PART I: Setting
I thought I would post on the single best private class I have ever had...with Mario Sperry
Curious to see how it was done on the other side I arranged this through a friend in Brazil who trained with BTT. It would set me back a staggering $100 U.S.
I was called by BTT offices and told to got to BTT academy in Lagoa. From there I met an 'agent' who would take me to BTT offices in Barra where the private would take place. We went to a modest space in what looked to be a business district which had a maated area and an office where a few guys worked on the "business end" of BTT. I was starting to feel increasingly amateurish. Only half an hour late arrived the man familar face of the man himself: the George Clooney of BJJ, Mario Sperry. The 'agent' it transpired was a purple belt who sperry would use as a demo guy for the private.
I must admit I was very impressed with how organised all of this was already.
Sperry first asked me where I was in my game. He asked me how often I trained (usually 4-6 sessions per week) if I competed (as much as I can!), how long I was a blue belt (2 years), and what where I tended to get "stuck" when rolling (finishing submissions from top)
He advised since I competed he would go over a more fundementals based strategy...with his inimitable sense of humour he advised that "if you only train twice a week to relax, then I will show you some nice techniques you can show your wife. If you want to win competitions then you are not here to mess around"
PART II: Content
There was a lot of Sperry talking in this private. It actually felt a lot of the time that I was on the set of one of his dvd shoots.
Sperry initially talked about the information explosion of BJJ. He said that there were no more secrets and that with the internet and instructionals everybody was now privvy to any new development very quickly. He also pointed out something interesting: He said that with dvds people can skip past the first parts of the instructional- in his opinion the most important. He said he got very annoyed when he sees people have gone to the flashy chapters without understanding the basics first
I really did not want The Zen Master annoyed so I agreed vehemently.
Sperry warned me that he was going to "bore me" with fundementals.
He said that if you are tapping somebody out a lot that means that you probably have a lot more experience/weight than them and you really won't be competing against those sorts of people in competition. So to to tap out lower belts in class effortlessly won't translate into competition performance.
He pointed out that to beat someone you must really make them want to quit while defending.
He showed how to keep weight off your legs and on your toes in side control "You must stop him breathing and crush him, when you fight you are not there to be his friend."
He then moved on to the '7 positions of side control' which he said should practiced every day with weight on your opponent to master fluid movement while maintining pressure"
These were 1. Broken Scarf 2. 100 kilos (ie crossface and hand blocking hip) 3. Reverse Scarf 4. North South 5. Reverse Scarf opposite side 6. 100 kilos opposite side 7. Broken Scarf opposite side
As i practices on the demo guy, he added the following points
-If you have a gi, use it as this conserves your energy. -Always learn techniques on both sides as your opponent will probably only used to defending one side -The crossface/underhook which is very common was not among sperrys list: "both of your hands are tied up"
Next we did a few submissions: the kimura and the choke with the legs from North south. He then talked about how every technique needs to be part of a double attack to really work.
Emphasis for the kimura was on -"try to pull his shoulder out of the socket" -crafty placement of the elbow on the ribs for more 'encouragement' - keeping weight pressure on by squeezing the opponent with your knees when they are on their side
Sperry the asked if I had any other techniques I had questions on I showed him the sequence i saw on his sub grappling dvd and he angrily said "OK escape my side control."
I bumped and hip escaped all i could he just kept screaming "escape, escape!" Finally, when i was out of gas and couldn't move he looked at me and smiled: "Now I can do whatever I want..."
PART III: Epilogue
Unfortunately this was my last full day in Brazil...I would soon set off for the weary flights to Paris and Dublin. If I could stay I would definately have gotten more private classes
But I went to Gracie Barra that evening and holy crap: this stuff really worked! While not being too much of a bastard with the weight thing all of a sudden I crushed a purple (a very surreal experience for me!), then I caught a Kimura on a blue belt I was having a real hard time with before.
I have never had one private translate so quickly into my game so fast. (Maybe just luck?)
I have been back to Belfast for a few weeks and this stuff has significantly added to my rolling like nothing else- the postional changes on top on their own open a lot of opportunities.
I was dumb enough to show all my training partners though... And oh bollocks! I just posted the whole thing on the Atama forum...
If you are ever in Brazil Sperry is the man to see. And I have trained with a few.
An archive of helpful advice compiled by IGer's.
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