•How long have you trained BJJ for? Think I'm up to about 4 years....I thought I would have been better at it by now
•What other disciplines have you trained if any? I don't know if I would have called what I did "training", but I wore boxing gloves and got yelled at by Tommy Hopkins's for a while, even let him punch me in the head a few times. I reckon my two terms of karate at age 9 also makes me pretty dangerous.
•How did you get into BJJ? Tommy introduced me to it when I was training with him, I think he was just sick of punching me and wanted to mix it up. He recommended Perkins and I did a session back in the old factory in Ringwood but didn't have time to stick with it. About 2-3 years later I was looking for something to stop me getting fatter so and got into it.
•Have you competed? If so which comp? Will you look to compete in the future? I have done G.I twice and looking to compete again in June.
•What are your immediate training goals and then for the next 5 years? My immediate goal is to actually make it to training consistently. My goal for the next 5 years is to be able to make it through warm ups without wanting to vomit. I know Lisa Curry Kenny told us to set achievable goals, but what does she know....she also told me to roll my body like I'm on a skewer and I still swim like car keys! (I could resist the chance to make an uncle Toby's ad reference)
•Why do you love training at Perkins Jiu Jitsu? The dick jokes
•Guard pull or takedown? Every now and then I think I'm Craig Jones and attempt to pull guard, and then about 3 seconds later as my guard is passed I remember I have terrible mobility when standing, let alone sitting and no flexibility. That and I don't even know how to heel hook
•What is your favourite submission? Cross collar from mount
•What would be your walk out song? Marvin Gaye's "let's get it", so my opponent would feel really uncomfortable.
•Nicknames & Fight Name, do you have one? If not, if you could pick one for yourself, what would it be? Gaz and I don't have a fight name but if I could choose I might go "Kong". It's a nick name my best mate tried to make stick cos he thought I looked like diddy kong from Mario kart. If it was my fight name I could pretend it was cos I'm tough.
•What do you like to do to chill, besides training? Play with the kids, cycle, surf occasionally, hike, cook
•What’s your favourite place to eat in Melbourne and your #1 dish recommendation? Blue bonnet BBQ is amazing, the brisket is always great and they do an incredible broccoli and preserved lemon salad •If you could improve anything in your own training, what would it be? Cardio and intensity
•If you could go back in time to your first Martial art class, what would be the advice you give to your past self? Tommy is going to elbow you in the ear
•Any last words for your fellow PJJ students and Coaches? I've had a few ups and downs and life and with my mental health since first coming to perkins and having a great club filled with a fun atmosphere and supportive coaches and team mates has been a big part of me keeping things on track. Thanks for the rolls legends
WHAT GAZ'S TRAINING BUDDIES SAY ABOUT HIM.
“You can always count on Gareth for a tough roll and a good laugh, great, friendly guy with a big heart.”
- Andrew Ford
“I met Gaz as a young buck playing Gridiron and he told me “don’t worry mate, if you don’t shit your pants after the first hit, you’ll be right!”. Then when he brought me down to Perkins he told me “if you don’t shit your pants the first time you get choked out, you’ll be right”. I feel that Gaz has a strong moral code on and off the mat, which is predominantly centred around involuntary bowel movements, but it obviously works for him! Gaz is a great bloke to get up close and sweaty with... unless he shits his pants. “
- Darren Johnstone
“Gaz, is one of the funniest guys I have had the pleasure of sharing mat space with. He is a gentle giant, who is a pleasure to be around, whether on the mats assisting in kids classes or grappling ourselves. He honestly makes the day better with his funny antics and clever quips. Thanks Gaz, dont ever change.”