top of page
  • Jim Hawthorne


Written by: Jim Hawthorne

He did it! BJJ brown Belt Campbell Symes has completed a new world record for the longest ever BJJ Roll. Symes, originally from Australia, rolled for 30 hours with 12 mins break after every 4 hours, resulting in over 300 x 5-minute rounds of sparring.

The event took place at the new Temple BJJ academy in Phuket, Thailand where Symes is a coach. The world record attempt was the last hurdle in a 3 day marathon of Jiu Jitsu extravaganza!

Eight-Time World Champion DJ Jackson kicked off events with an amazing seminar, followed by a competition bringing the whole BJJ Thailand community together on Saturday. Then came coach Campbells turn...30 hours starting promptly (08:02) on Sunday morning and finishing at (14:02) on Monday.

"He just did something that no other person in the history of the world has ever done. That puts him up there with some very special company" - BJJ Blackbelt @lawrencemccready


This marathon event was not all plain sailing for Symes as he battled exhaustion, fatigue and dehydration during the grueling 30-hour roll. The rules were simple, 5-minute rounds with a 60 second break to change opponents with a break every 4 hours for 12 minutes.

This resulted in over 300 rounds of Jiu Jitsu, with over 100+ different people from 30+ nationalities coming to roll with Coach Campbell.

"Here comes the airplane" BJJ Blackbelt and ONE FC Fighter @benroyle145 (UK)

Around 12 hours in, Coach Campbell’s body started to ask questions! It was never his will to quit, however his support team around him noticed the effects of dehydration and a turn for the worse.

Luckily there was some great support on hand, Khun Mind from Physiofit & Craig along with the fantastic team at Chivtr wellness resort put together a change in his nutrition plan which most definitely saved the day!

When asking Coach Campbell after the event, “what was the hardest part?” he replied:

“The hardest part was definitely 11pm-5am, not only being deprived from sleep, proper nutrition, etc but my body really started to feel the full effects of rolling for so long. Keeping me going through it was the awesome team of guys and girls around me from all the Gyms here in Phuket, definitely can feel the BJJ community here starting to come together again and also the thought of the kids of RDC Phuket kept me going” - @gumby_bjj

Surrounding Coach Campbell after every round, something truly unique and special happened throughout those grueling hours.

Big Jim who stayed throughout the night commented;

“As I sat on the mat next to Head Coach Olavo Abreu he said to me; “Look at what’s happening brother, strangers… people off the street coming to take part in an event, running out to help this helpless man every 5 minutes, someone they don’t know, this is what Jiu Jitsu is about” - Temple Head BJJ Coach @olavobjj T a spine-tingling comment which will stay in my mind forever”. Temple BJJ Team Mate @j_haw1

This was community spirit and Jiu Jitsu brotherhood coming together at its finest, working tireless as a team to keep their athlete going through the toughest of moments during the 30-hour marathon.

Alex Blin of Phuket Fight Club who competed the day before and stayed throughout the night commented

“As time went by, the night crew became like a pit crew in formula one races. Catering to his needs and optimizing his minute of recovery in between each round. We used cold towels, inhalers, soothing balms, Vaseline, protein shakes, electrolytes, ventilators, hell… around 4 am we figured out how to use the oxygen tank and hooked him on it to boost him however we could”.

As sunrise broke through the darkest of nights we have experienced at Temple Jiu Jitsu, this brought around an energy. Not only did Coach Campbell resurrect from the dead, but his support team did also too. An aura of relief and excitement ran through the gym, at 8:00am Symes beat the current world record of 24 hours.

As the clock struck 8:00am, the current record holder Damien “Obi” Todd honorably called via skype to wish his congratulations, he commented on the live stream

“For everyone watching, after I’d finished my 24hour roll, I couldn’t open a bag of candy… Campbell is doing a great job and I’m pleased to have had my record beaten by this young man.

Competitor and night shift soldier Muhammad Babylov also commented

“I felt like the whole idea was quite insane, I stayed to help, because I believe in sportsmanship and because we are one community”. - MMA Fighter @muhammetbabyl A great testament to the BJJ community here in Phuket, growing across the gyms.

With over 24 hours passed and the time around 9am on the Monday, the energy starting increasing.

The night shift was being quickly replaced by fresh faces coming in to see our coach home to the 30 hour mark. Coach Campbell felt the positivity, the music was back on pumping out good vibes and we could all see the finishing line in sight.

Campbell after 28 hours rolling, was back to his best, pulling off flying triangles, cartwheeling through guards, and really lifting himself out of a dark place.

The event finished in fanfare, with many emotional supporters cheering Campbell on till the end. Although Campbell has written himself into Jiu Jitsu history this was all for a good cause.

“I am attempting to break the world record for the longest BJJ Roll, to help raise funds for RDC Gym in Phuket, Thailand. RDC is a local Thai gym that has some of the best Jiu-Jitsu kids athletes in the country. When Covid-19 hit and we lost our Jiu-Jitsu home, RDC opened their doors to us, welcomed the team and also gave me a chance to teach these amazing kids. Now Covid-19 has really affected the gym, parents can’t afford training and the gym is on the verge of closing. Please help donate to the future of Thai Jiu-Jitsu, and bring a smile back to the kids of RDC Gym”.

There is still time to donate to this wonderful cause which will enhance the lives and grow Jiu Jitsu into the local community here in Phuket for these amazing kids! Link below.

1,509 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page