May 17, 2010

Abmar Barbosa Seminar Review

Last week while visiting my broski Shadow, my timing just so worked out that I would have an opportunity to take a 3 hour seminar with Pan Am Silver Medalist Abmar Barbosa. Just a week away from the Pan Am's, Abmar paid a visit to 50-50 Jiu Jitsu and Ryan Hall in DC.

The lesson started a bit late, but in all fairness went well over the 3 hours we were scheduled to have. Abmar wasted no time getting right into some of his favorite positio
ns and techniques he has had success with competing against the likes of Kron Gracie and other world champions! Abmar is a heavyweight and from the few opportunities he came over and demonstrated on Shadow and myself, he really seems to know how to use his pressure. Some of the finer pointers I took away were:

- Drawing your knee up when in side control. He said for control do not dissipate your weight over four limbs, but rather pin with head control, stay on your toes and
draw a knee in to either block the hips or shoulders from turning in.

- When passing with the under hooked leg, reach to your opponents cross lapel palm DOWN, not up. Up is weaker and leaves you susceptible to wrist locks (I am not sure why he mentioned this to us only...) and/or getting your hand caught in an awkward position (ask me in class guys I will show you what I mean).

Over the following 3 hours we worked a bevy of things and there seemed to be no congruent pattern or overall theme. We worked 1/2 guard, reverse De La Riva Guard, full guard, etc. and it seemed like we were all over the place.

Something I have noticed with many BJJ practitioners who are amazing competitors, is that they are not always able to convey the info as well as they would like. Abmar's skills are not in question by any means, but this seminar was all over the place, and with a room full of (about 20 participants) white and blue belts this becomes confusing and the retention rate really starts to dive bomb.

And it is not that the positions were impossible or fancy, a couple were, but overall they were good techniques, but it became very hard to recall what we went through even right after the seminar. Abmar has some great stuff to show, is a super nice guy, but in the future I think it would behoove him to organize the lesson plans a little bit more in an effort to show us some sound principle based mechanics on his favorite techniques.

Many thanks to Abmar for the seminar, Ryan Hall and 50-50 for hosting, and of course my bud Mike for putting up with my dumb ass for a week!

Play Guard For Life.

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