I managed to talk with Professor before hand and it was joyus to find we shared the same philosophical approach and mind set to The Art. Self defence always first, the sport always second.
I started grappling in 93 in various forms, but 12 years ago i trained with Mauricio and Renzo soon realising that Gracie Jiu Jitsu was a path i had to follow. I met Marc Walder (the first Gracie Jiu Jitsu Instructor in Europe) at The Gracie Academy in Dagenham and Royce shortly after.
All of the above are incredible Teachers and like Professor, extremely technical in their approach.
The Seminar took the form of a Q&A session. Students asked specific questions and Professor answered in detail and we drilled the resulting material. Gracie Jiu Jitsu never ceases to amaze me in its attention to details. Whilst the material was fairly basic (Guard pass, Triangle Counter, Arm bar etc) the little gems we picked up were game changing. E.G
- Feet placements.
- The concept of "hitch hiking".
- Further ways to keep your game "punch proof"
As we had the last session, Professor re-capped all the material taught throughout the weekend:
- Back Escapes
- Arm Bar Escapes.
- Turtle to Guard detail
- Sucker Punch Defence to Hip Throw, Leg Hook takedown & Rear takedown
After another chat and photos, a couple of us headed back to East London to the gym and drilled all the material for another 2 hours and had a sparring session.
Whilst many people world wide are empire building and teaching their own version of this amazing Art, I believe in many cases it is true that "the further from the source the muddier the water".
After spending time with Professor Sauer im happy to report the water is clear at Dartford BJJ and our passion for Gracie Jiu Jitsu is undiminished. :)
Many thanks to Laurence Sandum for hosting the Seminar.
For further details on Professor Pedro Sauer: