October 5, 2012

"Choke Him Like You Care. Like You Care Bro!" - An Evening With Rener Gracie

Here we are a week after Rener Gracie blew into town offering several seminars, and I still have a smile from ear to ear! With an enthusiasm that is infectious, a permanent smile, and an uncanny attention to detail for someone so young (28), Rener presented two of the best hours I have experienced training ever. 

First Impression:
I arrived at Interlake HS in Bellevue, WA. quite a bit early due to the lack of perceived traffic.  A huge high school where host Craig Hanuami got us access to the schools gym and mats.  I met Rener as we strolled into the gym, and quickly he took lead in getting the mats set up directing traffic and laying down tape.  This speaks volumes to the humble nature and attitude that has been instilled from Rorion and Helio, Rener's father and grandfather respectively.  

Back Mount Mastery:
"Choke him like you care!"
I attended Friday nights seminar where the theme was "Back Mount Mastery" and over the course of two hours Rener led the group of 55+ though a grappling cornucopia of applied theory, control, grips, all the way to submission.  We had everything from white belt  begginners to black belt instructors in attendance, and even Rener mentioned focusing on one aspect of the seminar, not trying to take it all in.  And don't get me wrong there was a lot of information, but the presentation was such that you remembered it precisely. 

More so then techniques, it was really the WAY in which Rener taught that really captivated me.  A loud, clear voice with carefully chosen words and analogies that were dead accurate and easy to understand, Rener would demonstrate a move several times changing his angle each time to assist the students in seeing all aspects of the position.  When the students broke to drill the moves Rener would slide through the room offering pointers and answering questions.  When something was obviously awry with the masses Rener would once again call everyone to line up as he addressed the issue. 

The Gracie's have a reputation for being very focused on the fundamentals and the mastery of the basics.  I would say that Rener lived up to the reputation in the best way, as nothing we covered required incredible flexability, strength, nor experience.  For nearly the first half of the seminar we spent solely discussing control.  Without position, you will never achieve a submission!  Every detail from proper grip (Rener, like pretty much everyone out there that is good, prefers the seat belt grip) to hip positioning, to where you put your foot on the mat and in which direction your toes should be pointing! And with the one or two movements that did require a bit more flexibility Rener offered options and variations.

The Art of Sharing:
Even though he is confident in his techniques and abilities Rener encouraged us to meld the info he was sharing into our own game.  His sharing attitude is probably the best attribute of all, because the desire to make everyones Jiu Jitsu better is undeniable with him.  Just being in the same gym with him you walk away feeling vibrant from the energy of someone SO passionate and humble.  He is most likely one of the luckiest guys on the planet and he is appreciative of every second, and one cannot deny  his sincerity.  Encouraging us to teach our friends because when we teach something it forces us to understand, and apply it at a deeper level Rener is an inspiration to both student and coach alike. 

As most of you know I never review and reveal the techniques of a seminar for a couple of reasons... not fair to those who paid their hard earned money to learn them, and for me a seminar is about the experience and transmission of info from teacher to student.  WHAT one learns is usually what most people want to latch onto, but in reality it is the experience as a whole that truly leaves an impression on ones being.  That said Rener has some AMAZING moves and techniques regarding back mount!  I can only assume all of his "mastery" themed seminars are the same.  In all honesty I feel like I could take the same seminar 10 times over and come away with a different attribute each time.  In the end I encourage you to do the same. 

Big thanks to Rener Gracie, and Craig Hanuami for setting up the seminar!  As well to Oscar the best training partner out there! 

Train Hard.  Play Hard.


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