Wednesday, 12 October 2011

CFS - Empty Hands - Basic striking/padwork series - Curriculum - 2011 for Instructors & Students

Ok Guys, further to requests from some of you, I have put on video the current basic striking series I am using for all levels. It is essential that all students and instructors familiarise themselves with this material.

The series is centred around five pasic punches and is really useful for the pad holder as well as the striker. In my view, in order to gain a better understanding of striking you really ought to be able to pad hold in as many different ways as possible.
The videos are self explanatory but the five punches are as follows (using the numbering system)

3.Lead hook
4.Lead uppercut to head
5.Rear uppercut to head

I also want to thank Glen Akwei for his help. Glen is one of only 2 coaches on the CFS MMA program, and has extensive experience in the art of Muay Thai having trained in Thailand many times as well as in Holland. He has competed in Muay Thai as well as amateur MMA. He is a former student of Guro Bob Breen and Winston Fraser and has been training with me for many years now. He currently teaches the Muay Thai classes at Mill Hill CCA academy and assists me in the MMA classes.

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

Enjoy and feel free to let me know how you get on with it

Monday, 10 October 2011

OCTOBER - Video techniques of the month & BONUS interview with Master Julio Cesar Pereira - Head of GF Team - 6th Degree Black Belt

On Tuesday 4th October, thanks to the kind assistance of Daniel Pintado, I had the opportunity to train with, learn from and interview another BJJ Legend. This time it was none other than Master Julis Cesar Pereira, 6th Degree Black Belt and head of the GF Team Brazil.

I was introduced to him in Nottingham at the recent ADCC without knowing too much about him prior to that. I was particularly keen to train with him but not so much because he was the teacher of Rodolfo Vieira but because he was the teacher of Huanderson Pavao. Pavao as he is commonly referred to used to reside in the UK and taught out of the London Fight Factory. He was a master technician with and without the gi coupled with awesome strength and a big heart. I trained with him privately every week for about 9 months prior to his return to Brazil. I owe him alot.

Anyway as you can imagine, I was particularly keen to see the source of Pavao's teaching and I was not disappointed. In our session we concentrated on passing the guard followed by sparring. He then kindly answered some questions about himself and put some techniques on video to share with you guys.

Rather than present the information in a question and answer type format, let me tell you what I learned about this very humble man with World class BJJ.

Julio Cesar Pereira was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 22nd December 1964. He commenced his training in BJJ under Prof Monir Salomao in 1974 and it was he who gave him his Black Belt some 25 years ago. He was awarded his 6th Degree by the federation in 2005 and gained his Black Belt in Judo in 2001.

He describes his specialities in BJJ as takedowns and passing the guard. He knows one or two things about leglocks too!

He has an enviable competition background, and in his own words 'I love to compete'. He won the Rio state championship 21 times, the first coming in 1974. He won the Masters and Seniors World Championships in both 2005 & 2006. He told me that his greatest competition success came in The American Cup in 1996 when he contested the final with a student of Rickson Gracie. There was literally no support for him but he managed to take home the Gold. He also had 3 memorable fights with Royler Gracie, losing the first 2 by submission and the last on points.

Having just come from ADCC, I asked him his views on how much time a BJJ player should train without the gi. He told me that normally he spends the majority of the time in the gi, but obviously depending on the competition , then the training would be adjusted.

I asked him if he trained Rodolfo any differently to any of his other students. He explained that where he is from, whilst the passion for BJJ is high, the standard of living is not the same. As a result most players would begin their training after a full day of work, rather than having the luxury of training 3 times a day. He told me that Rodolfo was the first person in the GF Team to completely dedicate himself to BJJ after he completed his studies. He had many other famous students but they all had to work and could not fully commit themselves to BJJ alone.

As a result of Rodolfo's success, he now has many students who want to dedicate themselves in the same way.

I was happy to learn that Mestre Pereira is a long time friend of Mestre Ricardo De La Riva. He told me that even though he was awarded his Black Belt one year before DLR, DLR is like an idol for him and a personal friend. They trained together for many years and DLR was the first person form Zona Sul (South Zone) to open up his academy doors to teach all manner of people whether affluent or not.

This was the Mestre's first trip to Europe and was happy that through his love of BJJ he had been able to travel to Spain, france, Switzerland, Germany and of course the UK. He stated that he had met a lot of new people and friends old and new.

The GF Team currently has one official affiliate in the UK, Gabriel Rainho who is both a BJJ & Judo Black belt. You can contact him at He is based in London.

Video Techniques

Video 1 - Escaping the De La Riva Guard

Video 2 - Passing the half guard

Video 3 - Guard passing in action

I want to thank Mestre Julio for his time and teachings and it was such an honour to spend time with such a down to earth man without the politics that rears its ugly head in BJJ.


Training With the best Grappler of 2011 - Rodolfo Vieira

Following a great training session on 4.10.11 with Mestre Julio Cesar Pereira, 6th Degree Black belt and head of the now famous GF Team, it was time for another great session, but this time with his student, Current weight & absolute World champion, Rodolfo Vieira.

I managed to arrange the session so that he could teach the Thursday evening class (6.10.11) at the home of my good friend Prof Nick 'Sloth' Brooks and my second home, namely Mill Hill BJJ.

What was great is that we managed to keep it quiet so that the students had no idea....until he turned up. Priceless!!!

He taught a session on guard passing, covering 1 simple but very effective pass with 3 variations.

He then sparred with a lucky few, including yours truly and it really was an experience being spanked by the current no 1 ranked BJJ fighter in the World this year. One thing that surprised me most I confess, was how quickly he moved for a big guy. Very slick and very impressive.

Some pics of the crazy crew below :)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Happy days!!! - A great start to October.....

On Tuesday 4th I had a private training session with none other than 6th Degree Black Belt Julio Cesar Pereira, 2 x World champion and teacher to current Mundial weight and absolute champion, Rodolfo Vieira. We went out to dinner later with a group of others including Rodolfo.

On Thursday 6th October Prof Rodolfo taught a class at Mill Hill BJJ (surprise arranged visit as the students had no idea) followed by some great rolling....

A full report, videos and pics to follow......

As I said....................Happy days :)