1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from?
I'm Matt Pickering. I'm from Liverpool in the UK. I work in a university as laboratory technician and help manage the labs so that they are safe and working for research and teaching in the university. I'm a keen volunteer and love to give back whenever I get the chance.
I'm an assistant coach in my BJJ gym and I teach the advanced takedown class and kids classes. I'm
also a Muay Thai coach. I have won various regional and national level competitions in BJJ.
Besides BJJ, I have trained Muay Thai for around 20 years. I also trained combat and sport sambo and competed nationally and internationally. I was British champion in combat sambo and represented the UK in the European championships where I placed 4th. I use my experience in sambo to help teach the BJJ students a more in depth approach to takedowns. I also use my takedowns at any opportunity I get during competition.
2. Why do you fight?
I would call myself a martial artist first and foremost. fight to improve myself. Once you step into the octagon, ring, or sambo mat, other things seem trivial. It's made my stresses and worries seem more manageable. The more I compete the less anxious I become in life
3. Do you have any hobbies outside of fighting? If so, what are they?
I'm a bit of a nerd. I work in a biomedical laboratory at a university and I love science. My main interest is human biology. I have a BSc in Human Biology with nutrition and I also have a Msc in research methods. My major interest is in the field of Nootropics and how food or supplements can affect our mind and brain chemistry.
I also love video games and will play them whenever I get the chance. I'm a big Nintendo fan and I also Love the Dark Souls series.
4. What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your fighting career and/or life?
That your worries and anxieties don't control you. If you can change the situation that is causing you stress, then do so; if you can't control it, then accept it and work towards working with the issue. You can either do something or you cannot, worrying won't help.
5. Which brands would you want to work with?
I'm open to any that will support my goals.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I've competed for the last 7 years at national and international levels. I plan to continue to do so but, being 34, I am acutely aware that I am not a spring chicken anymore. I have an ambition to be competing well into my later life and would love to one day be an ambassador of not just Masters level athletes, but of older people generally.
7. What do you want to achieve through training and fighting?
My main goal with competing and training is to improve myself and hopefully those around me. I feel martial arts are just so much more than a fitness pursuit. I aim to spread the love of martial arts to as many people as I can as I feel it can improve so much more than just physical fitness.
8. Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
My family, my coach Terrence Yu, my head professor Juliano Rocha, my previous coaches, and everybody who has helped me along the way to getting here.
9. What is your favorite quote?
"When you stop growing, you start dying" - William S Burroughs
10. Do you have any upcoming fights?
No superfights planned due to covid, I had 2 planned for March and April but COVID put a stop to them. I'm planning on doing the next available IBJJF European Masters in Barcelona and any superfights that come up.