Serge Morel and Stuart Mitchell are BJJ Black Belt Instructors (IBBJF 3rd degree certified). AucklandBJJ black belts Laurence Pene and Luiz Machado also run classes.
Beginners and women welcome.
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Phone: 021441331 (Stu)
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Training Report from Mario: Ecuador and Seminar with Royce Gracie
My recent visit to
Ecuador and Seminar with Royce Gracie
is the club that I attended continuously for 6 years in Guayaquil, Ecuador
before I moved to Texas for my PhD in 2009.
Then for the next 4 years whenever
I returned to Ecuador for holidays I still practiced there as no BJJ club
existed in the college town where I lived. Years later as part of our circling
around the world, my wife and I moved to New Zealand in June 2013 and it was
until October of the same year that I enrolled Auckland BJJ.
On October 2014, we
all (including our 7-month old daughter) went back to Ecuador for holidays. There
was the nice coincidence that, at my old club, Royce Gracie was going to teach
a seminar just days after our arrival. This was the third of his seminars that
I attended but it was the first one where I did not expect any promotion as I
am no longer a regular attendee of Bidokan. Anyhow, as any other expatriate
when returning to his country all I felt was nostalgia as it had been almost two
years since the last time I rolled with old friends
Regarding the seminar,
we learnt 16 techniques all addressed for self-defence.
First day, after
warm-up and stretching, Royce showed techniques for standing fight mainly focusing
on preventing attacks and closing distance. Some punches and throws were part
of the game. After two hours of this, it was the time of some ground work.
Basically he showed how to break the close guard but with the variant that
punches were allowed so butterfly (or any other open) guard was not a good idea,
unless you fancy black and sore eyes. Then some heel locks after opening the
guard and mounting.
Second day: warm-up and stretching again, by then I was
astonished with Royce Gracie’s flexibility. After reviewing the 8 techniques of
the day before, it was now time for head locks. These included the possibility
of being smashed against a wall. By the end of the second day Royce opened a
Q&A session mostly related to life style, motivation, and nutrition. It was
then that you get to meet Royce as an actual person apart from the legend you
used to see in first UFC tournaments.
To my surprise this was
the first seminar that did not include rolling sessions, but after three and a
half hours of hard work and an average temperature of 35oC, we
attendees were very happy with the idea. Top lesson learnt (or reminded): no
matter what you learn BJJ for, either for life preservation, self-defence or
sport, whatever the reason, enjoy it, love it, make it part of your life and
never cease to learn.
From left to right:
Roberto Bitar, me, Royce Gracie, Christian Cevallos. I’m the only non-black
belt so this situation has to be remedied in the couple of years.
Training with my
nephew. I took him to Bidokan for the first time when he was 5 years old.
With my older brother
(Telmo Fernandez), BJJ is part of our family
As we are getting closer to graduation, students that are not getting promoted to the next belt will likely to receive stripes instead. If you do not have a black tab on your belt, we cannot give you stripes. Why do we have stripes? The Gracies decided to have a stripes system in order to be different from Judo. As it takes 1-3 years between belts, it is nice to receive stripes once in a while. How often do we give stripes? It is usually done during graduation which is usually held twice a year (August and December). What if you miss the graduation event? No worries, we will give them during the following classes. How many stripes can I get? You can get up to 4 stripes. Is there a minimum number of stripes in order to get the next belt? No, in fact some schools do not bother with stripes. You can move to the next belt even if you do not have any stripes. What is the red tab for? It is for the instructors. A blue
I will teach you a black belt magic trick in Jiu Jitsu. If you want a student to disappear: give him a blue belt. It is recurring event in the life of an instructor and a club. If you think the drop out of white belts is bad enough, the ratio of drop out of the blue belts is worst. I am not sure if I agree with statistics on this picture. But the issue is not really about arguing about the percentages of drop out but more on discussing the reasons for such drop out and what we can do to prevent it. Reasons for the drop out: It takes a long time to achieve a blue belt. It average between 1-3 years. After 1-3 years of training, people loose interest and wants to start a new sport or hobby. The goal of the student was to achieve the blue belt and not the black belt. Personal situations changes over the years. Lot of people that start training are young single males with disposable income. Lot of them are at university level or are single. Add a few more years and they
On the 17th of January we had our second Police training session at Auckland BJJ. Several of our members are police officers and they had asked if they can use the Dojo to do some training and practice off duty. We were happy to help and Stu and Jora helped out organizing the training. We covered a few techniques that we thought would help these officers, and then we did some sparing sessions where they could apply these techniques. Below is a video of one of our arrest the black belt sessions :-) Auckland BJJ is happy to help the NZ police. Here is a gratuitous shot of my daughter and a police car.