Showing posts with label gracie jiu jitsu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gracie jiu jitsu. Show all posts

June 15, 2015

The Evolution of Rener Gracie the Teacher

Prof Rener Gracie chose Seattle, WA. to host his first 'Super Seminar' a couple of weekends back on May 31st.  Four seminars back to back to back to back, where Rener treated well over 80 participants per session to his patented good humored teaching style.  One thing that I noticed this year is that Rener is really showing his maturity both in the depth of his grappling knowledge, but more importantly via his teaching style.

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!
Technique wise he methodically progressed from "This is a cross choke" to strategies in getting the choke set up.  Cross chokes are incredibly difficult for me to get at all, and the details offered in Rener's 90 minutes certainly have put me in a better position these last two weeks though I must admit I have not nailed a successful cross choke as of yet, but I am maintaining mount much better!

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.

This is where you see seminars/teachers crash and fail, but as always there is Rener carrying the crowd on his shoulders and keeping energy levels high where he shared a handful of essentials when it comes to defending oneself.  A bit different then what I have been taught I thought this seminar gave a great peek into the world of Rener's grandfather Helio Gracie.  After all self defense IS why Helio created Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and for the most part many of the techniques were taught as Helio has passed them down from one generation to the next.  The sole criticism I have is the final drill on Sunday the "Zombie Attack Drill" was not well received by the majority of the female contingent I noticed.  My partner asked me to stay and not allow other random folks to be jumping in and working, and I noticed the majority of females and their partners (male or female) were opting out.  Such drill where we change partners every few seconds have been, in my experience, poorly received especially at seminars as folks are quite leery about the training partners they choose.  Food for thought for future seminars.

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. 

May 22, 2015

Rener Gracie Returns to the Emerald City

We are just over a week away from Rener Gracie returning to the Seattle area for another round of seminars.  Next Sunday will be a marathon day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self defense with four seminars back to back to back to back!! 

I have said it tons before but just in case you weren't listening... Rener is one of the young guard coming up under Rorion and Helio who is a bit of an anomaly.  For being so young he is without a doubt one of the best instructors I have stumbled across.  Confident, engaging, with a predetermined lesson plan that all gets packaged up with his quick witted humor a Rener seminar is not to be missed. 

Open to all experience levels and affiliations.

May 8, 2015

Metamoris = Mega Misogynistic

Spend any amount of time in the martial art / sport realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and you cannot help but notice an inordinate amount of machismo, and unfortunately machismo is accompanied by its close relative sexism.  It is something many of us ignore, or laugh off, but in reality it is becoming a serious issue in our community and it is perpetuated by folks such as Ralek Gracie and his promotion Metamoris which has a PPV event this weekend. 

As if trying to monopolize submission only events via offering exclusive contracts to stars such as Gary Tonon where one of the many ludicrous stipulations was that he can only fight in Metamoris events (keeping in mind there are only two a year), was not enough... Coupled with a purposeful ploy at bumping submission only PPV promoters such as Copa Podio where Metamoris scheduled there events on the same days as Copa twice in an apparent effort to directly compete with PPV audiences.  I suppose there is nothing technically "illegal" with these kinds of behavior but in general they are considered a giant dick move that really is not needed in such a niche community. 

But I personally draw the line when Ralek and his organization is blatantly sexist and misogynistic in there attitude and approach to once again not including any female fighters on the card! 
"We had one match and it was cool, but that was more of. 'Thats cool and that was interesting and I want to see that again if the girls are cute.'You know how it is.  The UFC wouldn't even have a women's division if it wasn't for Ronda Rousey."  - Ralek Gracie in response to no women's matches on the Metamoris 6 card. 

So prior to spending your hard earned money on the Metamoris 6 card this Mothers Day weekend, think about how you would like Ralek to address your mother, sister, aunt, or wife in one of his "Women Empowerment" seminars!?  We have enough problems in this world where we do not need to feed (literally) those who are just plain racist, sexist, or just down right assholish in our martial community.  Please do not support Metamoris for any of the crapola reasons I have listed.  Take your mom out to a nice meal on you instead.  Much better time and money spent, I promise. 

June 10, 2014

A Short History of the Closed Guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Our friends over at BJJ Heroes have shared a great article on the history of the closed guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  The closed guard is, in my humble opinion (echoed by some of the greats BTW) that without a solid closed guard you are lacking as a grappler.  Period.  Essential to maintaining range and controlling your opponents hip movement, the closed guard also serves as a solid attacking position with a plethora of sweeps, chokes, arm bars, shoulder locks, leg attacks... I mean really there is no limit to the attacks one can do from closed guard, unlike the mount for example. 

An excerpt from BJJ Heroes:
Peixotinho vs. Rickson (1984)
"The history of the closed guard ‘boom’ in Jiu Jitsu starts at Osvaldo Alves‘ class inside the Clube Olímpico (a clandestine casino, masked as a recreation centre in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana). Master Osvaldo taught a class there using the term Jiu Jitsu, though in reality his Jiu Jitsu experience was limited. He was a Judo man, but as he needed to pay a license fee to teach it, he decided to call it a Jiu Jitsu class instead. Alves was known in the Brazilian grappling community, he had lived in Japan and had a close relationship with the Gracies, for those reasons many students from different teams regularly visited his academy, among the regulars were Otavio ‘Peixotinho’ and Márcio dos Santos (students of Carlson Gracie) who started the exchange of basic Judo and Gracie Jiu Jitsu closed guard techniques.

Quickly this tight-knit association started making a dent in the Jiu Jitsu competitive scene. Peixotinho submitted the technical Sylvio Behring with an armbar from the guard (see video below), a technique developed by the group. Pascoal Duarte did the same with Royce Gracie and Sergio Penha became one of the toughest competitors the sport had seen in just 3 years of training, a record breaking time in the sport."

To read the entire article click here... 

I have made the closed guard one of the strongest aspects of my game.  I'll be damned if I am THAT guy who is 6'4" 215 pounds and cannot play off his back.  I cannot tell you the great influences I have had... Brian J. Johnson / Tim Cartmell / Rigan - Carlos - Roger - Jean Jacques Machado (ALL of the Machado's place a heavy emphasis on closed guard) / Damian Maia / David Meyer etc. 

So check out this early video of Sylvio Behring being submitted by Peixotinho (peep the ref... some famous cat I can't remember the name of;), read about the history of the closed guard, and then hit the mat do brush up on that lazy guard game! 

January 20, 2014

Jean Jacques Machado on Eddie Bravo Radio

Well if you are in the Pac NW then you are most likely nursing a hangover and have already called in for the day.  So since you have all day lounging around ranting and raving on your Seahawk glory, sit down, light a fattie and listen to Eddie Bravo have a sit down chat with his coach Jean Jacques Machado. 

Thanks to mi hermano Ivan for turning me onto yet another great Jean Jacques Machado interview from just last week with his student (and grappling genius himself) Eddie Bravo on his weekly videocast "Eddie Bravo Radio."   Lots of great info about the history of BJJ and the Machado family. 

September 1, 2013

RCJ Machado 5 Brothers Camp: Hotel Info

We have everything squared away for 2013's 5 Brothers Camp including the camp hotel extending the discounted rate of $79.00 / night (plus taxes) from Thursday through Sunday night.  If you plan on staying longer or coming in earlier expect a higher room rate for other nights.  But for those of us flying in from afar make sure to secure the discounted rate for Thursday - Sunday evenings. 

Click here to be re-directed to the Marriott booking page!

See you on the mats in Dallas!  This year is going to be even bigger then last!

Leave your ego at the door,

September 5, 2012

Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational

All I know is what you see below, but I can promise you this... it is going to be the BOMB!!!!  San Diego, October 14th, 20 minute matches, submission only.  The site is supposed to launch today! And though I couldn't find any definition of Metamoris, it must be from an archaic language that simply means Frickin' BJJ Awesomeness!!!

November 29, 2011

Gracie Magazine Back Issues

Just wanted to remind all that I have the following "Gracie" magazine issues for sale in sets. I am willing to part with individual issues but discounted rates will not apply. Email me for S&H and to place your order: [email protected]

Set #1                                                              Set #2
($90)  ($25)

Issue # 110                                                      Issue # 124
111                                                             125
112                                                            126
113   127