With the World Championships for the World Council of Jiu-Jitsu Organisations (WCJJO) coming up, Liam and Dan Smith, the jiu-jitsu twins from Bude will be looking to raise between £2500 and £3000 to take part in the event which will be taking place in the autumn in Queensland, Australia. The showpiece event comes just a few months after the duo were chosen in the squad after a sparring contest and the Smiths are planning to make the flight to Brisbane in October.
The twins had quite an impact on the coaching staff and were invited to be full-time members of the squad. However, there is no additional funding going into the sport. The 26-year-olds took up the sport eight years ago but will now have to find a way of paying for their trip to Australia. The competition will start on 26th October and finish on 29th October. Dan Smith was working as a chef at La Bouche Creole in town but has recently quit after getting signed by Dynamite Pro Boxing. However, money is still tight since he’s yet to debut. His brother Liam teaches a variety of lessons including kickboxing and swimming at the Camelford Leisure Centre.
Balancing between work and training is quite a challenge according to Liam but he believes that his brother has helped to bring out the best in him. According to Liam, they push each other to achieve more because whenever one returns from training or the gym, it pushes the other to try even harder so as to keep up. He does, however, point out that it’s not easy to balance training and work in the current economic climate. He says that they have to train as much as possible wherever they are and every month, they have to make the long trip to Dunstable for GB sparring. In addition to all this, he says that they also have to get their own equipment to replace the old stuff.
Liam says that their long-term plan is to set up a gym in the town where all Mixed Martial Arts disciplines can be taught. However, he says that until that time comes, they’ll be working and going for as many medals as possible. He adds that it’s only possible to be taken seriously as a coach if you have won a few things in your time and they are yet to do that.