By Mike Chapman
As the Pan absolute finals were taking place in Irvine, Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles was rushing back to his Los Angeles home to prepare for his grand opening. The challenge: To bake 3 cakes, arrange the academy, and prepare a speech for a crowd of jiu-jitsu fans. “This is more stressful than competing”, the 4-time Pan featherweight champion joked.
Although Cobrinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness has been open for nearly a month, this would be the first opportunity to welcome all fans of the sport to the school to meet the stars of Alliance. With an unclear picture of how many people would attend a Monday night event the day after the Pans, Cobrinha opted to prepare for a large group to be safe. As people started to arrive hours before the event, it was clear that the word was out.
As the crowd began to fill the school, so did the stars of Alliance. By the start of the seminar, there was over 100 in attendance of the event, and over 20 black belts including Fabio Gurgel, the Langhi brothers, Lucas Lepri, Bruno Malfacine, Bernardo Faria, Leo Nogueira, Rafael Rosendo, Antonio "Batista" Peinado, Luana Alzuguir, Gabi Garcia, Fernando Soluco, Leo Iturralde, Fabio Passos, and the host of the event, Rubens Charles.
After a speech welcoming the attendees, the guest instructors showed some of their favorite techniques – which turned out to be a two-hour seminar on sweeps and submissions including Bruno Malfacine’s highlight-reel armbar from the weekend Pans. As students from schools as far as Japan and Korea crammed onto the mats, family members and spectators filled what space was left in the reception area as the attendees drilled the techniques into memory.
After the techniques were practiced, attendees were given the opportunity to roll with the special guests of the event. The instructors showed their athleticism and grace as they cartwheeled and spun into position after position putting on quite a show for spectators.
As the evening came to conclusion, the attendees were treated to an array of wraps and beverages after the evening workout. And the 3 cakes that he had spent hours preparing? Devoured within minutes of the first slice being handed out.
As Cobrinha said his thank you's to the last of the attendees as they filed out with full minds and full stomachs, the exhausted champion remarked, “Now, I can start preparing for the next event”.
If you are planning on training for the World Championships this June, consider Cobrinha’s All Star Worlds Training Camp starting on May 16th. Participants will be able to prepare with the top athletes from the 3-time team champions Alliance with focused training twice a day leading up to the week of competition. Those confirmed to attend are World Champions Bruno Malfacine, Michael and Michel Langhi, Lucas Lepri, Rubens Cobrinha Charles, and Raphael Dos Santos. Several different packages are available making it easy to integrate into individual travel plans. For more information, keep an eye on http://www.cobrinhabjj.com or http://www.rubenscharles.com  for updated pricing and scheduling.