GBJ BOARD MEETING #1 – 19th November 2023

The following board meeting minutes was scribed by Adam Phillips on the 19th November 2023.

Minutes to the GBJ Meeting 19th November 2023

On the call:

Mike McGarry

Alex Gee

Adam Phillips

Marc Rideout

Carla Townsend

Dave McFarland

Tara Burndred

Paul Grant

10.02 am – Mike – explains why we set up GBJ – Opportunity to set up our federation and get under JJIF – seen further opportunities – due to Sport England questioning GBJJGBA – to become a national governing body we need to run it like a business. GBJJGBA hasn’t ticked lots of boxes and we need to make sure we’re doing it. There are lots of unhappy clubs, not reaching their potential, we aim to grow in their teaching and training, from the grassroots through to the Olympics. We have got other people looking to join. The principal aim is to become a national governing body and we need your help with this – hence the meeting today. 

Does anyone have any comments?

Just to give an idea of what we’ve done – AMA national s1 x a year and every 2 years we were going off to the WCJJO champs.

To recap competition-wise:

  • Belgium open
  • Greece open
  • Paris
  • Israel
  • Kaizen open
  • Mongolian worlds
  • Wcjjo worlds
  • GBJ nationals
  • Welsh Open
  • And we’re going to Croatia

We’re now 68th in the world, from unranked.

Could have more but there are only a few ranking comps and we’ve scored 150 points and we are moving up the rankings.

In the next 12 months things are changing, the aim is to get elite fighters into the larger events – specifically to World Games in 2025. World games precursor to Olympics. Have to be one of the top 6 fighters in the top 6 weight categories.

Tiny: You get 400 points, 200 continental, 100, open/grand prix, and 8 points for participation, if you want 600 + points you need to be medalling at big events.

Mike: 12 months before the game you get 100% of the points, 6 months = 50% of the points. The main aim is the juniors in Flanders in January, Flanders in Bucharest in April, Europeans in Germany in May,

10.19 am – Steve Scadden Joins the Chat

10.20 am Mike: our website now has all the ability to sign up for their members – we get some money from that

1) National: we can get it from ticket sales

2) Jay – fundraising.

3) Our drive over the next 12 months to get more members

4) – get more students on board – once we get 1500 students – we can apply for governing body status and subsequently get funding. Our strategy is to plan to pay referees and coaches – but is our plan.

10.21 am – Tara question: fighters that enter the fighters do they have to be a certain grade?

Tiny: going forward looking to split it – Paris, like the Champions League, there will be a hierarchy, starting from local comps first, once they are experienced, we will get them into the larger comps. If you have someone who can fight – we will put them forward, regardless of rank.

If you have candidates – we will get in place a fighter database and this will allow us to get things in place – can you get funding?

10.24 am – Mike – director reports – apart from flying all around the world I haven’t done a huge amount on it – wants to work with Carla to do some duo stuff. It’s not all about sports jits and BJJ, it’s also about duo. With gradings – Mike graded a couple of guys at the nationals based on their performance. Talent development we’re trying to identify those who can go to larger events. The WCJJO still had meetings up until 2 weeks ago, with Australia and the US. Roger is in hospital. With WCJJO I think AJF, they’re looking to get AJF in JJIF in Oz. Mike is taking the helm for the website. What’s going to happen with the WCJJO? Not sure about the future of the WCCJO. With the JJIF – Joe (JJIF), is very happy we’re there and bringing competitors the world championship will be in Paris – so cost-wise, should be a close-to-home event. So, we need to pack that one out. Regional club support hasn’t done a load, I saw that Scott Mallon is an ex-member of the GBJJGBA – has a few students and looking to come on board. Sport England we’ve sent letters to them to say we’re ready to take over from GBJJGBA. Sport England is investigating. Safeguarding and WADA – haven’t gone a huge amount but we all need to complete the leader course, so we know about testing. JJIF are very serious about making it into the Olympics.

10.28 am Carla – question – is there room for funding?

Tiny: there is room for more than one national governing body. There is a way we can become

Mike: there is an opportunity, there are 2 governing bodies for taekwondo the GBJJGBA Have their format – which isn’t the JJIF ruleset, so we can make an application as we are a different style.

The JJIF world championships are planned to be in Paris in November 2024. Need fighters in the weight category for the world games. The plan at the moment is to do nationals towards the end of the year for 2025.

Intentions with JJIF – we are the GB members; we need to get the fighters ranked and show up. We’ve turned up a lot, we need to keep doing it. Find the fighters and get them out there.

So, we’re aiming to get fighters for the weight categories for the World Games, we’re looking to fund their entry fee for their competitions.

Mike has put the weight categories on WhatsApp.

Any questions?

Carla has a question – in terms of us – do we need to be present and if we are present – do we get any funding to help and support?

Tiny response: we’ve been coaching and have limited funds – we will cover entry fees, and I would love to be able to be in a position to cover travel costs, the short answer is no – but it will be our intention.

Carla: can we fundraise for ourselves?

Tiny: yes absolutely

10.31 am – over to Tiny for his report:

There is a pyramid of 3 tiers, participation, development and then elite performance. We are going to have to transition and start segmenting fighters into certain categories. We do need to think about more coaches and we need to start bringing juniors through. I went out to Germany and was stretched to cover 4 fighters. We need a larger coaching pool. In terms of key activities next year- build a fighter database.

So we need to work out who’s doing what.  Need a database so we can track weight, performance and what they’re looking to do. Look to set up a competition pack for competitors. The objective is to start driving the rankings and formalise a fight selection process. Like to do more development work, like get some Europeans over to us or we go over to them to learn. We need to drive more female fighters through. The team event is 5 male and 2 female fighters. I would like more female fighters. Because it’s what we should be doing and open to ideas.

We have lots of people training in what they do, but not enough training in what we do.

He recognises Marc is doing it.

Marc: our class is starting very soon. Having issues with electricity, it’ll be ready after Xmas.

Tiny: set some guidelines as to what the classes should look like. Grappling is pretty much BJJ but we need to set up classes that are specific to JJIF. Any questions??

10.39 am Marc: I’ve been developing a class, and have been putting together a format together for mainly the kids – but we can get something for adults.

Tiny: we are competing against people that don’t have day jobs, we want to drive it all, but it’ll be smaller steps.

10.41 am: Adam – talks about the website. Now have a belt register, an events page, a calendar you can sync to your own calendar, and the ability to sign up members, instructors and clubs. Also we need people to start paying membership fees, this will kick start the funding we need to help financially support the fighters.

10.52 am – adam talks about the extranet and what it is likely to look like – inc. forums for ‘heads of’ and a shop.

Everyone is told that they have backend access to anything to be able to push their agenda, including access to the part of the events, posts, social media and emails

11.10 am Marc: head of youth – looking to set up in the new year, set up a format i.e. coaching plans to give them an idea of what to do. They’ll need to learn the rules, the easiest way is to fight. need to learn how to string everything together we have 2 x comps next year, and a bit of interest from Max’s club. With the juniors, I want to make it more talent-specific, need to hit certain criteria, need to turn up to all sessions. Going to write a session plan out – if we do north /south then he’ll send the coaching plan – with a week’s notice – especially with the kids – maybe set up the kids’ session on a separate day – it’s a long day for the kids, they do their session then they wait for 3 hrs for adult, he’s looking to run the kid’s session either on the Saturday before or different weekend. Need to emphasize the coaches/adults/parents.

Wants to organise reg—training sessions. Marc is running a northern training session every week. It will be running like a squad session.

11.24 am Carla: has duo and the women’s – duo has not taken off yet. Previous training session who would like to do what comps? She’s had people reach out to them. Doesn’t know what the aim is. Or what we are trying to achieve. I have been on the online training session, downloaded the ruleset and syllabus and set up an Instagram and set up packs depending upon a, b, or C. Reviewed the ruleset made some booklets, the ideas for a 1-year plan is how we can grow the duo can we invite or go through a seminar? Can we hold a talent-spotting event there’s lots of traditional Clubs,

Marc: is useful to do it at the nationals? Offers his other mats out for Duo

Carla: we have 3 different areas going on at the same time, duo, youth, and main squad session.

In the long run, want to try and get us to an international level so we can get medal placements. To get it to the same level as sports Jits and BJJ, who wants to be involved. As and when?

Mike: nationals would be a perfect launch pad, we need to get numbers up and to training sessions.

Adam and Jess: we will reach out to ‘’women who fight’’.

11.32 am: Over to Steve: communication is key, martin was talking about quitting, because of the north/south divide. Adam to show Steve how to use the GBJ website, and Steve to transfer all to the GBJ website.

So everyone can see what we’re doing and not just the Olympics and everything else.

Fighters all over the country. Wanting to join. We have Tasset membership with the BMABA.

11.43 am tara – safeguarding – going for the national governing body, theyre writing a policy for safeguarding – wants to put together any instructors with anyone that has vulnerable members. She has class room facilities – Jon has first aid paramedic can put those classes on.

Looking to have a safeguarding code for martial arts – all clubs can go for this – theyre looking to get it for the GB side. Building a policy and database. And has a database for all the grades, register for safeguarding.

Mike: we will get a list of safeguarding qualified people to know who the nominated safeguarding officers are for each club.

Tara: from a Safeguarding point of view all clubs should

Jay: looking to set up crowdfunding set up – has a company who is interested in sponsoring us. Potential for £20k. looking to set up GBJ foundation and needs biographies for core fighters so that Jay can start looking at sponsoring events.

11.53am Dave – refereeing: every club to provide a referee – he is setting up an online course. Looking to set up a training video for next year and refs currently, use the skills and referee and attend a training sessions – regardless of where the training session is from. Keep your skillset sharp. Look to set up JJJIF training course and update any training material, coming up to the 5- year plan, – looking to have a pool of referees so it’s not just on one person. Area regional referees who can do the training and do more.

11.58am mike: looking to do our own inhouse nationals this year but in 2025 we are looking to get JJIF team over.

Tara: can we have junior refs?

Dave: No – has to be adult but they are welcome to shadow.

Tara: some juniors don’t want to fight but potentially they could be behind the table

Dave: yeah shadow reffing or tables – no problems they can do the sideline stuff but not the actual reffing.

Jay: can we make sure the core fighters know and pass the ref course so they can’t misunderstand the rules when competing internationally?

Dave: Great idea – also every coach should qualify for it too – they should all know the basic rules.

Adam: looking to make that as part of the fighter onboarding

Paul: head coach he is there but committed to the home situation, anything you need, referee, helping the fighters, funding, coaching, anything you need, 5-year plan is to enjoy it. Looking to turn to Marc more for spearheading the training.

Paul has offered his help to anyone who needs it.

12.08 pm – Mike – thanks everyone for being and attending. Mike and Tiny have been to comps and the circuits – the comps are mind-blowing how impressive it is. Mongolia was an Olympic-level standard.

We’re actually at the right place at the right time – we can go a long way. Hopefully, we can get NGB status and the world is our oyster.

AGM is 10th December – open for everyone else. Ask for a little bit of an update – a very short statement. After that, we’ll start planning for next year.

Adam: will get in touch with anyone if I am not sure about setting the goals for the next few years.

I will set up email communications monthly or quarterly – everyone to be using GBJ emails – with signature emails.

Mike: now we’ve got the ball rolling – we will set up quarterly communications

Marc: there is a Xmas do on the 15th December