November 17, 2012

Know Your Roots: Alberto Crane & NWJJA

Those in attendance at NWJJA this past week noticed a certain theme with coach Brian, the "S" mount.  Anyone whom has studied with Brian knows that he always offers props and gives credit where it is due, and he credits his instructor Alberto Crane for his success in tournaments attacking with the "S" mount.

This is the only footage I could find of the full fight between Alberto and Joe Camacho at the Professional Sub League back a few years. Ghetto style from Russia!

So I thought it was  perfect time to introduce Alberto to some of our students whom might not be knowledgeable of his influence both to the NWJJA and Brian, but also in a larger part to the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!  Alberto is the same age as me and was born and raised in New Mexico where he started to travel south to Brazil training in BJJ in 1996.  In 2001 Al would become the first American to earn the coveted black belt, under Gracie Barra Vinicius "Draculino" Magalhaes, and would go on to be the second American ever (behind BJ Penn) to win the worlds in 2002!

Flash forward to 2012 and he is a 4th degree black belt teaching out of several schools in the Los Angeles area of California.  Alberto has had an up and down career in MMA amassing a lightweight record of 15-5 (14 coming as no surprise to anyone, via submission!) with several fights in the UFC, and his most notable accomplishment being at  KOTC 21 in March of 2003, where he won a split decision over Javier Vasquez to claim the lightweight title!
Here is Al versus tournament legend Cleber Luciano:

His connection with NWJJA is via Brian's frequent visits to New Mexico to visit family from approximately 1999-2003, where Brian would visit Alberto's Santa Fe academy to train and roll eventually earning Brian the promotion to brown belt via Alberto.  When I get access to it I will share a few clips from Alberto's two visits to Seattle over the past 5 years or so.  To this day much of Alberto's game can be seen as a major influence in our teacher and our style of rolling including the "S" mount, torture chamber, and switch base positions.  Oh... and did I mention Al LOVES wrist locks???

The first time I rolled with him as a puny white belt I swear he wrist locked me 20 times in a 5 minute round!  Amazing top pressure and a solid guard game.  Study these video's and learn from one of BJJ's foremost masters!

And if this does not look familiar then you have not rolled with Brian at all:

Train Hard.  Party Hard.

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