Yesterday, I attended a seminar that Eddie Bravo taught here in Vancouver's new 10th Planet affiliate school. Just like the last Eddie Bravo seminar I attended, it was fun, interesting, and informative. One of the main topics was the introduction of the latest permutation of the rubber guard, the double bag. (Yes, the names he gives his moves are at times a little odd. That's what you get when a bag of weed is part of your official list of training equipment. But the man IS amazing at what he does.)
As most of you probably know, Eddie Bravo was made famous for his win over Royler Gracie as a brown belt at the Abu Dhabi Submission Grappling Championships. His style is based largely around a position he developed called the rubber guard, a position that doesn't require a grip on a gi, making it useful for no-gi grappling and MMA.
What really impresses me about Eddie is his open-mindedness toward training, which has led to a highly innovative and constantly evolving style. He encourages his students to try out new moves and incorporate them if they work. He also encourages his students to continue their training in traditional gi BJJ in tandem with what he teaches. A number of his students come from other BJJ schools, but have to train in secret. Some of them go so far as to wear wrestling masks to keep their identities secret to prevent any possibility that their other school's instructor might find out. This is because many schools don't permit cross training and will go so far as to kick you out for doing it. Eddie, on the other hand, embraces it. "Gi and no-gi just aren't the same thing," Eddie says, "There shouldn't be any conflict of interest."
The double bag was borne out of this open-mindedness. One of his students discovered the move and found it to be effective against many people. After repeated successes, Eddie decided to try it out for himself and eventually incorporated it into his teachings. It's called the double bag because it's an even more secure version of the rubber guard. The seminar was filmed and the footage will be released on Eddie's new website, coming this February.
I love attending seminars. You get to meet lots of new people as well as learn new things. In addition to adding new concepts to my submission grappling repertoire, I also got to meet another woman who does BJJ grappling locally. There are so few, it's always a pleasure to meet them (there were only 3 women on that mats in a group of 50, myself included). Jennifer (middle in the photo below) is a brown belt in BJJ and has been training for over 6 years. She is preparing to compete in the Pan-Ams this coming March. I invited her to come train with me at open training at my dojo. I look forward to the experience! On the left is Tasia, whom I met at a submission grappling tournament last year and still continue to train with.