Danny Weir seminar to grade Harmer

July 26 will see the Goulburn Martial Arts Academy host a seminar from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) blackbelt, Danny Weir. However, it will also serve a more personal purpose for GMAA head instructor, Craig Harmer. 

Grading time: Harmer (left) with BJJ legend Rigan Machado in 2013. Harmer has progressed past the blue belt seen here, on to purple belt, and will grade for brown later this month. Photo: Goulburn Post.

Grading time: Harmer (left) with BJJ legend Rigan Machado in 2013. Harmer has progressed past the blue belt seen here, on to purple belt, and will grade for brown later this month. Photo: Goulburn Post.

The seminar from Weir will primarily act as a grading from Harmer, who is attempting to achieve his brown belt in BJJ. 

While brown belts in most martial arts are difficult to achieve, it is more so than usual in BJJ owing to the extremely technical nature and high level of dedication that the discipline requires. 

“In BJJ terms, it’s like eight, nine years of training,” Harmer said. 

“Most other styles would have their second [or] third degree blackbelt for the same time frame.

“So it’s a fairly important rank for those that do BJJ.” 

Harmer is a veteran of martial arts, having already achieved a fifth-degree blackbelt in taekwando, however if he does pass the BJJ grading, he may have to wait a little while longer to actually receive the belt. 

“The actual presentation of the belt may not be on the night, because it might be with the principal instructor, John Will,” Harmer said. 

While Harmer will grade under Weir’s supervision, he officially studies under John Will, who is the most experienced and one of the highest-ranked Australian proponents of BJJ. 

The grading will be performed in what Harmer called a “shark tank”. This involves multiple ‘opponents’ approaching Harmer, who will have to defend himself using a particular technique from his syllabus for two to three minutes. 

This is done for each of the roughly forty techniques on the entire syllabus and, considering the high physical demand of BJJ, will constitute an extremely tough challenge. 

However, Harmer is confident that his training has more than prepared him, particularly considering that he has taken part in Taekwando gradings which have lasted for up to six hours. 

“It can be quite daunting, but after eight years it’s just another night on the mats,” he said. “I do 25 classes a week, so physically I’ll be good to go.”

The Danny Weir seminar will take place on Thursday July 26 from 7pm at the Goulburn Martial Arts Academy.

  • For further information, call Craig Harmer, 0409 302 883.