The rainbow IS the pot of gold; 6 years training with Robinho

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RMNU Camp Tampa

I do not need to grow to be complacent in contentment so I am always dissatisfied. – Ronda Rousey

Robson Moura seminar at Grants MMA Toronto

It has been precisely six years since I first had the chance to coach with Robson Moura, at a seminar at my now-defunct residence health club, Dudu Barros Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

As I’ve beforehand described in different posts, I used to be concurrently wowed and humbled by that have. It was as if Robson opened a window right into a world I didn’t even know existed.

Falling aside: My first Robson seminar 2011

My teacher at the moment, Dudu Barros, was a teammate of Robson’s from the times of the Nova Uniao Dream Staff, and their video games weren’t dissimilar. 

Dudu Barros was a toddler prodigy in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He started coaching on the age of 5 and was recognized all through Brazil, as RMNU black belt Flavio “Viola” Kenup described him, as “Carlson Gracie’s little child.” Individuals like Xande Ribeiro recount watching Dudu’s movies to study. Simply to provide you some concept that Dudu is a legend in his personal proper. His jiu-jitsu is as free and slippery and sudden as a killer whale frolicking within the sea. You haven’t any concept what he is doing till you hear tapping and understand it is coming from you.

Watch Dudu struggle (and listen to his dad screaming “Ataca Duduuuu!”) right here:

Robson’s recreation, too, is sudden to say the least and actually he described it on his Fusion dvd set as his “shock recreation.” However what Robson did for us that day in that seminar was to dissect a tiny part of his recreation to point out the tactic behind the insanity.

It was a revelation. We have been used to being mystified and awed by Dudu’s unimaginable jiu-jitsu. What was new was to see the behind-the-scenes view of the internal workings of a recreation. As Robson stated that day, he likes to show every part in what he calls a “stream,” in different phrases, a sequence that’s virtually mathematical. If A, then B. If B, then C. If A-B, then D, and so forth.

Robson’s jiu-jitsu isn’t just a hodgepodge of random, if sensible, strikes. It’s a system; or slightly, it’s a system of methods. Each transfer has a rationale and occupies its personal correct place in a collection of sequences that overlap and morph into different sequences.

Once I talked about this to a black belt not way back, he stated, “I do not actually do this. I simply decide a transfer and go for it.”

And with all due respect to that black belt, I feel that is one of many many issues that units Robson aside from everyone else or at the very least, from most individuals. In different phrases, that is why it really works. Once you’re a deuce and 1 / 4, you can also make lots of issues work. If you’re 135 lbs. dripping moist, that you must have a plan, and a pair dozen contingency plans. And that is what I really feel is likely one of the most original options of Robson’s jiu-jitsu.

I do not understand how many individuals understand how video video games work. I do not imply how one can play them, I imply how they’re programmed. My understanding – and admittedly that is the understanding of an individual who simply acquired a smartphone final yr – is that the best way video video games work is that they’re programmed so that each step of the best way, each potential transfer by the human participant is foreseen and offered for.

Online game

And I’ve steadily mirrored that Robson’s recreation appears to perform very a lot alongside the identical strains. Each attainable transfer by his opponent has a preprogrammed counter. On the similar time, since it’s inconceivable to foretell each transfer, it appears that evidently an area in Robson’s mind has been reserved for “unexpected circumstances,” and that a part of his mind takes over on the uncommon events an opponent manages to shock him.

In different phrases, even the unexpected circumstances are foreseen, accounted for, and neutralized.

In rereading this submit, you’d assume that I’m describing a boring recreation, however as everybody is aware of or ought to know, the other is the case. Robson Moura was and is likely one of the most enjoyable jiu-jitsu fighters within the historical past of the artwork.

Many individuals, myself included, can say jiu-jitsu has modified them. However how many individuals can say they’ve modified jiu-jitsu?

For my part, the reply is, Not that many. And Robson Moura is certainly one of them. Individuals – particularly giant, out-of-shape individuals – wish to attribute Robson’s success to his athleticism, and there’s no query that he’s an outstanding athlete.

However, talking as Robson’s “primary stalker,” I might say that what units Robson aside, what makes his jiu-jitsu so otherworldly, is his thoughts. He is not only a tremendous athlete drilling passes 50 million occasions. He is extra like Captain Kirk boldly going the place no man has gone earlier than. The place others zig, Robson zags. The place others wrestle to assume outdoors the field, Robson has no field. (He had one however he threw it away as a result of he hates muddle).

Six years in the past, I obtained a glimpse into a brand new world at a time once I wasn’t in search of it. After my expertise with Dudu, I had begun coaching with Ricardo Pires, who launched me to the great thing about the highest recreation and notably, aspect management.

Ricardo Pires educating the great thing about aspect management

Eventually, it was one thing I might perceive. Move the guard, take aspect, end. Jiu-jitsu might be that straightforward and the information that it could possibly be that straightforward was a light-weight within the fog that had enveloped my mind since my first introduction to BJJ in 2005.

So the very last thing I actually needed, as a blue belt who had seen the sunshine of the highest recreation – which, for the document, I nonetheless love and adore and go to each time humanly attainable – was to satisfy Robson Moura. However, as everyone knows, life, and jiu-jitsu, don’t all the time go in line with plan. To paraphrase John Lennon, The underside recreation is what occurs whenever you’re busy planning to play prime.

Not that it is actually truthful to only put Robson into the underside recreation class. As Parrumphinha, Robson’s as soon as and future opponent, described him previous to their match on the BJJ Expo in no matter yr that was, “He has every little thing.” He is good on the highest, he is good on the underside. Acknowledged as one of many prime guard passers of all occasions, Robson’s guard is likely one of the most deadly within the artwork. As one Brazilian announcer put it years in the past, “Passing Robinho’s guard is probably the most troublesome factor there’s in all of jiu-jitsu.”

Take a look at the BJJ Heroes record of All Time Greatest Guard Passers right here:

Take heed to what Robinho and Parrumpinha should say about one another right here:

However suffice it to say that simply as I used to be seeing the sunshine of the highest recreation, I noticed a rainbow on the horizon and that rainbow represented this new world referred to as Robson Moura jiu-jitsu.

Once you see a rainbow, the normal factor to do is to comply with it. In accordance with legend, you can find a pot of gold on the finish.

In actuality, trendy life is just not rainbow-friendly. The magic we really feel shortly provides rise to sensible issues and sometimes we inform ourselves that “I am going to get to the rainbow tomorrow.”

However the issue with rainbows is they are not there tomorrow. Their expiration date is RIGHT NOW. And when you see a rainbow that appeals to you, the one approach you’ll be able to hope to meet up with it’s to drop every thing and run like hell.

And that is what I did.

For no matter purpose, that rainbow hit me on the proper time. I had no social life (nonetheless do not, for that matter!), no household obligations, and simply sufficient disposable revenue to make it potential to comply with my rainbow. 

For the document, I am not wealthy. Individuals have advised me “I am so fortunate” to have the ability to practice with Robson as a lot as I do, however I make my very own luck as a result of I make my very own decisions. I’ve a 12 year-old automotive. I haven’t got TV. I’ve no social life, which saves me rather a lot. My telephone value me 32 dollars on eBay. I do not eat out and I make my espresso at house. I do not go to bars. I do not go on trip besides to coach. Even my gis are crappy. Principally, if I am spending cash, it is for meals, taxes, or to coach.

Even so, if the legend says you can see a pot of gold on the finish of the rainbow, I can say I simply spent a pot of gold following Robson round to seminars throughout North America. And if my objective was to completely perceive Robson’s jiu-jitsu, then I failed.

However I do not know if that was actually my objective, or if it was, it has since been amended. After six years, all I can say is that I’ve lived in a unique jiu-jitsu world, and it has been value it. Value each penny, each minute on the street, each mile on my automotive, each mind cramp. It has been value dwelling as a jiu-jitsu outlander as a result of once I selected to comply with Robson, that routinely put me on the surface all over the place I’m going, and now it is too late to return in.

It is too late as a result of the native gyms see me as an outsider and as type as Robson has been to me, I do not reside in Tampa and I do not slot in there both. However regardless of the awkwardness of being all the time on the surface wanting in, I’ve no regrets and I would not have it another method. As a result of you’ll be able to go from black-and-white to Technicolor, however you’ll be able to’t go from dwelling in a rainbow to 50 shades of normal-jitsu. No less than, I can not.

And if I might return and unsee the rainbow, I would not, and I feel an enormous a part of that’s as a result of I had already handed up approach too many rainbows in my life by the point I met Robson. As a result of I assumed it was the accountable factor to do, or the proper factor to do, as a result of I did not need to disappoint individuals, as a result of I used to be afraid that I might fail to seek out the pot of gold and even when I lastly discovered it, perhaps it might become Idiot’s gold and I might seem like a idiot.

And perhaps that is why this time I used to be decided to comply with the rainbow. I needed to see it, I needed to really feel it, I needed to know what it was wish to make the rainbows. As a result of that is what Robson Moura jiu-jitsu is. That is the superpower it confers upon you, should you open your thoughts and your physique and your coronary heart to it. You’ll be able to study to make rainbows, too.

You can also make rainbows too

And perhaps my rainbows are little tiny child rainbows, however they’re actual.


What Robson taught me, and what I imply by rainbows, is it does not need to be boring. Your jiu-jitsu does not should be the identical as everyone else’s. You create your personal actuality and your actuality could be as lovely and as bizarre and as fantastic as you care to make it. It nonetheless occurs that I am going to go someplace, wish to a seminar or one thing, and anyone will clarify the RIGHT option to play spider (your butt goes this manner and your head goes that method), or any person will reference the “no arms on the mat” rule, or one thing, and I am like, Huh? Robson makes use of his ft and palms interchangeably, and he performs spider just about any method he seems like enjoying spider, and should you do something uncommon on the mat, he is taking a look at you to see if it is one thing he can adapt to make a rainbow.

And after six years coaching and learning and, as we jokingly say, stalking, six years through which I actually wore out a set of tires following this rainbow, years by which I actually grew previous, or no less than, middle-aged, that is all I’ve to point out for it – a gi bag filled with rainbows.

However you recognize what I noticed as I used to be chasing my rainbow? That legendary place, inside and out of doors myself, on the finish of the rainbow, that place the place I used to be going to achieve all information of Robson Moura jiu-jitsu, that place the place my arduous work was going to be rewarded with some type of Vulkan mind-meld the place I might lastly not solely perceive however be capable of predict Robson’s jiu-jitsu, that place the place the jiu-jitsu pot of gold resides, that place does not exist.

The one factor that exists, the one factor that is actual, the one pot of gold that issues, is the rainbow itself. And if you chase it, once you chase your dream, then you definitely already gained.

Elite BJJ Newark, Delaware
Degerberg Martial Arts, Chicago (photograph courtesy of Lucila Espedido)
Seminar at Ronin Coaching Middle, Columbus, OH
Seminar at Slicing Edge BJJ, Harrison, NJ
photograph courtesy of Josef Manuel

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