October 26, 2009

Roger Machado Seminar Review

The energy that is given off by someone who so passionately loves what he does is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world! For Roger Machado, BJJ is just that, a conduit of direct transmission of positive energy that is passed on via his teachings over the weekend here in Seattle. A smile was seen on every one of the 30+ faces who showed up and supported the seminar on Sunday where four hours of training zipped by like fall in the northwest.

This was Roger's first visit to the Emerald City and NWJJA, and it was a huge success! Roger's skill on the mat is bested only by his charisma and ability to teach any concept to anyone at any stage of their game. Filled with humor, Roger is a wonderful coach not because he teaches all sorts of fancy flying techniques, or the latest / coolest guard that was just invented. Roger is great because he works on the most basic concepts and offers details that many instructors gloss over in an attempt to "look" cool. And that is exactly what we worked on all weekend.

"You cannot submit your opponent with controlling your opponent." - RM

The official - unofficial theme of the seminar... control, and pressure. For the big guy this comes a bit more naturally, but for the smaller player this is something that is often difficult to manage. Roger offered some of his trade secrets on control and pressure for both cross body, and mount. Offering a bevy of drills designed to increase our pressure and position, Roger then moved seamlessly into attacks, variations on attacks, as well as "baiting" your opponent with one attack in an attempt to set up another attack.

The details Roger taught were excellent. Not overwhelming his student base with dozens of techniques, we stuck with some basic attacks (cross choke, arm bar, triangle) with Roger showing that even a slight angle change can open up other options, or even mean the difference between crushing your opponent and giving them an avenue of escape.

I feel I walk away from the seminar with a deeper understanding of pressure in conjunction with angles both offensively and defensively. I liked that Roger stuck to the basic attacks as I must admit I am weak at those basics! Arm bars from guard, as well as triangles elude me and my game, but I know I need to strengthen those aspects of my fighting. Everyone I spoke with after the seminar was very pleased with their experience, and felt like they took tools away that will be applied immediately.

For those who missed this opportunity...not sure what to say... you passed up an opportunity to train with someone who has been doing BJJ longer than most of us have been alive (over 40 years)!!! The knowledge, skill, and passion Roger has for the art of BJJ is an inspiration for all levels of practitioners regardless of skill level or age!

Much thanks to Roger, Andy at MKG, and all those who turned out to make this seminar a success including folks from Oregon, Washington, and BC!

Train hard, Train Smart!

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