I had the pleasure of training and learning from some of the greats of the sport today at Roger Gracie Academy in London. Igor Gracie, Gregor Gracie and Andre Monteiro [<--click on their names to read about achievements.]
I heard about this seminar at the last minute and decided to pop down principally so I could check out the current location of the Roger Gracie Academy in Latimer Road seeing as I had not visited that venue before. On the same day, RGA was to hold its summer grading event but first was this seminar.
All three instructors taught one technique each, one after the other and we drilled the techniques to a strict two minute countdown timer. Unusually for a seminar hosted by three different people, all the instructors taught techniques that flowed from the previous one...it was almost as if the seminar was taught by a single entity.
Gregor Gracie opened up proceedings by showing how to transition from a closed guard into a combat base guard and then from there, proceed to defend and attack. A notable attack was the collar drag to make the opponent face plant to the ground.
Igor Gracie followed up by showing the spider guard from closed guard and then how to sweep the opponent from his position. Although a fairly standard technique for most practitioners, it was great to observe all the details that ensure a solid execution of the spider guard from such experienced hands.
Andre Monteiro is much smaller than his two fellow instructors so I was super keen to hear his personal interpretations when fighting as a smaller guy. He offered some great tips on keeping hold and submitting from side control that I instantly felt was beneficial to me as a smaller guy myself.
After a short break, Roger hosted a grading ceremony for belt promotions. It was a much bigger deal than I imagined with RGA students from up and down the country (and from abroad too) arriving en mass to support and celebrate. Nick wanted several of us Mill Hill students to be graded here at RGA HQ and there were some well deserved promotions to blue, purple and brown belts. But top of the bill was Daniel Strauss with his richly deserved promotion to black belt.