Red belt Master Reyson Gracie (9th degree black belt) taught a BJJ self defence seminar today at our academy, Mill Hill BJJ.
Reyson is the third son of Carlos Gracie and is one of the few exponents of jiu jitsu allowed to wear the highest rank - red belt. You can read more about Reyson's interesting life story here at BJJ Heroes.
At 75 years of age, Reyson is still remarkably sprightly. He conducted all the techniques himself and was happy to be thrown or to do the throwing. He's an excellent ambassador for the health giving properties of regular jiu jitsu training if ever I saw one.
Reyson taught a variety of self defence techniques, such as defence to head grabs and guillotines. Each escape would lead into a situation where you, the defender, end up in a familiar dominant BJJ style position, eg side control or mount. A lot of BJJ schools teach a self defence syllabus and it is not too dissimilar to the Japanese style jujitsu I used to train under.
Accompanying Reyson was third degree black belt Oscar Daniotti who trains under Ricardo de la Riva. Daniotti taught us what he described as old school original techniques as taught to him by Carlson Gracie. One technique was a basic opening of the closed guard transitioning into double unders and into side control. The other technique he showed was a drill switching leg positions when in the knee on belly position. Both were simple, straightforward and, most importantly of all, worked perfectly.
It's always a great experience to meet and train under the masters of jiu jitsu. By teaching us the roots of the martial art system, Reyson allowed us to connect with the heart of what BJJ was originally set up for in the first place.