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      Athlete Spotlight

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Espen Mathiesen

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Espen Mathiesen

      One of the most successful European Black belts Espen Mathiesen was born in the small town of Egersund on the west coast of Norway. 

      While always pursuing athletic endeavours, originally football, he would find Jiu Jitsu at the age of 16 and fall in love immediately. He would soon give up football to devote more time towards BJJ, his first instructor would have limited time to teach therefore Espen would buy his own mats to drill at his home. He would soon be introduced to Jose Carlos at a seminar and would soon begin visiting the Nova Uniao academy in Haugesund. Espen had always planned to go to university but before that he took a year off to focus on BJJ totally, visiting the USA and training extensively at the Mendes Brothers academy and Gustavo Dantas's academy in Arizona, this would eventually result in a silver medal at the IBJJF World Championships. 

      It was this result which convinced him to pursue a full time career in BJJ, and he hasnt looked back. He would move to Haugesund full time to train with his friends Tommy Langaker and Vegard Randeberg It was at brown belt where Espen would begin to gain some notoriety, winning the IBJJF Europeans and Pans alongside his team mate Tommy Langaker. Espen would make a splash on the black belt ranks while only a brown belt at the Copa Podio making his way to the finals, losing to Isaque Bahiense by a narrow margin of 2 points. Espen would continue the success he had at brown belt, at the highest level, winning multiple IBJJF Opens, winning the 2018 UAEJJF World Pro in the u77kg division beating established black belt competitors such as Edwin Najmi, Yan Cabral and Jake Mackenzie in the finals ! He would follow this performance on with a IBJJF World Championship Bronze medal, beating athletes such as Atos JJ's Michael Liera Jr and submitting Edwin Najmi before losing to Lightweight legend Lucas Lepri by a single advantage ! 

      After a quiet 2019, with a highlight reel worth finish on Polaris Pro, Espen recently won the IBJJF London Winter Open 2020, and we cant wait to see him win an IBJJF World Title in the future ! 

      We caught up Espen and gave him some quick fire questions to finish the Blog! 

      Favourite competition you’ve done - My favourite competition has to be European Open IBJJF. The energy in the venue is always amazing and it is nice to compete in Europe. My favourite year would have to be in 2017 when i was able to win the competition as a Brown belt!

      Favourite technique - Matrix backtake has to be my favourite technique. You can get it from everywhere and is it very effective, both me and my team mate Tommy have used it extensively in Competition, you can learn it at Wulfinghouse.com !!

      Favourite submission - My favourite submission is the armbar. 

      Any sporting heroes? - I don't have any particular heroes.

      Gi or nogi ? - I prefer the Gi and I always have. The gi gives more options and I find it more technical.

      Favourite Gi - Balistico 3.0 is my favourite gi. It is solid and looks good.

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Richard Bukovcsan

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Richard Bukovcsan

      Training out of East Coast Jiu Jitsu Academy (ECJJA) Richard, known as Richy B, is one of many competitors coming out of the famed Irish gym. 

      Headed by Irish Jiu jitsu legend Darragh O'Conaill, ECJJA has become a competition powerhouse, famously the home of fellow Kingz athlete Ffion Davies, there other black belts such as Progress JJ's Marcus Phelan, Sam McNally and recent Polaris Pro winner brown belt Shane Fishman. Leading the coloured belts however is Richy B, if you compete on the European circuit, you've definitely seen Richy most likely in a final and on the top step of the podium. 

      Originally from Romania, his family would move to Ireland at the age of 9, Richy would start BJJ at the age of 14, he found a local academy where he would earn his blue belt at 16, it was at this point he would look to move to a more competition orientated academy. ECJJA was such a place, with the head coach Darragh consistently winning IBJJF Opens and placing on Major Podiums, the move was only natural. 

      Richy would win a European Silver medal in the juvenile division before moving up to the adult divisions. As a blue belt he would dominate the IBJJF national competitions, taking Golds in Madrid, Rome and London while placing third at the IBJJF European open in 2016. He suffered a nasty knee injury keeping him on the sidelines for almost year before returning as a Purple belt winning multiple IBJJF Golds in Dublin, London and Rome, recently taking a bronze at the IBJJF European NoGi Championships. 

      At only 23 years of age, we can't to see him continue his journey ! 

      Favourite competition - The IBJJF Worlds for sure, nothing compares to competing on the world stage.

      Favourite technique - De La Riva w/Pant & Collar grip 

      Favourite submission - Bow and Arrow Choke

      Sporting heroes - Keenan Cornelius, Isaque Bahiense and of course my Coach Darragh !

      Gi or NoGi - Gi

      Favourite Gi Kingz Balistico Black Ops. 

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Max Lindblad.

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Max Lindblad.

      Known by his nickname, Killer Carrot, due to his hair colour, Max Lindblad has emerged as one of Europe's top BJJ competitors. 
      Born in Stockholm Sweden, Max promoted to Black belt by Kent Hammarström of Prana JJ after a stellar brown belt career, training in Stockholm, he also heads over to the legendary Alan Finfou's academy to train. If you're interested in seeing the training lifestyle in Stockholm, check out our short documentary on Max HERE

      Max had a prolific coloured belt career, winning the IBJJF European Open at both Blue and Purple belt. Along with podium finishes at the IBJJF World Championships and Europeans at brown belt. He would also win the UAEJJF World Pro at Brown belt along with AJP tour Grandslams. 

      Max has continued winning ways at Black belt including Gold medals at the IBJJF German Nationals, the London Open and is a two time AJP London Grandslam winner at black belt along with two third place finishes at the Tokyo and Abu Dhabi grandslams. 

      We caught up Max and gave him some quick fire questions to finish the Blog! 

      Favourite competition - Ive competed all around Europe and the world, but by far my favourite competition is the IBJJF World Championships in California. The atmosphere in the Pyramid is definitely something special. Add to that, you know you are fighting the best the world has to offer on the biggest stage, it really is a special feeling ! 

      Favourite technique - My favourite technique would definitely have to be something from spider guard. I'm not really sure, but if i had to choose it would be either the scissor sweep or balloon sweep, but it changes from day to day !

      Favourite submission - I'd say my favourite submission is a choke from the back, but i think the most beautiful submission is the armbar. Its something to see someone tap to a well executed armbar. 

      Sporting heroes - Michael Langhi has always been a hero of mine, for me, he has the most beautiful style of guard there is. The way he would sweep his opponents always seemed so effortless. I also admire the Miyao Brothers, for me their work ethic is second to none. 

      Gi or NoGi - I prefer the Gi ! To be honest I'm not really one for much NoGi.

      Favourite Gi The Kingz Balistico 3.0 is the best looking Gi on the market ! 

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Ffion Davies

      Kingz Athlete Spotlight - Ffion Davies

      Welcome to the Kingz Europe Blog ! Here we will be posting a mixture of product reviews, athlete interviews, technique videos and athlete spotlights. 
      What better way to start then an Athlete spotlight with probably the best P4P Female athlete in the World, Ffion Davies. 

      Ffion has had a meteoric rise in recent years, hailing from Wales, Ffions first experience with grappling would come in Judo becoming a Welsh and British Open champion (junior division) as well as a member of the Welsh National Judo team. However she would fall out love with Judo and would begin training BJJ in 2013 through training MMA. 

      Ffion would find success throughout the lower belts winning the IBJJF European Open at blue and purple belt, winning the IBJJF World NoGi Championships at Purple along with two Gi World Silver medals. 

      It was in 2018 where Ffion would begin to make serious noise in the Jiu Jitsu world. She begun the year as a brown belt, taking a European Gi silver medal, she would follow this performance with a Triple Gold at the IBJJF European NoGi Championships/IBJJF Rome Open. Then as a brown belt she would take silver at the UAEJJF World Pro championships in a mixed Brown and Black belt division, losing to multiple time World Champion Bia Mesquita in the finals. Ffion would end her brown belt career with the 2018 IBJJF World championship Gold Medal. Black belt for Ffion would start with a bang, Winning the 2018 IBJJF World NoGi Champion at black belt.

      She would then go on an unbelievable streak in 2019 winning Gold at the Europeans, Brazilian Nationals and Pan Ams and a Bronze a the World Championships. On the professional Jiu Jitsu scene she would win superfights at Grapplefest and took the Polaris title against Talita Alencar. On the NoGi scene in 2019 Ffion would take Silver at the ADCC submitting the current champion Bia Mesquita with a brutal armbar. 

      2020 has started off in the same explosive fashion with Ffion taking double gold at the IBJJF European Championships, making history in the process by becoming the lightest competitor to take the Absolute title at adult black belt. 

      We cant wait to see what the future holds for one of Jiu Jitsu's brightest stars

       We caught up Ffion and gave her some quick fire questions to finish the Blog! 

      Favourite competition - IBJJF European Championships (2020)

      Favourite technique - Knee Cut Pass 

      Favourite submission - Arm bar 

      Sporting heroes - Leandro Lo, Luiza Monteiro, Rodolfo Vieira and Marcelo Garcia

      Gi or NoGi - Gi! 

      Favourite Gi - The One Gi!