The first decade – From lock up – to an academy – to Citus – to BMA empire
The journey so far…
BMA originally called Citus MMA (2011-2021) was founded in 2011 by head coach Nico Bajerski. The academy was started when Nico was a personal trainer at a large fitness gym in West Yorkshire, he started to teach kick boxing on a Saturday morning. Shortly after the classes were changed to “MMA classes”
Upon officially opening as an academy in 2011, Nico found a local lock up unit in Halifax. The whole academy consisted of a piece of carpet and four old punch bags used from his bedroom and a stereo. Nico called the club “Citus MMA” Citus means rapid in Latin, this was to represent rapid learning and rapid movement as Nico was known to have fast striking and grappling. In the first year of Citus there was just three classes, Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.
The beginning of the club was extremely difficult, for 6 months to a year hardly any one came and many classes no one turned up at all. The academy nearly closed its doors on several occasions. But with Nico’s sheer determination and savings from his day job, the academy was moved into a more suitable unit, close by and infact a lot bigger! Over time every spare penny was put into the facility and very slowly it started to take momentum.
Through 2014 – 16 it was slow going and a period of time where the academy was a part time academy, while Nico continued to work full time and also as a student.
In 2016 competition now came in! On Citus MMA first outgoing, at fightstar interclub, Myles Bush was awarded the k1 fighter of the interclub where the fightstar team came to the academy and awarded him with the trophy, a week later Alex Divers competed on grapple nation (before it was called empire grappling) and won a gold medal winning all four of his matches by take down and submission.
From there a few weeks later James White had his debut MMA fight on combat challenge, and Jaz Duncan had two fights on fightstar championship, going 3-0 between them winning by submissions and knockouts! Against undefeated amateur opponents.
Citus MMA was now attracting the likes of ex world kick boxing champions and ex head MMA coaches.
Through 2017 – 18 Nico was very active as a coach, working as the head MMA coach of three gyms simultaneously, this was giving him extreme coaching experience, but at the same time Citus was not getting the attention it could have been getting, it was a short term pain for a long term gain in hindsight..
The academy was doing well at empire ranking high every time and students were competing in MMA and k1, it was now time to build an empire.
In 2019 Nico was able to give his undivided attention to Citus, the academy of course took a sharp spike in progress and the academy was affiliated under master Leo negao.
After surviving the covid pandemic, Citus came back with a vengeance!!
We expanded the academy into two vacant areas in the mill, expanded the weights area and matted area, now meaning we had the largest matted area in any MMA gym in the north of the United Kingdom!
In 2021 the decision was made to change the name of the academy to BMA – “Bajerski martial arts” we are a family run academy and we have our own ways of striking, grappling and running an academy, it was time for a short powerful name that held our meaning!
2022 was the year we reached new unprecedented heights! We became the empire champion BJJ team defeating over 80 other academies, shortly after Nico was promoted to BJJ black belt (professor) becoming the first black belt to come out of Halifax. Then we started 300 interclub welcoming clubs from all over the north of the UK. Students this year became some of the top uk amature MMA fighters, European IBJJF medalists at purple belt and multiple grapple fest contenders and grapple fest winners!
BMA is now an entity, with growing affiliation, and style of its own that you can see through all students in striking and Jiu Jitsu. We have now transcended the 4 walls were we was born, taught in many academies and helping many coaches, 1-1 coaches in teaching and business.
Our striking is similar to a forward Dutch style kick boxing with heavy use of both stances, unpredictable timing, and stab kicks. Our grappling is a top chain submission sequence game, with heavy use of Darce chokes, second to that triangle chokes, and heel hooks. You can see the similar moment in all BMA students.
BMA is known mainly around Europe for its great Jiu Jitsu base and good connections in the martial arts world!
It has been a none stop decade thus far, but we have come from the bottom and to think how far we have come, we can go as far as we are willing to take it.
Nico is now widely recognised as one of the most attention to detail martial arts coaches.
BMA MMA is known around Europe for having a good Jiu Jitsu base and good connections in the martial arts world.