I’m writing this from home, a day after one of the most accomplished grapplers of all time Marcelo Garcia taught a seminar to a monstrous group of BJJ’ers at the Alliance BJJ Headquarters during the 6th and final day of the world championship training camp.
The seminar was excellent and I picked up a few new techniques that will fit nicely into my BJJ game. The most notable being a slick way to pass the De La Riva Guard into side control.
Ever since Marcelo visited Joslin’s MMA several times to teach classes –for nearly a month’s time in total– back in the mid 2000′s, I’ve used many of the guard attacks and guard passes that he taught as a big part of my BJJ game. What’s awesome about Marcelo’s style of jiu-jitsu is that the movements he teaches can always be applied to both gi and no-gi training and often MMA fighting as well. His game inspired me to develop the butterfly guard game that I now use constantly in BJJ and have put into MMA action as well, most notably when I fought Josh Koscheck at UFC Fight Night 7.
Marcelo started the seminar by showing a simple and very effective sweep from the butterfly guard. He then showed everyone how to apply the same attack from the kneeling position and from standing as well. I really liked the standing variation and look forward to busting it out during training very soon.
He followed up that first movement by teaching several guard passes and a few variations that are needed to deal with the variety of defenses an opponent will most likely try in an attempt to stop the initial pass.
Lastly he broke down a choke that he has used countless times to submit his opponents during competition, the north/south choke. It’s definitely a great choke especially in no-gi when there is often less submission options available.
After everyone spent time practicing that final technique, each person had an opportunity to take a photo with Marcelo taken by the highly talented Alliance BJJ brown belt/professional photographer Preston Smith ( Preston Smith Photography).
After the seminar my students Mike, Mark, Joey and I headed out to get some lunch with Marcelo and Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti before we headed to the airport to travel home.
It was a great day!
I want to take a moment to thank everyone at Alliance BJJ Headquarters for making our trip to train with them such a fun one. Similar to every other time I’ve visited there in the past, everyone there made my students and I feel completely at home. The training was very, very tough and there were no easy rolling sessions that’s sure. Three a day workouts made my body feel like it had been in a car accident but I’m already looking forward to the next time we visit. In fact I’m planning on bringing between 10-20 of us next time!
Thanks to my students Mike Paiva, Mark Uveges and Joey Martin for joining me on the trip and for making our down time so much fun. You all worked your butt off during the week and did an awesome job during training. Big respect!
Special thanks to Lucas Lepri for the daily rolling and drilling rounds and all of the great techniques you shared with me during my stay. If any of you are reading this and don’t know who Lucas is, check him out online. He’s an absolute beast on the mats and a really awesome guy as well! Looking forward to training with you again when you come to Hamilton and Joslin’s MMA in June! Thanks again for everything!
and lastly, huge thanks to my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. I am very fortunate to be a part of your team and proudly represent you and Alliance BJJ. You’ve always made me feel so welcome during my stays in Atlanta and I want to thank you greatly for that because it means a lot to me. You have an awesome group of students at your academy and we’ll definitely be back soon for some more amazing BJJ training!
It really has seemed that everything we’ve learned technique wise has fit perfectly into my game. It’s been a blend of highly effective guard passes and countless sweeps that will without doubt keep opponents guessing as to what’s going on. I’ve kept detailed notes on everything and I think I’ve learned more than fifty new things during this week. A couple of moves that really are game changers that’s for sure. It’s been an amazing time!
That’s really what make the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so much fun; the fact that you can always learn new ways of doing things. The art constantly becomes more efficient and the more you know the quicker you can adjust, tweak and test your techniques to make them work even better.
Today we focused solely on the 1/2 guard. In the morning we drilled some slick sweeps from the inverted 1/2 guard and in the evening our focus was on passing the 1/2 guard and deep half guard positions. As with every other training session this week, we followed the technical practice with many rounds of regular rolling.
At the end of the day our crew -Mark, Mike, Joey and I– headed out to get some sushi with Lucas, his wife Mayara and one of Alliance brown belts/great guy Higor. It was a lot of fun. I grabbed some rice and salmon which was really good even though I struggled with the chopsticks a bit.
Back in the hotel room now, I just uploaded a video of my instructor, Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti showing a great way to establish the hook from the turtle position. Check it out!
Tomorrow Marcelo Garcia will be teaching a seminar here at Alliance BJJ. We were fortunate to have had Marcelo teach for a nearly a month in the past at Joslin’s MMA and he is an awesome teacher. We’re all looking forward to a great seminar! I’ll be sure to post about it soon…
Man this 3 workouts a day schedule is pretty tough!
Right now it’s the end of Day 4 here at the Alliance BJJ World Championship Training camp. My arms are heavy, neck is stiff, big toe is aching and I almost feel too tired to type this out. But it’s been an awesome week of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training that’s for sure.
There are lots of tough guys to roll with, many world champions at various belt levels each with a different style of BJJ game. I’ve been feeling very strong during rolling and am excited to get back to competing on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu circuit. Rolling and working with multiple time Black Belt world champ Lucas Lepri on a daily basis has been awesome and I’ve picked up a ton of new technique and tricks from him during this past week. The guy is a great guy and absolutely holds nothing back. Master Jacare has also shown me a ton of great stuff and has made myself and our team feel right at home here at his Atlanta BJJ school.
We’ve had such a great time that I plan to bring an even larger amount of people from Joslin’s here to Alliance BJJ in the near future for some great training.
Here’s a slick technique for you taught by mutliple time world champ Jon Thomas.
That’s it for now. I’ll post more tomorrow and again on Saturday after the seminar with Marcelo Garcia.
My fingers are almost too sore to type .
I just finished the 3rd class of the day. The first started at 7am, the second began at noon and the final session of the day started at 7:30 pm with each lasting around two hours.
In the first class of the day World Champ Jonathon Thomas taught a large group of students some slick counters to the De La Riva Guard/Berimbolo Sweep. The guys and I drilled the techniques in class and for an hour or so afterwards as well.
In the noon class I got some great ten minute rolls in with Lucas Lepri and Jonathon after we spent some time working on some very cool flower sweep variations. After class we met Jonathon and one of the purple belts Patrick for lunch at a place called Farm Burger. The food was good!
and during the night class Master Jacare lead us through some fun warmup drills, followed by Lucas breaking down an omaplata sweep that needs only a tight lapel grip to work. The last 50 minutes of that class consisted of hard drilling and regular rolling. I was drenched in sweat! The guys in my group were really cool and it’s been great meeting so many great people on the mats down here.
Time for me to get some sleep, the 7am class will come quickly.
After driving more than fourteen hours on the weekend to and from Montreal for the Challenge MMA event, I headed to the airport in Buffalo, New York with three members of our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team –Mark Uveges, Joey Martin & Mike Paiva– to catch a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. Even though I had slept very little over the last day or two, the drive seemed to go smoothly which was nice.
The reason for traveling to Atlanta? To train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the many great martial artists at the famous Alliance BJJ Headquarters. The same place that I had first visited way back in the mid 1990′s, as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu white belt, after hearing great things about the instruction there as well as the owner and head instructor Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. I feel very fortunate to have received my blue,purple,brown and black belt from Master Jacare; He’s not only a legendary coach in the sport, he’s also an awesome person.
The four of us decided to miss the daytime class earlier today in order to catch up on some much needed sleep. After that we hit up the grocery store, picking up some food then relaxing for a bit afterwards before heading to the gym to attend the night class.
It was my first time at Alliance BJJ’s newest location and I was impressed! Tons of mat space, multiple training rooms and the same warm feel that made me feel right at home during my many visits there, starting back nearly two decades ago.
The class tonight was taught by multiple time World Champ Lucas Lepri who showed some very smooth guard passing movements to a very large group of colour belts that filled up the mats. After that everyone was placed into small groups of three or four and the hard rolling began.
Due to an neck injury, brought on by the very hard training I was doing in preparation for this camp, I had taken the last two weeks completely off of rolling to give myself the best chance of being recovered enough to roll at the training camp. The good news is that I was able to roll without feeling totally messed up! My left arm still seems a bit week due to a pinched nerve but as I sit here in my hotel room writing this post, it doesn’t seem to have gotten any worse after rolling fairly hard with Lucas and two skilled brown belts.
I think I should be good to train pretty hard this week which is very exciting!
Mike, Mark and Joey all had some good rolls as well and are looking forward to the 7am class that we’ll be attending tomorrow morning.
That’s it for tonight. I’ll be sure to post more about the camp very soon.
and for the last technique of the hotel series, here’s Dave Hale showing how to throw someone on his ass with a nice catch and sweep counter to the body kick…
Have fun with it!
It’s almost time for us to head to the venue for our fight tonight. I’ll post again very soon.
One more day until fight time here in Quebec at the Challenge MMA event!
The weigh-in went very well Today and both Ryan Dickson and his opponent Alex Garcia made weight. We are definitely looking forward to fight time!
Earlier today I filmed a breakdown of one of my favourite fancy MMA techniques, the spinning backfist. It’ll help you surprise your opponent with a devastatingly powerful strike that will seem to come out of nowhere. Have fun with it!
We’re here in Quebec for the Challenge MMA event. Our fighter Ryan Dickson is about to cut the last few pounds before the weigh-in which takes place later today. The fight takes place tomorrow night and it should be an exciting event.
Ryan is feeling great and is very excited to get in there and do his thing!
Last night I filmed him breaking down a technique in the middle of our hotel room. It’s the first of 3 techniques that I’ll be posting this weekend. Later today I’ll be showing a pretty fancy and painful counter to the low kick and then on Saturday, the other member of our 3 man hotel room/corner man crew Dave Hale will show something cool as well.
Here’s Ryan showing a footlock variation from the the 50/50 guard.
Try it out and I guarantee you surprise your opponent on the mats when your rolling or sparring with them.
I used the same technique to pass Jon Fitch’s guard (pictured on left) during our fight in 2005 and include some video of that so you can see the pass pulled off in action.
I’ll bet many of your opponents on the mat and in the cage probably won’t know how to stop it and that’s a great thing ecause it’ll help you pull it off with a ton of success. The pass will get you out of the guard and into side control where you’ll be able to wear your opponent down or move to the mount position for a quick finish.
Have fun with it…