When John dropped me a quick message a few days ago to inform me about his UK seminars, I jumped at the chance to join in. John doesn’t publicize his seminars – he prefers to visit the same few academies here and teach just for the club members. I count myself lucky to be invited because John is not only an OG and a legend (read about his status here or even better, listen to him on the Raspberry Ape podcast.) but his unique teaching method and vast jiujitsu brain mean that his seminars are always fantastic.
The last John Will seminar I attended was back in 2019 – remember those innocent times pre-pandemic? Ha, well if you haven’t read it, here’s my 2019 report. So for this seminar, I knew what to expect on how John organises the content and practice. After each demonstration I hurriedly got into place and was ready to drill the techniques – no time wasted at all. John’s teaching style is aimed at getting the most amount of information through to us in as efficient manner as possible. He explained that he builds up lists of major BJJ techniques and positions, then distills all the vast network of options, set-ups and follow on techniques and packages them into easily teachable and easily learned seminar material. And it works! By the end, both brain and body are exhausted but memory recall is so much better, because of the structured way John approaches the information.
Today’s two-hour long seminar was split into two very different parts. The first hour was dedicated to the Dope Mount and the second hour focused on some jiujitsu Combatives. I found all of it fantastic.
In my experience, the dope mount is a very under-utilised technique (I last practiced it at a Gazzy Parman seminar way back in 2010!) but just as I expected, John was able to make it seem like an easy technique that one can get to from all sorts of different entries. I’m definitely going to be using it from now on! As an added bonus, John incorporated his love for the cradle into the mix of techniques, again, something I have rarely used before, but now think could be a good one for me to add to my game.
Combatives is an area that I have never made a part of my regular training. When I was pre-warned by Elliott (BJJ black belt at Turbo MMA) to bring boxing gloves, I must admit I was a bit nervous! Of course, it was all done super safely – John talked us through The Shell and how to use it to enter into clinching space against a striking opponent and then take them down. He also showed us how it was useful when caught underneath the mount. It was all really cool stuff and an important reminder of how jiu-jitsu fits into real-world physical confrontations.
At the end of the seminar John answered some q&a so I took the opportunity to ask him about the half guard. I also got the chance to learn a few techniques from John’s wife Melissa (also a black belt). She showed me some cool dogfight sweeps that she says is really good for us smaller folk, yay!
It was really cool to learn from John again. I can’t to attend when he next visits the UK. In the meantime, below is the full seminar on video, which John very generously allowed me to film and post for public viewing: