I've just come back from an awesome weekend in Bournemouth where Roy Dean was teaching a seminar at the K3 Martial Arts Academy. For those who don't know who Roy Dean is, he is an American BJJ black belt under Roy Harris who, previous to BJJ, had spent many years training in aikido and several other Japanese martial arts. He also spent some time in Japan as a live-in aikido student (uchi deshi) but he is probably better known through his many youtube videos, especially the belt demonstrations, and highly rated instructional DVDs. This seminar coincided with the UK's first hot spell of weather for what seems like eons and proved to be another meeting of some of the UK's BJJ bloggers in one room...
Prior to the seminar, my wife and I did a photo-shoot of Roy and the head of K3, Steve Greenaway. I really loved taking these photos and, together with my written interview, you should see the result of this in a martial arts magazine coming soon.
Techniques in brief
For ultra detailed summary of the techniques, do visit Slidey's blog. But here are my thoughts and highlights of the techniques that Roy taught:
2. Side control - Roy began with a cute move - roll your opponent towards your body (or let him do it himself) and place the palm of your outer hand beneath his shoulder blades, thus creating a very close contact with your uke. We tried it and it certainly changed the dynamics of how one could pin a person down in side control, but it did kind of close your options for subsequent attacks. Roy did in fact mention this too and showed how to move out of this into the next phase.
|A Meerkat and a Roy|
Oooh and I nearly forgot my favourite submission of the day - the kimura-reverse triangle double submission combo! I loved this. You basically have the opponent about to tap from a kimura but also have your legs twined around his head and arm squeezing your knees for a reverse triangle - Braulio stylee. It sounds awesome and Roy's set-up for this was all based on the basic side control aspects he built on from the beginning of the sequence.
4. Lapel chokes - again more seemingly simple beginner level techniques that were transformed into something much more thoughtful. Roy talking about using 'soft hands' and 'contouring your hand shape' when reaching in with the first lapel grip. He then showed how to choke effectively when the second hand goes under your first. Now this really got me interested because I have always found whenever I have tried this version of the cross collar lapel choke, that it rarely works. With Roy's soft contouring hands suggestion and the additional advice to narrow our forearms together before applying the squeeze, I found it worked very effectively indeed.
Roy also showed the suicide choke if your uke defends your first lapel grip by ducking his head under your arm. I like the suicide choke but I find it only works on white belts, and not all of them at that. But Roy showed his personal set-up with this. He basically opened his guard and dropped one leg flat on the floor tempting his uke to pass his guard (or now non-guard). Now here is the new thing for me, as uke passes you to side, Roy showed how he would turn his back away from his opponent. The turning motion prevents uke from establishing any balance and of course he is tighting the collar choke at the same time. I asked about the likelihood of the opponent countering and armbarring your prone arm (the undergripping one) and he said it was less likely if you kept turning away from him and keeping him off balance. So a handy tip for me to try in class next time (although my own instructor discourages us from using the suicide choke in competition, seeing it as too risky against seasoned competitors).
|Steve and Roy share a joke|
In between each hourly segment, Roy sat us all down and offered to answer any general questions. This was really great as it ended up being a technique Q&A masterclass - most of the group kept silent, except for a certain small gang who kept asking tons of pesky difficult technical requests - yup it was us three bloggers.
I asked what Roy's favourite high percentage techniques were on passing the guard?
Answer: Roy likes to use the double unders and the grab knees and step past (toreando?) pass.
Sllidey Can asked about how to get better spider guard? Roy paid huge compliments to Can's instructor Braulio, stating that Braulio was the master at controlling the sleeves but in short, Roy suggested Can should alter his angle of attack when engaging spider guard. Can also asked about the north-south escape where you roll over your partner and take his back. Roy agreed it was a tricky move and he preferred to swing his legs and get a knee in, as his escape route.
Grappling Dummy Matt asked how to deal with a stubborn opponent during stand-up. Roy suggested trying different angles of pulling/pushing. The obvious and common way to grappling standing up was to move forward or backward, but Roy showed how changing it to an upwards or downwards angle of attack could prove beneficial - even going so far as dropping to your knees in order to pull your uke's posture right down.
At the end, Roy presented a blue belt to one of the K3 academy students. The way does his promotions is very different. The chap was brought out in front of the whole audience and asked to untie his belt, the poor lad took ages to undo his belt, but finally managed. Roy presented the blue and there were lots of bowing. Roy seemed quite emotional about the whole experience and gave a little speech. Certainly, when Roy promotes his students, it's a very big deal indeed.
Matt grabed Roy for a video interview so rolling time was left to the rest of us. I rolled with John, a toughie who clearly has more grappling experience than his white belt suggests. Then I rolled with K3 Steve, who is close to being graded for purple. This was interesting for me, I wanted to see how Roy's style of jiujitsu had filtered down to his students. Steve was very technical, patient and I had a hard time escaping his pins. Both rolls were great but in the mini-heatwave we were experiencing I had to call it a day after those two sparring bouts!
All in all a fantastic seminar. Added to that I spent a hugely enjoyable weekend in the sun by the beach with my family. If Roy comes next year, I might make this a regular thing every year!
|Just a coupl'a Kerrrazy BJJ bloggers, oh boy we show'd em|