Tom DeBlass is a renowned American grappler who has competed and medalled at many of the world’s elite grappling events (ADCC, World Championships, Pans etc). He has also fought MMA (11-2). His academy was where Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon and Nicky Ryan first cut their teeth before moving onto the blue basement with John Danaher. Tom is also a very prolific user of social media and uses his voice as an outspoken campaigner for a number of causes.
Tom was here in the UK on behalf of REORG – the charity dedicated to helping ex-servicemen and women who are coping with injuries and PTSD – to teach two seminars. In fact, I think these are Tom’s first ever seminars in the UK.
9TH JUNE: GREAT BRITAIN TOP TEAM, LONDON
10TH JUNE, ROGER GRACIE ACADEMY HQ, LONDON
Over two days, Tom taught a half guard technical masterclass. Since I love using half guard (and have difficulty passing it) these sessions were heaven for me! The seminars were hosted by two stunning academies – both GB Top Team and RGA HQ have huge mat space and first class facilities.
Tom is also quite the raconteur. During the seminar, he talked often about his experiences as a high level competitor or as a coach to hundreds and hundreds of students (this was his 350th seminar he informed us). He also spoke at length about his passions outside of jiujitsu – his proactive and charitable work helping child victims of bullying is a major cause. Of course, he is also a huge support of REORG and that hook up is mainly thanks to Tom’s friendship with the wonderful actor Tom Hardy (who is an ambassador of the REORG charity).
I really enjoyed these seminars. If you follow Tom DeBlass on social media, you can pretty much predict how he is at his seminars – he really is a formidable, outspoken but also very entertaining character. I definitely took away a number of gold nugget techniques and tips to help my own game.