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….

We Moved!!!


After almost two and a half years, we have finally moved to a larger, nicer location!

Our gym started its humble beginnings in a small 4 x 7.5 meter room, where a few locals teamed together to continue training and promote Jiu Jitsu in Cowra and surrounding areas. Since then we have expanded classes to the nearby town of Young and also outgrown our original home.

Our new location, while still under construction, is looking great with a 9 x 8 meter square mat area, wall pads and cage panels surrounding the mats. More seating, better amenities and a street front location on one of Cowra’s main roads. Check out what we have done so far! 🙂

We are holding a Grand Opening day on Sunday, October 28. We are very fortunate to have my coach, Felipe Grez, coming along to do a seminar from 10am til 12 Midday (cost $60 on the day) then we will be having a BBQ lunch and an open mat for those who wish to spar. All are welcome to attend both the seminar and the lunch/opening.


See you there! 🙂

Coach Shane

Open Guard Passing Seminar


Felipe Grez – Open Guard Passing Seminar

May 26, 2018

Last Saturday we had the privilege of hosting coach Felipe Grez at our gym. The topic of this seminar was Open Guard Passing in which Felipe provided priceless concepts used in passing many (if not all) types of open guard.

Numbers were down a little this time, with the date coinciding with some popular BJJ competitions in Sydney and Canberra, plus the dreaded flu bug hitting a few students. However, for the members who made the seminar, all learned a ton and have taken away some great information to improve their games!

I would like to thank Rob Cooley from FiveStar Martial Arts for bringing Felipe out to Cowra and also his help at the seminar. Thanks to all who attended and thank you to Felipe for his support of our gym and traveling out here to Cowra to teach us. We are all grateful for his help!

We are aiming to host Felipe again in November so if you are keen to learn some awesome concepts and techniques, lock in a spot and come along! We welcome anybody from any affiliation 🙂

Black Knight Jiu Jitsu

Judo Olympian in Cowra

This past week on Wednesday, January 17th we had the great honor and opportunity to learn from Judo black belt and BJJ brown belt Matt D’Aquino at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu. Matt is one of Australia’s most successful Judo players. He is a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian, multiple Australian and Oceania Champion and in 2009 Matt made history by being the first and only Australian to win the Pac Rim Championships.

The seminar was called “Takedowns for BJJ” and after a fun warm up Matt spent two hours showing a variety of functional takedowns that were easy to pick up, from beginner to the more experienced BJJ practitioner. Techniques were followed up with a Q & A session where participants were encouraged to ask about any subject, whether it was Judo or BJJ related, life experiences or anything else!  Some participants stayed on for some rolling after our team photo, to end a top evening. Everybody learned a ton and really enjoyed what was truly a fun seminar!

I would personally like to thank Matt for coming along to our small gym! It isn’t often the town of Cowra has an Olympian visiting to teach their sport to the locals. I would also like to thank our members and other members/practitioners who traveled from Young and Orange to support us. I can’t stress enough how important and appreciated it is to have support when holding events like this. My goal is to put the town of Cowra on the Jiu Jitsu map and host a variety of world champions in the future! Without the ongoing support from both our members and the surrounding community I am unable to bring quality instructors to the town.


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Felipe Grez Seminar in Cowra


Saturday, November 25 2017

We had the pleasure of hosting Michelle Nicolini black belt Felipe Grez for another top notch seminar. Felipe never fails to blow minds with his  always evolving principles and seemingly simple movements that improve the games of beginners and advanced Jiu Jitsu practitioners alike.

Using half guard as a base, Felipe taught the importance of position and movement, connection and framing to control an opponent from bottom half guard. With fantastic attention to detail and his ability to explain said detail so effectively, Felipe showed over two hours of indispensable principles which not only apply to half guard, but other positions as well.

After the seminar, attendees we encouraged to spar, with Felipe joining in, followed by light snacks. During sparring we also took the opportunity to promote a new blue belt at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu, Shaune O’brien. Shaune began his Jiu Jitsu journey long before our gym opened and has trained as much as possible with a young family taking priority in his life (understandably!) but I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the seminar, including our members from both the Cowra and Young gyms, plus Scott who traveled over from Orange for the event. Thanks also to Felipe for coming out all this way! We are privileged to have him visit us twice a year.

This was our last seminar for 2017 but next year looks promising with the possibility of having some big names in the world wide Jiu Jitsu community here in Cowra for more seminars!  Stay tuned for more information coming soon!!


Young Open Day


Tonight Black Knight Jiu Jitsu held our first Jiu Jitsu class in Young!

The turn out was great, with a group of awesome people coming together to learn the art. The night started off with a talk covering various topics from “what is Jiu Jitsu?” and uniform requirements, hygiene, etc, to a conversation about gym loyalties. I’m a firm believer in sharing knowledge and I accept anyone in our gym who wishes to learn Jiu Jitsu and better themselves, no matter what other dojo or style they train. In Western NSW our Jiu Jitsu community is small enough, let alone making people choose loyalties to any one gym. While I understand it, I don’t agree with it.

After the talk came a warm up consisting of basic movements like hip escapes, bridges, break falls, etc. Some people had a little experience in Jiu Jitsu while a few had never trained it at all but everyone picked up the movements well.

From there we moved into a simple but effective set of moves that could be completed in Gi or No Gi. We blocked a “haymaker” punch, closed the distance, took our opponent down to side control and finished them with an Americana.  Once again, everyone understood and applied the techniques very well! I was very happy with their performance and proud to have the opportunity to teach some awesome people

We finished the class with 20 minutes of rolling. Experienced guys and girls sparred while beginners watched along and got to see what the rolling was all about.

The new club will only grow and get bigger and better and I’m looking forward to being a part of the future of Jiu Jitsu in Young and teaching everything I have learned over the years I have been training. If you live in or near Young, come and try a class! First class is FREE so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Many thanks to the Young Services Club for their help, support and space at the Young Golf Club to train! We wouldn’t be doing this without you!


Young, here we come!


Black Knight Jiu Jitsu is spreading its wings and opening a second location in Young, NSW.

Although our base is in Cowra, we have had quite a few people from Young travel over for Jiu Jitsu training. Some traveled on a weekly basis.  So recently we have decided to start running Jiu Jitsu classes in Young!

A venue and days/times are still being negotiated but we hope to have classes up and running with a few weeks. At this stage classes will run two days per week (Mondays and Fridays) and new members from Young will also be encouraged to come to Cowra any other day for training as part of their membership if they wish. Also, members can attend our seminars with Felipe Grez in Cowra twice a year and be graded accordingly. The first class at the new location will be FREE for anyone wishing to try out Jiu Jitsu!

A dedicated Jiu Jitsu academy will be a first for Young (to my knowledge) and we are hoping to grow our gym family and create some friendly inter-school rolls!

The mats have been purchased and we have 42 square metres to train on… plenty of room!

More news will be posted on our website and Facebook page as developments happen. I’m really looking forward to meeting new people in Young and teaching the gentle art.



Diaphragmatic Breathing – An Introduction

On Monday night I held a seminar on an introduction to Diaphragmatic Breathing and discovering your diaphragm. I didn’t get to video the seminar so I thought I would create a blog about the subject.

What is the diaphragm?

The diaphragm is a huge, dome-shaped involuntary muscle at the bottom of the rib cage.


When we breathe, this dome-shaped muscle contracts and flattens downward allowing a reduced pressure in the upper body so that air may enter the lungs and provide tension across the top of the abdominal area. As we breathe in, we should see the stomach, lower ribs and back expand slightly as the dome contracts and compresses the abdominal space. As we breathe out, both the chest and the stomach return to their original position.

When many of us breathe ‘normally’ we use a shallow breath and quite often through our mouth. This is called Thoracic breathing, inhalation by expanding the thorax, using the intercostal muscles to elevate the ribs. As we breathe in, the chest and shoulders rise and the stomach may contract inwards. This may look good in the mirror but is not a good breathing pattern. This type of breathing triggers our nervous systems fight or flight response and as a result, not only do we panic breathe, but the heart rate rises quickly and we tire and lose the ability to think clearly as we revert to using our reptilian brain.

When you deep breathe your diaphragm contracts and stimulates the vagus nerve, which sends a message to the brain telling us to relax. So many benefits come from deep breathing including:
• Helps lower blood pressure
• Helps lower blood sugar
• Releases serotonin, which not only makes you feel good, but can reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates and other junk food
• Increases the secretion of growth hormone and slows the aging process
• Improves mental focus and clarity by increasing blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex of your brain
• Improves sleep quality

Time yourself!

Breathe normally and time yourself over a one minute period to see how many times you breathe a full cycle (in and out). The average person will most likely breathe between 10 to 15 full cycles a minute, maybe more! The following exercise will reduce your breathing cycles down to just 3 or 4 per minute! You won’t be able to do this continuously for very long at the start, but with practice you will last longer. Of course you will not breathe like this 24/7, but with practice your breaths will become slower and longer as your body starts to subconsciously use the diaphragm more and you breathe into your chest less.

Exercise 1: Discover and exercise your diaphragm!

Lay on the floor, place your right hand on your stomach and your left hand on your chest. Breathe in through your nose as if you are filling a balloon in your stomach. Of course, you are not literally breathing into your stomach! But what is happening, is as your diaphragm contracts it compresses your organs in your midsection and expands your stomach. Your chest and shoulders should remain relaxed and should not move much, if at all. Inhale for the count of 8 then hold for the count of 2. (When you hold, don’t close your throat or mouth as if you are shutting off the exit – just stop breathing as if you are in a state of suspended animation. Everything remains open and exactly the same as while you are breathing as your abs, obliques, etc will tense to try to stop your diaphragm from relaxing). Exhale slowly for the count of 8 while making a ‘sss’ sound to control the rate of exhale. At the end of your exhale hold for 2 (“Suspended animation” again, muscles tense to stop the diaphragm from trying to contract) then repeat the cycle. Repeat this exercise for five minutes. If you are unable to reach the count of 8 for the inhale or exhale, start at a lower number and work up.

Exercise 2: The 360 breath

Sitting in an upright position, make a claw with both hands and grab your sides, thumb to the back and fingers to the front. You want your hands to squeeze above your hip bone and below your ribs in that fleshy part. Lightly squeeze as you inhale. Same as exercise 1, inhale into your belly as if you are blowing up a balloon in your stomach. Not only should your fingers move outwards with the expansion of your belly, but your thumb should also move outwards as your lower ribs and lower back expand. Just inhale slowly then exhale slowly without stopping between the two. Breathe 10 full cycles like this

Exercise 3: Multitasking

Now we are going to stand up and walk around while practicing our breathing. Place a hand on your stomach and the other on your chest and slowly walk around the room as you concentrate on breathing into your belly. Just walk casually and take note of your breathing the whole time. There may be the temptation to tuck the belly in and push the chest out in an attempt to look cool, but let it all hang out! relax that chest and shoulders, just walk and breathe!

When it comes to Jiu Jitsu, the benefits should be obvious. Lower heart rate, ability to think clearly under pressure, no gasping for air, etc. Try breathing while escaping side control or mount. Or even while drilling basic passes like the toreando pass.  DO NOT gasp, grunt or moan! Breathe through the stress! Exhale as you exert energy (bridging or shooting for the underhook, for example). Sometimes you may have to take smaller breaths in through the nose and ‘sshh, sshh, shh’ out the mouth. Just keep breathing!

So there you have it, an introduction to diaphragmatic breathing.  Continue these exercises for about 10 minutes each day and feel the improvements!