LEARN BJJ & MMA FROM THE LEGEND “MURILO BUSTAMANTE”

btt plano

MAY 25, 2013 – Murilo Bustamante JIU-JITSU & MMA SEMINAR
“Brazilian Top Team Plano is hosting a jiu-jitsu & MMA seminar at its Plano, Texas gym. Murilo Bustamante, will teach you the same techniques that propelled him to the upper echelons of the mixed martial arts world. Professor Bustamante will be here for one day only and openings are limited.”

Training Philosophy: Physical vs Technical

Russian Sambo courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com
[Russian Sambo image courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com]
If you read my first article, “Strength and Conditioning in Competitive Martial Arts” then this next installment should help to elucidate those concepts even further. If you did not read that article, I hope that this one can stand on its own. Rather than outline specific exercises or routines, I want to continue to lay the conceptual groundwork for a solid training philosophy.

One of the ideas that I encounter in martial arts frequently, specifically among practitioners in the US, is the idea that strength training is somehow anathema to fighting, or even counterproductive. Hardly a BJJ class goes by without someone complaining that their partner “just used his strength”, and has “no technique”. To a certain extent, I am sure that this is an extension of Helio Gracie’s idea that strength is not the only component of combat, and that strength can be overcome by superior technique. Everyone can agree on that. It is incorrect, however, to take this to its extreme and make the claim that strength does not matter. This is something that you are much, much less likely to hear in a top collegiate wrestling program, or at a sports club in Russia, and that is because it is an empirically proven fact that stronger athletes perform better. If your opponent is stronger than you, your appropriate response to the problem should be developing your own strength. If they are larger than you, then you should consider bulking up or cutting down. It really is that cut-and-dry.

Every time I begin to work with a new athlete, especially fighters, I find myself burdened with the task of convincing them that strength and conditioning work is of equal importance to skills. Udo Quellmalz, one of the best competitive judoka of all time, was a product of the Soviet model, as he competed for East Germany before the Wall fell. He continued to train, of course, after the USSR dissolved, and was quoted as saying that “the East German approach was much more professional than that of the West. The volume and intensity of training was so much higher” . He also described his preparation for the 1995 World Championships as a single “ten-day conditioning camp in the Austrian alps. We hardly did any judo, it was just endurance and strength training”.

The government-subsidized coaches and scientists that oversaw his training recorded the empirical data of these sessions in great detail, including lactate levels, VO2 max, recovery time, etc. The modalities that worked were kept and developed, while the others were scrapped. One of the bits of data that piqued my interest the most, however, was the simple recording of hours spent training. Quellmalz spent 20+ hours a week training, as opposed to the average 10 hours spent by elite Western athletes. The volume of training is impressive, sure, but the detail that I am focusing on here is that there is not a distinction made between the hours spent on physical preparation, and those spent on skills work. It was one and the same.

I challenge you, the readers, to record how much time you spend on physical preparation vs skills work over the next week. Then, add the two numbers together. This should give you a real, tangible representation of how much time you are spending on becoming better at your respective disciplines. We will pick up again next week with training specificity under the Soviet model, as an extension of the ideas expressed in this article.

References:
1. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 173.
2. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 174.

A look inside Brazilian Top Team – Texas

“I don’t want you to just train at Brazilian Top Team, I want you to be a part of Brazilian Top Team”

Over the next few months I will try and provide an overall picture of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts gyms in San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

I will start with Brazilian Top Team – Texas, located in San Antonio. Brazilian Top Team – Texas is owned and operated by Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo. Marcello is a Third Degree Black Belt under Murilo Bustamante, a Fifth Degree Black Belt under the renowned Carlson Gracie. Professor Bustamante is also one of the founders of Brazilian Top Team.

It was not hard to research Marcello due to his volumes of videos on the web and titles in wrestling, grappling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  Sherdog  has Marcello listed as 8-1(6 victories by submission) as a professional MMA fighter.

I was able to sit down with Marcello after he finished teaching a BJJ class this past Tuesday night and here is what he had to stay;

Nomad: Please tell me about yourself?
Marcello: I was born in Rio de Janeiro on 27 March 1981. I am married to Larissa Gruenzner and have two children, Katarina Bergo and Olav Bergo.

Nomad: When did you first start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Marcello: I started training BJJ and Judo at the age of eight, under Coach Juarez Soares, he only teaches kids classes. I stopped training for a few years then when I was fifteen I began training again…

Nomad: What was it like to training under the legendary Carlson Gracie?
Marcello: Carlson made the difference! We never knew what to expect when he would taught. I didn’t have the opportunity to train with him longer because he moved to USA. I remember him as a legend and the father of everything, he made the best fighters of the history and each one who trained with him still carrying part of his BJJ Style. Once Carlson moved to the United States and I began training under Murilo Bustamante and Mario Sperry. My BJJ philosophy still the same: You don’t just train at Brazilian Top Team – Texas… You are a part of Brazilian Top Team – Texas!

Nomad: Please tell me about your training under the Murilo Bustamante?
Marcello: Bustamante is a great leader to the team. He made history competing MMA and BJJ, his career was very successful. It is a honor to have him as my professor and friend.

Nomad: When did you receive your Black belt?
Marcello: I received by Black belt at the age of 24.

Nomad: How did you get the nick name “Barbarian”?
Marcello: They started call me the “Barbarian” because I always had the same song to fight: The Anvil of Crom.

Nomad: When did you come to the United States?
Marcello: About five years ago I signed with the extinct IFL to fight in USA. Also, I was invited to come to the United States to teach two UFC fighters, Mike Pierce and Rick Story. During that time I began exploring the idea to stay and open a new BTT school in California with my friend Marcelo Perdomo, however; ended up with the opportunity to own BTT – Texas and I took it, this was largely due to Bill Bradley.

Nomad: Tell me about your gym?
Marcello: BTT – Texas is a 9000 square foot training facility. We have 2,500 square foot of mat space, full MMA cage, weight training area, striking area, and lockers and showers. My wife, Larissa; is the manager, Nancy Martinez is our conditioning trainer, Richard Smith is our striking coach, Sam Hudson is our kids BJJ instructor and I am the head BJJ instructor. Also, I have few high rank students who help me with the classes.

Nomad: Do you have any black belts under you?
Marcello: Yes, I have two. Bill Bradley, owner of BTT – Portland and Christofer Easter who serves in the United States Armed Forces.

Nomad: What is your teaching philosophy?
Marcello: My philosophy is teach the BJJ Life Style, that means use the sport to increase the life quality. I have been sharing my experiences with my students, on the mat I learned more about myself and how interact as a human being.

On the mat I learned: how be tough, have discipline, care about my nutrition, work as a team and help teammates… Doing BJJ I have been making friends since I was a little kid: poor friends, rich, famous, anonymous… On the mat we are all equal and with different talents!
The loyalty is the key of our success, the result of one is the result of all because we all carry the same flag. I am proud to be part of this team and I can see that all the guys feel the same.

Nomad: Who is mostly responsible for your success in BJJ and MMA?
Marcello: For sure, it’s the people who I have around me since I started. My professor taught me BJJ not only to fight in IBJJF tournaments, because the Federation didn’t exist when I started, it was before the first world championship. We trained BJJ without rules as a self-defense, what made BJJ popular after defeat other styles of fight. That old school style is effective to fight, since I started I have been competing with success in: BJJ, Grappling, Wrestling, Sambo, and MMA. Our philosophy is always be open to innovate, adapt and create techniques. I get ready to fight by training with my students.

Nomad: You recently had two other Black Belts, Eduardo Ramos and Vinicius Gahyva, visiting your school, please tell us about them.
Marcello: They’re two great guys, Eduardo is a heavyweight who likes to play guard, Vinicius is a lightweight who likes to play on the top. I know them for more than 10 years and it is good to have the opportunity to bring them over here to train with the team.
I always have some black belts who come to visit our school, usually friends of mine from Rio de Janeiro. Also, I have two black belts under me in BTT-Texas and sometimes the guys from BTT-Plano come from Dallas to do cross-training.

Nomad: Do you plan on competing again?
Marcello: Oh yeah. I plan to never stop competing!
I like to feel the adrenaline of the challenged… The pain of the loss and the glory of the victory working together to make me a better fighter.

Nomad: What’s is on the horizon for BTT – Texas?
Marcello: We are in the process of opening a new BTT in Corpus Christi. The gym will be ran by my long time friend, Robert Moreira, a Fifth Degree BJJ Black Belt.

Nomad: How would you describe BTT – Texas?
Marcello: I don’t want BTT – Texas to just be a BJJ gym where we only open the doors for our classes. I want us to be more like a club, where the doors are always open and if you want to train then you just come. I want this gym to be much like the gym I was raised up in while in Brazil. A place to come and meet friends, grow as a person, learn Jiu Jitsu, share stories, and have fun.

Nomad: Do you have any last words for our readers?
Marcello: BTT – Texas wants to provide an environment where people of any background, experience and fitness level can learn and train in mixed martial arts, the core being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi and Nogi, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Boxing.

BTT – Texas will have five Amateur MMA fighters on the Alamo Showdown 4 card this August 31, 2012. Christopher Frazier, Caleb Murphree, and Edward Rodriguez will be making their MMA debut. Parker Reid will be looking for his fourth win and Jewel Snell will be fighting for the ABG Featherweight Title.

Professor Marcello Salazar Bergo can be contacted at:
BTT – Texas
5345 Glen Ridge Drive
San Antonio, TX. 78229
Phone: 210-248-9255
Email: brazilian.topteam.texas@gmail.com

TexasFighting.com’s Nomad invited to “The Big Easy”


At a recent submission tournament held in San Antonio, Spida Garay, and I were speaking about my travels around the world and how great it would be to share my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) training experiences with all the TexasFighting.com readers. So here goes.

This week I’m in New Orleans “The Big Easy”, Louisiana and honored to be the guest of Professor Matthias Meister, Owner and Head Instructor of NOLABJJ, Brazilian Jiu JItsu of New Orleans. Professor Matthias was born and raised in Switzerland. In 1986, after serving his country in the Swiss Army he moved to the United States. Not long after arriving in the United States, Professor Matthias became interested in BJJ after watching Royce Gracie fight in the first UFC event. Professor Matthias had already studied Judo as a teen so BJJ was not a strange sport for him. Professor Matthias received his black belt in 2009 under Professor Raphael Ellwanger, promoted through Carlos Gracie Jr.

Upon first entering NOLABJJ I was taken aback by the personality of the gym. This is one of the nicer BJJ gyms I have trained at in the United States. I would describe NOLABJJ as a modern MMA gym meets a restored old brick warehouse. The BJJ training area, 1,300 sq. ft., is outfitted with clean, well kept, Zebra mats.

After class I was able to interview Professor Matthias. When asked about his training philosophy, Matthias provided that his teachings “are all about fundamentals.” Matthias continued, “I try to stay on top of new moves as much as I can, but I realized a long time ago that without a solid understanding of the fundamental moves it is impossible to execute any advanced or complex moves.” Professor Matthias concluded with “This sport is a passion for me and I want to pass this on; it makes me happy when I see a student get hooked in BJJ since I know the huge benefits it holds for your mental and physical we being.”

While training at NOLABJJ I meet Victor Garza, a blue belt. Victor is originally from La Joya, Texas and began his BJJ training in Temecula, California under Professor Ricardo Guimaraes and Master Royler Gracie, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Victor told me that he has been training under Professor Matthias “for a little over a year and a half” and “NOLABJJ is by far the best school in New Orleans and offers several different styles of martial arts to its students.” Victor ended with, “We are blessed to have three black belts guiding us along the journey.”

From the moment I walked into the NOLABJJ I was impressed! NOLABJJ students were very welcoming and Professor Matthias made me feel at home. The gym was very clean, well kept, and well lit. I enjoyed training at NOLABJJ and being mentored by two black belts and a brown belt on the mat. I also enjoyed watching Professors Marco and Matthias roll with each other, it was very insightful. NOLABJJ was founded in 2000 and was the first BJJ school to become established in the Greater New Orleans area. NOLABJJ is a solid center for BJJ, with about 100 students enrolled, in the South and boasts three black belts; Professors Marco Macera, Edward Lirette, and Matthias Meister, for instructors. NOLABJJ also offers yoga, kickboxing, wrestling, and Sambo. The only down fall would be lack of parking.

The next time you travel to New Orleans please stop by and train with NOLABBJJ. NOLABJJ is located at 4521 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA., for more details please visit their web site at nolabjj.

PREMIERE COMBAT GROUP / May 19th @ Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, TX

Premiere Combat Group has done it once more. Bringing a great fight card and a night of great Mixed Martial Arts action. Being the longest running promotion in San Antonio, PCG has definitely turned itself into a legit business.  Thank you both Trevor Bird and Jennifer Ray for making San Antonio your home! Here is the fight card as of May 9th. Don’t wait to long as these shows have been selling out…..SEE YOU THERE!

Bout 1: Daniel Ownes /1-2/ ALIVE MMA -vs- James Lenten / 0-1/Victoria MMA  (185lbs)

Bout 2: Max Trevino /0-0 / LAREDO MMA -vs- Pablo Ramos /0-0/ XTREME MMA  (205lbs)

Bout 3: Brent Edlemen /0-0/ Marra Senki -vs-  Steven Trevino /1-1/ Rodrigo Pinheiro  (170lbs

Bout: 4 Chris Jackson /1-0/ South Austin Gym -vs- Kevin Troyer /1-0/ Vandry BJJ  (145lbs)

Bout 5: Aaron Gomez /1-2 / Weapons at Hand -vs- Alfredo Vargas /1-0 / Texas Fighting Syndicate (125lbs)

Bout 6: Eric Hallier /0-0 / Marra Senki -vs- Tommy Guerrero /1-0/ PARAGON BJJ  (155lbs)

Bout 7:Josh Lazarte  /2-1 / Weapons at Hand -vs- Phillip Gomez  /2-3 / BRUTAL MMA  (135lbs)

Bout 8: Luis de los Santos /Submission Concepts /0-0/ -vs- Tyler Keen /2-0/ New Braunfels Brawlers (145lbs)

Bout 9 (MAIN EVENT)

Jessica Prado LAREDO MMA / 0-0 / -vs- Katherine Roy /0-0 / WARRIORS EDGE (125lbs)