Here are some kind words people have said about us over the years.

If you'd like to say some kind words yourself, please do.  We love compliments.

Absolute Beginners

Davie Black, Lab Technician

Having trained in a few martial arts before, this class has been a great help towards me improving my ground game.  As a new comer, I have been made very welcome by all the guys at the gym.  All members have been very helpful towards me settling in and being made very welcome.



Ross Shoemark, Drugs Rehabilitation Chappie

Ive been training here for about 1 month, and its fantastic! The techniques are varied but practical, explained well, and the more technical ones are shown in stages so their easier to pick up. Its really good fun! its a relaxed atmosphere, it gets you fit and the club is probably the most welcoming place in Edinburgh! WooHoo!



Douglas McCormick, Pharmacist

Will BJJ is great from the first class you are in the middle of it there is no sitting watching techniques or 800 situps before class followed by endless drill.  Also its generally no GI (just shorts a T-shirt) you don't stick out like the new boy from the beginning.  The group is very welcoming.


Andrew Stirrat

Wouldn't normally e-mail to say that other than I thought your teaching was excellent and the atmosphere couldn't have been better for a beginner.  If I meet anyone who's interested in starting or wants to know where to go then I'll know where to send them.


John Anderson

First BJJ class on Monday. V cool. Got strangled many times. Once by Ross (I think) - who looked like he was meditating at the time. Mind you I wasn't doing much to interrupt his thought process. Fun night, and interesting discussions.


Danimal Reid

BJJ Instructor & Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter, Taichung, Taiwan

When people in the Jiu Jitsu community ask me "Where is the best BJJ place you have ever trained?", it's always a hard question to answer. Not only is it hard because i have trained at some amazing academies and have learnt so much from so many different people and have been lucky to find amazing rolls all over the world. It's even more difficult to answer because its hard to define "best" given all the variables, i guess i would have to break it down into different sub-questions.

1. Where did you learn the most techniques that you still use today?

2. Where did you feel most welcomed?

3. Where shaped your philosophy on Jiu Jitsu the most?

4. Where shaped your philosophy on life more than anywhere?

5. Where was the most friendly instructor?

6. Where did you feel most safe trying new techniques?

7. Where got you better the quickest?

There are probably a lot of other questions that i could ask myself before answering however I think these seem like most of the important ones for me.


I feel like i was lucky and unlucky in finding the "best" school for me at the start of my BJJ journey. Lucky because it got me good very quickly, it shaped me with an experimental and free rolling style, it helped me become a good and concept driven instructor, the list could go on. 


However it was a little unlucky because i didn't realise what i had at the time because i hadn't yet taken a swim in the ocean that is Jiu Jitsu.


To cut a long story short, thanks to William Watson and Cross Combat because you guys are the name i always give when i am asked the question "Where was the best place you ever trained?".


I could answer all 6 questions above easily by saying "Cross Combat". So I think its worthwhile to take stock and realise what you have sometimes in life and in Jiu Jitsu and appreciate it. I think it also shows how important it is to find these things early in your Jiu Jitsu experience, I think a lot of people that have been scared away from our great sport have been because they didn't find the right fit early on.

End of emotional speech.




Michael Zolondek

David (my more handsome, stronger, and faster brother) first got into BJJ about a month before I came to Edinburgh. He then came to visit me here in Edinburgh that winter and found Cross Combat online. We went for a class and thought the gym looked and felt like a gym where people actually went to train, and everyone seemed really cool and friendly, which makes for good training. We also liked the fact that the stuff we were taught on the first day was actually working on the first day. So, I decided to join Cross Combat for good. It's been awesome ever since, and I feel like I get better every class. I wouldn't choose to train anywhere else or under anyone else but William.

Sciencey Sorts

James Doherty, Does Something with Blood

I never thought I would be into 'combat sports' cause I'm a just lanky guy who is rubbish at fighting. But I get bored at gyms so the only way for me to be fit is to trick my body by playing games which involving exercise.


I think what happened was I watched a few MMA fights and fancied giving the ground aspect of it a go, a mate told me about the gym, and the rest is history. A combination of how fun the game of jiujitsu is the combination of characters who attend CC make me stick around I guess.


The vibe of Saturday sparring reminds me a lot of 5-a-side footie


Tony Williamson, Bus Driver

The bastard swung right round and caught me straight in the face. So I flew for him and he got me again ,then we fell (yes fell, this was no double leg takedown) to the ground and more by luck than anything I landed in the mount, where despite having a sore face I felt o.k. cause now I was more comfortable with the situation. I hit the guy a couple of times in the face expecting him to roll over and give me his back but he didn't (bloody works every time in UFC ) . He kept saying he was going to stab me/ chib me/ slash me. After what he had just done I had to take him seriously so the next time he went to try and push me off I seized the opportunity and pushed his arm across his face and done an arm triangle and squeezed as hard as I ever have before. I knew that this would work because of being on the receiving end in class and finding out just how tight a choke that this is( personally I think it's the tightest). I was actually submitted with this choke by one of the lads (sorry can't remember his name) whilst sparring with him and he was only too keen to share it with me. By coincidence class the week after was focused on this choke. After a few seconds the thug blacked out . It was then that I rolled him into the recovery position ( still in the mount position) and phoned the police and ambulance. He came to after a few seconds but was warned that it would happen again ,only this time tighter and for longer, which seemed to do the job.


You asked in your e-mail William how jiu jitsu helped me. Well all I can say is that I don't exaggerate and don't bullshit and I'm not going to start now. The drunk on the bus was found to be carrying a knife and no doubt would have used it. So quite possibly bjj saved my life. The knowledge passed to me from you  helped save my life and the confidence and skills learnt from rolling with (and being submitted by) some tough dudes helped save my life.  No crap William. It was a close one. This is why I don't like talking about it. I feel sick just thinking about it .  So thanks (please pass on to the guys) and I will of course be back as soon as is possible.


Lewis McLellan

To everyone at Cross Combat but especially to William Watson, I want to say a big thank you for providing the skills, practice and confidence to fight off the guy who tried to rob me and gain entry to my house tonight. I mostly used thai clinch and wrestling (to my surprise as much as his) so thanks to everyone who coached me and everyone who sparred with me. As much as y'all joke around and i enjoy it and as many medals as y'all win, there is a lot to be said for having imparted the skills for a young, small guy to be able to defend himself on the street against a bigger opponent.

One love y'all.

Thanks again


Tom Schlong Underwood, Student of Physics

In BJJ you learn things which are useful in a fight straight away.  Sure enough, you learn these things in other martial arts, but in my experience these make up a very small percentage of the class time- and that's not even considering how little of this is useful in reality.

Application of martial arts techniques should be on resisting opponents who are trying to beat you- not against the air marching up and down a hall like in some more traditional martial arts.  If you want to learn how to fight- and not how to dance - learn BJJ (or something else with active practice).  As Bruce Lee said: 'Boards don't hit back'.



Phil Wilson, Does something with wee beasties

Apologies in advance for the essay, 

I heard about CC by walking past the gym then googling it. The website was gloriously amateurish and suggested that the gym had a totally different ethos to most martial arts gyms. 

I've always dabbled in martial arts etc, so was on the look out for a suitable class after moving to Edinburgh a few years ago.


I started at CC because I tried a local Krav Maga class and found it to be populated by people who wanted to know how to "win a streetfight", which is a strange approach as I've very rarely been in a "fight"... I'd rather get fit and do something I enjoy than prepare for some hypothetical conflict.


The things I like about the gym are the same things which initally attracted me to it- the relaxed, friendly attitude which is expected of all the members. I don't think there's anyone in the club I wouldn't go for a beer with. The banter and tunes further enhance the laid backness (William, Ross, and Dregs lead by example in this).


The fact that the Facebook page is so popular and that guys drop by the gym to hang out whilst they're injured/unable to train speaks volumes about the atmosphere.


That said, I also rate the quality of teaching highly- as evidenced by results at tournaments. Beginners quickly seem to progress to a stage where they're challenging to train with, the expectation that everyone should help teach and pass on knowledge definitely helps.


The guys who devote the effort to attending BBC all seem to improve at an astonishing rate too.Oh, and getting to rub up against lots of hot sweaty guys is a bonus!


I DID bring my wife along and she trained for 6months... but then she got pregnant! I HOPE the two aren't connected!

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Our Teaching
Fatties and Old Farts

Jamie Dillon, Accountant

I lost a stone in just a month doing nothing different with my life except training jiu jitsu three times a week.  I still ate pizza twice a week, and I kept up the Playstation.  It must have been the jiu jitsu.



Allan McClure, Banker

Hi William

Quick note to say your class has helped my blood pressure enormously. I am over 40 years old and was on the verge of being treated for high BP due to high levels of stress. After attending your class for one month, my BP has dropped so much that my doctor has now dismissed all thoughts of medication and advocates as much moo jitsu as possible. So for health reasons, I can't recommend it highly enough...Thanks



Allan McClure, Banker



Twelve years ago I had a back operation and was advised to do nothing in the way of impact. After trying various activities to defy the doctors ranging from sky-diving to bob-sledding at Lillehammer to even answering the wife back I found that I could either give up and be a fat slob or continue to try things out to see how much I could get away with.


Jui Jitsu was an absolute no no according to my physio and surgeon. I've been attending for two months now and have found that due to the extensive warm ups can manage much more than I ever thought possible (including getting the shit kicked out of me - again, u may want to take this bit out). So full marks to Jui Jitsu at the Magna Martial Arts club or Crazy Cow club delete as appropriate. If I can do it anyone can. And it's fun too (mebbe that last bits a bit too cheesy? I dunno, you choose)  



Jennifer Fleetwood, Chemist or summit  

I did have a lot of fun at the brazillian jitsu and I did learn a lot in a short space of time. brazilian jitsu is really really fun. your club has a super relaxed super friendly vibe.

you are indeed one of the friendliest sensei's out there!



Philippa Marsden

I arrived at a class of Bjj not knowing what it was, other than it was a martial art.

I was the only girl in the room and was faced with over 20 sweaty muscley men wrestling on the floor.

Initially terrified, I tried to run away but too late, I had been spotted and was forced to join in. and how glad I am. The guys were incredibly helpful, friendly and enthusiastic. and instead of shying away from a girl, they made the most of having a willing student and concreted their own learning by helping me. Over the next few weeks, more girls joined in, but not many. It would be great for more girls to join in. you don't have time to be self conscious, if you have any hang ups, this is the best way to get rid of them. Loads of fun, you learn all the time, and really increase fitness far more than any other sport I've ever done and meet some ace people.

William places emphasis on fun, but still remains professional and is obviously a natural coach.



Sam Hancock, Girl

'First might I say how absolutely lovely William and all of the chaps are at X combat. Honest!

Seriously, the reason I think you are all amazing is that there is no ego involved, everyone helps each other and you're all so welcoming that it would be easy for anyone to fit in and feel loved. And being a fragile whiny girl who bruises easily has never felt like an issue; there are no obtacles too great for these guys.'


Denis McGinley, Physiotherapist

Like most people I found the atmosphere instantly welcoming, and loved the fact that i got to spar with people straight away!  That was nice after 4 months of doing kata and basics in karate.


The fact that a reasonably small girl (Helen) could totally kick my ass and was managing to choke me every 2 mins was strangely inspiring and showed the effectiveness of bjj just perfectly, my 40kg weight advantage being no match for her skill.


People are so willing to help you learn when you spar with them, and people push you, but in a considerate way.




Krístellys Zolondek

What do I like most about the gym?
- That it has so much potential for looking pretty!!! Shut up, I'm a girl!  Other enjoyable aspects of the gym are the people of course

What makes it different to other gyms, exercise classes or martial arts gyms?
- Going off on the previous answer: the people. And that it's a laid back atmosphere. And that people genuinely want to see you win all day everyday. Yay!! 



Helen Copus

Awww this is all so lovely I have a tear in my eye reading these. The gym has had such an impact on my life and It sounds like the gym has a really great impact on others' lives too.


I'd really like to impress on people what we as a gym have to offer because I don't think anywhere else really offers the same experience.


Saturdays have a great atmosphere because of all the people that are involved.  I think it would be fantastic to bring in more of the people we care about.  Imagine the saturday atmosphere times ten every night of the week. That would be sooo awesome.



Shaun Gray, Man of Money

hot guys

Wannabe Pro Fighters

Scott Glover, IT Dude

Hi William, had an ace time at the new "MMA Play" session today!

It was great how you can decide on your own rules with each training partner. Don't want to get hit too hard? Don't fancy getting punched in the face? No problem!

Everyone there was really friendly and laid back - no hard-men (or hard-women!) trying to knock you out to prove a point. Just a really fun session overall that's chilled out enough to really learn some good stuff without the fear of being decked if you drop your hands.

I'd recommend it to anyone who does your jujitsu classes... it's a really easy way to try out some MMA in a friendly environment, and the cardio is killer!

See you there again next week!


Jonny Horton

I totally second what Scott said. MMA Play was super chilled, great atmosphere no gung ho smash fuckers to bits stuff. Best way to learn and adapt to whole mma punched in face shit. Maybe not best review but yeah il be back next week for sure!!! 

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Steven Loy, Student

Great atmosphere.  No negativity in any of the class.  Brilliant help from coach and other class members resulting in fast progress.


Tom Schlong Underwood, Student of Physics

Other martial arts classes I had been to before, 'The barn of legends' were no where near as much fun.  I have never been to a martial arts class with such a relaxed atmosphere, and where I have made such progress so quickly.


Seb Mhatre, PhD in Artificial Intelligence

This is a great school. It's open six days a week so I always find the time for at least a few classes which means I really feel I'm improving. It's relaxed and fun and everybody is really friendly. The teaching is really well thought through, the space is bright and airy and the you can even bring your own tunes! 5 stars!


Denis McGinley, Physiotherapist

Like most people I found the atmosphere instantly welcoming, and loved the fact that i got to spar with people straight away!


People are so willing to help you learn when you spar with them, and people push you, but in a considerate way.


My private lessons with william have just been amazing, I would reccommend these to anybody.


That and the fact that Hoss talks about balls a lot. Feeling balls, pointing your balls at the floor, getting balls in your mouth, pretty much anything you could ever want to hear about balls, Hoss is your man. So overall, its a fun place to train, I'm still rubbish but getting better, and its so so friendly.



Kevin Matthews, Boxing Coach and Personal Trainer

I think the gym is fun and enjoyable good banter you learn alot and everyone in the gym has a great attitude and help each other with learning there's no aggression or anyone trying to hurt each other witch makes for a better atmosphere and your all awesome.


Jack Elliott, Lawyer

When I train at CC its because I know you, 


It is a friendly place, people actually talk to each other which is always a bonus and can be rare in the martial arty scene.


A fb page that people are actually using has also been a great addition.



Adam Troup, Video Maker

After training for a while at Alba Dornadair years ago I really enjoyed the BJJ but it was only ever just a part of the class and I wanted to try just a BJJ class for a bit.


I found cross combat online whilst searching for BJJ classes in Edinburgh. I find Friday normally suits me best which was actually wrestling but I ended up just really been enjoying it, I really like the fact Fridays now also include an hour of boxing before the wrestling as it is also good fun.


An hour of each gives you a good amount of time to concentrate on both.


All the classes are structured really well and I do feel like I have learned a lot, also fitness wise it provides much better results than the gym and is far more stimulating than running like a hamster on a tread mill! 


As everyone has pointed out though the friendliness of William, Helen, Hoss and of course everyone who comes along to class make it such an amazing place to train. Over the years I've dabbled in quite a few martial arts and cross combat really stands out as the most welcoming and friendly clubs to train at and the quality of classes are always excellent.


Jamie Dillon, Accountant

I agree with Phil, it's best summed up by the cheers theme song. 'Somewhere where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came' .


I started training with William 5 years ago at the crags. I'd been looking for a bunch of guys to have the odd informal roll with, as I had just started my accountancy training and didn't want to pay huge gym fees if I was too busy to train.


Plus my old coach told me Rick young was a dickhead. I'm pleased to say the ethos hasn't changed since day one. I've never trained with anyone at cc I didn't like. I don't want to get a black belt, or win mma fights, I want to do jujitsu the way people play five a side football, with their mates for fun! That's what cc does better than any other club

James O'Reilly, Engineer

I spent a summer in new york and joined the renzo gracie academy but i have to say the learning curve was much steeper in edinburgh and the classes more informative.



Brian Marshall, Maker of Weapons

You should know that you are doing a fantastic job at this.  It is like you were born to teach it.  I don't say that lightly either.  I've watched you over the last couple of years (i have been a student of yours since damn 2005 now off and on) and i think you are exceptionally good at teaching.



Jamie Buchanan (Legend)

I started BJJ back in  the early '90's when I lived in Brazil. During a six year period I trained  very infrequently at various  locales. Compared to those places William's classes have a  friendly welcoming feel that I have never even found in over 20 years of   drifting around every martial art that has ever existed. As a college lecturer I can also state that William possesses a firm grasp of didactics. The classes actually have structure! Good on ya and long may you run.



Ryan Quinn, Joiner

William Watson's Brazilian Jui-Jitsu class was the first Martial Arts class I ever tried and was imidiatly impressed with it's structure and freeflowing nature.  William is very enthusiastic, energetic and fun, he believes the best way to learn is to do, this translates to the rest of the group and everyone helps each other to improve the techniques and understanding of the art.

Anyone who is interested in learning the ultimate ground fighting Martial Art should Definatley come along and give it a go.



Scott Boyle

i find your attitude great and your teaching spot on.



James Mont

I told somebody there to pass on what I wanted to tell you in person:  When you say 'cuddly' that may be pushing it, but you certainly are a great teacher.  After a year of training in my current gym, I feel that the things I learned at the Crags are still the best part of my game.  I don't need to think about submissions from there, I move instinctively and muscle memory takes over.  I don't doubt that I've tightened up in the time between then and now, but your teaching style certainly worked for me.



Brian Marshall

I have finally gotten my sorry bum back into the dojo and am doing Jiu Jitsu again, which is very good.  I miss your classes and company very much.  It is now that i am working with another teacher again that i really see your gift for what you do.  Here they are kind, and good at what they do, but you are a far better teacher and much more interested in the side of it that is to teach better.  So i am very very appreciative of that.



Mick Franklin

Boxing Coach, 4th Dan Karate, Krav Maga Insructor

Hi William,


I have trained all over the world - Norway, India, Japan, Australia - and I must say you are a world class teacher and one of the best I've seen.


I will try to do some training while I'm away. Best wishes



Barry Aimson Beever (local hero)

Cross Combat BJJ is a place of learning, where ego attitude and judgement is not allowed and has no place.  Therefore I find a truly great place to laugh, learn and enjoy.

Will breaks down bjj into sections ie positions, and each position is taught like one chapter, giving you a complete and thorough understanding of each before moving onto the nxt,therefore making the complex simple and you as a student more confident and complete in knowledge and application.  I find it  satisfying to know I have a good knowledge and understanding in each part and that each part is coming together to make up the whole.Will teaches one step at a time Which makes learning BJJ natural, easy and simple.  I can't fault it



Luke de Garis, Nurse

I was back in Guernsey recently and trained with the guys from my guard pulling gi days. It's a great club full of tough guys. Six packs everywhere! The instructor is a brown belt with one stripe and there is two purples and numerous blues, one of whom has a gold medal from seni. Anyway, I had three epiphanies while I was training:



1) William is always right (and he is fucking excellent at jiu-jitsu).



I've come to realise this painfully over the last 7 months. I can now see how he gets frustrated-at times-for falling over, fighting against his advice/concepts and generally not listening. He is right about everything...plus the cunt is light (admittedly bulking up-Good work William) and he just destroys me. The guy has excellent jiu-jitsu...dare I say it...black belt level. Yeah. I said it.



2+3) I am fucking good and Cross Combat guys are all bad ass. Fact.



I realised fighting guys who play guard and are happy on their back, that Cross Combat guys are incredibly dominant. Nobody fights as hard to always be winning. I think we forget, when constantly fighting each other, just how good we are. You don't realise until you fight new bodies with different aims and ideas, who will give ground in areas we won't, that the techniques and concepts of the club are pretty much essential to winning.



My grappling has progressed more in the last 7 months with William et al than it has in the last 6 years studying dvds, books and attending seminars under Gracie Barra. Not only that, but training around the calibre of guys at Cross Combat has elevated pretty much every aspect of my life. So thanks to William and everybody who gives me any game whatsoever. 



Much love



Luke 'Darce Croke' De Garis



Carl Henrik Padget, Manager of Phone Calls

Down in London today and decided to pop in at the (fairly) famous London shootfighters gym for a jiu jitsu class. The standard of teaching and sparring partners just doesn't hold a candle to the guys at cross combat. The difference between a guy who had been training for 2 months there and any guy with the same experience at CC was incredible.
Can't wait to be back next week.



Phil Wilson, Beastie Technician

Think you might be getting quite good at BJJ? My advice- spar the instructors. 
This week I've rolled with Luke De Garis, Hoss Corrigan & William.
What a reality check.
Thanks guys, I obviously need to work harder! (and stop leaving my arms ANYWHERE that they can be armbarred).




Denis McGinley

Had such a good private lesson with William today. He just seems to have a knack of knowing how each person needs to be taught.

I even had a classic, "I physically cannot do that" moment, only to be able to do it reasonably easily 5 ( maybe 10) minutes later!

Plus as well as enjoying the lesson I could instantly tell the difference when I sparred afterwards, still buzzing from today's session.

So thank you very much William, I love you x



Phil Wilson

I'd like to take this opportunity to compliment Ross on an awesome class this morning. Lots of good techniques AND a correctly contextualised usage of the word proprioception. 
What a guy! 

Good to see so many guys there too.



Jack Elliott

Teaching wise, I always feel there is a reason for everything. I never get the feeling of 'why the hell are we doing this' I am always confident it is building towards something and its one of the few places where (BBC especially) I can say after each session that I am better at whatever we did than when I arrived.


Luke De Garis

I had two 1:1 sessions with William Watson...He opened my mind to the possibilities of sweeps and transitions from half-guard, removed my fear of the darce choke, gave me 'no points play', back defence, mount defence, confidence, direction in jiu-jitsu and life. I haven't had an epiphany like it since Ross Corrigan told me to 'Get on my side!'.

Moral of the story: William is awesome and very reasonably priced for your grappling needs.


Rudy Arthur

Hey, just went to my first judo class in Brookhaven and man did it suck. I forgot what a 'real' martial arts class was like. Fucking morons in the class, useless amateurs teaching, pathetic warm up, drilling, loads of standing around, 1 and a half hours at best.

Cross Combat Edinburgh is a jewel. I hate how much better than me you guys are going to be when I get back.

Build Confidence

Ross Corrigan, Cook

Before I came to Wullie's class I could hardly catch a ball I was so mal co-ordinated.  Now I can hold down guys 20-25kg Heavier than me.

I used to be really shy around people I didn't know.  After training at Barn of Legends for just 3 months I feel like a strong confident guy who can even kiss girls.




Dan Imal Reid

If it wasn't for you William I wouldn't be half the man I am today.




Various People

I want to say thank you. You have no idea how often I refer to memories of being in your classes. Your a great educator of life. 



Also you taught me to be good at something and its how you taught to learn. You taught us to learn rather than taught us jiu jit[[s[u per se.



I have been in a very transitional part of my life and I'm aspiring again to join as an officer in the army to challenge myself. You made a difference to my life so yeah thanks!



I really respect the outlook on life you gave me.  

I also miss it loads the gyms in aberdeen dont compare

I've not been training lately but things you taught me are always on my mind.  You made me a better person

I get rotten drunk and I still dont fall over for a start. :)



You taught me that to successful I should be around successful people.



You taught me balance.



I'll stay in touch, you were and I hope you still will be a big part in my life because I appreciate the way your character has rubbed off on me.



Jack Elliott, Lawyer

Let hear it for William Watson.


Come on, this guy right here!!