Knowing the “How To” is easy, but knowing the “When” and the “Why”, seem to be the thing that seperates a decent practicioner to an awesome martial artist or fighter. When I started Jiu-jitsu, my obvious first exposure to the art was through UFC. You know the rest, Royce Gracie…blah blah blah.. But, than I learned about the jiu-jitsu that wasn’t for Vale Tudo, the jiu-jitsu from Brazil that looked like a sport, which I discovered through a series of videos offered at the time. One of which, was a Ralph Gracie tournament. It featured a lot of stars who are popular today such as Margarida and more. But at the time I didn’t even know who Margarida was. I was actually more pumped to see the guy from the Kikskin ads fight at the time who was a genuine Ralph Gracie blue belt. This was around the time of Extreme Fighting and I thought Ralph was the baddest man in the planet. The Kikskin guy turned out to be Dave Camarillo. Dave fought with a technical prowess which seemed to be way above all in his division. And throughout the years I always immediately associated Dave as being a bad mofo on the mat! Little did I ever imagine that he would be one of the top BJJ/MMA/No-Gi instructors of my generation.
Recently Dave made the trip up North to Toronto Ontario, where he conducted a seminar hosted by Katsudo Fight Gear (http://www.katsudofightgear.com) owner Lou Milonas at his amazing facility UMAC (http://www.teamumac.com). Dave didn’t show the latest half guard sweep or cool judo throw (although he did launch a guy pretty slick while sparring) but what Dave showed was the missing components of the Jiu-jitsu puzzle I have been yearning to learn for so long. Dave demonstrated fundamentals and principles of jiu-jitsu that could be applied to either MMA/BJJ/No-Gi. It wasn’t so much the “How To” that Dave taught, but the “Why”, that I was unaware of in my years of repeating moves over and over. “Why” and “When” seem to be the keys that are always emphasized by the greats of the sport. “When” to stop recomposing guard and go to your knees. “When”, do you go for the armlock or “When” should you switch to a counter. Knowing the “How To” is easy, but knowing the “When” and the “Why”, seem to be the thing that seperates a decent practicioner to an awesome martial artist or fighter.
In one of his explanations Dave said that a defense in jiu-jitsu should be pre-emptive, thought out beforehand by practicing fundamentals and principles that will always set up you’re A-game list of moves. He also discussed the importance of having a positional checklist. Knowing that you are in the proper position, and that all the important spots are covered before you can advance a position or attempt a submission. Knowing that certain moves are forced, but many are only done when the opponent commits an error. Working on deficiencies was another thing Dave stressed. If you know you are an awesome half guard player and can beat everyone at it, perhaps you haven’t tested out other positions and are weak at them. Maybe working your other side of half guard or working the top half mount instead. When you are only doing the same series of moves you are only exposed to limited reactions and cannot truly understand the positions.
When he asked the participants what it meant to have a “GAME” in Jiu-jitsu, some understood so Dave mentioned the importance to have at least 3-4 moves from the 12 most basic positions of Jiu-jitsu. Guard, Inside someones Guard,Side Control, Underneath Side Control,Knee On Belly, on the bottom of Knee on Belly, Mount, underneath the Mount, Having the persons back, having a person on your back and so forth…..
The rest of the seminar festured Dave demonstrating high percentage reactions to persons ecapes from the bottom and even a couple of MMA related techniques for the fighters in the crowd.
In conclusion, I give Dave seminar a 5 out of 5 Stars for seminars that are really worth attending.
Anytime a person can attend a seminar it is always worth it if they can learn something new. But this is one of those “I cant wait till the next one” seminars along with greats like Marcelo Garcia and BJ Penn.
Once again thanx to Lou Milonas and Greg Van Sluytman for organizing this seminar!
P.S.Buy Daves book and DVDs! Apparently hes coming out with more. Well worth it.