The Diggins visit SBG Manchester


After traveling to the European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Portugal SBG Blackbelts John and Amanda Diggings travelled to the home of Straight Blast Gym UK in Manchester , England for a week of training.

Both Amanda and John are coaches at SBGs World headquarters in Portland , Oregan and it was an honour that they were able to spend the Saturday before leaving teaching a workshop at the Manchester gym.

The session started with Coach John taking the group through some solo movement warm ups that were to be incorporated with the specific Jiu Jitsu skills later on in the day. He then went on to talk about the training method and approach they would be using in the day. Using a diagram of a tree he explained the most important part was the base or roots followed by the trunk and its relation to posture. Next came the branches which likened to the pressures required during a move and finally the fruit of the tree being the submissions, quoting


“ in the beginning everyone focuses on the fruit or the submission. The fruit comes and goes. The base and the trunk of the tree always remain and if you focus on these the submission will look after itself”

With that said, John moved on to Half guard. Initially working the correct base and grip fighting principles . Once people were comfortable isolating this he moved on to common problems presented by the opponent and how to deal with these situations. After more rounds of isolation he detailed a high percentage sweep and finished this section by adding “some fruit “ to the tree with a simple set up for the Triangle and Omoplata finish .

After a short break it was Coach Amanda’s time to take to the mat. Amanda has spent a lot of time in her early career being on bottom position against much larger training partners . During the time she has developed and honed the skills necessary to remain safe in a bad positions and be ready to capitalise on the opponents mistakes. During Amanda’s somewhat short career ( she gained her Blackbelt in a record time of five years ) she has won major Jiu Jitsu competitions (null)including medalling at European and World Championships level.

From the off it was obvious that Amanda was not only a world class competitor, she also had coaching skills to match. Firstly she worked and drilled a survival position that she has been working on with great success recently from bottom side control. From there she used this position to work on escaping back to the guard. The fine details she worked during this section were game changing to say the least and everybody on the mat improved their escape game. Not only that, they did so with less energy expenditure and improved mechanics.

This was without doubt one of the most productive workshops to be hosted at SBG Manchester recently and I would recommend training with John and Amanda Diggins whenever you get the chance. In fact, create the chance and get them in, you won’t regret it.

On behalf of SBG Manchester and Straight Blast Gym UK I would like to say a huge Thank You to the Diggins for a great week of training and we all look forward to seeing you again soon.










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