I have tried to support any and all events Craig Hanuami hosts in town, and by going to Rener with my student and friend Lara it enabled me to wear a bit of a different hat then previous years. I went as a teacher and observed Rener with my "coaching" eyes and what I saw was a man growing into a well seasoned teacher. After all taking on a full day of multi-topical seminars is quite the daunting task in and of itself, but more difficult is the ability to walk the line of information overload with participants. We decided to attend the first and last seminars; Cross Choke Mastery and Self Defense respectively due to our interests and time constraints.
Cross Choke Mastery was the first seminar of the day and right off the bat I noticed a difference in Rener. Don't get me wrong there was still his patented command of the room and warm personality, but a calmness has entered his voice that I can only equate with a wisdom and comfortableness in the environment he is teaching. An attribute many of us would foolishly assume comes with teaching hundreds of thousands of hours on the mat, but let me tell you that this engaging energy does not just happen. It is something cultivated and honed. What I am saying is Rener Gracie has worked very hard on becoming an excellent instructor and now more then ever it shows!
Dealing with people is difficult. Teaching adults can be damn near the most challenging endeavor one can embark on. Rener not only controls a room but engages each individual and goes out of his way to make the technique(s) as fundamentally basic as he can. I did not say simplify, but rather break each movement down to its core and make sure that even the newest white belt understood the principle conveyed. I listened in as he helped others around us and his voice and calm demeanor do nothing but help students learn.
|Rener assisting Lara in the procurement of my lunch money!|
We came back about 6 hours later for the Self Defense course and after adjusting to the wet rag of air welcoming our arrival to an oxygen deprived gym Rener kicked off the last seminar of the day. The physical exhaustion showed both on teacher and students alike but Rener was steadfast on his course and did an excellent job keep the energy and techniques flowing. I would venture to say this session was a bit more scattered then the earlier one but that also may have been due to more varied questions being asked on such a broad subject. For those who were brave enough to stick out the entire day, it was showing. Physical exhaustion was trumped solely by mental fatigue especially on the white and blue belts.
Once again I cannot encourage you enough to train with Rener Gracie if the opportunity even remotely arises. I am not sure I would suggest a 6 hour marathon simply because your retention rate will tank well before even the 5th hour, but getting on the mat with this man needs to be on your grappling bucket list. I cannot thank Craig for giving me the opportunity to train with Rener way back when I was a blue belt to now (I owe you a thousand private lessons!!). Big thanks to my partner Lara, the seminar was a blast as was working with you. And last but certainly not least a huge thanks to Rener who took time to visit us though he has a little bambino on the way (best of luck to you and your family). We really appreciate your tutelage and time at such an important crossroads in your life.