Feb. 24th, 2012

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I’ve never gone to a BJJ seminar before, for various reasons—mostly, I suppose, that I felt it wouldn’t be worth the investment. No matter how great the instructors are, I just have too many basic flaws to work on that my regular instructors can help me with; I don’t need more moves or fancier techniques, and my game is not so polished that I can’t get any black belt—or brown belt, or purple belt—to point out weaknesses I should address, ways to improve. In fact, my gym is full of such people who will happily and helpfully do so. (And if some touring instructor has a world championship title, well, our own head instructor took home gold in the Mundials as a blue belt, if I understand things correctly. There’s no shortage of quality.)

With this seminar, though, I can’t resist it, because egads, have you ever seen such a concentration of skill and accomplishment gather in one place before? On March 8, no fewer than five BJJ blackbelts are holding a seminar at Gracie Barra Vancouver, several of whom are so famous that even I, who have a notoriously weak grasp of the international competition scene, have heard of them. Since the sport lacks the centralised and easily referenced records present in MMA, for example, it’s hard to get any sense of their proper laurels—I can’t find any hint of some of their records. Two of them are so decorated that I can’t be bothered to include all their trophies, cutting it down to just Mundials and ADCC medals to save space; two I can’t find at all; one I can find only briefly mentioned.

It’s a line-up nowhere short of amazing, though, and with five world-class instructors running a seminar (not even an expensive one), it’s hard to imagine not getting my money’s worth.

Partial, abbreviated records of those of the visiting instructors whom I could find anything on:

  • Flavio Almeida
    • 2x World Champion (1999 – brown, 1997 – blue);
    • ADCC Silver Medallist (2007);
    • …Too many other awards and trophies to list…
  • Marcio Feitosa
    • 3x World Champion ­– black (1997, 2001, 2002);
    • 4x World Championship silver medallist – ­black (1998, 1999, 2000, 2003);
    • ADCC champion 2000;
    • ADCC bronze medallist 2000;
    • …Too many other awards and trophies to list…
  • Alexandre Dande (???)
  • Rodrigo Lopes (???)
  • Luca Atala (1996 World Champion – blue?; ???)


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Petter Häggholm

April 2016

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