It is the time of year when little children all over scrawl their lists to Santa and mail them to the North Pole. Frantic parents trample each other at Walmart to get their mitts on the last remaining unit of this year’s hottest toy craze. Here at Gracie Barra Blog, we are a little more reserved than the door crashers but no less passionate about what we would like to find in our bjj Xmas stockings.
1) A videotape. The holy grail of dojo challenge matches is the fight between legendary Rickson Gracie against challenger Japanese fighter Yoji Anjo. Apparently a video exists of the famous fight, but has never been seen by the rest of the world. Maybe this will be the year that the mythical video finally gets put on the internet and I get to see it?
2) A seminar. It is one of my Xmas wishes to have Master Carlos Gracie Jr. or Prof. Marcio Feitosa travel to Asia and be able to do a seminar at my dojo here in Taiwan. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is spreading globally [LINK] and it would be very exciting for the students in this part of the world have a chance to be on the mats with Master Carlos Jr. or another of the experienced professors of Gracie Barra and learn some jiu-jitsu from the original Gracie Barra.
3) New bjj instructionals & documentaries. 2015 will hopefully see several new ones released by my favorite bjj instructors on my favorite positions. Far removed from the days of video tape trading on the internet, today’s students of bjj have access to unprecedented amounts of information on bjj techniques.
Not every one of the newer sport bjj specific positions appeal to my game, but every year some the best teachers share their positions and principles in DVD sets of ever increasing quality. My wish is for some new instructional series on “advanced basics” by some of the more experienced masters of the art.
Some new documentaries that take us inside the best academies in the world and share the mats with the best known names in the bjj world.
Events like Metamoris provide a venue for some of the legends of bjj to return to competition and showcase their skills in epic matchups. The last year saw Saulo Ribeiro and Cumprido, Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo, Nino Schembri vs. Shaolin and Renzo Gracie vs. Sakuraba in superfights. Everyone loves the newest champions at the elite level, but there is a special excitement to seeing the legends match skills on the big stage.
5) A training trip to Rio de Janeiro to train at the original Gracie Barra. In 2014 I traveled to Brazil and stayed in Rio de Janeiro for two full months to enjoy the weather, the beaches, the acai and most importantly, took some training at the original Gracie Barra.
I took home many techniques to share with training partners and students back home, but the experience was more than just about the knowledge. It was the thrill of getting on the mats and “sweating a kimono” at the same academy where many of the famous names of Gracie Barra got their early training.
My own head instructor (who gave me my blackbelt) himself had spent several years living in Brazil and training on those same mats. I hoped that through some kind of osmosis I would absorb some of the jiu-jitsu that has come out of that academy in Barra over the years.
6) A ticket to the ADCC Championships in Manaus: I prefer to train in the kimono, but for me, the most exciting event in the grappling world is the ADCC Championships. In my opinion, the individual who is crowned the ADCC Absolute champion (and also the superfight champion) is the best submission grappler in the world for that year.
The different rule set creates some different strategies among the competitors and results in some of the most existing, dynamic matches and shows of skill.
Most of the top bjj guys in the world enter the ADCC championships and one of my Xmas wishes is to be mat side to see some of the epic battles.
What is on your bjj Xmas wish list?