Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rodrigo Antunes Seminar 3/23/12

This past weekend was one of the biggest days at Swampfox BJJ. We were fortunate enough to have a world renowned Royler Gracie 4th degree black belt, Rodrigo Antunes. Rodrigo helps train some of the best in the world from Anderson Silva to the Nogueira brothers. Rodrigo befriended my friend Mark in Brazil this past January, when he was attending the Royler Gracie Jiu Jitsu Camp. Rodrigo helped organize the camp and be a guide to the campers around the Rio de Janeiro area. The friendship lasted after the camp and resulted in Rodrigo visiting our school to share his knowledge and love for Jiu Jitsu.

This was the very first seminar at our academy and we were all very excited to have Rodrigo visit and teach. He was kind enough to get off the plane from Brazil and come in and teach Thursday night class. His energy and passion about Jiu Jitsu was immediately felt and transferred over to the class.

During his instruction on Thursday night, he went over a series of techniques that linked together. The series he showed began from a grip break, to a takedown, to a side mount variation, and then ended in a submission. It was great series and to see all the techniques come together in the end, reminded me of seeing a completed puzzle after I put all the pieces together.

Friday was a day of private lessons and seminar at night. One of my 2012 Goals was to take some private lessons. Rodrigo was definitely full of energy as I stepped into the academy for my private lesson Friday Afternoon. He had just finished up a lesson and was eating some Acai

I will not discuss in detail the techniques shown in the private lesson, as it will be a lot to cover. Based off of my questions, he showed to side control escapes, knee-on-belly escapes, and some areas to improve gaps in my submission attempts. It was very beneficial to have this one on one time, and break down each technique. The hour lesson flew by rather quickly,and then it was time for the seminar.

During the seminar, he explained that Jiu Jitsu consists of self defense and sport techniques and he wanted to give of small pieces of each world.

We started off with some simple self defense techniques that focused on using the aggressors energy towards you to initiate and finish the technique.
We did some wrist locks, wrist locks to takedown, and a series of different style guillotines. Overall,very interesting techniques and very effective.

The message of using your opponent's energy carried over to the sport techniques. We went over a series of submissions attacking a defending opponent while in turtle, to some very energy efficient guard breaks and passing techniques.

This seminar was interesting because it pointed out the use of energy efficient techniques using your opponent's momentum and movements against them. Rodrigo's experience and energy
allowed him to show us techniques that countered our own classmates
strong submissions. It was a true honor to see the techniques he developed as he was placed in dangerous situations.

This was a big event for our academy and I was honored to be a part of it. Thanks to Mark and Rodrigo for such a great experience.
Rodrigo Antunes and the Swampfox BJJ Crew
Escaping side control and taking back during private lesson
Rodrigo rolling with some classmates
Rolling with the "Beast" Edwards
Never laugh during self defense

Monday, March 19, 2012

Combat Club Classic Road Trip and Results

This past weekend 5 of us piled into my Honda Pilot and headed up to Jacksonville,NC for the first Combat Club Classic submission only tournament. After a 3 1/2 hour ride we arrived at the middle school.

We all made weight classes we were shooting for. Even Zach, the ambitious 15 yr old, managed to be in the < 225 class by ditching his phone and wallet.

We arrived way to early, in hopes of letting Zach compete in the teens. The combined weight of both teens competing in the division did not even equal Zach's weight. So no teen competition for us, and the waiting continued until one o'clock.

Blake, Russell, and Zach got called to the mats at the same time since they were in separate weight classes and white belts. Mike B and I frantically set up cameras and divided up coaching responsibilities.

Russell's match was first out of the three. This being his first tournament, I was pretty sure his nerves would play into the match. He did unexpectedly well for his time. He controlled his opponent, ended up in mount, but got caught with a triangle after a grueling eight minutes.

Blake's match in his first tournament experience did not fair so well. His opponent an apparent Judo practitioner kept trying to set up a Uchi mata. After screaming for Blake to jump guard to avoid the throw, he ended up in kesa-gatame and he put his arm in the wrong location and his opponent caught him in an arm bar. It was still an awesome experience for Blake competing for the first time.

Zach is the only one out of the five of us that placed third. He won his first match rather quickly, he had a perfectly executed scissor sweep, which led to him catching his opponent with an Ezekial choke. He ended up losing his next match to a Kimura after a hard fought battle of back and forth. To be 15 years old and compete at the level he did against older opponents he
is going to be a beast in the next couple of years.

The only downside of the tournament proceedings was the long wait in between the white and blue belt matches. It was almost three o'clock before the first blue belt match started.

Mike B. drew a white belt fighting up in divisions with six years MMA/ no gi training. It was an epic battle and Mike threw his entire arsenal at him. There were countless triangles and arm bars
attempted and defended. It was a back and forth battle, finally there was a scramble resulting in Mike being caught in an arm bar. It was a good match to watch and made me realize how important having a good strong base and defenses could prolong the length of the match.

Now moving on to your's truly. I drew a white belt that was fighting up in the blue belt as well. When I stepped on the mats, I was not nervous at all. It was the most calm I had ever been during a tournament. The match started and I immediately grabbed a deep cross collar grip and gripped his sleeve, I was looking to try and setup a take down. He did nothing to defend or try and break my grips, so I decided to try to set up a cross collar choke, I let go of his gi sleeve and planted my hand deep in the opposite collar. I had the cross collar choke set up, all I had to do was pull him into my guard and finish the choke. When I went to pull guard, I failed miserably and he stepped around and caught me in an armbar. I think my match almost lasted thirty seconds.

I was disappointed in my performance. I was the only one to blame. I trained as hard as I could, and I ended up beating myself.

All around it was a super fun time with the guys from the academy, the tournament officials were great, and the atmosphere was awesome. The only area that needed improvement was the down time between divisions.

I am hoping for a better showing during the next tournament on April 14th. Keep training and thanks to the Combat Club in Jacksonville,NC for tournament.