Today we had Professor Wendell Alexander, founder of Nova União, come to our gym and lead a seminar. He was joined by one of his black belts, Leo Peçanha. If you’re hoping to read about the moves they showed us, quit reading now. You should have shown up (plus, if you’re coming to the blog of a white belt to learn technique, you’re beyond help.)
Both of these men are world champions. Professor Alexander’s achievements are pretty impressive. Something like 146 black belts. 14 of his black belts have won world championships. Additionally, he coached BJ Penn, and currently coaches Jose Aldo and Renan Barao, who currently fight in the UFC. With all of this, two things struck me when I first saw him. First, based purely on looks, he doesn’t appear to be a guy that could seriously hurt you (break limbs, choke you unconscious etc.) He just looks like a guy who is good shape. Second, he seemed very humble. Now to be completely honest, I don’t know what he was saying, I don’t speak Portuguese. I trust that Leo was doing an accurate translations for us. But he could have been insulting us the whole time. However, I don’t think that’s true. He was very quick to help anyone at the gym, including me and my one stripe white belt. His willingness to teach and show us moves, and make sure we were doing it right, is part of what I love about Jiu Jitsu. So far, in my journey, everyone I’ve met has been more than helpful.
I did learn some nice moves today. A couple sweeps, passes and submissions. I suspect that I will get some practice on these in the coming weeks. The best part about the moves he showed today were that for the most part, there was nothing crazy about them. There were a couple moves that I don’t see myself doing anytime soon, but in 4 hours we learned no less than 10 separate moves, and most of them I could see using, and hopefully 2 or 3 of them will make an appearance this weekend at the Sasquatch Open.
The best part about having nice, clean, basic moves is that, they’re more likely to be effective. At least in my opinion. That style fits my personality very well. I’m not a fancy or flashy person. I’d rather be a master of a couple things, than halfway decent at a lot of things. Much like the playbook in this video:
Overall, today was a great seminar. I was completely exhausted by the end. But I’d have to say that I got more than my money’s worth out of the day.