The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

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The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  Chris on Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:46 am

Thanks for the questions.

Firstly, I started in martial arts at the age of nine because I had a cousin five years older than me who along with a few of his mates used to batter me nearly every night. My first taste of MA was Judo and my first instructor was a yellow belt. That was back in 1959.
Now, when someone gets good at judo they can make it work in street situations, but as a kid against someone five years older, a lot bigger, and backed by a gang of his mates, I just kept getting more pastings. The upside to this was kids my age were no problem. At thirteen we moved out to the countryside outside of Bolton. I carried on training and at fourteen was training with the seniors. If I attended a required amount of times in a month, the black belt and the other seniors would take me to train with them in Manchester with Sensei Watanabe, the All-Japan champion.

I finally got the better of my cousin when I was fifteen. I decked him with Ashi-guruma then followed up with several boots to the head. I donít think any fight Iíve ever had felt as good as that one did. He never came back for seconds.
Years later in my early twenties one of his mates - one whoíd held my arm up my back while he punched me repeatedly in the stomach, something heíd done dozens of times Ė came into a club I was working at. I followed him into the toilets, smacked his head into the wall, held him face up against the wall over a urinal and pissed up his suit. I was an evil bugger in my youth. I have mellowed with old age...well, a little bit anyway

Going back to judo, I was in a junior competition aged fifteen. Iíd got through to the final and did a throw called Yoko-gake. The lad I was fighting smashed his face into the mat. There was an immediate reaction from his club coach who stated the throw Iíd used was not allowed in junior competition. Then they started saying I would have to serve a period of suspension. Not what you want to hear at fifteen.

A couple of years earlier Iíd been introduced to amateur wrestling via the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. At my school, wrestling legend Albert Aspin used to come down one night a week and train us. At first I found it difficult without a gi but soon got in to it and won the school championship. I was a second year and everyone else was third and fourth years, so with the pending judo suspension coming up, I moved over to wrestling. I won the Bury junior open, the Lancashireís, the Northern Counties and the British titles all in my first year. I was now being coached by John Rigby, later an MBE, who has trained over a hundred British champions. Albert Aspin kept an eye on me, as did Bert Owen, both England Internationals.

Being cocky and not minding taking a knock or two, I used to wind some of the old wrestlers up a bit. One or two as they got to know me would take me to one side and show me some of the old style wrestling known as Catch, or Catch as Catch Can Wrestling. The men who were regarded as a cut above, for some reason, were great with me. Bob Greenharch, Jimmy Foy and Mad Frank himself, Frank Holt. Someone who didnít really bother with me as a kid, but became a great friend later, was Billy Addison, a terrific wrestler. Billy was a featherweight with a nineteen inch neck!! I picked up stuff from the ages of fifteen to eighteen that has held me in good stead ever since.

As an aside Nemo was mentioning to me how Dave Turton is a fan of Catch wrestling and old time wrestlers and it seems people are showing interest in it, and how he (Nemo) wanted me to show him a few moves. Then a couple of days after he mentioned this I was asked out of the blue to give a seminar (or to be exact, half a seminar, the first half is Ju Jitsu for kids) on Catch wrestling at a friends club - itís only for club members though so Iím not trying to flog tickets on here. It seem word is getting around.
Iíve taught Catch as part of my system for ages, but have never been asked to teach it on its own. If itís successful and Iím happy with my level of knowledge of Catch as a standalone subject, and thereís enough interest, I might do some more seminars.

Anyway, at eighteen I got married for the first time. I started working on the doors to supplement my income. A couple of the lads I worked with trained in Ju Jitsu, and by now Iíd held nine amateur titles including the British title at two different weights, and they invited me down to their dojo. I loved it.

Another aside. Iíve been reading a couple of comments on here and in other places denigrating Japanese Ju Jitsu. The only thing I have to say about that is that there are a lot of Ju Jitsu clubs and styles with Japanese sounding names, but that doesnít make them real Japanese Ju Jitsu. Strictly speaking, they should come under the heading Gaijin Goshin Do (roughly translated as Non-Japanese Self Defence Way, or complete and utter shite, whichever takes your fancy )
Japanese Ju Jitsu in its truest form has no sporting applications. If it is applied properly and taught by someone who really knows their subject it is extremely effective. I canít claim that my Ju Jitsu is all Japanese: my system is made up of about 70% Japanese Ju Jitsu and 30% Judo, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Western and Thai boxing, and an in depth knowledge of the nervous system.
My entire system is also heavily influenced by what Iíve learned on the street. Iíve had a lot of street fights in my time, and have faced up to and beaten big guys, small guys, tall guys, short guys (Iím only five foot six so Iím usually facing up to bigger guys), groups of guys, coked up guys, squaddies, trained martial artists, professional boxers and great street fighters and beaten them all. Iíve been attacked with knives at least thirty times and Iíve made every single one of the attackers regret they decided to go out that night.
I also hear all the time that this and that doesnít work in the street, often from people whoíve only had a few real fights in their lives. Itís like: ďwristlocks donít work in the street and pressure points donít work in the streetĒ and so on. What they really mean is these techniques havenít worked for them. Theyíve tried them, (sometimes even twice) and failed, and so tell everyone they donĎt work. Well Iím telling you that Iíve used wristlocks and pressure points in real-life situations thousands of times and they definitely work. You just need to pick and choose when to use them. Sure, there are times when other techniques are called for, but just because I know how to snap someoneĎs neck I really donít want to do it just because he looked at me in a funny way. If he throws a punch at me then Iíll decide the threat level. If a wristlock will make him compliant then great, sometimes compliance is all I want.
None of this meant to be me bragging about what a tough guy I am, itís just to illustrate that there are a lot of people talking about Japanese Ju Jitsu who have no idea what real Ju Jitsu is. There are teachers of Japanese Ju Jitsu out there who know what theyíre talking about and have pressure tested their system on the streets. My system works and real Japanese Ju Jitsu works, because if it didnít Iíd either have dropped it a long time ago, or one of the thousands whoíve tried to take me out over the past thirty-five years or so would have succeeded and I wouldnít be here talking to you.

Having said all that, I personally liked sporting Ju Jitsu competition. For one thing there is no better motivation to get fit than to compete in sporting events. I think things should be tried and tested, but I take the point of the purists. Competition for the sake of competition is watered down. Now this is from a man who had 86 back to back wins out of 87 ground fighting matches and four national titles in full Shiai Ju Jitsu. But in truth we couldnít get the insurance in my day so we couldnít go flat out. We could go full contact punching and kicking most of the time, but the rules changed a lot. Once we went to the floor we werenít allowed to strike, and could only grapple to a submission. In some competitions, Osaekomi (holding techniques) were allowed, but I personally didnít care for rules which meant we couldnít use all our techniques.
I got my 1st Dan when I was twenty-one and continued training with several good people in the Bolton area. Then one day, aged thirty and still a 1st Dan, I was asked to do some coaching for my old mate Jack McKeown. Jack had a fantastic set up. We used to lock ourselves in for a couple of hours during the day. Jack, myself and Jimmy Goodridge, (a cracking boxer) trained in Thai, western boxing, Ju Jitsu, wrestling and so on. Jack was the first person I ever saw cross training, and bloody hell, it was good.
But all good things come to an end. After three years with Jack, and now a 2nd Dan, his place closed down. I joined the IBF, and a great organisation it was and still is. I had some great years with them. Martin Clarke, the GB President has to be one of the most successful competitors in British Sports Martial Arts. He was World Judo Masters Champion, Grandmaster Sambo wrestling, World silver Ju Jitsu and countless other titles to his credit. But we couldnít agree on Ju Jitsu, so after several years we parted company. Weíre still the best of mates, we just agree to differ about Ju Jitsu.
Someone who joined me in 1984 as a 2nd Kyu was Frank Adams. From the word go we trained together. No matter what I did to him, or how hard I pushed him Frank came back for more. Frank can tell anybody who asks him how we used to train at a place called Gateway to Health. We had no limits then, we just kept going. Another who trained with us was Frank (Genghis Khan) Johnson; a powerhouse of a man. Frank fought me in the British Ju Jitsu Championships and got silver to my gold (but only by one point). Another very hard trainer from those days was Eddie Hodgkinson. He could have people passing out doing his warm-up.
Moving on, in later years I got into Sambo with the IBF and later with my old mate Matthew Clempnerís Federation of Russian Martial Arts UK (FormaUK). Matthew deserves a mention in anyoneís company: 6th Dan Judo; 6th Dan Ju Jitsu; International Master of Sport in Sambo (Russian awarded.).
Going back to Ju Jitsu I met someone when I was a 5th Dan who fascinated me. He was Ron Bamfield, a 6th Dan in his late fifties. Shorter than me and about 10 and a half stone, heíd trained on a regular basis with Kenshiro Abbe. Iíd only seen Abbe twice, but was totally gobsmacked by him, and any man whoíd trained with him on a regular basis was someone I wanted to meet. I was not disappointed. Ron is now in his seventies and a 9th Dan and is still, in my opinion, brilliant. I may be an 8th Dan now but I consider myself Ronís student and have done so for nearly twenty years.
And if weíre talking Ju Jitsu, another man I couldnít miss out is Billy Doak. What can I say that hasnít already been said. Well, only to agree wit the people who say that Billy is the finest exponent of real Japanese Ju Jitsu on the planet.
And also I couldnít finish without a mention for my old mate Dave Turton, once a Ju Jitsu man, now gone over to the self-defence side. Ju Jitsuís loss is self-defenceís gain.

As regards the clubs in Bolton Iíve worked the doors on, well, Iíve worked The Cromwellian, The Club Empress, The Aspen, The Blue Lagoon, The Bantry, Scamps, The Aquarius, The Blue Lagoon, Heroís, Clouseauís, Liberties, Bergeracís, Babaloos, Pink Panther, Europa, Sparrows, Oscars, Jacques, Bentlyís, The Bees Knees and loads of pub doors.

Geoff Thompson keeps saying I should write a book about my 35 years on the doors. Think Iíd call it ďWhat? That Fat Bastard?Ē As it been said about me many a time before me and whoever said it had a little ďchatĒ

Right Iíll wind up now. Because I donít know one end of a computer from another my mate Nemo is having to type it all up for me. I realise this has been more of a life in martial arts rather than my other life as a doorman, bodyguard and debt collector. Maybe thatíll come another time Ė though perhaps not at such great length.

I hope to become more active on here, though it isnít always easy being as IĎm not on the net. But still, if anyone wants to ask any questions or wants some advice and thinks I might be qualified to give it, Iíll try my best. I might even just jump in on the odd conversation as well.
Cheers for now
Trev.
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Chris
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Trev

Post  uchideshi on Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:59 am

An interesting post.

I had the pleasure to meet Trevor Roberts and Billy Doak at the annual fighting arts seminar my previous Instructor used to organise.

Both these guys are amazing and were a real inspiration to see and learn from.
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A question.

Post  Craig on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:43 pm

I have only just begun training in RBSD. Taking some one on one lessons with an instructor who is heavily influenced in his teachings by Senshido as well as a few other things he has picked up around the traps. My very first lesson, we covered defense against the lunging clinch so often seen employed by the BJJ practitioners in MMA competitions. The defense of course, was reaching down digging/gouging into the eye. Then proceeding into the shredder.
Reading the above profile, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of Japanese Ju Jitsu can be employed when such defensive tactics are used. I don’t ask this question to piss all over JJJ. But rather, because as I continue my study, I wish to learn that which will offer me the best chance for survival in an assault situation. And if JJJ could be brought to bear towards this goal. Fantastic! But maybe it is suboptimal.
Given the respective backgrounds of Dave and others on this section of the forum. I thought here would be the best place to ask my question and receive an informed answer.

Craig.


Last edited by on Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:59 pm

"What? That fat bastard?"...marvellous.! lol!
What an interesting and erudite gentleman Mr Roberts is.

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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  BN on Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:40 pm

Has anyone here trained or worked with Trev Roberts?

I think it's amazing that a guy of 5'6 has garnered such a formibadle reputation. Interesting guy, but not much info about him on the net.
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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  David Turton on Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:28 am

well I have been a very close friend of Trev's for over 30 years, so I can try and answer any queries you may have.
He has done me the honour of coming to teach on the SDF's 10th Anniversary seminar in September... (he's worth the seminar fee on his own)

Trev did the doors in Bolton for well over 35 years without a loss.

Best overall grappler I have personally ever seen.
The only person to compete win European championships in Judo, Sambo, Ju-Jitsu and wrestling IN THE SAME YEAR.

KNown as the 'Bolton Iron Man' .. he's a total GENT and an awesome martial artist

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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  BN on Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:29 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your response.

I'm interested in Trev Roberts mainly cause he's a pretty small guy (in comparison to most other well known enforcers/bouncers I've heard about) and yet seemingly notoriously dangerous.

There isn't a lot about him on the net, but I would like to know more about his experiences and mindset. Not so much techniques, as I feel that the technical side is something quite personal. For example, Terry O' Neil , as I'm sure you know, used to use loads of high kicks, but they wouldn't be practical for most people.

I just think it's quite out of the ordinary for a 5'6 guy like Trev Roberts to have developed the sort of reputation that he seems to have.

I say "seems" as I don't know that much about him, going mainly on what I've read on here.

If you could give me any info on his experiences and mindset towards confrontation, I'd be grateful.
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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  David Turton on Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:24 am

Yeah Terry was awesome with his head kicks on the Lverpool doors.

Trevor at his biggest was about 5ft 6/7 and well over 18 stones.. his calf muscles especially ( and his thighs) were huge. I always told him he didnt have calves he had 'cows' as they were 'full grown'

I have known him well over 30 years and his 'projection of hs aggressions' is as high as anyone I know. He has an incredibly high pain threshold/barrier.
I have stuck holds on him at levels that most people would scream, tap or pass out and Trev has just "Good 'un Dave Mate"

He is NOT a man to mess with but a total gentleman. polite, funny etc.. a bit like the old Hulk TV series ... "Dont make me angry, you wont like me when I'm angry" thing.

I know on more than one occassion he has 'hunted' down miscreants and 'bad guys' who have crossed him, even bursting through their doors when they were having their teas.

His rep in Bolton and the North West was and is at the very top..

he always trained, he even taught on seminars when he couldnt walk up and down his stairs (he went up and down on his arse).. never let anyone down... strong man in every way, physically and mentally

one of my top THREE fave guys in the martial arts

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Trevor Roberts

Post  Scooby Ding Dong on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:45 pm

Trev is one of my best mates. He's an awesome guy and a real gentleman.
His seminars are top notch and you really should go to one whenever you get chance.

Trevor has his own website with a little bit more info about himself as well as contact details. www.appliedjujitsu.com

He really should write that book though Very Happy


Regards, Darren.

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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  David Turton on Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:58 am

thanks Darren .. appreciate that.. Trev is teaching on the SDF 10th Anniversary do in September in Doncaster as well

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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  Steve bungle on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:28 am

Just curious has anyone seen or bought the B.C.A masterclass dvd with Trev roberts on it???? i've heard a lot about this guy too, and the small clips on youtube i've seen look pretty good, so i'm considering getting it.
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Re: The thoughts of Trevor Roberts

Post  Steve bungle on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:28 am

Very Happy
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