An Afternoon with Speedy.

Disclaimer: Contains mild drama.

Speedy’s back! POW.

Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliot hasn’t set foot in Dundee for a year, but now he’s back to settle some unfinished business. Actually, scratch that – he’s here to teach a seminar to Dundee’s Jiu-Jitsu collective. A small band of people that love this wonderful sport.

I’ve met Speedy approximately one million times now. I’ve trained in his gyms, and he’s come up to us plenty of times. After a year away, due to the birth of his newest boy, he decided to visit our merry little gym once more – which for me is brilliant, because I think he’s fucking fantastic.

Now I’ve been down to Newcastle a couple of times in that year (twice in May), but getting a group of us together to train at his place is difficult as we all have our own lives, responsibilities etc. It’s a day’s commitment, because it’s 180miles each way. So you bet your arse it’s appreciated when he makes the trip himself up to us.

Ten of us showed up to be taught all of the nasties from this grappling wizard. He has a simplistic approach to Jiu-Jitsu, but don’t let that fool you because he will have you doing things you didn’t think were possible for your body. It’s how he explains things, and demonstrates things. A lot of the time, I find myself looking at something and thinking, fuck sake I’m about to make an absolute tit of myself attempting this, only to be nailing it 2-3 attempts later.

A lot of what he shows helps you better align what you can and can’t do in Jiu-Jitsu. You narrow the boundaries of your own physicality. Or at least for me it does. I don’t ever see me being one of these upside down guys in Jiu-Jitsu, but if Speedy showed me something, I’d feel comfortable in attempting it because I trust his judgement that much. He’s also very good at getting a technique to adapt to you, because we’re all built differently, our attributes aren’t similar and he understands that.

So what did we cover? Well only the best guard pass in the world, how to shut down people who try and stop that guard pass with an even NASTIER pass, and some tricky things from what’s best described at Twister side control (fuck you Eddie Bravo). There was a back take, an armbar, and an inverted triangle. Followed by a few sneaky moves for the higher belts, such as nasty leglock, and what’s best described as a deathlock because you’re completely fucking fucked. Imagine being curled into such a tight ball, that you’re praying for your opponent to pull an armlock of a footlock, just so you can tap without looking like too much of a pussy. That’s the deathlock. If you’d like me to go into these moves further, let me know and I’ll do my best to explain them.

Afterwards, we rolled. I chose Sloany, as he’s coming back from an injury and wanted to roll with someone he could trust. Sloany’s a big lad, so much so that I can’t physically move his arm when trying to Kimura him. I then rolled with Craig, a man so suave James Bond calls him for tips on how to get the ladies. Both were great rolls, with two very fucking skilled guys. I pretended to hold my own, so that’s cool. I don’t think Speedy noticed me getting smashed about the the mats like a bag of onions. I fucking hate onions.

I probably shouldn’t go into this, but I feel it worth mentioning because quite a few people have been effected by it. Things got a little heated between some club members yesterday/today in regards to who did and didn’t attend the seminar. There were verbal jabs thrown from either side. The fact is, some people did show up, and some didn’t. It is what it is. Those that did show up, wanted to be there and could be there. Those that didn’t show up may still have wanted to be there, but couldn’t make it – unfortunately that’s life.

The impact this has however is we don’t currently know whether Speedy will be back up to Dundee. He has a family and still has to make a living out of this Jiu-Jitsu game we all play. Traveling 180 miles each way for ten people isn’t as lucrative as you’d think. Yesterday there were bad road works just beside Edinburgh and this meant that Speedy’s trip to Dundee for a private class and a seminar (combined 3 hours or so) cost him easily up to 14 hours of his day. At best he’ll get home, kick off his shoes and not want to move for the rest of the evening, missing out on even more quality family time. He could have done a seminar closer to home, for the same money with far less aggro.

So what’s next? Well, a few of us will definitely be going down to Speedy’s again, regardless of whether he comes back. It’s too good an opportunity to miss in my eyes. He’ll always welcome us at his gym, and I’ll always be grateful to train with him because he introduced me to this stupid fucking sport. This sport that is slowy, crippling my body. This sport that is tearing me limb from limb. This sport that will one day kill me. Thanks Speedy, we love you.



2 responses to “An Afternoon with Speedy.

  1. I want a picture… Or preferably a video… of this deathlock. YEAS. Sounds really awesome.

    We recently had a Judo seminar with my judo teacher’s teacher. Who’d flown up to teach this class. All the jiujitsu guys, the krav guys, everyone was invited. The only folks who came were the same six people who regularly come to judo. Our judo teacher was understandably a little upset. BJJ is my primary interest, but the BJJ guys let us down – too afraid to take some flying lessons from an old man? Heh. Just kidding. Mostly.

    BUT I learned that this judo guy is a fucking badass. He teaches some dirty fucking judo techniques – I didn’t know judo could be so nasty. He’s a cop, and the sad story is that his partner was killed some 20-odd years ago by some guy who choked him to death in an arrest that went to the ground. So he teaches some very “not-competition” judo. Nasty chokes. Crazy reversals. Crazy pain-inducers. Totally worth it that I was able to make it. Sicks that some people weren’t They woulda been if they could – especially if they knew what he had to teach.

    Unfortunately, who knows if HE’LL come back. Guess I’ll have to fly out to whatever bush village he lives in now and get him to take me under his wing, Mr. Miyagi-style.

    Also – kind of creeping here, but I’m headed in the direction of Scotland next month, so was hoping you’d know a few good gyms to visit near the main tourist centers? (Or REALLY awesome gyms that are NOT near the main tourist centers but worth going out of the way to get to?) I’ve visited gyms that sucked – gyms that made me feel like I had to fight for my life to train with them, because I’m an “outsider.” Like they were trying to kill me! But I don’t want to have an ego-driven ass-kicking, I just want a good, chill training and new friends in another country.

    • It depends which parts of Scotland you’re going to. Edinburgh has a gym called Cross Combat, that is meant to be exceptional. There’s also Rick Young’s school (he got his black belt from Mauricio Gomes, Roger Gracie’s dad – one of the famous five). He was one of the first black belt’s in the UK. He’s also disciplined in tons of other arts.

      In Glasgow, you’ve got the Griphouse which is again an exceptional gym. And there’s also Scott McVeigh’s gym (he got his black belt from Royce Gracie).

      Any other cities, let me know and I’ll see if I can point any others out.

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