Tuesday, 20 November 2012

We like da Mango!

Allan Manganello Seminars, Sidcup and Chelmsford, 18 & 19 Aug 2012

So, continuing their alliance to Prof. Sauer's Association, both Paul and Laurence hosted Allan for this two day seminar.  As before, it was great to see Allan again so soon after Iceland and continue that aquaintence.  Also over for the seminars was Halldor which was brilliant and served to strengthen the bonds that Jiu Jitsu creates.  I also met up again with Gavin, from RGA who I'd met at Pedro's first seminar.  I just love the way that Jiu Jitsu brings people together.

Saturday was a hot and airless day in a small, but lovely little room at the Sidcup Dojo.  The seminar was well attended by both Paul's guys and Laurence's and a sprinkle of a few others like me.  After a warm up, covering fundamental movements with a detailed explanation of each from Allan, we moved into a great session of Gracie Jiu Jitsu self defence.

This was all fundamental stuff - by that I don't mean basic, but core. Allan explained everything with precision and detail and all the moves formed a useful and realistic self defence sequence accessible to anyone. It was all stuff I'd done before, but I picked up new details and connections on everything and, in particular, standing up in base - something very neglected by most.  I trained with one of Paul's newest students, in fact, I think this may have been her very first session and in very quick time, she was pulling together competent self defence moves.

The sequence basically went - Stand up in base > defend punch into clinch > O Goshi to ground > Armbar.   We also covered a few other points but the seminar was predominantly aimed at covering GJJ self defence fundamentals aimed at the high number of white belts at the seminar.

There are often discussions about GJJ vs BJJ, GJJ, vs"sports" Jiu Jitsu. I don't want to digress too much into that now.  I think there's a place for both and I do think that someone that trains "sports" or competition oriented Jiu Jitsu has a substantial chance of overcoming an untrained opponent in a self defence scenario.  I do think, however, that the GJJ self defence techniques are overlooked by many and that it adds another layer of technique and understanding to Jiu Jitsu.  Horses for courses. I'm not going to say one is better than another, but they are different in both philosophy and application.  To suggest otherwise is simply wrong IMHO.

Day 2 was held at Laurence's place in Chelmsford - an impressive set up and a very professionally run academy.  The self defence theme continued with defences against a straight punch to a takedown, defence and throw from a front choke, and then to the floor for some guard passing and some fine detail on the armbar from guard which completely changed the way I look at that technique.  The seminar was worth that alone.

Allan's instruction was excellent - easily some of the best I've experienced.  His explanations and details are immense and it's delivered with a fine mix of authority, concern for correct technique but with great humour and fun.  As someone that has spent a lot of time with Rickson and his family and now a key instructor under Prof. Sauer, I assure you, you will not find much better instruction out there.

Good times...

Here's a little clip of Allan in action...awesome armbar!



Can Sönmez said...

The GJJ self defence techniques are exactly the same as aikido or any number of jujitsu/jujutsu self defence techniques. The difference in terms of functionality is when there is resistance. Without resistance, the GJJ take on self defence is no more effective than aikido or any other 100% compliant style.

Al said...

Hi Can,

I can't commment on the similarity or otherwise of GJJ techniques to other martiall arts, but, IMHO they're among the more effective of the martial arts and self defence stuff I've seen/done.

I agree, resistance is important and there is plenty out there that is compliant bull - depends on the instructor and practitioner.

Another major point for me is how the techniques are taught. They too contain plenty of leverage details, without which the techniques are rendered pretty useless against resistance. Done well, I can confidently say that they re very effective. Problem is, as with BJJ in general, there are lots of people out there teaching *moves* without the fundamental appreciation of connection and leverage.

Can Sönmez said...

As long as it is taught with resistance, then it will be pressure tested and it should be of use. There are a number of BJJ schools that do it that way, but a lot more which unfortunately don't.

If there is no resistance, then I would be highly dubious of efficacy, in the same way I wouldn't expect an aikido wristlock that has never been trained against resistance to suddenly work when that aikidoka is attacked by an angry meathead.