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Karl Tanswell, an icon of British martial arts and the head coach at SBG Manchester, has passed away it was announced today.

Tanswell, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt since 2007 under Matt Thornton, was a fixture in the British MMA scene and contributed greatly to the development of both the sport and its athletes in the UK. As well as his BJJ nous, Tanswell was also versed in Muay Thai and western boxing but, more importantly than his qualifications, his students would say that he had the interpersonal skills necessary to impart that knowledge on to others.

Tanswell coached, cornered and advised a number of fighters in the British and Irish mixed martial arts scene throughout his career, including the likes of Gunnar Nelson and Chris Fields.

Such was his standing in the European mixed martial arts scene that tributes from just some of people he impacted throughout his career have begun flooding in on social media. You can see a selection of those below.

Everyone at would like to extend our sympathies to Karl’s family, friends, students and everyone else who benefited greatly from his kindness.