matt

Matt Holland

Matt Holland is the coach (Brown belt) at Focus on the ground in Elgin.

He started training martial arts quite late in life aged 31. He began training judo when he was the tender age of 8 or 9 but didn’t stick at it. Through his teenage years he did a lot of break dancing and power lifting, got married at 21 and didn’t do much until his son wanted to go to a traditional Jiu Jitsu club with his school friend; within weeks he found himself at the adult class in 2001 purely by chance. He came across Gracie Jiu Jitsu Essex and started going there whenever he could as it was 1 1/2 hours away from home. His full time Jiu jitsu class was very open and he soon found himself training a basic type of BJJ/TJJ ground fighting, he got his purple belt in traditional Jiu Jitsu. Shortly after Matt and his family had a life changing house move, they moved from South East Kent to the cold North East of Scotland which meant no Jiu Jitsu training for about 5 years as most of his time was taken up with training his team of sled dogs.

In late 2007 he found an old school Judo club that spent a lot of time ground fighting, at the end of 2008 he was asked to help a group of guys that wanted to learn ground fighting for MMA, they learnt as they went along and soon found the group gaining momentum and numbers started to grow. During the early days they were helped along by John Reid (Aliveness Gym Aberdeen) training No-Gi; about this time Jimmy Grigor started Fusion MMA and many of the Fusion MMA guys trained with both clubs. This is where he first met Arek Zienkiewicz (Immortals Gold Team ) and the classes kept growing in popularity; sadly the Judo club had to close during this time just as he had just gotten his brown belt. Within a week Arek brought his Master Mariusz Linke to the UK for a seminar at Fusion MMA. At this seminar he presented Matt with his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt, after this he expanded into Gi training as well as the more MMA based No-Gi. It was at this time Focus on the Ground was reborn Focus on the Ground Gold Team, with the connections now made with high level BJJ players Matt & the club were able to ensure quality training and progression for any players that wanted to train.

Now being affiliated officially with the Gold Team franchise both Arek and Mariusz have given regular seminars at the club, this gave the members of the club an opportunity to be regularly graded; in 2014 Matt was awarded his Brownbelt belt Mariusz.

The club has gone from strength to strength and now has an amazing record in both Gi & No-Gi competitions.

You can email Matt here: matt@focusontheground.co.uk