“When you react, you don’t give your mind the time to get filled with emotions. You are devoid of anger, fear, and frustration; you are simply moving.”
Friday, August 24th 2018. Another exciting seminar today at the World Master Championship! See, I have a book by the man who wrote the Jiu-Jitsu University, and today, I got a chance to meet him and his brother, another multiple BJJ World Champion, ADCC and God knows what else Champion… Xande Ribeiro, in person. Eeeeekkk.
Whilst waiting, the conversation I had with other people was what to expect from this seminar and how different this would be in comparison to yesterday’s seminar with Romulo Barral (read here). See, Romulo’s seminar was very relaxed, he was laughing and joking around with people and just… relaxed. This one on the other hand… was very… strict. People did expect the ‘old school’ approach with the Ribeiro brothers but I didn’t know what to expect so the experience was a different one!
So here’s what happened…
We all had to line up. From the highest belt to the lowest in order, 7 man across, with arm extended length to each side. Took a while for people to get into this formation though since there were a lot of people. Oh, also, if your uniform is untidy, Saulo will kick you to the back of the line (of your belt rank) even if you are a black belt. Respect was what radiating from these guys. No bull shit, you respect them, you respect the art, you respect the rules. I have been seeing Saulo walking around during the time of this championship even before the seminar, Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu have their own corner with a matted area and he never failed to bow out as he leaves the area. The 6 blades in their logo stands for 6 values which are: Family, Loyalty, Discipline, Attitude, Respect, and Honor.
After all was in order, we went to do some warm-ups, we ran around the mat, we did some whip transitions from the S sit position and a bunch of other things then learnt our first technique which was the double under pass. Saulo made a point as to why people find it hard to do this, and how people are not bothered by understanding the science behind a technique to make it effective. He simply asked everyone… ‘why would you fight the legs with your arms??’ It all made sense when he explained it. Watch the video below to understand more about the ‘Warriors Walk’.
When we were all drilling the techniques, we were stopped to greet the guests to the mat. See, if I didn’t know who they were, I probably wouldn’t think that it was a big deal… but I do know who they were and I was trying so hard not to squeal from excitement. Actually, my partner at that time and I did squeal a little. Honestly, the amount of BJJ/Judo personalities in this championship is crazy. Enter Jimmy Pedro (Judo Olympic Bronze medallist, multiple World Champion) and Travis Stevens (Judo Olympic Silver medallist, BJJ Black Belt).
Travis then proceeded to teach us how to break grips when an opponent has a double collar grip and how to attack for a takedown from there. After a few drills, Xande then took the mat again with some demonstration of guard retention, scissor sweep, back take and choke from an open guard position. There were some awesome gi, t-shirt, keyring and other novelty giveaways for attendees as well. So cool.
To finish off, Jimmy Pedro gave a speech about competition mentality, which hit home for me. Within the speech (some above), were things I knew I must do when I go compete at the Worlds the next day but perhaps still need to learn how to do. This was definitely an experience with a strong food for thought I need to digest and put into practise.