BJJ Privates: Learning BJJ fron Royler Gracie Black Belt Mr Eddie Kone
I recently went to London on a trip organized by my lovely wife in celebration of my 33rd birthday. Not only had she baked me one of her famous cakes, booked train tickets and a hotel, she had also arranged for several hours of BJJ privates with Royler Gracie black belt and head of EKBJJ Mr Eddie Kone at his London headquarters (and a couple more activities!!).
Open guard recovery and maintenance and
Side control escapes.
Not the most exciting of topics, but I knew these were the areas I need the most help at the moment. I wanted to pick Eddie’s brains about BJJ stand-up because, while we have a strong wrestling background @The Labs, I am not a wrestler, I’m a BJJ player. He did not let me down! Similarly with regards to guard recovery and side control escapes (which obviously interrelated BJJ topics) the techniques we covered were excellent and immediately usable. He moved my arms and legs a few inches here and there and fixed many BJJ problems at once!
The reason I wanted Eddie’s particular perspective, aside from his excellent knowledge in BJJ and MMA and great sense of humour, was his physical frame. Eddie is slightly shorter than me and about 23kg (50.6lb) lighter and I knew whatever he used to escape side control had to be good and 100% technique- and leverage-based. I walked in at his EKBJJ headquarters in North London expecting that, as the BJJ techniques he had learnt came directly from people like Royler Gracie or even Helio Gracie. When we rolled at the end of the sessions, Eddie deliberately started grappling from bad positions and in every case ended on top with a choke or an armbar. True Jiu Jitsu is very humbling indeed.
The other reason I wanted to learn these aspects from Eddie was because I wanted to learn HOW HE TAUGHT them. Previously, I had attended Eddie’s academy classes and one of his seminars. His delivery and methodology is very similar to what you get from the Saulo DVDs. Again, Saulo Ribeiro and Eddie Kone both share the Royler Gracie lineage and Eddie had spent time learning from and with Xande and Rafael Lovato Jr so no surprises there, but it is important to remember that Eddie Kone, Royler Gracie and Helio Gracie weigh much less than Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro and Rafael Lovato Jr and their interpretation of the principles will differ.
Transmitting the knowledge thru pain Do you feel that your own instructor’s physical frame (and possibly lineage) affects the way they teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Do they know how to adapt it to smaller / bigger / less athletic / more flexible etc. students? Or do they teach a one size fits all BJJ?
What I found with Eddie was that he taught the same techniques but with a much higher focus on:
Combining / connecting levers: Why use one lever against the neck and another against their hips when you can connect the two to create one huge arm of leverage?
Pushing the positions: Saulo touches on this in Revolution 1 but it never really sunk until I trained BJJ 1-on-1 with Eddie Kone. In a nutshell, always push the position you already have! If they are in your guard, work to submit them. If they are under your side control, work to submit them. Previously, I had always worked all the way to the mount, sometimes bypassing many opportunities along the way. This is something I will be working on for the coming months.
Many thanks to Eddie (and his crew at EKBJJ) for taking such great care of me every time I visit one of their academies and of course, a million thanks to my wonderful wife. I am a very lucky man.