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.
The seminar was broken up into Gi and No-Gi. The first hour and a half was Gi. We learned a variety of techniques, mostly centered around attacks from the closed guard. Pereira believes the closed guard is better than an open guard for self defense, and the focus of this seminar was Vale Tudo so we only did techniques that would work if strikes were involved. He showed us a cool way to get the cross collar choke when your partner is trying to hold your arms down, and a nasty armbar/triangle combination. He also showed a simple and efficient way to set up an armbar from the closed guard without having to hip out or change position all that much.
The second hour and a half was dedicated to No-Gi. Most of what we worked on in this half was from the feet. He emphasized the importance of working with strikes, and we did some drills where we pushed our opponent around the mat and tried to maintain connection with them at all times, drilled some slap/block defense, and even did some multi-attacker slap/block drills. We learned a pretty crazy throw and an explosive guard break.
Jorge Pereira’s main emphasis was on the fighting aspect of jiu jitsu, and everything we learned was for fighting rather than anything that may work in competition but could leave you vulnerable in a street fight. As with any good seminar the real value was in the small details of the techniques that are hard to describe but become clear when the instructor works with you to perfect it. It was a really valuable seminar and I can’t wait to try some of this stuff on the mats.