Steve Clifford


Full Name Steve Clifford
Weight 230 lbs
Rank Black Belt Judo, Brown Belt BJJ
Height 6'6"
Association Southern Cross Jiu Jitsu Academy Sydney (Nova Uniao)


Accomplishments in BJJ/Judo:

- Senior Jiu Jitsu Coach at SCJJA
- Head Judo Instructor SCJJA
- Australian Judo Kata Team 2014
- Level 2 NCAS Jiu Jitsu Coach
- Level 1 NCAS Judo Coach
- Co-Founder of Gerijitsu O/35s Jiu Jitsu

Q&A Session Between Steve Clifford and Elite Sports

Question: What is your advice for newcomers to Jiu Jitsu?

Answer: Focus on the basics that your instructor provides. Youtube can be a great resource for your learning, but not before you are ready and have a sound skill base to build upon.

Question: What does it mean to you to be a fighter?

Answer: Being a fighter means training hard, testing your body and its limits, but more importantly testing your spirit and resolve. These lessons transfer to life in general.

Question: What are the essential things you include in your training?

Essential parts to my training include:
- rolling with a variety of different partners, sizes, and skill levels
- Cross training in Judo
- Managing my diet
- Weight training

Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?

Answer: Not a lot! If another fighter is my age and grade then they have most likely figured out what is required to stay active and continue to progress in Jiu Jitsu. I may have some more skill in the standing phase, as a Judo black belt, but throws don’t win fights in BJJ unless it comes down to points.

Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?

Answer: Success depends on your realistic, achievable goal setting is important. For me, at my stage in my career, success is seeing my students achieve their goals, improve, and grow to love the sport as much as I do.

Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?

Answer: Robson Moura - 7 times BJJ World Champion - Robhino has visited our gym twice during my career (the second time presenting me with my brown belt) and both times his skill level, love of jiu jitsu, friendliness and commitment to the sport have impressed me beyond measure. To roll with him would be an honour.

Question: How should a beginner prepare for a competition? Any advice for them?

Answer: Be prepared for a much higher level of intensity, it may look like what you are used to at your gym, however the demands are much more intense.

Question: Do you do any research on your rivals? How does this help?

Answer: Researching your rivals enables you to develop a strategy aimed at playing to your strengths whilst taking advantage of their weaknesses. I always recommend researching those in your division.

Question: What are your thoughts on Martial Arts for the average person?

Answer: Many skills and lessons learned through the study of martial arts are applicable in day to day situations, not only in self defence.

Question: Which moment is the most memorable for you in your past competitions?

Answer: Competing in Japan in the world titles with my brother.

Question: How do martial arts help to build leadership skills?

Answer: Martial arts develop confidence, and confident people make good leaders.

Question: To whom do you credit your success in your sport?

Answer: Nova Uniao black belt Rodney Ellis, my coach, he introduced me to BJJ and has given his life to the sport. He is meticulous with the basics and basics win matches, he also sacrifices a lot to keep our awesome academy Southern Cross Jiu Jitsu running. I still have a lot to learn...