March 18, 2013

"There is No Tapping. Only Learning." David Meyer Seminar Review

As one of the 31 different participants whom attended David Meyers seminars here in Seattle, I can honestly say I am mentally and physically exhausted this morning.  Two stellar seminars were presented along with opportunities to roll with one of three different black belts, a grappler could not ask for much more!  After all, how many of you all have rolled with a 4th degree member of BJJ's "Dirty Dozen?"  I stretch a bit as I sit here writing this in preparation for another morning session with David before he heads back down to California to compete in the 2013 Pan Ams.

As per usual David gets the students thinking differently about whatever subject matter he is addressing.  For instance we started out Saturdays "Aggressive Open Guard" workshop from a sitting guard where David reminded us of our self defense roots and drilled us on simply getting back to our feet.

"You do not need to assume a defensive mindset just because you are sitting on your butt." - Meyer

These subtle nuisances and details are often overlooked by even the greatest of world champions.  Ensuring students drill the "basics" of getting our legs out of the way and shooting the single on a standing opponent, is the direct result of over four decades spent sweating, bleeding, and crying on the mat (some a bit more then others;).  This was reinforced by a story David shared about training BJJ under the Machado brothers back in the early days where the focus was on attacking and getting the submission to end the fight.  Points were not a factor until a bit later when tournaments starting getting more popular and widespread. 

Using the same mindset David led the students through a series of triangle attacks from various open guard positions, interjecting nuggets of knowledge throughout the seminar on arm drags, dead angles, the importance of connection with your opponent, utilizing levers with the grips you have, as well as stories and bloopers from his fabled competition career.

One great aspect about David is that he still competes and trains hard daily so he did not want to miss out on an opportunity to roll with the peeps in Seattle, so he rolled with easily a bakers dozen of students and also helped coach folks during rolls with others.  This is INVALUABLE and if David was kind enough to offer a few minutes of advice while you are live, cherish it.  That type of instance feedback and instruction while help you leap light years ahead of the curve!
Sports psychology is rarely addressed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, yet so many of us could truly benefit from some sound fundamentals to apply to our competition game.  Subtly David went about teaching us how to build our confidence and develop a personal game plan in regards to grappling competition.  David is not formally educated in psychology, but he comes armed with an old school pedigree of wisdom developed not in a classroom, but on the mats of competition since the early 90's before many of you were even alive! 

Naturally I am not going to share my notes from the entire workshop, but in a nutshell a grappler needs to find his handful of go to moves and slowly work a number of ways to get into those positions, and then slowly develop a plan as to where to transition if said attack/position fails or they defend.  To borrow the concept of an hour glass from John Will.  The pinch in the middle is your go to technique(s).  You find ways to get into the pinch, and the bottom represents your transitions from the pinch.  Reverse engineering if you will. 

By developing, mapping, and implementing your game plan you are also doing wrote repetition each and every night burning these moves into your muscle memory, as well as seeing what others do to shut down your game which in turn makes your bottom half of the hour glass richer! 

Three Bad Ass Black Belts, and one fine looking Purple!
Overall an amazing weekend with one of the greats!  David is available for private training in the Bay Area, as well as doing seminars worldwide.  If you would like to be put in touch with him please drop me an email and I would be happy to help you out ([email protected]).  I want to thank all the students from NWJJA, Yuens Martial Arts, GB Seattle, and North Sound who supported the seminar.  Thanks also to my sponsor 1914 Gi's for two of the best kimono's on the market (gold weave review coming soon!).  And of course eternal thanks to my coach, my friend, my mentor, Brian J Johnson.  He has done more for the BJJ community at large, locally, for his students, and for me then any of us will ever realize.  Give thanks! 

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

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