Profile picture from Estonian MMA event RAJU 6
Name : Martin Aedma
Location : Tartu, Estonia
Bjj rank : Black Belt (from John Kavanagh – SBG)
Occupation : Student (Exercise and Sport Sciences MSc 2nd year in University of Tartu, Estonia), coach and an athlete
MMA record : 1-0-0 amateur 4-0-0 professional
23.10.2010 Fighting in MMA RAJU 6
My bjj story in a nutshell
During high school i started going to Wing Tsun (WT) classes. Basically its a chinese martial art, which at the time, seemed like the most bad-ass and most street wise form of fighting there is. Needless to say, as a goofy and not so wise teenager, i was totally hooked!
So after a year of WT classes we had a summer camp, the year was 2002 i believe. During one of the evenings we had the opportunity to watch the early UFC’s 1-4…
Just like a lot of people around the world, i was really amazed by the performance of none other than Royce Gracie. Witnessing hes domination over everyone … just brutally taking the fight to the ground, to hes terms, and submitting them one by one. That beautiful display of jiujitsu was more than enough to make me abandon everything i had learned about fighting to that point and start learning bjj. And i was not the only one.
2008 Scandinavian Open Bjj brown belt, open weight category final
Prior to that event, one could say there was no bjj in Estonia and just like that, overnight, it was born. The very next day we had the regular sparring day in the WT camp and when it was my turn, i started shooting in for the takedowns and just wanting to finish the fight on the ground. Of course i basically knew nothing about grappling at that point, but the will was strong. So from that day, we had a group of grappling enthusiast who would get together few times a week and just experiment. Since we had no coach, all we learned came from watching videos and decrypting it through our own minds, trying things and so it went.
During 2003-2005 our bjj group participated in many local competitions, traditional JuJutsu competitions for example and Daido Juku events, even some Judo tournaments.
In 2004 i fought my first and only amateur mma bout in Finlands Shooto event. The fight can be viewed here.
After winning the amateur SHOOTO fight in Turku, Finland (Spring 2004)
What is intresting and also a bit ridiculous, is the fact that i competed in the ADCC Scandinavian Open 2004 (in Stockholm, Sweden). I was not even a blue belt at the time and for the warm up i played some soccer with Braulio Estima. He told me „I hope your jiu jitsu is better than football“ … at that time it probably wasn’t! I lost in the first match against a swedish dude with a kimura.
By 2005 i was competing quite regularly in Finland’s bjj and submission wrestling competitions. As a neighbouring country, it was quite easy to travel to. Also they had already started bjj / mma several years earlier than us, so it was a great place to get some experience and roll with different people. Up to this day, i still compete there at least 1-2 times a year.
Initiating a nice single leg in Estonian Bjj Championship 2010
In 2005 we also had a big change as we joined up with the SBG (www.straightblastgym.com) organisation, which is led by Matt Thornton. This was probably the single best thing to happen to us as we got great training methodology from there. While most places we knew were training the „Brazilian way“ (30 minutes heavy warm up, 3 random dead techniques, and 30 minute sparring) we started to do isolation drills, use the I method and work on core fundamentals of bjj. Those already interested in this subject can go and check out Matt’s aliveness blog.
Prior to that, i think most of the stuff we learned was way too bad and should ve been skipped. This is when the real training started. Also, this was the year when the Estonian bjj/mma competition team was named Team Scared and Paranoid, which, BTW, is a great name.
From 2006- we have continued to grow and now have two big bjj/mma clubs in the major cities.
I received my blue belt in 2005, purple 2007, brown 2008, black 2010.
Teaching a guard passing section in SBG summer camp 2010, Prague. The guy on the bottom is Gunnar Nelson
So far my biggest accomplishments are – European Open Bjj 2009 Brown belt middleweight and open weight 3rd places. 2008 Scandinavian Open Bjj Brown belt middleweight 3rd place and open weight gold!
This year, 2010, has also taken me a bit towards mma. As i have done 2 pro fights with both ending in a similar fashion, tko from strikers on the ground (from mounted position).
I have also had the pleasure of teaching outside Estonia. Ive been called to Denmark and Finland for seminars and also had the opportunity to teach a few sessions in England and in the 2010 SBG summer camp in Prague.
This blog will be another way to share my knowledge regarding the art and i hope you will enjoy its contents. If you have any questions for me regarding the blog or bjj/fighting in general, shoot me an email to martin.aedma [ät] gmail.com
Summerfight 2009 (Hanko, Finland)
My thanks go out to Daniel, who endured my annoying emails and basically set up this blog, and Dagris, who created the design and the layout of the blog and finalized it for its release. You can check out her photography page at flickr and you will be seeing many of her photographs here in the blog as she is often at the local bjj/mma events. And also, for you Estonians reading this, you can check out her cooking blog for some delicious recipes – i recommend :)