January 21, 2013

Rigan Machado Seminar Review

Every time you step onto the mat with a member of the Machado family I promise you will walk away with more then just a few cool techniques (those are GUARANTEED with anyone training under the Machado's!), as the family is interested in imparting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art of grappling in general, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu more specifically.  Rigan Machado stopped in on his yearly pilgrimage to the Jet City to coach us in both gi and no gi training sessions, and it could not have been better!

In what has become the largest seminar ever hosted at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy Brian's dream of one day, 20 years ago.... one day being able to train, let alone host, Rigan Machado has come to fruition consecutively over the past 5 years!  To get access to a red-black belt is all too rare; to harbor a friendship with such a red-black belt is priceless.

Rigan opened the seminar with a story of one his true mentors and whom he proclaims is the best grappler ever to live... Rolls Gracie.  Passing on the knowledge that Rolls imparted upon his students 30 years ago Rigan told us how Rolls not only encouraged training in other grappling systems and rule sets, but also integrated the techniques and restrictions into the practice of there BJJ.   "Rolls wanted his students to be exposed to everything."  In essence what Rigan is talking about is cross training in the purest sense of the word.  Many do not know but Rolls was an integral asset to the Mexican Olympic wrestling team, and trained in any grappling based system he came across especially western wrestling, Judo, and Sambo.

The latter, Sambo, is a Russian martial art where competitors have limited time on the ground and cannot pull guard in sport version of Sambo.  This forced Rigan and his brothers to approach their training differently when they came to North America and still had a thirst to compete and the only competitions were Judo and Sambo (keep in mind at this time there was not the infestation of grappling tournaments we have seen spring up in the past 10 years).  Naturally they could not out "Sambo" the Sambo players, so relying on their stand up game was not a valid strategy.  With limited time on the ground they could not rely on an extended guard game, so the Machado brothers started developing quick attacks which gave birth to quick drilling.

This open mindedness is exactly what drew me towards Brian and the Machado family.  Since joining NWJJA 7 1/2 years ago I have had the fortune to train under not only 2nd degree Brian Johnson, but also all five of the Machado brothers at multiple times, as well as John Will and David Meyer whom are both members of the "Dirty Dozen" under the Machado's.  I can honestly say that a very specific, peculiar trait exists amongst this group... and that is an unwavering love for the art of the BJJ!  As if they are driven to make you "get it" even if you don't you can't help but walk away from a weekend of training feeling like you are part of something bigger, better then the drudges we walk around in most of the time.

Technique wise Rigan emphasized quickly attacking as soon as you hit the ground (regardless of top or bottom position, but we worked mostly from side control in the seminar).  A series of kimura's, arm bars and a T Choke were the highlights of the gi seminar.  No gi wise we focused on attacking the turtle with various wrestling rides and working the seat belt grip.  Rigan also showed a reverse omoplata which was wicked cool!  As per usual it is the little details that I find absolutely invaluable which of course I am not going to share with you freely ;), but I will drop this nugget... make sure when you attain the seat belt grip to tuck your over hand wrist under their armpit.

Once again the students of NWJJA were schooled in the finer intricacies of locking the wrist, as Rigan offered a sneaky wristlock from side control  Yet another world champion understanding the finer more sophisticated joint locks in our arsenal.  I see a trend in world champions doing wristlocks: Rigan Machado / Alberto Crane / Buchecha / Tim Cartmell / Brian Johnson....;)

I want to thank our brothers and sisters who made it in from all over British Columbia, Port Angeles, and throughout Washington representing a plethora of schools in the Pac NW.  With right around 46 participants in the gi session alone this marked the largest seminar we have ever had at NWJJA, and all told we had 75 different practitioners all weekend. Thank you so much for the support!

Lots of seminars are coming up, so make sure to bookmark "The Ground Never Misses" and check us daily for news and announcements!



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