Luiz Palhares and Pedro Palhares weekend seminar 9/19/15

Luiz Palhares and Pedro Palhares weekend seminar



The Minnesota Kali Group recently had the pleasure of Hosting 7th degree Coral Belt Luiz Palhares and his son Pedro.  They came in Friday night and we went out to dinner at a local place; Pepitos, to get to know each other a bit and to go over what was the plan for the weekend.  Father and son are really laid back and approachable, not all that formal, right away just chatting as though had been friends for a while and after an introduction to Surly beer, we cam up with a game plan.

Saturday was a nice mix of guard pass drill from Pedro and primarily taught by Luiz, got a chance to detail out some old school tech for BJJ self defense and simple and effective concepts for passing spider guard. I think that when people attend seminars they are expecting what is the latest technology instead of taking the time to refine techniques that you thought you knew only to realize that you still had more details to draw out. The little things that make you say; “well crap, that’s how it’s supposed to work!”  Always look to refine your art, to be a little better than before! We finished off back with his Pedro that wanted to roll with us, and he took the time to play with all the students that wanted to. Which was some much Sweepy fun! More on the experience later.

Sunday was primarily taught his son Pedro Palhares (a black belt as well), we added onto the guard pass drills from the day before. Then it was 50/50 guard; honestly; the day before when they said that’s what we would be working on I was not too keen on the idea, no offense to the 50/50 players but I hate it as a position but it’s part of the game and in order to play. However, when he was started showing escapes from 50/50, then I got stoked. As I said, not my favorite, so my personal goal for things like that is to learn enough to crush it when I get stuck there and Pedro gave some nice options.

After 50/50; Luiz tagged back in and we worked lapel chokes from side control/ to north south baseball bat choke. Again, details! And a little bit of sneakiness. The side control choke was sneaky and I can’t wait to try it, especially if when the gas tank starts to run low but you want to keep rolling. You need to find your advantages where you can. I try not to give away the professors techniques when I write.Luiz Palhares and Pedro Palhares weekend seminar

Earlier I mentioned Sweepy goodness. the rolling we did was a ridiculous roller coaster of being up, then over you go down, no, wait, how’d he get back there!? Luiz tags out and Pedro is back in this time with De La Riva sweeps and shared with us the a lot of what he was doing to us the previous day. This was a combination of old school technology that got upgraded to 2.0. One of my guys is a scrappy old purple belt and wrestler, weighs 240 and has solid base (Pedro 180), so to see him getting consistently swept was so much fun. As he later admitted; he had considered De La Riva a little useless against him, but has since changed is mind.

Again after class Pedro rolled with everyone for 45 minutes straight. Pedro had told me he loves rolling at seminars, as he is an active competitor, it allows him to see a lot of different games.  Even though he dialed it down a bit and was very respectful, it was all business, or for him business light. We got to see loads of sweeps, combinations of set ups and loads of submissions. He didn’t play down to us to give us the tap, he made us work and pushed us. He has a really nice combination of constant attack as well as being very fluid. Constantly staying just ahead of you but not rushing anything. Everyone had a blast!

I highly recommend having these guys out for any seminars, you won’t regret it!




Some advanced training at Midwest Center For Movement

         Had a Great training session out at Midwest Center For Movement; no instruction, just take the time to roll with high level players; three black belts, Mike Ellefson, Tim Mahedy and Gina Franssen (X2 Fitness), two brown belts Roland Larson from McCune’s Martial arts and myself and three high level purple belts, Evan Carothers (MCFM) Joe Swore and Topher Braddock (Minnesota Kali Group/ Akagi).

Got to play a lot of different games as far as who we rolled with at the time, from fun flow throw caution to the wind rolls with Tim, Roland and Evan, to a more tactical plan when rolling with bigger guys like Mike Ellefson who will be competing at worlds in Las Vegas in September. Also got to Drill Leg Locks with the ever scrappy Gina, share things that have been working for both or new technology.

Seeing my guys getting pushed, bringing their game up made me proud. They’ve been working hard for several years and are that much closer to getting their brown belts!Midwest Center For Movement Weekend

Waseca seminar 8/15/15 was a blast!

Waseca seminar 8/15/15 was a blast!

Had a great time going back down to teach at Barbell MMA and a group of hungry students!

Jason Lynch started Barbell so that he could bring something new to his community in Waseca, Minnesota. Its exciting to see something start completely new. With limited experience in martial arts and a want to learn; taking the chance on trying is inspiring.

I’ve been found down there about once a month and looks like things are starting to pick up as word gets out and more people come to the classes each time.

This time we worked some basic Muay Thai working a progression from kicking range to boxing rage to knees and a takedown then did a conditioning drill before moving into the ground.

We finished by working some old school knee on belly drills and spinning armbar from knee on belly.

Looking forward to going back, We’ll be working survival positions and escapes and sweeps from the guard positions.



August 1st, Roy Harris Workshop…..

Roy Harris WorkshopI happened to see a post on Facebook that Professor Roy Harris was going to be in Minnesota.  And that’s where giddy hope set in. I sent him a message wondering if he was doing any teaching in town and he replied that it was just a visit and no one had asked him to teach. Well….

For those of you who don’t know Professor Harris is a fifth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he is one of the “Dirty Dozen” the first twelve Americans to earn their Black Belts in BJJ. and an excellent instructor. He has a very thoughtful and insightful approach to jiu-jitsu and the level of detail he can get into is on a whole other level. So it’s a privilege any time getting an chance to learn from him.

When asked what we wanted to do, we came up with framing; keeping and managing structure in order to survive, create space and opportunities to recover position.

The level of detail on on the techniques and concepts was impressive, providing further insights into the things we already knew well and introducing new concepts with surviving and structure.

As part of this we got a glimpse into his BJJ over 40, how to train and a look at some of the concepts on dealing with younger athletes and some “Old Man’s Treachery”.

This was a great workshop especially as the group was blue, purple and brown belts and above to be able to work with concepts and finesse of the smaller details.

I won’t give anything away here; however, I would highly recommend it as well as any time with Professor Harris.

Professor Harris. Fabio

July 27th and 28th: Tough Training

I recently had the opportunity to train with Black Belt Nick Robinson and it was an absolute pleasure. After a warm up roll, just did some good focused rolling. It was tough, good pressure and assertive game. That being said, because it was a tough couple days, it was more of pushing than proving; meaning, that shared it was about getting better, not beating the other guy. Shared freely some great tips, advice and what works well for him or that what he though might help us.

Train smart, train, hard, have fun!

Tough Training, Nick Robinson