Our first seminar in 2021

Felipe Grez Float Passing Seminar 2021

On Saturday, May 29, we had the pleasure of hosting our coach, Felipe Grez, for our first seminar in 2021.

The subject for the seminar was float passing and over two and a half hours, Felipe covered very detailed principles and techniques used in this style of guard passing. Everyone was able to understand and apply these techniques very quickly due to Felipe’s amazing ability to teach, explain and troubleshoot in a way that everybody can understand.

Let the warm ups begin!

After the warm up we got straight into the details of float passing. Felipe covered five passing variations from the same set up and these principles and techniques basically ‘bolted together’ into a versatile passing system. All of our members put these pieces together almost immediately, for which I am very proud.

After the technique portion of the seminar we set up a team photo as a couple of members had to leave early and then everyone rolled (sparred) for a few rounds while Felipe assessed our students. (For those who do not know already, I own and coach at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu as a purple belt at the time of this seminar and Felipe is my coach and mentor. Felipe is a black belt under world champion Michelle Nicolini and he oversees gradings at our gym).

After our students finished rolling we lined them up and handed out some promotions! Congratulations to Elizabeth on earning her first stripe on her white belt. Since joining our gym, she has been very regular and consistent with training. Elizabeth has also shown great improvement in her movement within that time.

Our next promotion went to Ash. Ashley has been a member of our gym since it opened almost five years ago! He is one of our ‘mature’ members and has had consistent times as well as some breaks with training but has never given up. Ash is also an awesome bloke I am very proud to be the person to tie a blue belt around him!

Ashley’s promotion to blue belt!

Our next level up went to Patrick. Pat is one of our members from Young and has shown plenty of commitment to his training! He’s only a little guy but he has a lot of heart and never gives up. His movement and knowledge has come a long way since he began his Jiu Jitsu journey and it was a pleasure to present him with his blue belt. Well done, Pat!

Pat’s promotion to blue belt!

The last promotion I had to give for the day was to Katrina. Over the past twelve months in particular, she has trained five days a week on average and has come a long, long way. Katrina has overcome so much in her life and I am extremely proud to see her grow to the level she has. It is due to her regular daily training that she has developed her fundamental knowledge so well. I was honored to be able to present Katrina with her blue belt!

Katrina’s blue belt promotion!

Just when I thought the seminar was over and about to enjoy a nice bbq lunch, Felipe had one more surprise. I was humbled and honored to be presented with my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt! It was totally unexpected and although it may have looked like tears, it was sweat running out of my eyes, I swear! I have been training BJJ for over eight years now and one gets to the stage where it’s not about the belt colour, it’s more about the training and seeing one improve in the art. That said, it is an honor to accept my promotion from my coach and someone I respect not only as a high level BJJ instructor and practitioner, but also a genuine, caring person who I am privileged to call a friend.

Shane’s brown belt promotion!

There were other members on the day who I desperately wanted to promote (you know who you are!) but they just hadn’t quite nailed our white to blue curriculum. I am 100 percent positive these members will put that effort in over the next few months and with that dedication will earn their next promotion. The key to success is, don’t give up!

After the days event, most members stayed back and enjoyed a bbq lunch and had a chance to chat with Felipe (and each other) about various subjects. I think everyone can agree the day was not only fun, but a huge learning experience! We look forward to having Felipe out again later in the year.

Ladies Kickboxing!


Introducing Ladies Kickboxing morning classes at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu!

Forget running on a treadmill! Drop the kids at school and make some time for yourself to not only learn real kickboxing skills but also have a great workout!

Our ladies only kickboxing class will focus on teaching you how to punch, kick, knee and elbow for a complete body workout. Gain fitness and flexibility in our fun and action packed classes!

Class times are:
Monday 10am til 11am
Wednesday 6:30am til 7:30am (for the early birds!)
Friday 10am til 11am

Cost is just $10 per class, pay as you go, with no contracts or sign up fees!  You will need some equipment such as boxing gloves and shin pads. Don’t forget to bring some water!

These classes are beginner focused and women of any age (18+) and fitness level are welcome.

I hope to see you there!
Coach Shane

6 reasons to start training Jiu Jitsu.


The warmer weather is here. Maybe you’ve had a long winter on the couch and gained a few kilograms or maybe you play a winter sport and looking for a challenge through the warmer off season? If you are thinking about starting a new sport, here are some reasons you should give Jiu Jitsu a try!

1. It’s a vigorous exercise.
There are many types of exercise and sports one can do to keep fit and have fun. In my experience, Jiu Jitsu gives you more of an all-round workout than any other sport. Between warm ups, drilling and sparring, you will work every part of your body, including a heavy core workout.

2. Develops your mind.
Unlike most other martial arts, Jiu Jitsu is classed by many as a game of human chess. For every move there is a counter move, then another counter and so on. Early on you learn to correctly execute fundamental moves. As you gain experience, you start to plan your moves ahead, known as countering your opponent. If you love mental stimulation, you’ll love Jiu Jitsu!

3. You’ll keep a level head under extreme stress.
Unlike many other martial arts, Jiu Jitsu practitioners are put through real stress situations every training session. There is a saying, “The white belt is about learning to survive.” Learning to deal with panic situations your body perceives as a real threat is essential if you want to become a skilled fighter.
With consistent training you mind and body will develop stress management skills. These skills will transfer into your every day life, helping you make effective decisions at home and work.

4. Learn real self defense.
Every man and woman should be able to defend themselves. Jiu Jitsu provides real self defense, especially for the smaller, weaker person. By taking a fight to the ground (where most of them end up!) you take away the persons ability to kick and punch. Most people have no idea what to do once they are on the ground and they tend to panic. With consistent training, you will have the ability to control the situation and keep calm.

5. Gain confidence and lose your ego.
Confidence: About 18 months into my Jiu Jitsu training, I was playing a gig in front of a couple hundred people one night (I’m a musician) and one of my old coaches was attending the party. As we talked, we looked around the crowd and he said to me, “How does it feel to know that no one here could hurt you?”
I never thought about it before, but it’s kinda true…. Jiu Jitsu gives you the confidence to be out in a crowd and know that no one can harm you.
Ego: Jiu jitsu is hard. If you come into the gym thinking you’re going to smash people and never be beaten, think again. Training is a humbling experience and will continue to be for your entire Jiu Jitsu journey. Smaller people tapping out larger, stronger people. Women tapping out men and so on… Jiu Jitsu is a skill based game and if your skill isn’t as good as your opponents, you’re going to have a rough time. But we are all there to learn, so each tap you do becomes a learning process, not a loss.

6. World wide community.
If you travel, you can train Jiu Jitsu anywhere in the world. Most gyms are traveler friendly and your rank (belt colour) carries its weight anywhere in the world. You will meet the same, like minded people with (mostly) great attitudes and willingness to help.

So if you are looking for a new sport/activity to try, come in to Black Knight Jiu Jitsu and trial all classes FREE for a week! If you don’t find any truth to these six points, I’ll refund your money! 😛

Coach Shane

BJJ World Champion in Cowra


Michelle Nicolini comes to Cowra!

On Friday, August 9 2019, our gym had the absolute pleasure of hosting the most prominent female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor on the planet for a three hour seminar. This is the first time a female BJJ Black Belt has been in our area to teach and definitely the most decorated BJJ athlete to visit country NSW. For those who don’t train Jiu Jitsu and have never heard of Michelle, here are some of her competition results, not including MMA fights:

In the major IBJJF gi championships at black belt level she is a:-
8x World Championship champion
3x Pan-American Championship champion
3x European Championship champion
3x Brazilian Nationals champion

In the major IBJJF Nogi championships at black belt level she is a:-
4x World Nogi Championship champion
2x Pan Ams Nogi Championship champion
2x Euros Nogi Championship champion

She is also a 4x ADCC medal winner – 1x Gold, 2x Silver and 1x Bronze.

By winning the Brazilian Nationals Nogi Championship Michelle would become the first female athlete to complete a clean sweep of winning a gold medal at black belt level in both gi and no-gi at all four major championships.
– Wikipedia


The seminar started at 6pm, with twenty eight students in attendance. Not only did we have our own members from Cowra and Young, we also had students from Orange, Newcastle and Mudgee. (forgive me if I missed a town!). The mats were full of keen practitioners ready to soak in the knowledge.

After a brief introduction, Michelle got things underway with some drills for warm ups. Guard passing drills were on the menu and students ate up the techniques quickly.


With bodies warm, sweat starting to drip, steam in the windows and the heater being turned off! (lol) Michelle began teaching some awesome guard retention concepts and techniques. Everyone in the room responded well to Michelle’s instruction and students weren’t afraid to ask for help when needed. The techniques continued to flow and everyone was having such a great time!


We moved on to some guard techniques Michelle is famous for.  I learned these techniques 4 years ago while attending Michelle’s Sydney seminar and have taught them to my students, but it was great to revisit them again and pick up more details in her moves!

I could not have asked for the night to go any better than it did. Seeing the smiles on faces, everyone had a fantastic time and Michelle is not only a world class instructor, but also super humble and such a nice, positive, down to earth person.

I would love to thank Michelle for coming all the way out to Cowra, especially through the icy snow that just happened to bucket down this week!  Thank you also to students who traveled from other towns to support us. Without the support from not only our own members, but students from surrounding areas, bringing World Champions like Michelle to our area would be impossible. Finally thanks to my coach, Felipe Grez, for helping to organise the booking with Michelle. I hope she can come out again!



Why? Don’t be mislead!

Black Knight LARGE

Why would YOU join a Martial Arts gym?

There are many reasons why you might want to start a journey in Martial Arts. With so many options out there, it can be very difficult to filter the legitimate arts from the garbage. So why would you choose to train at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu? Let’s take a look…

  • It is PROVEN – Jiu Jitsu has been proven to be the most effective self defense martial art in the world. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that 95% of street fights end on the ground. The techniques you learn in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, which focuses on taking your opponent down to the ground and keeping them there, enables you to attack or get into a more dominant position. This gives you the upper hand at all times in a real-life self-defense situation. For women especially, there is no better form of self defense! Think about it, where does an attacker want a woman during an assault? on the ground!  Do you really think a karate punch to the throat or kick to the groin is going to stop an attacker? NO!  We also teach kickboxing at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu to give our members a complete game from stand up striking, take downs and wall wrestling, through to grappling on the ground!
  • National Accreditation – Our coaches are Nationally accredited through Martial Arts Australia and fully insured, ensuring professional instruction in a safe environment.
  • Internationally recognised – YES, when you earn your rank in our system your belt is recognised in Jiu Jitsu gyms WORLD WIDE! That’s right, you can travel and train at most Jiu Jitsu Academies around the world without having to start again at white belt!  Even if you move and join another Jiu Jitsu Academy not affiliated with our gym, you RETAIN YOUR RANK.
  • Cost – It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to train martial arts. We keep our prices extremely competitive to provide affordable membership packages and top value for money. Get real world effective training in a professional gym with great people for no more than $30/week with unlimited classes! There are NO membership fees, NO grading fees, NO locked in contracts, NO required uniform purchases, etc. When you grade, you EARN your belt, you don’t pay for it! Kickboxing and Women’s Self Defense classes (not including Jiu Jitsu) are just $20/week!
  • Variety – Not only do we teach the number one grappling art in the world today, but we also offer fitness and kickboxing classes to compliment your Jiu Jitsu. At Black Knight Jiu Jitsu we hold ladies only self defense classes, kickboxing classes (with some MMA aspects thrown in), no gi grappling (with MMA based skills included) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
  • Competition – So you want to compete?  We can help achieve your competition goals whether it is MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), Kickboxing or Grappling. You won’t just be competing against students from your own gym either. You can compete  internationally under our banner in Jiu Jitsu competitions around the WORLD!
  • Sharpens your mind – Jiu Jitsu is commonly known as “human chess”. Rather than using brute strength to defeat an opponent, Jiu Jitsu employs the use of framing, angles, core movement and more to apply various techniques to defeat your opponent which shows once again why it is such an effective martial art for self defense, providing a chance for a smaller, weaker person to successfully defend themselves against a larger, stronger assailant. The real fun begins when your opponent is also skilled in grappling, forcing you to think ahead to ‘trap’ your opponent and eventually work a submission to finish the match.
  • Self Improvement – Whether you are a black belt or a white belt, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches you to accept that you will never fully become a master of your martial art. Not only are there hundreds of techniques out there but there are also new ones being discovered everyday. You then realize that the only way to improve is to continuously work on it everyday and remind yourself that you have a lot to learn. Gain fitness, flexibility, confidence, mental stimulation and so much more!!

Don’t take it from the gym owner… take a look at what others say about us!

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If you have been thinking about starting a martial art for sport, fitness or real self defense, what have you got to lose??? Come along and try our classes at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu!  The first week is always FREE.

The hardest step is the one you take through our front door!

Does joining a fight gym feel intimidating to you?

You’re not alone!

But think about it… Every skilled fighter had the same ability as YOU in the beginning. They say a black belt is a white belt that doesn’t quit and it’s true! So why would you feel intimidated or afraid to come into the gym and join in your first class? Let’s take a look…

I’m too old or too fat:  The great thing about training Martial Arts is the journey is about you. Regardless of your age or size, you train to better yourself. You don’t need to compare yourself to others around you! At Black Knight Jiu Jitsu we help each individual reach their potential based on their goals. If you want to get fitter, be stronger both physically and mentally, protect yourself, compete in tournaments, cage or ring… we will help you reach that goal!

I don’t want to get hurt: Most of us mere mortals have to go to work each day and also have other priorities in life. You can’t afford to get injured while training a combat art, right?  Yes, we do train a combat sport/art and accidents do sometimes happen, but our members are there to help each other, not hurt each other! When you first come into our gym to train there is no pressure to perform, spar, etc. You work at your own pace and our members and instructors respect that.

I don’t want to look clueless in front of everyone: Guess what? Everyone looks clueless when they have their first class! Sometimes it takes quite a few classes before you begin to understand and that is OK. Rest assured you won’t be the only one feeling that way in class and it doesn’t last long. Just turn up to classes and you’ll be on top of it in no time! No one is judging you because we have all been there.


But gyms are expensive! Depending where you go, yes. At Black Knight Jiu Jitsu we aim to keep our prices extremely affordable and competitive. For as little as $30/week you can buy a FULL membership and attend every class on the timetable if you wish!!!  That’s up to 14 classes per week, costing just $2.14 per class! We have NO membership fees, NO locked in contracts, NO grading fees etc. Just pay your weekly rate! We also now offer online signup by clicking here.

What else does your gym offer? besides the huge benefits you get from training, we also offer our members a variety of social gatherings where we can chat, watch or train! – Most weekends we host open mat sessions where members can come and spar each other.
– Every quarter we hold our ‘Pizza Night’ where all members are invited to come along free of charge for all you can eat pizza!
– Members are invited to the gym to watch various televised MMA and Jiu Jitsu events.
– Attend our Christmas party each year where we announce our ‘Member Of The Year’ awards for Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing at our Cowra gym and Jiu Jitsu award for our Young gym.

So what have you got to lose? Nothing! Your first week at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu is always FREE.  The only thing you need to do is walk in the door and fill out a membership/waiver, then train. that’s it!
At no cost you can try any or all classes for the week and if it isn’t for you, you don’t have to continue! If you are reading this blog then you have thought about trying Martial Arts classes and believe me, once you start, the bug will bite and you’ll be hooked!

At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make.  Trying is the only way to know if Martial Arts is for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!


Chris Haueter is in the house!

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Last night we had the honor of hosting professor Chris Haueter at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu!

Chris arrived with Mitch from Dark Carnival in Canberra at lunch time. The powers that be made sure it was going to be a nice, WET, day so after eating lunch at the Japanese Gardens we headed back to the gym where Chris would get some rest before the seminar and Mitch headed back to Canberra to run his gym.

The seminar subject was adjusted as Chris suffered a knee injury while in Canberra the day before, so we worked on the rear naked choke and come variations! Professor Haueter, being one of the dirty dozen and a veteran of the art,  is obviously extremely knowledgeable and produced plenty of gold nuggets for those willing to listen and learn!

We started off in knee on belly position and worked a choke, followed by taking the back from there and working the RNC. He shared his awesome knowledge on controlling the back and clearing the defending hands while securing the choke. We also worked variations of the choke and switching to the bow and arrow, arm bar etc.

This was the first time a seminar at our gym was supported completely by our own members. We usually have the support of other gyms in Canberra and Orange but being a Monday night made the trip difficult for most, but I’m super happy and thankful to our own members who came along and supported the event! Without your support we wouldn’t be hosting such high level international masters of the art in our small country town.


I’d like to thank professor Haueter for coming out to our little gym, my coach Felipe Grez for helping to organise the seminar, also Mitch Langman from Dark Carnival for driving Chris to Cowra (and for lunch!). Thanks also to Rob Cooley for coming along to the seminar and driving Chris back to Shellharbour for his next adventure! We hope to do it all again next time!

Coach Shane

New classes!


Well the year is flying by! We have the fantastic opportunity to hold STRONG by Zumba classes with Danielle and also Power Yoga classes with Eric now at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu!

Danielle is a qualified local Zumba instructor in Cowra and is teaching Strong by Zumba on Monday nights at 5:30pm. Stop counting the reps. Start training to the beat. STRONG by Zumba® combines body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training moves synced to original music that has been specifically designed to match every single move.

Eric is a qualified Yoga instructor and is trialing 6am Friday morning classes at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu. The class is a morning flow, relaxing your mind and body while giving a challenging stretch and workout!  If you practice Jiu Jitsu (or even if you don’t!) you really should try Yoga! huge benefits including hip mobility, flexibility, co-ordination and much more!

Please check out our ‘about’ page on the site for more details and an updated time table!

See you on the mats!

Are you on my naughty list?


Here we are, almost at the end of another year! Time flies!  Thank you to ALL our members for your support! Without you our club and new gym would not exist.

2018 was a great year for our small club, hosting Felipe Grez for two seminars, Matt D’Aquino earlier in the year and also having the Jiu Jitsu legend Kurt Osiander at our gym. We also had a few members compete in various tournaments with success, bringing home the gold, silver and bronze medals.

In October this year we upgraded our gym and moved to a larger location. New mats, wall pads, cage panels and punching bag rack was installed and the gym is looking great. Thank you to everyone who helped with the move and set up of the new gym.

Next year we hope to continue growing, with the introduction of Ladies only classes, more seminars for both Jiu Jitsu and MMA/Kickboxing, hopefully hosting our first competition + more!

To all, have a top holiday. Eat until you’re tired, then sleep until you’re hungry!!! And most importantly, stay safe. Drive on the footpath, there’s too many idiots on the road!

Christmas Cheers

Kurt Osiander comes to Cowra!

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On Sunday, November 11 2018, we had the great honor of hosting Jiu Jitsu legend Kurt Osiander at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu! Kurt is based in San Francisco, is a black belt under Ralph Gracie and is one of the most beloved personalities in the sport. His nickname is “The Rhino” for his pressure game and aggressive attitude when sparring (and his horns! lol). Kurt is no joke and has won many titles in BJJ including the Pan American Champion.

There was twenty two students in attendance on the day (two missing from the photo above). We were blessed with people from Canberra, Orange, Shell Harbour, Canowindra and our locals from Cowra for three hours of awesome techniques, which I won’t detail out of respect for Kurt and his future seminars. Following the seminar we had a meet and greet where students had photos taken and asked for autographs. A hugely successful day for our club and I am so happy with the support from out of town!

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After the seminar was said and done a few came along for dinner at the Imperial Hotel. I grabbed a guitar and we all had a top feed followed by some sing alongs and drinks after dinner…. great night!



Monday was a pretty laid back day. Kurt, Michelle and I took a trip to the local Prisoner Of War camp in Cowra, famous for the breakout that occurred on 5 August 1944, when at least 1,104 Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a prisoner of war camp near Cowra, in New South Wales, Australia. It was the largest prison escape of World War II, as well as one of the bloodiest. Kurt takes a real interest in history and both Kurt and Michelle were blown away with the story of the breakout. We then ventured to the Japanese Gardens to take in the sites before heading to the town of Young that night to train more Jiu Jitsu! Our members in Young were treated to a great surprise when arriving to find Kurt and Michelle there! Kurt helped out with the class that night and students (and I) were so thankful for his participation!



The following day we converted our gym into a photography studio where friend, photographer and Black Knight member Brent Young provided a cool photography session with Kurt (photos to come!) As I understand, some great photos came out of the shoot and I look forward to checking them out in person!


The photo shoot was followed by a private class and then some chill time for the evening!



Our time was coming close to an end by Wednesday so we decided to take Kurt and Michelle out to Lake Wyangala for some kayaking. Great times, plenty of laughs and sore arms later!  Some of us got a bit too much sun!  They both got to see some wild kangaroos hopping around and Michelle even managed to get a cool photo of one standing near our car.


Wednesday night we trained at Black Knight Jiu jitsu academy doing some no gi Jiu Jitsu. Once again Kurt was very helpful with advice and joined in for some rolling as well.



Thursday morning we headed off at 8am for Canberra Airport, where Kurt and Michelle would catch a flight to their next destination, Wollongong!  It was such a blast having them in our town for the four days! You couldn’t meet two nicer people on the planet! Both are straight shooters and funny, funny people! We got to talk about so much, from BJJ to guns, archery, pets, history, personal life, and more!  I feel I have made friends for life with these fantastic humans and I look forward to visiting clan Osiander in San Francisco some time soon.  Thank you so much to both of you, Kurt and Michelle, not just from myself and Tasha, but everyone at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu 🙂

I would personally like to thank Ben Smith for picking Kurt and Michelle up at the Airport on arrival, Richie and the gang at the Imperial Hotel Cowra for providing a bed for the Osianders during their stay, everyone who supported us and came along to the seminar (especially those who traveled some distance!) and Kurt and Michelle for being so awesome!


Til next time….