Liam & Dan Smith
Team GB here we come
Bott are proud to announce their sponsorship of Bude brothers, Liam and Dan Smith, who have been selected to join Team GB at the Ju Jitsu World Championships (WCJJO Sports) in Brisbane, Australia, in October 2017.
The 26 year old identical twins discovered their passion for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) about 8 years ago, whilst Dan was studying at North Devon College and Liam at Marjon University (Plymouth).
MMA is a combination of Boxing and other Martial Arts, and the brothers attribute their success to concentrating on all the individual disciplines to strengthen their game. They have spent time in Thailand, learning Tiger Muay Thai, Kick Boxing in New Zealand and Brazilian Ju Jitsu in Amsterdam, coming away with many medals and a wealth of experience under their belts.
Since returning from New Zealand 2 years ago, Liam and Dan have been training, travelling to various competitions, and working hard to fund their busy schedule. During this period they were given the opportunity to attend a training session with Team GB for Sport Ju Jitsu, in Yeovil, Somerset. They attended, believing this would be a good experience and were taken by surprise when they were asked to join Team GB to participate in the World Championships! They said: “Although delighted and proud, we weren’t expecting this, nor were we financially prepared”.
Ju Jitsu is not yet an Olympic Sport and receives no funding. Liam and Dan had to cover the cost of the trip themselves, along with any team clothing and equipment. As well as setting up a ‘Go Fund’ page and various local fundraising events, the brothers contacted Bott to ask for help in turning this amazing offer into reality.
Clive Woodward, CEO of Bott Limited said; “Having been their Mini Rugby Coach some years back, I was very impressed by Liam and Dan’s continued passion and dedication for competitive sport. Bott is delighted to support them with this exciting opportunity, representing both Team GB and Cornwall. They join a growing list of young, aspiring, local athletes that the Company has been proud to sponsor and support over the years. We wish them the very best of luck, not only in the World Championships, but also in their future endeavours!”
What are their future plans?
Liam and Dan want to open a Training and Coaching Academy for Boxing and Martial Arts. They intend to coach competing athletes, teach Martial Arts, as well as provide fitness and confidence building classes for adults and children. The twins believe that their own education and travels have equipped them with a variety of skills necessary to build and sustain a successful business, saying; “With the lack of facilities for young people, we aim to provide the community with a venue where they can find focus, keep fit and healthy, respect others and channel any behavioural issues they may have.”
We will update you on Liam and Dan’s progress, or you can follow their story on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Liam-Dan-Smith-Sport-Ju-Jitsu-Australian-Journey-1740349669591363/
November 2017 - Bronze, Silver & Gold in the Ju Jitsu World Championships
Bude brothers Liam & Dan Smith made their way to Australia at the end of October, to participate in the Ju Jitsu World Championships, on behalf of Team GB. (A sponsorship package from Bott enabled the boys to travel to the competition, as Ju Jitsu is not yet an Olympic sport and currently receives no funding).
Unfortunately, Dan couldn’t get clearance to compete due to an injury sustained during a boxing competition. He went on to coach and support Liam and others in the team throughout the championships. Liam went on to compete in the Brazilian Ju Jitsu (under 66kg category) winning a Silver medal. He also came first in the Sports Jiu Jitsu competition (under 67kg), achieving a well-deserved Gold! Team GB went on to win Bronze in the team event.
Bott are delighted to have supported the boys with this exciting opportunity, representing both Team GB and Cornwall. Liam said: ‘A special thanks again to Clive Woodward and Bott for all your support, we couldn’t have made it without you!’