On June 12, 2015 Van Isle BJJ travelled to Vancouver to attend the Gianni Grippo seminar hosted by Revolution BJJ in Langley as well as to participate in the Canadian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (CBJJF) BC Provincial Open. The seminar was originally organized by Van Isle BJJ, but a high facility cost and low early numbers made it impossible for us to host. Revolution BJJ decided to host the multiple time world champion and we went to show our support and to learn high level BJJ.
I really wanted to participate in this event because Gianni is well regarded as one of the leading innovators of our sport. It is not easy to find this kind of knowledge locally, with few exceptions on the mainland and the Pacific Northwest United States, and so we try to take every opportunity to learn where we can.
Gianni put on a great seminar that focused on very specific passing techniques. He taught a sequence of movements from the passing perspective of the reverse de la spider guard. As the students learned the initial technique Gianni poured on additional techniques and details to ensure that a comprehensive sequence of techniques was developed and understood by the class. Afterwards, there was an opportunity to roll with the champ and other participants of the seminar. I always enjoy rolling with eric Cheng from Gravity BJJ who recently received his purple belt as he has a dynamic and modern open guard game that I find perplexing and challenging. Andrew seemed to be having a great time rolling with a brown belt. When asked how he liked it, he said “It felt like being smothered.” Myriam rolled with blue belt juvenile World champion Liam Moss who is making waves in the younger categories. JM rolled Gianni and it looked like they had a great time.
There was a question period at the very end where Gianni gave his perspectives of drilling, diet, discipline and reaching goals. Specifically interesting to me was Gianni’s perspectives on drilling. He stated that he liked to drill one thing or something very closely related to it in 5 10 minutes increments. He has his drilling planned out the day before and keeps a strict regimen. I asked him if he thinks that on an island with limited resources and training partners could someone reach elite levels in BJJ. He gave a great example of when Marcelo had first become a black belt and most of his training partners had moved away. With a blue belt and a couple of lower rank training partners he was able to train and fight the best of the best.