On May 18, a few of us went to John Will's Black Belt Studios in Geelong to attend a 3 hour long clinic with Carlos Machado.
That was a real treat. He is an entertaining guy and a superb teacher. We didn't go into any new and/or fancy moves. It was all about principles and overarching themes. Also about little things that make well known techniques better. For example, how to use a slight angle and a certain stance to make a standing guard pass a high percentage move. How to be more effective with a cross lapel choke from mount and to force a finish if the opponent defends the choke. Also a lot on guard passing (by popular request), which boiled down to good defensive posture and what he called "holding the tray". Small circular movements, using elbows and hands had big effect when used in conjunction with this posture.
He said when he started that he doesn't like to exert himself, being a "lazy" grappler. That sure appealed to me ;-)
He demonstrated his defensive open guard techniques by picking the biggest guy on the floor. I'm not kidding when I say this guy is huge, and I know from personal encounters just how big and heavy he is... Well, Carlos insisted he uses all his weight to try and pin his legs down, and then effortlessly wriggled out! We also looked at side control escapes (also by popular request), which was a real eye-opener. As with all other stuff we learned, relatively small things which made a big difference.
Overall, a great seminar, and I would recommend anyone to snatch up the opportunity to train with Carlos.