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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete nominated for Army Sports Personality of the Year 2016

Press release   •   Oct 17, 2016 11:19 BST

Major Donald McIntyre (5th from right) with the British Army BJJ Team

A British Army Major who won a gold medal at the prestigious World Masters Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship in Las Vegas in August has been nominated for the prestigious British Army Sports Personality of the Year award 2016.

Major Donald Macintyre, of the Intelligence Corps has been instrumental in getting the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) recognised as an official sport by the Army Sport Control Board and has helped the sport become the most-practiced martial art within the British forces in just a year. BJJ is relatively new to the Army, having been added as an official combat training discipline by the British Armed Forces in October 2015, but the team have already had significant success at international competitions.

In August 2016, he was part of a ten man British Army team who travelled to compete at the IBJJF World Masters Championships, held in Las Vegas. Amongst over 4,000 competitors, it was Don who stood out with a hard fought gold medal to become world champion.

According to Major McIntyre, BJJ is perfect for military personnel: “if you can stay calm under pressure, if you can keep a clear head, then you’ll find a way to get out of bad positions, advance your own and get to a position where you can actually win the match either by points or by finishing your opponent. And I think for soldiers, that’s a skill we definitely need – the ability to know you’re in a bad spot, take a deep breath and think your way out of it. And that’s what’s unique about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”

The governing body for the sport in the UK is the UKBJJA, who, along with British Army Team Coach Andy Roberts, were heavily involved in helping Don get BJJ recognised by the armed forces. As well international competitions, there are now official BJJ championships for all armed forces personnel. Major Macintyre’s success is surely a sign of great things to come from the Army BJJ team.

The UKBJJA ( is a not-for profit organisation which aims to provide a governance structure for the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that promotes and develops the sport while allowing individual clubs and practitioners the space and freedom to practice the martial art in the way they enjoy. The UKBJJA is currently in the final stages of submitting a full application for assessment to be recognised by Sport England as the governing body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK. 

The UKBJJA was formed in 2013, and the association’s goal is to foster the development of BJJ at elite, community and grassroots levels, raising the profile of the sport but also providing pathways for development and involvement across communities in the UK. Visit UKBJJA at or follow us on  Facebook and Twitter @ukbjja.

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