July 12, 2009

John Will Seminars a Huge Success

Wow! What a weekend of martial goodness, mixed with some martial badness. How truly Zen, the yin and the yang. The negative (UFC debacle) will be discussed later in a different post. Lets keep it positive for the time being.

My teacher Brian "Mr. BJJ" Johnson only has a couple of times a year that he gets to see his instructor John Will, and we usually try to host him in Seattle at least once a year. This weekend we lucked out by having John here in Sea-Town as well as him doing a seminar in Maple Ridge, BC. on Saturday with our friend and training partner Perry Bateson.

John is one of the most gifted instructors I have met. The man easily spends as much time perfecting the technique, as he does perfecting how to teach the technique. As Brian has stated many a time; "John Will is the single most influential person on my teaching career throughout my life."

We worked on one technique today; the hooks in sweep. That is it. 3 hours worth of hooks in sweep. You are probably chuckling thinking "Thank God I did not piss away $75 bucks for a 3 hour lesson on one stupid sweep! All you need to do is trap the arm and lift the hook!"

And you are exactly right, all you need to do is trap the arm and lift the hook! But the details in positional awareness, orientation of your body, and spatial positioning in terms of bio-mechanically getting the most bang for your buck....is truly priceless!

I must admit the first time I trained with John at one of his workshops here in Seattle, I learned practically nothing technique wise. We covered X Guard which is certainly not my strong point (do I have a strong point??), and I was basically a beginner, so in the end I took away little technique. On the other hand I learned a ton on how to teach and approach my coaching, which was invaluable! This go around I learned so much technique, coaching advice, and details on how to LEARN myself it is not even funny! My head is swimming, and I have already started reviewing the video, was writing down notes earlier, and just going through motions in my memory!

As usual John showed us basic (and by basic I mean shit that works!!) techniques but with very advanced detail! Something he did not have necessarily with his teachers early in his training. John broke down the hooks in sweep from three basic positions, or more appropriately grips: over and under / double over hooks / double under hooks.

The seminar was amazing! I am by no means good, nor do I like, the hooks in guard. Yet I walked away with a brand new respect and appreciation for the position. If nothing else Brian is a master of it, and this gave me insight into how to shut that aspect of his game down! Still though in speaking with Brian afterwards, he took away SO much from his instructors teachings and this is HIS GAME!!

Enough of my ranting, dinner is about ready and I am starving! Thanks to Perry for hosting John in Canada! Thanks to all who attended both seminars of John Wills! We really appreciate your support, and without you we would not be able to bring in the greats that we bring in. So thank you very much from John, David, Brian, and myself!
And a big thanks to Brian for facilitating the opportunity to train with not only my teacher, but my teachers - teachers as well! It has been one hell of a journey brother and I look forward to the next decade, and longer (sorry), of training!


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