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Gracie News

The Gracie Way of Teaching

Feburary 7, 2011

The following testimonial was submitted to Gracie University last month.

"I've been training martial arts for almost 15 years. In the summer of 2010, my friends at ECMA BJJ (Annapolis, MD) told me about Gracie Combatives. I live near Pittsburgh, PA and have been working through the Combatives materials on my own and with a few training partners from my local karate school. It's been a great fit. The egoless training and highly-detailed instruction are two of the things that initially drew me in.

Recently, I've been ramping up in enthusiasm and commitment. I attended a fantastic seminar with Ryron last week at ECMA. As a beginner, much of what I saw was completely new to me. With Ryron's clear and detailed guidance, I was able to grasp the concepts quickly AND remember them. We drilled maybe 6 or 7 distinct techniques that were then strung together to form a complete sequence. I walked away with some great material, no injuries, and I've been running those sequences as drills with my training partners. Great experience.

Today, I went out to work with a guy I met on the Internet to train. He has a brown belt from a BJJ school in Miami. He was a very nice guy, and it's clear that he has experience and knows a lot more than me. In the hour that he worked with me and another beginning student, we raced through no less than TWELVE submissions and escapes that were new to both of us. We each performed the technique 2 or 3 times before moving on. Almost no details were given. I would have a difficult time reproducing any of the things that were shown to me today.

More importantly, the instructor finished every choke and submission with vigor. Once, the other student wasn't in a position to tap out and I had to tell the guy to release. That same student had his hand in the wrong place when rolling and broke his thumb. A guillotine choke performed on me was done incorrectly with the bone in the instructor's forearm applying
significant pressure to the bones in my windpipe. Swallowing is going to be pretty painful for a few days, I can tell.

While this guy may not be representative of the BJJ community at large, the weaknesses in his teaching style make the strengths of the "Gracie way" extremely apparent.

I'm glad for today's session. I learned a ton about what NOT to do while deepening my feelings of gratitude toward the Gracie Brothers. I'm extremely thankful for the Gracie methods, for the egoless environments and for empowering me to be a better, more effective and safer instructor.

Muito repeito e obrigado, fellas."

Scott Dix
Pittsburgh, PA