I’m in Tampa for a conference, coming back to Philly today. While here, I visited Robson Moura’s Academy for the Wednesday night advanced jiu jitsu class. I got to meet Robson and take a class with him.
Robson Moura is a 5-time world champ, but I think a lot of the jiu jitsu community has gotten to know him through his instructional DVDs: Super NoGi, Fusion Modern BJJ, and Fusion 2 Modern BJJ. I recommend these highly.
Sometimes when I visit a school and take a class, the instructor will show a technique that’s completely outside my comfort zone, like spider guard for example. But this time I got lucky and Robson showed a set of techniques that I consider to be in my “A game”. He went over an x-guard entry and a set of 3 x-guard sweeps. They were all the basic ones, but with slight details that I haven’t considered before. Each one of the three sweeps he did differently than I learned and have always done. A lot of times, I focus exclusively on the details that allow me to complete the sweep and stabilize the top position. Robson was looking a step ahead of that and performing the sweep in such a way that you end up in a dominant position (heavy side control).
This being an advanced class with a lot of higher ranks, the session was structured in the way that I most prefer. It started with a hard short warmup. Then Robson spoke quickly and clearly, maybe under a minute, explaining all the techniques we’ll be doing. You were expected to know how to execute them, because they were doing the same set of techniques in all classes that week. So, he reiterated the details only twice over the whole class. Then we began drilling at a high pace in 2 minute intervals. It was the kind of drilling where you’re breathing hard and sweating 5 minutes in. We did that for about 30 minutes. Then, the training started. Everyone I went against was an active and frequent competitor, so the matches were great, especially with the purple belts. When a visitor of the same rank comes in, sometimes you flow roll, but more often than not it’s a hard training session that has a lot of the similar stress and tension of competition. Josh and I talked about it on our last Take It Uneasy podcast episode that visiting another academy is a great alternative to competition for exposing yourself to different styles and training approaches.
All in all, I was reminded that training while traveling for work is truly a pain in the ass. It requires a tremendous amount of motivation to find my way to a BJJ academy after a full 8-10 hour day of standing on my feet, presenting, talking to people, smiling. Everyone I meet at the conference is very interesting and are just good people in general, but since I’m mostly an introvert, the whole experience can be draining. So yes, after all that to put a gi in your bag and figure out a way to make it to a school is tough. I’m glad I did, but home and routine awaits.