It was shame that in the run up to this seminar over a foot and half of snow fell on the UK especially the north, temperatures dropped well below freezing and roads were impassible. So the fact that 20 plus folk were on the mat some from as far away as Dewsbury, cheers Hanif nice to meet you, and Leeds, the ever reliable James, was a testament to the star power of our seminar guest.
So the turnout was very good as befits someone of the stature of Gazzy a multiple time champion and pioneering black belt. It also shows that The Forge Sheffield is a good place for these seminars as we have a team of committed individuals who will turn up no matter what for the sport they love.
This was unlike any seminar start I have ever know, initially because Gazzy was prepared to wait for folk to turn up and delay the start to make sure that people did not miss out. This is unusual for a seminar like this as start times are normally fairly strict and for Gazzy to wait for folk was very good.
Then we had a circle up and Gazzy allowed us to ask any questions that we had for her which was genuinely interesting and covered from Las Vegas to BJ Penn and it was really interesting to hear some of the great stories. We were also warned a number of times about the infamous warm up which Gazzy kept looking at me and smiling when she stated it was going to be “hard”
It was a very long warm up and also very good, there were a few things I have never done before and a few movements which I can see are very good for movement. This is something we are building on in the club now and though it is tough I can see the benefit it will give me. I think the thing I suffered most with was the fact that we did not stop moving through the whole thing, there was no respite so when I got to the end and felt no too bad I was pleased.
This was cool, and we learnt a lot, the three moves all named after Gazzy we learnt were the Gazzinator, the Gazzitron and the Gazzicon. I could go into more detail and describe how these are done and how they were taught but I think it would be better if you went along and learnt from the master not the very junior apprentice. Anyway I had not seen these moves before so may be coming back for a refresher myself when this remarkable BJJ exponent returns to the UK as I just cannot make the London seminar this year.
I will also say that to those who look at myself and Gazzy together in the picture and think she looks tiny, that she is indeed, but was also able to almost triangle me unconscious from a front on move which was phenomenally tight.
The whole thing lasted over 3 hours and there was not a point where I felt that my game was not going to benefit from what I was doing which is incredible.
Quite simply, if you get a chance to train with a black belt then make sure you do, if you get chance to train with Gazzy then make even more sure that you do. She is a warm and compassionate person who truly believes in passing on her skills and teachings and does so in a graceful and elegant manner. Gazzy was also great with a couple of the guys kids who turned up which was great and made their day.
You cannot go wrong then to come along, even if you just take away one move or one position you will pick something up and for the new people and intermediate rollers you will learn a lot.
It will reignite your desire to improve more than ever if you are anything like me anyway.
For another view on this visit my team mate and bro Gregg over at his blog