The Mill Hill BJJ team was the brainchild of the late, great Nicholas Brooks, and brought people together to train Jiu Jitsu while creating friendships, great times, and memories. In his words: “Many lives improved because of training BJJ.”
Here is what you need to know about the team and community known as Mill Hill BJJ, including what made it special and how it made an impact out of London into the whole world.
The History of Mill Hill BJJ
The Early Days: 1995 – 1999
Mill Hill BJJ started out as a traditional martial arts club. At that time they were training Goshin Ryu Ju Jitsu and were called Mill Hill Ju Jitsu Club. Nick came in contact with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1995 because of an advert in the newspaper for UFC 1. This event would be the reason he grew to be the head coach, BJJ encyclopedia, mentor, and coach he was.
At this time they were training in “The Boat” which was an old sea scout hall. The club that later became Mill Hill BJJ HQ emerged in this location.
Mill Hill Goes Brazilian: 2000 – 2010
In the mid-2000’s Nicholas decided to dedicate himself 100% to BJJ.
He went to compete in Brazil in 2006, taking his teammates and students with him. Nicholas loved training and competing in Brazil, and they often went to experience, learn, and take home medals. Because of his efforts Mill Hill BJJ would compete internationally, and the team competed extensively throughout Europe.
In 2009, they left “The Boat” and started Mill Hill Combat & Conditioning. This was Nicholas Brooks’ first full time academy, which was innovative for the time in the UK. This is where the school started to grow bigger and the academy began running day and evening classes. Mill Hill BJJ also became an official Roger Gracie affiliate.
The Gym Becomes an Association: 2010 and beyond
Around 2010 Mill Hill BJJ became their own association. They split from the Roger Gracie Academy in 2014 and went fully independent. This is also the year when they moved into their current location.
To this day Mill Hill BJJ is an international network of friendship, as Brooks, the founder, mostly cared about helping people. The affiliate schools emerged because of his students moving and opening up their academies, and later also because of meeting people that believe in the same ideals.
These ideals are being at service to others and making Jiu Jitsu accessible for the young, old, recreational, competitive, big, and small people.
Mill Hill Suffers its Greatest Loss – 2021
In December 2021 Nick Brooks passed away, leaving behind his wife, children, teammates, and students. He is remembered with great fondness and missed by many.
Mill Hill BJJ’s Top Competitors
It’s hard to only name a few because a lot of Mill Hillers compete, as Nicholas always led by example and made competition a lifestyle for many across Europe. There was even an in-house competition where you could rack up points by winning competitions. The winner of this competition would get sponsored to go and compete at the IBJJF Europeans.
Mill Hill BJJ has many European champions and medalists. Here are some of the Mill Hill BJJ competitors with the biggest names up until now.
Nicholas always led from the front. He is a multiple times European Champion and two times World Masters Champion, and there are many other accomplishments that we could mention.
Since he belonged to the first generation in the UK competing worldwide, there is a lot of history to be found here. It was late 2009 that he received his black belt. He went on to teach, compete, and inspire many while taking care of a lot of hardworking talent.
Daniel ‘Raspberry Ape’ Strauss
At the age of fourteen, Daniel ‘Rasberry Ape’ Strauss started training at Mill Hill BJJ HQ.
Nicholas Brooks was his first instructor and took Daniel across the country and the world to compete. This made him ready for his appearances in competitions like Polaris Pro, ADCC, and Eddie Bravo Invitational. He is also a British and English champion at black belt.
Daniel has been teaching for years at Mill Hill BJJ. At the start of 2016 he started his Raspberry Ape team out of Mill Hill BJJ HQ. This was a fully structured no-gi grappling program.
Ed Ingamells is a Mill Hill instructor. He has been invited to compete on cards like Polaris, Battle Grapple, and Grapplefest, where he competed successfully. He has over 150 competitive grappling matches, with 101 wins via submission. Under his belt he has multiple European, British and English titles, Naga and ADCC national titles.
Dinu competed on Polaris Pro and is an active competitor coming out of Europe, based in the UK. Some of his accomplishments include being a multiple champion at the Naga and IBJJF Europeans, and being a British and English champion in both gi and no-gi. He also competed in MMA and has a professional record of 4-1-0
FAQs About Mill Hill BJJ?
Who founded Mill Hill BJJ?
Mill Hill BJJ was founded by Nicholas ‘The Sloth’ Brooks.
When was Mill Hill BJJ founded?
Mill Hill BJJ was founded around the mid-2000’s.
Why is it called Mill Hill BJJ?
It’s called Mill Hill BJJ because that’s the name of the neighborhood where it’s located, in North London.
How many Mill Hill BJJ affiliate academies does Mill Hill BJJ have?
Mill Hill BJJ has around 30 affiliate academies.
How many countries have a Mill Hill BJJ academy?
There is a network of academies throughout seven different countries across Europe.
Mill Hill BJJ Today
When Nicholas Brooks encountered BJJ the first time, he followed his passion. This left him leaving an imprint in many lives. Everyone at Mill Hill BJJ will keep his legacy alive by following the path Nicholas has laid out.
Mill Hill BJJ is and will be a team with a lot of well respected competitors, that no doubt will keep representing the team in the international BJJ scene. One of the important values of the team is that they strive to have a great time on the mat, because in addition to taking competition seriously, this team is about fun and community.
Special thanks goes out to: Seymour Yang, Chris Heads and Shelley Brooks for sharing their stories and information about the team.
We care about Jiu Jitsu so much that we decided to create this page for all the people like us – that eat, breath and live the Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle! We truly hope our content will make every one of your days better, on the mat and off the mat!