Yesterday, I had the privilege of learning some Leandro Lo sweeps from none other than the 2012 lightweight world champion himself.
Sacramento Jiu-Jitsu academy hosted the champion Leandro Lo on Sunday, December 2nd 2012 for a seminar. I was there in attendance and had a great time. We started the day going over a series of sweeps that Leandro Lo taught himself with the help of Louiza Monteiro. Leandro Lo meticulously conveyed specific details in each of the three sweeps we learned. Not only did he call attention to the details (grip placements, weight distribution, movement explanations), but he also talked about the principles of each detail and why he prefers certain details over others.
Leandro Lo taught us 3 sweeps each coming from an open guard position.
To be more specific, each of the sweeps came from a hybrid position. Leandro Lo has a very dangerous guard, and such is the case because he plays guard in a way that is very fresh on the scene. The sweeps came from a position that is a hybrid of the De La Riva, X Guard, and Spider Guard. Obviously, Leandro Lo’s sweeps are effective as evidenced by his volume of accomplishments at the biggest international tournaments this year. It is very interesting to see the level of creativity, synergy, and sophistication that goes into a series of sweeps at the top of the food chain in the black belt division.
The amount of value in the principles we learned coupled with the sweeps was more than enough, in my opinion, for one seminar. He was not done teaching.
Leandro Lo then taught us the secret to his guard passing game and two applications of it.
I have watched plenty of Leandro Lo’s fights. And, I
did not could not glean the system of details that he uses as principles in his guard passing game. Perhaps, it is because my eyes are not incredibly jiu-jitsu savvy. That may be the case. At any rate, it’s irrelevant because the nitty gritty of his style of passing is unnoticeable. I cannot go into any details, because I don’t want to undermine his teachings. But, suffice to say that there will be a lot of playing with this new system of passing at the academy.
He spoke at length about the how and why. It was such an alien situation to see my bjj instructor in the same role that I am always in: the student. My instructor would carefully study as Leandro Lo taught. With an inquisitive facial expressions he would ask, “why this, instead of that?” A question, I, myself, have asked many times.
While the students drilled the guard passes, the local black belts huddled up with Leandro Lo to curiously inquire about further applications as well as further details. I don’t have the words to adequately express how awe-inspiring it was to see world class competitors exchange techniques so non chalantly as if they were discussing dinner recipes.
The level of camaraderie was refreshingly surprising. It made me feel pretty happy to belong to such a beautiful art, and, dare I say, culture.
After everyone had drilled the guard passing system, Leandro Lo then proceeded to roll with everyone in attendance.
He rolled with every person in attendance. Every black, brown, purple, blue, and white belt. He rolled with my instructor twice for 2 minute matches as well as a full 10 minute round once after the seminar was over. I came at him with my best game and he defended effortlessly. *sigh*
Leandro Lo’s willingness to teach, participate, and socialize was very high as well. Leandro Lo was very gracious in responding to everyone who wanted to take a picture with him.
He even went with some of us after everything to have sushi!
For anyone who has the opportunity to sign up for a Leandro Lo seminar, I thoroughly recommend it. You will learn some sick sweeps, a very new guard passing system, as well as have a great time with a very down to earth champion. After socializing with him a little bit, it’s kind of surreal to consider how easily this man could dispose of me with his bare hands!
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