Claus ‘Sem’ Rodrigues, chief instructor from Gracie Camp, Rio, hosts a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu masterclass at Nordern High School Sports Centre, Rishton, Blackburn, UK.Claus ‘Sem’ Rodrigues, chief instructor from Gracie Camp, Rio, hosts a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu masterclass at Nordern High School Sports Centre, Rishton, Blackburn, UK. Report by Carl Fisher.
Organised by GB blue belt Ste ‘Jelea’ Burton, this was the first seminar hosted by a Gracie Barra black belt in the East Lancashire area and as such, attracted a large attendance. The aim of the seminar was to bring together participants from other martial art styles in the area, which may not have had any prior experience of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and to open up avenues of communications between these groups with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clubs in the region. Judo, Kempo and traditional Jiu Jitsu were among the arts represented on the day and after a thorough warm up by yours truly, Sem started the class with a number of specific drills commonly found in many BJJ classes.
After the drills, passing the guard was the name of the game, whereby Sem demonstrated a standing guard pass, with close attention to detail throughout; once at the standing position, Sem showed number of ways of releasing the opponent’s legs from round the waist and went on to teach a number of passes from this position.
After a quick water break, attacks from side control filled up the rest of the teaching segment; the techniques flowed on from the previous one and started with tying up the opponent’s arms with their own gi and ending up with a number of chokes from knee on belly position, before going to attacks from mount, with a number of chokes and arm bars along the way.
All techniques were quickly reviewed and it was time to put theory into practice with specific training; with the GB students all on the floor, the attendees partnered up and from closed guard position, tried to open and pass, whilst the guys underneath were allowed to sweep or submit. Once Sem was satisfied that all the guys had had the chance to train with his students it was time for sparring; with all the GB guys staying put on the ground, quick fire two and half minute rounds of sparring rounded off the seminar and finished off the GB students! Sem took to the mats himself and sparred with as many guys as possible in the time left on the seminar, keen to showcase the efficacy of the techniques and to silence the doubters and the curious.
Special thanks to Ste Burton for organising the seminar and bringing a wide range of martial arts disciplines to the seminar, many of which had never seen BJJ before; on behalf of Sem, I would also like to thank all of his students for supporting the seminar and to all the participants on the day for training hard and he hoped that everyone enjoyed the day as much as he did.
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