Saturday, 16 May 2015

On the Mat Day 622: Marco Barbosa Lesson

Marco Barbosa is currently in Japan from Brazil. He visits once a year and either puts on a competition or does seminars. My instructor received his black belt from Barbosa so he came to our club to teach a class on Thursday night. There are a lot of clubs affiliated with Barbosa in the Aichi area. He has taught some very high pedigree black belts in the past such as Masakazu Imanari, Luiz Panza and Cicero Costa.

There was a mix of other clubs at our dojo on the night. Barbosa had us run around the room then do shrimping and similar drills along the mat. He then went into controlling the back position with a face lock. I never do this type of move because I don't like to hurt my training partners but it seemed very effective. There were a lot of variations after establishing the facelock and getting the hooks in to move to armbar and triangle. He stressed the fact that we must be tight leaving no space and also that we must make the opponent uncomfortable all the time because if we don't they will escape and put us in the same situation. He also told us that we should never have our hands on the mat but they should be on the opponent putting pressure on them.

A lot of the techniques he used and the way they are applied are very painful. His philosophy seems to be to that Jiu-jitsu is a fighting art so give them no space and make them feel uncomfortable/painful all the time. Use all your strength to win.  If you are not doing this, then you are not winning. I'm not sure how I feel about this because I've always preferred to work to finish my opponent without causing them severe pain or injury. This doesn't mean that I will not use pressure to control them or dig in a deep choke to finish. Barbosa seems to be highly influenced by his judo background. I don't like the idea of using all your strength either. I will go full out in a competition but not in sparring unless the opponent picks up the pace. It just isn't practical or sustainable for me to do it that way. Instead of pushing against a large force I would much prefer to find the path of least resistance around it. I can see his hard style of sparring being perfect for a young man's game but not for an over 40 year old man.

Despite this puzzling moment when I felt that his philosophy for jiu-jitsu did not match mine, I found Barbosa to be a very welcoming and kind-hearted person. His skill in the art is profound and his top control is like a ten ton truck sitting on you. It's the spartan aspect of it that am no longer able to absorb. As always, I enjoyed the class and love to get a new aspect on a hobby I am crazy about. Another Barbosa lesson is scheduled on Tuesday next week, which I hope to attend.

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