Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and I share more then just dashing good looks, we are both world champions who love the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And that is about where the similarities stop. Buchecha is out of this world talented and I must admit he surprised me with how excellent of a teacher he is considering his young age! Often times world champions will come teach a seminar where they show a hodge podge of techniques that work for them, only leaving the student often more confused then when they started. Not Saturday! Buchecha essentially worked back control and half guard (his two best positions), with a couple bonuses thrown in for good measure such as his open guard pass that is becoming infamous (I watched him nail it on just about everyone who played open guard on him later).
Instructing in damn near perfect English, Buchecha led the the 35 or so attendees (one of the better turnouts according to a couple of Buchecha's camp!) through a series of attacks off of the kimura control maintaining side control, rolling your opponent up onto their side and various "window's" to attack with chokes, arm bars, and oh yes... wrist locks (more on that later). What I really appreciated with the seminar was the fluid transition from one technique to another and the options he left depending on your strengths / weaknesses.
You can see why Buchecha is a multiple time world champ (and will be for years to come) in his approach to drilling and teaching. For instance the control and positional dominance were stressed no matter what position we covered or what technique we were attempting. Anyone who had the pleasure of rolling with Buchecha after the seminar (which he did 2 straight hours of BTW!) can attest to his ability to attain a dominant position and then apply insane amounts of pressure. I unfortunately did not get the chance to roll with him, but check out Scotty's roll (sorry bro, I ran out of memory space!):
The seminar culminated in what I feel was really Buchecha's ultimate goal... gaining the dominant position and wrist locking fools! Ok... I kid... I kid... BUT he did show a wrist lock and had this to say about the submission:
"People get very angry when you wrist lock them in competition. But why? Because it is so simple they did not think about protecting it. I often use it to distract my opponent, but sometimes you can them off guard and get the submission."
Hosted by Mike Simpson and held at his North Sound BJJ dojo (home of Marti Malloy BTW!) in Lake Stevens, WA. the NSBJJ crew was super welcoming and nice! A gorgeous dojo with plenty of space which was perfect for the free rolling after the seminar. I love opportunities like these and though I am still fighting off this cough I wanted to roll with some different folks and get some mat time. In the end I got to roll with Karen, a scrappy little Judo black belt up from Tacoma. Jeremy Ryatt a solid brown belt at NSBJJ. I have known Jeremy via mutual friends in the BJJ realm but never rolled with him. In short I will say this... do not let him on top of you! It was miserable! Great rolling though! And then I got to roll with Derrick a black belt at NSBJJ who was great fun to roll with as well and taught me much.
Also big props to Zach B. whom I met for the first time Saturday. Rumor has it he was promoted to blue belt at Fosters BJJ yesterday! Congrats brother and always remember... a black belt is a white belt who never quit!
I am amazed at the small turnout but am glad at the personal attention we got. It was nice to see a handful of black belts from other clubs come out and support. Buchecha seemed to have a great time and it sounds like he will be back, so make sure to stay tuned to The Ground Never Misses for future opportunities to train with world champions.
Train Hard. Train Smart.