My name is Richard, I’m a full-time blogger, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed martial Arts enthusiast.
I started Attack The Back in 2014 as a fun venture to document my training and to share my experience around the world, but I never knew I’d end up here. Since starting this blog i’ve have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts fighters in the world. Look! That’s me with former UFC and Strike Force champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson, at the Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational weigh ins.
How Did I Begin Training?
In 2011, I was working at a call centre and I felt like I had no real calling in life. My day to day routine was something like this.
- Wake up
- Go to work for 8 hours
- Come home from work
- Go on the internet
- Have a nap
- Go back on the internet
- Go to bed
Rinse and repeat for 5 days a week, where I would go out in the weekends, drink and eat terrible food. I was gaining weight, loosing enthusiasm for life and needed to switch something up.
When I was a teenager, I would often watch old episodes of Cage Rage when my parents were out in the evening and in University, a lot of my time was spent watching random matches of the UFC, Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir was one of my earliest memories. I really enjoyed the idea of mixed martial arts, but the idea of getting punched in the face didn’t feel too appealing.
At my desk one day I remember a conversation I had with a friend named Rob Taylor, who at the time was a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he would often go on about how amazing it was etc, and now he is a black belt under Braulio Estima and a full-time instructor at his own academy.
My First Lesson
My first lesson was at Gracie Barra Swansea, also known as Chris Rees Academy, with a class that was run by a sprightly purple belt. I remember barely getting through the warmup and being paired with another beginner for drilling. At the time, I thought i’d know a little because I had been watching UFC fights, but I was very wrong. The first technique I was ever taught was an Armbar from Mount, and from there we rolled, aka live sparring.
My first rolling experience is something that I’ll never forget and is something I always try to do when I roll with beginners. I was paired with a blue belt at the time and he taught me the traditional “Slap Hands, Fist Bump, Fight” that starts every roll. We went over the armbar position and he showed me a few other basics. From then on, I was hooked, I would train twice a week at the academy until I would eventually move home.
Continuing My Journey
I moved to Somerset, where I would eventually find my permanent Jiu-Jitsu home. I hunted high and low for a class and would find a traditional Jiu-jitsu that was also ran by two purple belts at the time. Training would consist of one half of the less being traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu techniques and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. All of this taking place in a small room upstairs in the local YMCA.
Since the days of the YMCA, we’ve moved from the YMCA and setup a dedicated gym named Fightworx Taunton, where I am have been able to train Jiu-Jitsu and partake in the odd MMA session.
How Did Attack The Back Start?
So from the days of the call centre and telephone jobs I fell in to the world of Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation, and Attack The Back was a way for me to practice my work techniques and share my experiences to the world.
Like I said earlier, this was just meant to be a small project, which was to help me gain more experience and improve my techniques but as the blog readership grew so did the time dedicated to this project. I found myself working on my project most evenings, and then going to work for a full 8 hour day. Before I knew it my blog had a combined social media following of 27k and I was bringing in over 25k visitors a month. Not bad for a part-time hobby.
As my name grew and as I found my work and my photography being featured more and more in other big name Jiu-jitsu publications such as Jiu-Jitsu Time, BJJ Style and BJJEE, I decided to make the difficult but exciting decision to turn this part-time project into my full-time venture.
What Can You Expect from Attack The Back?
With more time dedicated to Attack The Back you can expect the very best articles and features on the latest news on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. We’ll be bringing you more in depth interviews with up and coming fighter, detailed product reviews any loads more!
I have 8 years experience in this martial art, with lots of knowledge to share. I want to help you get the most from your training experience and help point you in the right direction of your journey. If you want to get in touch and tell me about your journey, you can contact me here.