The Will-Machado Gathering 2019

Coaches Ricky and Nick along with Jaz took to Melbourne to compete in the “Gathering” Australasian Nationals for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Nick grappled in both gi and no-gi in equally 5 man brown belt divisions, competing for 3 wins and 1 loss in the final of the no-gi division. Nick earned two wins in the gi, one by points and another by triangle against an opponent with a +40kg size differential.

In the open weight, Coach Nick won by a quick guillotine choke before coming up short to a very dynamic inside heel hook. Nick’s calm demeanour and methodical approach to competing, even against the supposed odds, characterises the heart and soul of Empire Martial Arts’ jiu-jitsu.

In all, Nick attained Gold in open weight gi and Silver in no-gi open weight.


Jaz won her first match via points against a well-matched opponent who brought out her competitive best. Her second was also a win by belly-down armbar.

After it was all said and done, Jaz came home with a shiny new gold for her troubles.

Our sister club Potential Unlimited Mixed Martial Arts (PUMMA) had all their competitors make it to the podium in a fantastic showing representing themselves and Coach Vincent Perry.

The first weekend of every September features the ‘Will-Machado Gathering’, a place for the BJJ practitioners under the umbrella of Australian icon John Will and legendary Jiu-Jitsu figure Rigan Machado to regroup in Melbourne. John Will is one of, if not the most, prestigious Aussie black belts today and member of the famous “Dirty Dozen” – the first 12 non-Brazilians to attain the rank of black belt in BJJ. Rigan Machado is his long-time coach and mentor with the rank of black & red or coral belt, a symbol of his 7th degree and something that took Rigan almost 50 years to attain.

The respect for the forefathers of Will-Machado BJJ saw some 400 participants make their way to Melbourne to engage in a competition-style format, including Empire Martial Arts’ Coach Ricky, Nick and Jaz.


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