May 30, 2011

Rigan Machado Seminar Review - Seattle, May 2011

I am over and done with the seminars where a teacher saturates the students with technique after technique.  I have learned plenty of techniques over the past 20 years, but what I look for in seminars now days is clear transmission of a certain strategy or goal, both from the perspective of a student as well as a teacher.  Once again Rigan Machado did not disappoint by any measure!

The largest Machado seminar to date in Seattle, Rigan spent Saturday afternoon imparting over 40 years of BJJ experience and knowledge upon 50 students in two different seminars.  "If you are not staying on top of the latest positions and strategies in sport BJJ, then you simply are falling behind."  And so our training started...

Rigan's genius was not so much in the techniques shown (we covered variants of the D'Arce in the no gi seminar, and spent time on 1/2 Guard Sweeps in the gi section) but in the methodology in which Machado led us through step by step ensuring every detail was remembered.  By using what Rigan calls "fast drilling" he ingrains the movements in us via shear repetition!  After learning the technique and drilling it a minimum of 12 times, the students would stand and lightly jog around the mat.  When Rigan yelled "go" you would grab the closest person to you and both do the drill as smoothly and quickly as possible once each.  Stand up and start jogging.  Depending on the complexity of the technique Rigan would have us do this 10-15 times.

In a 2 hour seminar we only covered 4-6 movements, but the attention to detail was second to none.  "I do not want to give you a bunch of techniques and go away, only to come back and you cannot remember anything."  explained Rigan, "I want your BJJ game to improve because I was hear to help."

To end each session Rigan then would have 3-5 pairs of people spread out in front of him, and he would have each person do each technique one by one so he could observe and ensure every detail was paid attention to.  Who does that???  I have never seen this attention to retention in students with anyone other than Rigan!  You literally get individual attention by an 8th degree red-black belt!

This teaching method and style is amazing both from the perspective of practitioner and coach.  The care and love Rigan has for this art and sport is second to none.   I have attended seminars from another famous name in BJJ and they seem motivated by one thing and one thing only... money.  Every time I get together and train with a Machado they legitimately emanate love and a sense of obligation to actually teach the art and make it better via the students, not their pocket book!

Much thanks to all who made it out in support of Rigan.  I am not sure why we did not have even a larger turnout but I am okay with the smaller group and more attention.  Rigan will be back next year at the larger, expanded NW Jiu Jitsu Academy!


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