Neil Adams seminar @ Gracie Barra Manchester, Saturday July 31st 2004.
With the absence of all the Barra black belts from the UK, owing to the Mundials in Rio in July, and with a promise of a summer seminar made to the students, one would have been placed in a tricky position to book another world class seminar. However, help was at hand in the shape of double Olympic silver medallist, 1981 world champion and twenty one times National Champion Neil Adams, 7th Dan Judo and Technical Director for the British Judo Association.
Adams is probably the UK`s most recognised name in the world of martial arts and during his Judo career, he finished his opponents with his deadly Tai otoshi throw and if the fight ended up on the ground, he submitted them with his equally lethal rolling arm bar.
Neil was invited up to the club to present a three hour ground work seminar, which was split into two sections; arm bar and sangaku (triangle) attacks. In the first half of the seminar Neil warmed the class up with exercises that mirrored the initial arm bar attack and by the time Neil approached this section, all of the students were comfortable with the attack approach. Neil pointed out to the students at the start that although the submissions at the end were the same, the actual entries into the techniques can be different and Neil was offering the Judo way of attacks to us BJJ`ers and asked us to keep open minds, which I`m pleased to say all attendees did.
Neil then took the students through his famous rolling arm bar technique, pointing out along the way, the many number of fine points to the technique, which I have to say, made all the difference in the application. After a lengthy time with this technique, a variation to the original was shown, which involved a slight switch of the hips and a turn onto the opposite shoulder, which ended up at the same conclusion - tap out. From here, Neil went on to show many ways of freeing the arms when the opponent defends the arm bar and ended the first half of the session with arm bar sparring, whereby one attacks with the techniques just demonstrated, whilst the other man tries to defend the attacks.
After a short break, the second half began with an introduction of sangaku attacks; in BJJ the main sangaku attack is done from the guard in the shape of a triangle, however, Neil demonstrated triangle attacks the Judo way and flowed on from the same entries that were used in the arm bar attacks, so as not to confuse the students. Again, Neil pointed out a number of fine points to these techniques which again made all the difference to the techniques and brought about the tap a lot quicker. Triangles were demonstrated from the sides, when the opponent stands up, from north/south position and the seminar ended with a sweet arm bar/triangle combo from when the opponent defends the arm bar attack. Again, all the techniques were drilled live against each other.
As ever, events ended all too quickly and another quality seminar was in the bag; the event was sold out a week after the initial advertisements and big shouts to the following that supported the event:-
Rob Stevens, Tim Joblin and Chiu Kwong Man from GB Brum
Chris Crossan and posse from Stockton on Tees
Varqa from Combat Base
Chris and Mandy Brown from Oldham
GB Manchester students (you know who you are!)
Special mention goes to Joe Henry, who at the tender age of sixty four and with twenty five years Judo experience to his credit took to the mats and joined in the fun.
Neil`s coaching style and approachable manner made him an instant hit with the students, many of whom have never trained with him before, which made the techniques easy to assimilate and understand. The drills were realistic and could be adopted into any BJJ class without any complications and it would be nice to see a few rolling arm bars and sangaku rolls at future competitions!
See you on the mat!