that happens, it changes the way you carry yourself. Because you’re more confident, you’re willing to take chances and ask for that salary raise. Or demand that promotion. Your quality of life actually gets better through jiu jitsu, and that is why it is a lifestyle.
Obviously you have decided that BJJ is your life now, do you think it is suitable for everybody - why would you suggest that someone take up BJJ?
BJJ is absolutely suitable for everybody and I am living proof of that. I wasn’t the most athletic, or strongest or biggest or fittest in the class when I first started. I wasn’t even a fast learner. I didn’t take to it as easily as I have seen some people take to it. My first 6 months, all I was doing was just tapping. And every night I would lie awake and wonder, ‘can I really one day understand how jiu jitsu works?’ But I stuck with it and I persevered. And I am glad I did. You do not need any particular physical attributes to take up BJJ. You do not need to have a background in any form of martial arts (I certainly did not). A person can literally get off the couch, put on a Gi and a belt, and start that very second.
The Academy is obviously going through a lot of changes in 2012, with a new training facility, could you say a few words about what you’re planning for the coming year and beyond?
The new academy would not have been possible without the support of so many individuals. I always like to say that a gym is only as good as its members. Other than that, it is just empty space and walls. It is the individuals in the gym that make our academy unique and I am proud of this, more than anything else. With the new facility in Solaris, Mont Kiara we are hoping to be able to broaden our reach and encourage more Malaysians to take up BJJ.
We’ve also got an exciting competition coming up in March and a few seminars planned. With the ever growing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts in Malaysia, more and more people are discovering BJJ and we hope to be at the forefront of that. We’ve put in our dues and we have spent years building a strong foundation, so I really hope that this year we achieve our goal of 100 active students.
With a large influx of MMA fighters coming to the gym, could you please talk a little bit about how you see Leverage switching focus towards grooming potential MMA fighters, is that the plan at all? Will the gym be providing more MMA-focused fight training or will it remain a place where MMA fighters can come just to brush up on their jiujitsu?
Our core has been, and will always be BJJ. So the modalities will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the Gi. Submission Grappling (No Gi). And Grappling with Striking (essentially, MMA). I think the vast majority have no idea what it truly takes to be an MMA fighter. They don’t know that you MUST have at least some form of stand up (striking) and ground work (grappling/ wrestling/ jiu jitsu) before you can call yourself an MMA fighter.
Most of these guys just put on a Dethrone or Tapout t-shirt and think they are a fighter. It also doesn’t help matters when some gyms market MMA as something glamorous and cool, when the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and training to be an MMA fighter.
I want Leverage to be known for our jiu jitsu, first and foremost. And that is what we will focus on at all times.
Looking at things from a wider perspective, we saw in the first UFC that BJJ beat everything, however, in the modern MMA game, wrestling seems to be the dominant art. Is BJJ still essential for MMA? Will it rise to dominate again?
Wrestling, in my opinion, is the best companion to BJJ. If you have good wrestling and BJJ, you can dictate where the fight goes. Wrestling has the best takedowns for MMA, and BJJ has the best positions and submissions for MMA. In the first UFC, no one had a clue what ground fighting was.
But BJJ is constantly evolving. Look at the recent Mundials and ADCC. I believe it is not the case of BJJ rising to dominate again, it is a matter of fight strategy and using one’s strength to win the fight. No one will expect Roger Gracie to display the striking prowess of Anderson Silva, and expecting him to do so and win fights is ludicrous. His strength is his jiu jitsu. Similarly, no one will expect Alistair Overeem to grapple like Roger and dominate his opponents with superior positioning and submissions. He is a kickboxer and he will use that to win fights.
MMA is a complex sport, and it is not easy for any single martial art to dominate like in the first UFC. I do believe jiu jitsu fighters will continue to dominate with their jiu jitsu, and I cannot wait to see some of the champions of our sport take up MMA in the future (Rodolfo Vieira comes to mind).
Apart obviously from Marcos, could you talk about any figures in sport or otherwise that have inspired you on your BJJ journey?
Marcelo Garcia comes to mind. He’s always smiling. And he’s such a great grappler. I hope to one day be half as good as him, and as humble as he is. I want to be a great ambassador for the Malaysian BJJ scene. Leo Vieira. Such a legend and yet so down to earth and friendly. I was very fortunate to have met and learnt from him. I enjoy watching Rodolfo Vieira’s guard passes. I like the Mendes Bros too. Caio Terra. Andre Galvao. If I keep going on, I would probably list almost every great BJJ athlete there ever was! I just keep an open mind and I take inspiration from everywhere and everybody.
Do you have any final words for anyone that might be reading this?
I’d like to thank everyone with whom I have had the opportunity to slap hands and bump fists with. There are so many people who have been so supportive of Leverage and I cannot thank them enough. Most importantly, I thank God for giving me the ability to do jiu jitsu and I hope this article inspires someone enough to try BJJ for themselves. Osss!
The History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Jiu-Jitsu which means “the gentle art” is the oldest form of martial art. It originated in India more than 2000 years B.C. It was practiced by Buddhist Monks who developed the method as a way of self-defense against barbarian attacks. These monks created techniques based upon principles of balance and leverage. Since then has been created a non violent fighting style named JIU-JITSU.
With the expansion of Buddhism, it spread to China, finally arriving in Japan where it developed and gained further popularity.
In 1915, Esai Maeda Koma, a Japanese Jiu Jitsu Champion,” arrived in Brazil, where he taught Jiu Jitsu to Carlos Gracie.
Since then, Carlos started to share his knowledge with his younger brothers.
Carlos youngest brother, Helio, adapted the Jiu-Jitsu techniques making it easier for weaker people to fight against stonger people, creating the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu style and being considered the father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has gained fame around the world due the great results of Jiu Jitsu fighters in the ADCC and MMA competitions.
In the early 90’s was established the International Jiu Jitsu Federation and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation contributing to the rapid growth of the sport by holding organized competitions.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
Well known as the most efficient grappling martial art and combat sport that focuses on ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position and using joint-locks and chokeholds to force an opponent to submit.
It promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person using leverage and proper technique can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant.
It is an ideal choice for you if you are interested in self defense, a safe one on one competitive grappling sport, a new and effective way to excercise your body - releasing stress, improving stamina & flexibility.
Do not be discouraged by your age, body condition, or sex. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s biggest strength is its accessibility to everyone.
Take the opportunity to train with multiple times champion Marcos Escobar. Check out our schedule section, and come in and sign up today. Contact us for private lessons with Escobar.
Its official, our coach Marcos is fighting in One FC..
ONE Fighting Championship is Asia’s largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and the largest pan-Asian media broadcast.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is the fastest growing sport in the world today. In true Darwinian fashion, the sport of MMA allows for any martial arts style to compete against any martial arts style in the most free of artistic expressions for martial artists. MMA athletes utilize the best techniques from any and all martial arts in order to compete standing up or on the ground.
Whether it is Karate, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Silat, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Kali, Shuai Jiao, Aikido, or other martial arts, Asia has been the birthplace and home of martial arts for the last 5,000 years. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is the most exciting evolution in centuries and is the future of martial arts. It combines the excitement of a prize fight, the athleticism of the Olympics, the tradition of martial arts, and the adrenaline of a rock concert.
ONE Fighting Championship host the most exciting MMA fights in Asia, featuring the top Asian fighters.
Profesor Marcos would be making his MMA debut on 31st March 2012 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Sensei Joe Thambu, the nephew of Sensei Thamby Rajah, the father of Malaysian Aikido and the first Malaysian Black Belter in Judo gave a restraint and removal seminar at Budo Academy to usher in the new year.
Sensei Joe Thambu began his training in 1972 under his uncle, Thamby Rajah at the age of 11. Thamby Rajah Sensei is often credited as the first Malaysian to be graded to black belt in both Aikido and Judo. Sensei Joe is a teacher of Yoshinkan Aikido (currently 7th Dan, Shihan) with over 35 years experience in the art. He is the third youngest of 8 children and is of Malaysian Tamil heritage.
As a teenager Joe Thambu was fortunate that his uncle’s school was next door to his father’s house. Internationally famous martial artists were frequent visitors to his uncle’s school in Seremban, Malaysia. Amongst these were Donn F. Draeger, a prolific martial arts historian and researcher who wrote over 30 books on Eastern martial arts. Draeger was expert in Judo, Karate and Jōdō and was the first non-Japanese to be ranked Menkyo-Kaiden (teaching certificate) in the classical system of Muso Shinto Ryu Jodo.
Other notable visitors included Junichiro Yagi Sensei (8th Dan) and former Yoshinkan Aikido Shihan (master title), as well as Kenji Shimizu Sensei, a past headmaster of Muso Shinto Ryu Jodo.
A big thank you to Sensei Dr. Ramlan Ahmed, the head Aikido instructor of Budo Academy for organizing this wonderful event.
Congrats to all Budo Academy BJJ enthusiast. The first from Penang to be graded and given stripes by Marcos Escobar…
White 1 stripe - Victor
White 2 stripe - Pang, Kenneth, Edwin, Josh, Melvin, Alan
White 3 stripe - Gary, Khye Ping, Kah Joon, Lucas
White 4 stripe - Nashriq and Queenie
Blue 3 stripe - Arai
Marcos giving valuable advice to students….about being a family..
This is how your stripes would be given when you forget to wear a BJJ belt to a grading presentation… haha
Micheal Haw and Michael Sethna visited Budo Acadeny and trained with our members for a week. Both of them have been training BJJ for a couple of years and both are currently brown belts in BJJ. Both Mike’s graciously shared their BJJ knowledge during their trip here. Incidentally, Michael Haw was the one who suggested that Budo Academy start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Well now we are the first center in Penang to have Brazilian Jiu Jitsu headed by the esteemed Marcos Escobar the 2001 ADCC Champion. A big thank you and lLooking forward to your next visit, my Kiwi BJJ bros.
Chew Li Ying and Agnes Thong were selected to represent Malaysia at the SEA Games Jakarta 2011 for the ladies Ju No Kata event. A big thank you to Epsom College Malaysia for sponsoring the ladies to the games. The ladies had to report to Bukit Jalil for centralize training a week before the games.
At the competition hall at Jakarta…
They came in 5th placing…..
At the end of 2011 we organized a visit to Balik Pulau, north of Penang island. The kids were given a glimpse into a life of a farmer.
Mr. Lei the farm owner is seen here explaining to the kids and parents what do the farmers do at the farm. He explained the various vegetables available, how vegetables are planted and also how he created a natural ecosystem to manage him farm organically.
Gaurav is seen here trying his hands on a hoe to loosen the soil.
Jade showing how she sends her brother Conor and friend Daniel to the farm…..
Here we were treated to a show on how the goats are milked by machine and later the kids were given a chance to milk the goats by hand. Giggles and laughter filled the air….
The event highlight where kids fed the goats. Kids were happy goats were happy!
Our victorious players Lim Zheng Jie and Chua Jen Keat being interviewed on TV1 after their triumph at the Malaysian Games 2011 in KL Olympic Hall..
The Singapore International Cadet Championship 2011 was held at Bedok Sports Hall in September 2011. Henry Ng, Esther and Ooi Aik Tong from Penang was selected to the Junior Malaysian team for this event.
We stayed at the Pasir Ris Resort and host Singapore were a gracious host. It was a good competition. Esther managed 3rd placing, Henry 5th and Aik Tong 7th.
Overall the Malaysian team managed to captured 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze. Big congrats to all….
Budo Academy send a team of 8 players and 2 coaches to the annual Jagsport Judo Championship at our sister club Budo Academy Singapore. The team comprised of Md Nashriq (Coach), Chew Li Ying (Coach) and players Bryan Kong, Gregory Me, Eng Liang, Julius Khoo, Jan Marco, Henry Ng, Gurav Kumar and Amir Daniel.
Most of the kids were traveling abroad for the first time without their parents. The kids felt great in being independent.
Heavy ones above, light ones below……………………
Gaurav….. the entertainer of the pack..
At the end of the day, you learn not only what winning and losing about but also a great thing known as FRIENDSHIP….. The team got to know many new friends from around the world. Roughly 10 countries were participating in this event.
Amir Daniel in action….
Gold : Nicholas Me and Henry Ng
Silver: Julius Khoo
Bronze: Amir Daniel and Jan Marco
A big congrats to all coaches and players and a big thank you to Gerard Lim ( Principal of Budo Academy Singapore)
The Penang team to the SUKMA created a new record by breaking the old medal haul and with with a smaller team than the last SUKMA. This time Penang Judo team came back with a 3 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze.
The Gold medals came from Chua Jen Keat and Lim Zheng Jie (Men’s Kata), Esther Tam (Women -48kg) and Ooi Aik Tong (Men -73kg). Silver came from Ng Tsu Tao (Men -55kg) and Chua Jen Keat (Men -66kg). Bronze from Koay Seong Jiann (Men -60kg), Khoo Wei Leong (Men -81kg), Chong Swee Hang (Men +90kg) and Goh Yiing Yuan(Women -45kg)
The determination shown by the young squad was admirable. Specially to Lee Pei San which had to learn the Juno Kata from scratch in 72hours and able to pull the kata off was incredible. There was a minor problem where our first pair of Juno Kata was not eligible to participate. Fortunately there were no such problem in the Men’s Nage No Kata. Our pair of Chuah Jen Keat and Lim Zheng Jie completely blew out the rest of the competitors and after the preliminary rounds, they already had a huge lead over the rest of the field. Regardless to say, the gold medal was only for them to lose.
Koay Seong Jiann too showed a determination of steel fighting with a injured thumb. There were concerns if he was able to fight in such a highly demanding competition. He proved that he was made of steel and got 3rd placing.
All in all, it was a memorable competition. Team spirit was sensational. Karmini Sri, our youngest member at 14 years too was excited and stated her desire to return to the competition much stronger. It was definitely a sigh of relief for Md Nashriq and Justin Khoo after the finals were over especially the former as this is the first time as head coach for Penang.
Golden pair of Esther Tam and Aik Tong, celebrating their gold.
We are having fun alright!
Below: Combo of pictures of Ooi Aik Tong’s gold medal knockout score in the finals via uchimata.
Budo Academy is proud to be mentioned in a book which promotes activities for children in Malaysia. Author Lydia Teh mentioned that Budo Academy is the place in Penang to go if you want your kids to learn Judo. All instructors are specially trained to train kids in Judo which is not only beneficial for kids but very safe too. For more information, please contact Justin Khoo at 0164219009
This book is currently available in MPH bookstores nation wide costing RM29.90. (http://www.mphonline.com/books/nsearch.aspx?do=detail&pcode=9789833845484)
Penang Budo Academy has been mentioned in www.bjj-asia.com. Bjj-asia.com is currently the website which reports on all the activities of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu particularly in South East Asia. (http://www.bjj-asia.com/2011/03/budo-academy-penang.html)
Brazillian Jiu Jitsu aka BJJ is growing exponentially in South East Asia and is slowly getting popular in Malaysia. Marcos Escobar the representative of Checkmat in South East Asia is the head instructor of BJJ in Penang Budo Academy. So head on over to Penang Budo Academy to try the exciting art of BJJ. Do contact Justin at 0164219009 if you need more information.