From Durham England, Ellis Younger has become one of the top lightweight purple belts in Europe, with his submission orientated style. Running an ECJJA affiliate, North East Jiu Jitsu, it wasn’t always that way, as for a while NE Jiu Jitsu was an academy run by Ellis with no affiliation, and yet despite this he has developed into one of the top competitors. Recently being crowned European No Gi Champion and British Champion, we caught up with the Progress/Roll Supreme sponsored athlete as he prepares for the worlds.
FME - Thanks for your time Ellis, you’ve had a successful 2018, winning the IBJJF London winter Open, the IBJJF European No Gi, where you submitted all your opponents, and just recently you defended your British open title winning it for a second year running. With the worlds coming up it’s important to feel confident going in, how has the British open helped you and what happened?
EY - I had a great weekend at the British open. It’s always fun to compete there alongside my teammates. The first two opponents I managed to submit and won via points in the final. It wasn’t the busiest I’ve seen it but still nice to get some matches in close to worlds to test your game!
FME - How is preparations going for the Worlds, take us through your typical week training and what you’re doing to get better prepared for this year’s worlds?
EY - It’s going well. I just recently went out to ECJJA for the week to get some preparation in. Darragh runs amazing sessions out there and there’s so many beasts to train with! At home I’ve just been training as much as I can basically. Usually I do 2 drilling and 2 rolling sessions a day plus teach classes. This is pretty much every day of the week and weekends I roll/drill a little at open mats. For worlds this year I’ve just took everything up a notch in my training, so I’ll be better prepared for sure.
FME - You are a bit of an anomaly in Jiu jitsu, you opened your academy as a blue belt, and didn’t have a specified head coach for a while until your recent affiliation with ECJJA, what are the pros and cons of having your own academy so young into the sport, juggling running the academy and being a successful competitor.
EY - I don’t see any cons at all to having an academy only pros as I have a place to train at as much as I want with my friends and that’s all that really matters to me. I’m lucky too in that if I’m travelling to compete or train there’s a good bunch of people around me that always help out covering classes etc and everyone understands its beneficial to our future training getting exposed to high level competition and different methods of training. I’m in a fortunate position where I run the academy full time, so I can base my training in and around the classes I teach and it all works well.
FME - Now you have the affiliation with ECJJA, how did that come about, what did you know about Darragh and his guys, and how you feel it benefits you?
EY- I’ve been a fan of Darragh and seen him around on the scene since like 2012/13 so I was really inspired that a European was competing at a really high level and would also see his guys doing really well internationally. We trained a few times over the next couple years and from 2016 that’s when we joined the team properly and I’ve been going out regularly.
It benefits me greatly as it’s amazing to be a part of a team that has a wealth of knowledge/experience and such passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Every time I train at ECJJA I learn so much and get influenced in a majorly positive way.
FME - What for you is your favourite accomplishment in Jiu Jitsu and why?
EY - Probably winning the No Gi Europeans most recently. It was nice to finally win something half decent! 😂
FME - Who would you say influences your jiu jitsu the most?
EY- I’ve been such a big fan of the Mendes brothers for many years so I’d have to say them!
FME - Thanks again for your time Ellis and see you at the worlds!
EY - No worries! See you at worlds 👊🏼