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Rare beast Gym is the Home of Itaipava Hartlepool, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy run by Charles Cummins, a Brown Belt under Peter Irving. Peter is a Black Belt under the legendary Master Crezio De Souza.


We are fortunate to be affiliated with such a lineage having regular Seminars with a Black Belt Professor and sometimes a Coral Belt Master.

We are now in our seventh year and have gone from strength to strength. We pride ourselves on a friendly, positive atmosphere where people from any walk of life are welcome as long as their intention is similar.

Wether you are 40+ and looking for a new hobby or 18 and wanting to be a professional athlete, there is something here for you.

We are one of four clubs in the North East and North Yorkshire that are affiliated to Peter 'Itaipava' Irving with more nationwide. There is a lot of scope for seminars, meet & greets up to a very advanced, competitive level of tuition and sparring. You are encouraged to take things at your own pace but really can go as far as you want to.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch.



Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling art form and a competition sport born out of judo and tested at the highest level.


BJJ focuses on taking the opponent to the ground and controlling them, attaining a dominant position and forcing them into submission via a choke or a joint lock.

BJJ attained most of its global attention when Royce Gracie dominated the early UFC Competitions and is now a staple of almost any/every mixed martial artist. If there is any grappling to be done BJJ has established itself as the epitome of ground fighting.

BJJ is also a fantastic way to get fitter, loose weight and reduce stress. It is cerebral and very much a thinking persons game. It has been described as 'problem solving under pressure' and 'human chess' which highlight this well.


After a chat on the phone or via text there will come a time when you enter the Academy. We maintain a friendly, positive atmosphere where nobody will be made to feel out of place so there is nothing to worry about.

You can hire a GI and pay per lesson to give yourself chance to see if it is for you. If you decide to join us then we have a welcome pack with information on Club GI's and/or web addresses for any other equipment needed so you can see what is your preference.

We hope to see you soon.



With almost two decades of competing in martial arts, Peter has amassed a CV of over 50 professional fights in MMA, Muay Thai and K-1 rules kickboxing. In addition he contested over 100 grappling matches in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Submission wrestling, including the Mundials (World championships) and the Copa do Brasil.


Peter lived in Brazil, studying under Master Crezio de Souza, a legendary figure in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, an original Carlson Gracie black belt, Brazilian wrestling team member and pioneer of Vale-Tudo (anything goes) fighting.


For over a decade Peter competed simultaneously in BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing and Mixed Martial arts. He was Strike and Submit British champion twice, and Strike and Submit European champion twice, with victories over top fighters who would go on to become M-1 World champions and Bellator tournament winners, future UFC fighters. He went on to win the 10th Legion European title 3 times. Pete headlined Belgium’s first professional MMA event, ‘Belgium Beatdown’, defeating a former Cagewarriors world champion.


Peter became the Xplosion Super Middleweight Champion, ICO super middleweight champion and the UCMMA UK-1 (kickboxing in 4 ounce MMA gloves) champion. Pete fought all over Europe, headlined the Estonian martial arts games, fought on W-5 in Moscow, Russia, and in London at Bethnal Green’s hallowed York Hall and at the O2 arena on Enfusion, one of Europe’s largest kickboxing promotions.


As a farewell to MMA in 2013 Peter took on top 10 ranked British Heavyweight Thomas Denham at Made 4 the cage, giving away a significant amount of weight, and defeated him with a third round TKO, and defeated the 2012 King of Shooto, Japan’s Yasaku Inoue in a KTMMA (mixed format Muay Thai and MMA).


Although officially retired from fighting, he still trains every day, spars and rolls with his fighters and recently fought Muay Thai at Koh Samui international stadium against Thai opponent Ladchay.


Peter received his black belt in BJJ from his trainer Leo Negao and his black belt in Chinese boxing from his MMA coach and mentor Alan Orr in 2011, and later his black belt in Kickboxing from Steve Gladstone in 2017.


Peter was the technique expert for leading MMA publication Fighters Only magazine, and author of the popular training columns Fight Like, Strategy Clinic, Technique Clinic and Winning Techniques. He oversees the network of Team Crezio gyms in the U.K. and regularly gives seminars in BJJ, MMA and Kickboxing/Muay Thai around the U.K., Europe and further afield in Brazil and New Zealand.


Crezio de Souza grew up amongst Jiu-Jitsu as his father had been a disciple of Helio Gracie and a respectable fighter in the 1950’s. Crezio started practicing jiu-jitsu at the age of 5 and won his first competition when he was 6 years of age.



At 21 years old Crezio de Souza sought out Carlson Gracie, who had the strongest Jiu-Jitsu team in the country, to focus on becoming the best fighter he could possibly be. Crezio lived in the gym for a lengthy period of time, dedicating his full attention to Master Carlson and taking him as his second father. This dedication paid off and Crezio de Souza went undefeated in Jiu Jitsu for 10 years (from 1985 until 1995), defeating big names of his time, such as Paulo Caruso and Renzo Gracie.



In trying to become an all-rounded fighter, and with a career in Vale Tudo on the horizon, Crezio started cross-training in different martial arts such as Judo, Wrestling, and Boxing, competing extensively in all three. He became a very apt wrestler, earning a place on the Brazilian national wrestling team and a spot for the Pan American Games in Havana (1991) as well as the Olympics in Barcelona (1992).



Crezio de Souza’s debut in vale-tudo occurred in 1995, he fought Johil de Oliveira in a barn burner of extreme importance for the jiu-jitsu world. After the famous “Desafio – Jiu-Jitsu vs Luta Livre” in 1991, the quarrels between the two styles had died down for a couple of years, this feud would be revamped after jiu jitsu’s golden boy, Rickson Gracie left Brazil to live in the United States and Amauri Bitetti took Rickson’s spot as the biggest BJJ icon in the country. In January 95, Amauri took on Luta Livre’s champion, Sidney Goncalves Freitas “Mestre Hulk” in the iconic venue “Maracanãzinho”, a fight that ended quickly with a KO delivered by the Luta Livre powerhouse. This event caused major turbulence in jiu jitsu’s claim to “best martial art of the land”, and so, another event was made to settle Luta Livre’s aspirations. Crezio de Souza and Zé Mario Sperry were the chosen fighters from the jiu-jitsu style. Both Crezio and Mario delivered for BJJ. Crezio won by “mata leão” from the back after a dominant performance against the super tough Johil de Oliveira.



Crezio de Souza was narrowly beaten by Dan Henderson in a fight that was stopped too early in Hendersons favour. Crezio started training hard for a rematch and sustained irreversible damage, being blinded in his left eye and had to leave competitive sports.



Crezio de Souza returned to Jiu-Jitsu, at the age of 40 achieving the unthinkable at the Brazilian Nationals and earned a silver medal in one of the toughest tournaments in the world. He fought again that year in the World BJJ Championships, winning several matches before losing to the man that would become that year’s champion, Mario Reis.



Crezio de Souza is still active in martial arts through his gym in Petropolis, where he runs the solid “Team Crezio Lutas”.

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