This past weekend Gracie Humaita Kansas City brought Wellington “Megaton” Dias in to teach two seminars on our big green ocean. Megaton is one of the most famous BJJ competitors of all time, and is the only person thats competed in every world championship. He is also sensei to Gracie Humaita Kansas City head instructor, Micheal Graeber. It was an honor to have him on our mats.
Seeing as Megaton is such a famous BJJ competitor it only makes sense that the subject of this seminar was on competition and “sport” Jiu Jitsu.
One of the things Megaton addressed in his seminar this past weekend was the idea that sport Jiu Jitsu won’t work in the streets. He said first of all, with a chuckle, “if Rafa Mendes, or one of the Mendes brothers wants to go Berimbolo some guy on the street he’s gonna be able to do it.” Secondly, they would never do that. He said basically that as a martial artist you should be able to understand situations. You know when to use certain techniques and when to use others.Its just common sense. You wouldn’t use a marshamellow to put a screw in a wall in the same way you wouldn’t put an attacker on the street into worm guard.
Continuing with the theme of competition and “sport” Jiu Jitsu he then talked about knowing the rules for the tournament. He said a couple times a year he just goes and sits in on a rules meeting. His idea is that he is a professional BJJ player,and like any other professional athlete he should know the rules to the sport he is playing. He said sure when you train outside you work self-defense and train for the street situations, but when you are those mats, at a tournament,you are playing a sport now. The point is to win and you can’t win the game you are playing if you don’t have an understanding of the rules of the game. He talked about stalling. To him there is a right and wrong way to do it.Sure if theres still 4 minutes left and a guy is just holding position, not going for anything, tying to win from take down points, then thats bad. However, if you’re up on points in someones guard with 30 seconds left then hell yes you hold that position. You did what you needed to do to be ahead at the end of the fight. Its that person that you’re fighting’s job to make something happen. After all he’s down on points right?
Now a lot of ego gets flared up at times when that stance is taken. For whatever reason some people don’t agree with that, but having played football for 10+ years before starting BJJ it made sense to me.If you were playing football and you were winning with 30 seconds left in the game and you have the ball you would kneel on that thing and get out of there with the W. Why risk a fumble and give the other team a chance. Same thing in BJJ.Why risk a triangle going for another pass? You don’t need the points, you’re ahead. Why not make him move you? You already beat him now make him beat you, because its a sport. Its not a battle for your family, no body is raiding anybodies village,were all gonna live through this today. It is just a sport when you are on those mats, so treat it like one. Know the rules in which the game is played and use that knowledge to become a better player.
He then went on to show techniques that I have already been using while rolling. The tightest lapel chokes!! One of which was one he used a few weeks ago at the IBJJF tournament in Chicago. I went into this seminar with a pretty rookie view on competition, but with the way Megaton talked about it and his philosophy that knowing the rules of the game will make you a better competitor I was able to compare it to the first sport I ever loved, football. I feel like after this seminar my approach to competition has matured, and for that I am very thankful to him. I highly advise you to come train with him next time he is town. To see pics from this weekends seminar click here.