Those days I do no-gi!
Justin Rader is one of the top light-weight BJJ/no-gi grapplers in the United States. He has won multiple world championships, and beaten some of the top athletes on the mat today. I remember seeing Rader competing as a blue belt at a tournament in Oklahoma City. He fought in Gi, No-gi and Absolute in both, it seemed like he was on the mat all day. He never seemed to tire as the much larger opponents were taken apart by this fierce light weight competitor. I was excited to get to attend this no-gi seminar at the Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club and Professor Rader did not disappoint.
Professor Rader started by introducing himself and his teammate Chris Watson. He then gave a short history about his life and his fighting career. Then he moved to talking about his style of no-gi grappling. “I am going to change the way you fundamentally think about no-gi grappling” the excitement level shot up and you could see his passion for the sport. Justin Rader could travel the country as a motivational speaker, or teaching grappling seminars. Even if I did not learn any thing, the motivational energy alone would have been worth the seminar.
We started with a short jog, and then continued the warm up with some drills. Each drill was demonstrated and then broken down to further explain the smaller details. After the warm up Professor Rader gave a short explanation about why his style of grappling has worked so well, and how he was able to take advantage of the mistakes most people make.
The technique portion of the seminar was amazing. He held nothing back showing his style of no-gi; this was great because his passion continued into this portion of the seminar. He truly opened up and shared his favorite battle tested techniques. Each of the techniques was scientifically broken down, and explained with great incite and strategy. Some of the techniques shown were: no-gi stance, double leg, single leg, sprawl, front headlock, guillotine, guard passes, darce, and the calf slicer. All of the techniques tied together and you could really get a good look at why his game is so successful.
This was an amazing seminar, and I am looking forward to his next one. Professor Rader also spent time talking about training philosophies, tournament tips, the mental aspects, the differences between gi and no-gi, strong fundamentals, defense, and offense. Everyone at the seminar seemed to have a great time and learn a lot. If you get the chance, I highly recommend having Professor Rader come out to your school to hold a seminar.
Special thanks to Master Rafael Lovato Jr. and Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.