LITTLE more than a year after first taking up the sport, Ade Donnelly is going for gold on Australia's Gold Coast this month.

Former military man Donnelly left the services in order to study and struggled to find enough time for sport as well. Now working at a law firm in Manchester, the Atherton-based jiu jitsu man heads down under in a few weeks with the Great Britain team for the World Championships.

"Just over 12 months ago I discovered Leigh and Westhoughton Jiu Jitsu Club, now called Kokkoro Jiu Jitsu Club," he said. "I really enjoyed the discipline and self-defence aspect of the sport, as well as the morals surrounding it – Jiu Jitsu means 'gentle art' and although it's a very technical sport it's a bit like chess. Even though it's a physical combat sport I find it strangely relaxing."

That relaxation within the sport has served Donnelly well and, now fighting out of Predators MMA and BJJ Academy in Manchester, he has since earned a place in the GB team flying to Australia this month where more than 100 of the planet's top participants will be competing for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Sport Jiu Jitsu championships.

He will be competing in the light-heavyweight section, for 90-100kg fighters and, while he may not need backup on the mat, Donnelly is hoping to secure a sponsorship deal to help with the costs involved in world championship bids, such as paying for flights, accommodation, insurance and equipment.

"The tournaments, equipment, and training are all self funded since organisations lost funding due to cutbacks a few years ago," explained Donnelly, whose wife Lauren gives birth to their first child in March. "A few friends have chucked some cash my way but there is a lot still to cover. We fly out on the 20th and, after a few days' training and acclimatising, there is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu event, the Sport Jiu Jitsu – which is a blend of judo, mixed martial arts and jiu jitsu rolled into one – and the team event.

"Britain did very well at the last event in Geneva and I've prepared as much as I can, I've trained hard, eaten right and had great instruction from Gavin Boardman at Predators, who trains me for free five days a week.

"He believes in me, I believe in me and I just hope I can perform well down there."

Anyone who would like to speak to Ade Donnelly about potential sponsorships should contact him by emailing