How did I devote a large part of my life to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? I’m sorry I don’t have the typical story to share of being bullied in school. My story was quite the opposite. A bully? Nope, never that. Bullies are cowards. I just loved fighting, and it’s ironic because I was raised in a very loving family with both parents and three annoying, but loving sisters whom I love dearly. So you think I’d be the ideal man? Wrong. Bottom line was, I just made wrong choices.

Hi, my name is Professor Adrian Smithson, better known as “English” to all my friends and family. I am a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and a 2nd degree Black Belt in Kosho Ryu Kempo.

My journey in martial arts began over 20 years ago in the early 90s. Having migrated to Canada from London, England, I knew something had to give. I knew that my present issue with fighting couldn’t continue. I couldn’t have the same hot-tempered personality I had back home. Either, I’d get seriously hurt one day, in trouble with the law, or maybe the extreme, dead.

A friend of mine, Kevin who took Kosho Ryu Kempo, suggested I give it a try. Maybe it would bring some balance to my life. So for about six years, I studied the art of movement and deflection. I excelled as a student and instantly saw changes in my life leaving me eager to learn more about martial arts. After years of training, I received my 2nd Degree Black Belt and felt a sense of accomplishment. However, over time, I realized that this style of martial arts wasn’t effective when it came down to a real fight.

At that time, more and more young people were getting into martial arts whether it was Karate, Kickboxing, or Muay Thai. All of which contain striking techniques. I wanted to focus on something different since I felt like my striking game was “heavy.”

I discovered through a friend, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The idea of learning BJJ was intriguing. Grappling and learning the technique that makes it possible for a small person to control or subdue a much larger opponent, using leverage to overcome strength and aggression seemed like a great avenue to tap into and elevate my game.


At this stage in my life, it was no longer about staying out of trouble. I had grown out of that phase and saw tremendous changes in how I viewed life and the decisions I made. Training became my sanctuary. I found a unique way to get fit, build my self-confidence and learn self-defense which has kept me coming back for more to this very day. After 16 years of grinding on the mats, here I am today, a self-disciplined, respectful mentor and teacher. All the makings of a BOSS, Guvna.

My goal with this bjj blog is to help others understand the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and its benefits, the community lifestyle, and to share the growth of Guvna BJJ.