Monday, 20 March 2017

Review of the seminar with Jen "the rev" Jesen

I missed out on this seminar 2 years as I was already booked for a holiday so this time around, I definitely did not want to miss out.

2 years ago I was already intrigued by leg locks as it is something that is rarely taught in BJJ,

But the thirst was growing as the recent success and popularity of the leg locks has been promoted by the competition team trained under John Danaher at Renzo Gracie Academy.

Leg locks are frown upon in BJJ and there is a great need to learn leg submissions.
After all, they could easily represent 50% of the possible submissions if you look at the human body in such.
Why do we neglect them when we specialise in submissions?

First impression did not disappoint.
As I walk in, I get greeted by the tall rev as he is wearing his black rash guard which happened to have the clerical collar that priests usually wear.
That was it. I was in the zone and knew it was going to be an unique experience.

It just felt as walk in and met the person that will perform an exorcism on  my fear of the dreaded leg lock game.

To start, Jen came prepare and provided his reading material for the ceremony:  2 pages which contained the techniques that he will be covering and even supplied pens so we could write down our notes as well. 

That was a great idea from our host as I always forget to bring pen and paper. It gave me the impression that we were in good hands and this instructor was serious.

 He also took the time to ask on the facebook event if anyone had specific requests and managed to customise the seminar depending on the demand.
Another great touch.

The instructor allowed people to video the techniques which is also convenient instead of writing down your notes.
Lot of instructors would not allow videos however for many reasons.

Just like reading a good book, the rev completed his techniques by sharing anecdotes in order introduce the next one.
It refreshed  my mind and help me moving into the next topic. 
They covered many things: the Fadda Lineage, the distrust of leg locks and knee reaping in IBJJF, philosophy of training safe, respecting your training partners and other competitors.

I really enjoyed the stories from the seasoned veteran of BJJ that had gone through the odd 20 years of BJJ development in the US. 
Basically he started training the late 90’s which coincide the first UFC.

Otherwise, the techniques were solid and well taught. 

Jen took the time to go around the mats to help each person and provided ample time to drill the techniques. 
We did not cover the entire program which consisted of 2 pages. 
Which is a good thing because after 2 hours, I struggled to retain focus.

He covered techniques about the knee bar, reverse knee bar and heel hook and more.

He taught how to finish a heel hook by only torquing the ankle and not the knee. 
It avoids the dreaded knee injury that occurs during a submission of heel hook.
Just that last technique and concept is mind blowing and we were drilling on each other and I can testify that I could only feel the pressure on the ankle and not the knee. 

This is how the rev lets his students finish their heel hooks that way.

He also presided the BJJ Church at Auckland MMA and rolled with the guests

As I conclude my review, I will attend his next seminar and cannot wait for another 2 years.

Thank you Jen and Auckland MMA for the seminar.

PS:
Now I think about it. Jen just reminds me of watching one of my favorite TV program with Anthony Bourdain,
I am still not certain why?
Is it because just like a good chef, Jen enjoys the offals of Jiu Jitsu: the leg locks and neck crancks that everyone frowned up.
Just like food, the nasty bits are the best and it takes an expert to show you how to enjoy them.