Mentors in BJJ
Mentors in BJJ: I am a huge believer in the idea of taking on grappling mentors, usually someone with a similar body type as you, or just outstanding figures in the art Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who you believe have some characteristics that strongly appeal to you or which you believe could greatly improve your performance and direction if you were to implement them. Some truly great grapplers who dazzled the sports of grappling and MMA (earlier known as NHB or No Holds Barred) when they entered ADCC, the World BJJ Championships or the UFC or Pride inspired me These legends were Rickson, Royler, Renzo and Roger Gracie as well as Saulo Ribeiro and Jean Jacques Machado. Watching and studying ALL of them had a huge impression on my BJJ. Of course my Instructors had the most but film study has always been a huge part of my BJJ and these are the men were who I studied the most. I even studied Leticia Ribeiro because her X-Guard was awesome. Jean Jacque for his guard and the way he blitzed his weight division on several occasions, it was not just that he won that was so impressive, it was the WAY he won. There was not a moment wasted on the mat, he embodied what I take as the ideal of Jiu-Jitsu. His BJJ always had a purpose, purposeful movement towards head control that lead to submission. Royler for strategy, something I learned masterfully training under him. Renzo, man, I owe so much to him, I learned so much from him. Rickson for the way he capitalized on mistakes (and forced them) If you wanted to show a curious friend what great grappling looks like and were looking for exciting and technically flawless matches you could not do better than Rickson Gracie. Roger and saulo for their passing mastery and Saulo’s standup was always amazing. Roger was like watching a genius. From the start of the match until the inevitable submission finish it was a hustling bustling flurry of well directed attacks in combinations that flowed evenly between position and submission and created tactical pressure rather than physical pressure, watching this pressure crack his opponents was one of the most instructive lessons of my own development. Trying to recreate that sense of efficient and unrelenting attack has been a big part of my work, and todays grapplers are still using his style (Roger heavily influenced John Danaher, so his guys mimic Roger’s top game often) and it should be yours too.