Yesterday I attended a seminar with Jorge Pereira at GriffonRawl MMA Academy. Jorge Pereira is a coral belt under Rickson Gracie, is the subject of the TV Series “Rio Heroes” and has a long history fighting in Vale Tudo. During the seminar he told stories of how he would fight sometimes three times a day while surfing, and discussed the importance of honor in jiu jitsu. Pereira believes that when training you should find the school/person you want to train under and stick with them, as opposed to the way some fighters (in MMA in particular) move from coach to coach if they think a new coach offers something different than the current one. He also mentioned that he’s bringing back Vale Tudo in a new promotion company with a very limited ruleset so the fights are as realistic as possible. I can’t find any links related to this but I’m going to keep an eye out for it, from what Pereira said the limited ruleset should lead to some exciting fights.
Chris Haueter is a dynamic Jiu Jitsu fighter, instructor, referee and illustrative artist. He is one of the first Americans to earn a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, cementing his place among the BJJ Dirty Dozen under the tutelage of the great Rigan Machado.
Haueter has been an avid competitor for many years, where his aggressive style can be seen on YouTube, and has also worked as a referee for Metamoris. In addition to Jiu Jitsu he has practiced karate, wrestling, Muay Thai, JKD (under Dan Inosanto) and Boxing. He is accredited with coining the term “Combat Base” in reference to the seated, one knee up position used when in someone’s guard, and his Californian school is also called “Combat Base“.
Henry Akins is a Jiu Jitsu black belt under Rickson Gracie. He has the distinct honor of being the 3rd American to receive a black belt under Rickson. While training at the Rickson Gracie Academy he worked as a secretary, instructor and even as a training partner for Gracie to help him prepare for his fights in Japan. He earned his black belt in 2004 and was the main instructor at Rickson’s place until a back injury forced him to stop.
In 2010 he founded Dynamix Martial Arts with Antoni Hardonk. Henry maintains an active schedule not only teaching at Dynamix, but also travels the world teaching seminars, and has created an online site of paid video courses at HiddenJiuJitsu.com. A sub section of the Hidden Jiu Jitsu site houses a members only area, the Mind Blown Jiu Jitsu club, which features exclusive content, and gives members access to a Facebook Group where they have direct access to ask Henry questions, and discuss technique with other members of the group. Being a member myself I can attest to the availability of Henry to the members, and of his deep knowledge of jiu jitsu. He has stated that he wants his legacy to be to make Rickson’s style of effective jiu jitsu accessible to everyone, and the content that he is publishing is serving him well to this end.
Neil Melanson is a grappling coach who has trained under “Judo” Gene LeBell and has taught Chael Sonnen, Rand Couture, Frank Trigg, Vitor Belfort and many others. He specializes in catch wrestling and is known for his closed guard technique, which focuses on an MMA style guard, always protecting the head from strikes.
Luckily Neil has posted numerous videos available on YouTube, which provide insight into his unique grappling style. Spending some time studying these videos will give you a new perspective on how to use the closed guard. Particularly interesting is how he uses grapevines when he has someone in guard to control them.
Closed Guard: Getting off the Center Line
Another technique of interest is his way of controlling your opponent by locking your knee behind their shoulder for a shoulder pin. This gives excellent control and opens up numerous opportunities for attacks.
Revolver Magazine has released a 4 episode video series with Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman Maynard James Keenan. In the 4th installment of the series Maynard discusses why he does jiu jitsu, his wrestling background, and the importance of doing what your heart tells you to. You can view the video in the link below.
Maynard has been doing Jiu Jitsu since the 90’s, when he first saw the UFC and decided to start training. In the video he says that he found Rickson’s school and began attending class there. In various other interviews he talks about the difficulties with training while on tour, and how that has slowed his progress as a jiu jitsu practitioner. I find it encouraging to hear that he worked through his delays and is still training. In my training I sometimes have breaks due to illness, injury or just responsibilities getting in the way, which can be frustrating. It’s always helpful to hear stories about sticking people with it, and moving ahead at whatever pace life allows them.
And if there is any doubt about Maynard’s abilities, check out this beautifully executed Judo throw on stage:
For anybody that has been around Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, chances are that they’ve stumbled across Stephan Kesting’s site GrappleArts.com. On his site, Stephan hosts a wealth of grappling information. He has established himself as top-notch educator in the art of Jiu Jitsu.
A little bit about Stephan, in his own words:
“I’m a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and have been doing martial arts for over 30 years. I am also a certified instructor in Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling, a black belt in Kajukenbo Karate, an instructor in Dan Inosanto’s Jun Fan JKD, Maphalindo Silat and Filipino Martial Arts program. I’ve also studied Japanese Judo, Russian Sambo, various Chinese Kung Fu systems, Brazilian Capoeira, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and many other martial arts.” – Stephan Kesting – grapplearts.com