July 13, 2010

Will & Meyer Seminar Review

"Everyone knows how to finish the submission. But how many different ways can you get to that submission? And which is more important, the submission or getting to a place where you can apply that submission?" - John B. Will

And so our weekend started! John Will and David Meyer (2 of the "Dirty Dozen" of BJJ) visited the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy this past weekend to present an intensive seminar. John is the senior rank so he took charge of the lesson, always coming with
a 'theme' in an effort to give us as much information in a short amount of time as possible. This trip we trained Kata Gatame, or commonly referred to as a 'Head & Arm' submission.

Since we only usually see John once a year he always tries to condense as much info on a certain topic as possible to maximize the few short hours we spend with him. His passion to share and teach students is second only to his awesomely dry, and sharp (TOTALLY wasted on Seattle-ite's!!!) sense of humor!

Essentially John and David broke down several submissions you can get including a wicked americana if your opponent defends against your initial attack! After cinching up our submission's we got to the marrow of the issue; how do we get to the position in an effort to submit!?
I would like to talk to some Judo cats about Kata Gatame, for we see so very little of it in BJJ. One reason David shared is because when done improperly it leaves you susceptible to having your back taken, which no one wants! So he hypothesized that many people gloss over Kata Gatame and do not spend time developing it. Not with these guys! We covered entries from North-South / Bottom Four Quarter / Mount / Side Mount etc. We also went through a number of "what if" situations addressing specific counters and transitions that came up.

The only negative comment I have to make is the seemingly foolish lack of interest in training with two of the pioneers of BJJ in America! We had a great turnout, but frankly speaking, why weren't you there? Together on the mat you have two instructors under the Machado brothers representing over 50 years of mat time for less than $25 an hour!! I mean are so many of us out there star-fuckers to the point we forget about the guys who paved the way for the Marcelo Garcia's, Rafael Lovato's, and Roger Gracies? Blows my mind that we do not get huge turnouts for these guys, but hey I ain't gonna' bitch... plenty of personal attention for each and every one of us that did attend!

Many students new to the martial arts do not realize what a treat it is to be able to train with your teachers, teacher. BJJ has developed so quickly, and has never taken on much of the cultural BS that traditional arts have in the past, enabling BJJ practitioners the opportunity to train with several generations within their lineage. Those who have not studied Asian arts do not understand just how fortunate they are! For instance I train with Brian; I have trained with his teachers David and John; and I have also trained with David and John's teachers the Machado brothers! I have studied with every generation of BJJ except the generation that developed the art. That is awesome!

As always it is great to train and get advice from two of the best instructors I have ever been on the mat with. This year was the first in over 5 where both David and John were able to teach together! Hopefully we will see you on the mat next summer!

Thanks to all whom supported, and for those whom did not... prepare for some tight head and arm chokes!

Train Hard. Train Smart.

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