Andre “Tim” Monteiro- BJJ Seminar Review

Group picture from Fox Fitness

    I was fortunate enough to attend two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminars by Andre Monteiro.  December 7, 2012 at Castillo Jiu-Jitsu, and December 9, 2012 at Fox Fitness BJJ.  Both of the seminars were in the gi, but he often explained how the techniques would work well for no-gi.
Andre is a fierce competitor and a great instructor. I have been to many of his seminars and he always lives up to his reputation of doing an outstanding job.  Andre’s vast understanding of Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu always amazes me.
Day 1
Andre showed some excellent techniques and details to attacking a turtled opponent.  He also introduced us to the side control that he has been using a lot.  I was particularly eager to learn about his side control.  It was about a year ago that he showed me a few things from this position and it greatly improved my pressure and ability to set up submissions.  I was certainly not disappointed in his side control, it was remarkable. The details he shared help put more pressure on the opponent.  I had a few questions about it and he was pleased to answer all of them.
Andre also showed several attacks from Kesa Gatame and the back.  These techniques went well with what he showed us about the turtle and side control.  He had us learning several gi chokes, some of the students were having difficulty getting them properly.  He stopped the room from training and said something that really made a lot of sense “Don’t fight for the choke, fight to get your hand in the right place”.  After that comment, everyone in the room seemed to be finishing the choke easily.
Day 2
The second day was similar to the first, a day full of new techniques and important details to moves I thought that I knew.  Before the seminar Andre asked me if there was anything in particular that I wanted to see.  This is a great example of the type of seminar that he gives.  He genuinely cares about everyone on the mat and wants to do his best to help people reach their full potential.  I told him that I would be interested in learning more about his side control; he introduced it to the people that did not attend the first class and help fine tune it for the students that had seen it in the previous seminar.
He also covered many techniques and ideas about grip fighting.  He showed some excellent takedowns that I think will really help my game.  Andre’s half guard is amazing.  He was happy to teach us some of his favorite sweeps and passes from the half guard.  It was great to learn half guard from someone who is so proficient with it.
I have attended several seminars by Andre Monteiro and they were all excellent.  I highly recommend training with him if you get the chance.  One of the things I really like about Andre’s teaching style is that he is great at teaching to the students in the room.  By this I mean he will show something that people want to see and make sure everyone understands it, then in a one on one situation add smaller details to the more advanced students that are able to understand.  Andre is excellent at looking at the room full of students doing a technique and then he corrects the common mistakes people are making.  Andre is on the road a lot doing seminars all over the world, if he is teaching near you don’t miss out on a great opportunity.


Check out Andre’s free online training!
Connect with Andre “Tim” Monteiro on his facebook page
Castillo Jiu-Jitsu website
Fox Fitness BJJ website
BjjBrick facebook page

Jon “Macarrao” Thomas Seminar Review

Jon “Macarrao” Thomas is a feather weight brown belt from Alliance.  He was 2007 Pan Am blue belt champion, 2009 Pan and Worlds purple belt champion, and 2011 Pan and World brown belt champion.  He closed out the divisions with his teammate Michel Langhi in 2009 and 2011. He gave a BJJ seminar at Fox Fitness November 10, 2012.

Jon came to the open mat before the seminar started.  This was a great opportunity for anyone to roll with him; he is very down to earth and glad to roll with whoever asked.  I was happy to take the opportunity to roll with him and have my game systematically taken apart.

He started the seminar with a short introduction.  After that he told us some of his core BJJ philosophies, and then explained what the seminar was going to be about.

The first half of the seminar he covered re-positioning and how it is a big part of his BJJ.  He stressed getting out of bad spots quickly before the referee even awards points to your opponent.  He had a lot of awesome details on escaping side control and getting your guard back.  The small details he demonstrated have already improved my escapes.

The second half of the seminar Jon focused on spider guard.  Again he showed his favorite techniques, and explained his thoughts on using the spider guard in tournaments.  I really enjoyed his thoughts and details on the omoplata.  I was in the belief that the omoplata was more of a sweep, if done on a competitive opponent.  That is not the case for me any more, I am confident that I will be using the omoplata as a finishing move a lot more often.

Jon finished the seminar with some great advice.  He had some really good thoughts about training hard vs. training smart.  He also talked about isolating positions and positional sparing.  He was happy to share his tips for competing at your best level, and fixing your weaknesses.  Jon also gave us an opportunity to ask him anything.  I really feel that he did not hold back anything and he showed us what has made him successful.

Jon Thomas gives a great seminar!  I am a brown belt and my main training partner for the seminar was a white belt.  We both learned a lot from the seminar.  He not only showed many game changing techniques, but he also explained it in a way that everyone could understand.  His thoughts on re-positioning, and his advice on training smart are the things that really stood out to me the most.  If you get a chance to train with him or go to one of his seminars, I highly recommend it.  I am looking forward to training with him again.

For more good times like

Seminar Review: Justin Rader 8-26-2012


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.


Connect with Justin Rader fan page on Facebook

Connect with BJJbrick on Facebook


Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club

Support Professor Rader by supporting his sponsors: Onthemat, Lucky Gi, 1914 BJJ Kimonos, Tirey’s Training, Novatek Labs.