Our gym was fortunate enough to host Gustavo Dantas in December 2014. We are affiliated with Robson Moura so during that time we have developed a relationship with many of the current and former Nova Uniao gyms throughout the country. Gustavo is the President of Nova Uniao USA with his gym based in Tempe, Arizona. Gustavo is a 4th degree black belt under Andre Pederneiras.
The content covered in this seminar was very good. Rather than show a series of moves from a particular guard or position Gustavo focused heavily on concepts. We began with his most successful closed guard sweep, the "Roleta sweep." After spending some time breaking down the move and the timing of how to execute it properly we switched things up a bit. Gustavo spent some time showing proper posture in the guard when trying to stand up. A lot of emphasis was placed on doing this properly and how if the posture was not very good it would be easily exposed by the Roleta sweep. This method of teaching really made it an "ah ha" moment because while we were learning the Roleta sweep it really drove home the importance of good posture when trying to break the closed guard.
(Link for mobile users: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PvwLZHBR7U)
The other concept we covered worth mentioning was chaining the guard breaks into passes without much delay. Obviously hanging out in the open guard is not going to be favorable for the guard passer. Gustavo showed us a slick way to control the pants sleeves and prevent spider guard bicep control. I had not seen this particular variation. Importance was placed on being purposeful with your grips and not hesitating to initiate the guard pass. A good deal of time was spent working situational guard passing with the guard player trying to defend.
One thing I liked was during specific moments throughout the seminar Gustavo would queue up matches online that we could review and he would point out specific examples of executing techniques in competition. He has a very analytic approach to teaching which is very refreshing.
(Link for mobile users: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo7Rtc6X4wU)
Something some people may not know about Gustavo is that he is a Certified Mental & Life Coach and excellent public speaker. He has developed a DVD series: The BJJ Mental Coach "Inner Discovery for Outer Success." Gustavo described how he himself experienced a lot of performance anxiety competing in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in the past. Through this series he is trying to help others achieve their goals by taking a more mental approach to competition. I personally purchased the DVD set and watched a good portion of it however I have not completed it so I will review it at a later date. After hearing his speech at the seminar about the program and some of the free videos he has put out on his YouTube channel I felt like I could benefit from it both for Jiu-Jitsu and in my personal life. A lot of the concepts discussed do not have to only apply to the sport.
If you get a chance I highly recommend checking out some of his BJJ Mental Coach videos and see if you can benefit from them. To wrap things up, the seminar was great. I'm a huge fan of Gustavo Dantas, his analytic teaching style and wish he was more local to us. If you get a chance to drop in at his gym in Tempe, Arizona or attend one of his seminars I highly recommend it. There is also an excellent three part series he participated in on Budovideos Rolled Up from late 2014 that I have linked at the bottom of the article.