When I walked in the door 45 minutes early, Andre was already rolling and there were 20 people on the mat.
There were no white belts…
We warmed up with a partner doing a guard inversion drill switching from side to side.
Coming from an academy that does not have inversion in the curriculum, this was a huge change for me and my partner.
~Andre does not “play guard”~
In fact, Andre doesn’t even like being in the guard. He likes to be on top, passing. His guard is to sweep or submit you. Lots of guys have tough guards that you can’t pass and they do a lot with crazy grips and hooks. That’s no good to him. He wants the submission, not to win on points. Not to win and be boring.
~On boring matches~
Andre also noted that he watches a lot of matches on YouTube and DVD. And fastforwards through most of it. Me too.
~No ego to grow~
At purple and brown belt with Terere, he couldn’t let himself lose in the gym. Terere would set him up to spar white belts on his back with a choke fully in. Be willing to take risks. Go after a footlock and don’t be afraid to give up to position. It’s training, not competition.
~Fight their hands, not their hips~
What defeats your half guard? When they control your head. Even if you control the hips, they can still control your head. Fight the hands first. The key here is how you fight the hands.
Out of respect to Andre and those that paid money to attend, I won’t go heavily into detail of the techniques that we learned. When I came in, I introduced myself to Tim and he mentioned that in Andre’s seminar the day before, people had come up to him and said,
“Man, that was a $90 technique right there.”
I didn’t doubt him, but I will say that I feel like I easily learned 3-4 $90 techniques during the seminar.
Knee shield half guard
Defending the deep underhook of knee shield
Sweep from knee shield
vs deep half guard (where the sweep ends up)
taking the back vs deep half guard
choke from the back
clock choke setup from back
Via the open Q & A:
tic-toc vs. digital clock choke (Andre added sound effects as well. hilarious)
vs. lasso grip guard
Andre always kept music on during the technique time. It was very mellow and gave us something to flow to. It made learning the techniques a lot more fun than just in silence.
Andre also used a spotwatch to time us to make sure that each partner had a certain amount of time. He did not just let us drill something until we sat there looking bored. I never felt like we were wasting time.
Andre and Tim gave everybody individual attention. For every technique, Andre worked with either my partner or I to make a correction.
Andre and Tim are exceptionally entertaining to watch teach techniques. You just have to come to a seminar to understand this.
I was really excited to see a lot of good guys from the region come out for the seminar including Jeff Serafin, Mike from Champion Jiu-Jitsu, and Naledge (among others).
I would recommend an Andre Galvao seminar to everyone. Due to a time mixup, the seminar was sorter than it was supposed to be and I still feel like I got the better end of the deal.
Andre was very open to questions. Ever wanted to ask him about a position? Think about it ahead of time because nobody could think of anything to ask when it opened up for the Q&A. I think we were all so excited about what we’d already learned to ask for any more!
Thanks again to Andre Galvao, Tim Sledd, and Patrick Robinson for setting it up!
Want to know the secret to being a champion?
BeStay on the mat. That’s the secret.