I am exhausted! I attended my first BJJ seminar, ever….
It was an eye-opening experience for me and it was an honor being around one of the legends of the martial art. Professor Luiz Palhares is a black belt (6th degree) and was awarded his black belt by Rickson Gracie. He originally trained under Rolls and later Carlson Gracie before working with Rickson Gracie.
We started by stretching on our own before the seminar started. Then we ran laps for about 5-10 minutes while doing things like high stepping, running sideways, twisting and crossing your feet, etc. After that we began drilling. It was interesting how he led the class as he taught us a sequence of techniques that we could add on to the original movement. Professor Palheres described it as “kata – like.”
I knew that we would be drilling so I thought I was ready for it. However, after performing takedowns repeatedly and getting thrown repeatedly while continuing to add movements such as sweeps and submissions, I began to wear down long before I anticipated. The only thing that kept me going was my partner, who was going full blast until about 3/5ths of the way through the seminar. At certain points, I began to see black while going through the drills.
However, the great thing about it was that at the end of class when he asked us to go through all 16 of the techniques twice (each) we remembered them and in order. We worked on single and double leg takedowns, a number of sweeps and chokes from sidemount.
We finished off by rolling. I rolled with my partner during the seminar. He said he has been attending Combat Athletix for three months and goes to the night classes. I essentially dominated the entire time we rolled until the very end. I was able to obtain and maintain the mount, attempt a number of chokes, missed two armbars until he caught me in an ankle lock. The first that he attempted I defended easily so I didn’t think I had to worry about it. However, in his last attempt, it felt so tight, I figured I better tap if I wanted to walk out of the gym.