Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marcelo Saporito!!!

I thought I missed it! Marcelo Saporito , a black belt under Carlson Gracie who is also Fabio's instructor, came over from Brazil and gave a seminar, but I couldn't make it because we had a golf tournament fundraiser for the Youth Program my husband and I run. I was really disappointed because I wanted to see the man who trained Fabio...and can still submit him! (That boggles my mind, by the way.)

Low and behold, I walked into class last night and he and another black belt from Brazil, Ozzie, were there! I was so excited. He instructed the class last night, which was interesting considering that he speaks only a few words in English. Fabio had to translate for him.

We worked a kimura from guard and an armbar transition from there. Sounds simple, but nooooope. Lots of details. Learned a lot. I also learned some about Brazilian etiquette. In Brazil, when you come to a new school, you always go up and greet the higher belts first, according to rank. It's sort of acknowledging their rank. Fabio has such a laid back personality, he doesn't make a big deal out of it. But in other schools, he warned us, we should do that. Good to know!

One thing that left an impression on me about Marcelo was that he was at once intimidating and personable. He's a strict disciplinarian. He wants to see your gi looking straight, your belt tied correctly. He wants to see the technique done correctly without mistakes. But at the same time, he takes the effort to not only work with you patiently until you get it, but to encourage you after all is said and done. At the end of class, when we were all lined up, he called out several people to say that he admired something about their style of grappling.

He also made a point to drive home to us that BJJ is about leverage. He wants to see technique, not muscle. It's obvious too that he knows the difference because both he and Ozzie were small in stature, but awesome on the ground.

He's going to be there again in the afternoon class. So excited!! I feel lucky that I got to meet him and that I get to train under him for a few classes!!


Georgette said...

Awesome... sounds like such an incredible experience :)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks, Georgette. It definitely was!