I had the chance to stop by Marcelo Garcia’s academy in New York City last week. I realized the moment I planned my trip that if there was one school I could train @ in between tourist activities and visiting family it would be his school.
Its cool how this school managed to establish itself in Manhattan, let alone blocks away from Manhattan. I got here on a hot summer day in New York and looking for that infamous golden elevator, my shirt looked like a Rorschach test. As soon as I got here I was met with friendliness. I could tell this school had a lot of international visitors because everyone was still eager to chat about where I came from, where I trained, and in turn answer my questions of what training with the man was like.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to train with Marcelo at all. But no big disappointment at all. He has passed his technique down his students and his instructors quite well that having rolled with a few guys, their open guard game was slick and a lot of them were strong. I always lauded myself for having great balance but I swear, I got hook swept into the ceiling several times. But I held up quite well. Of course I attended beginners classes but when I faced several guys who were at my level, I managed to represent Gracie Barra Calgary and pull off a few sneaky techniques ;) Not to sound like a jerk, but it made me realize how coming from a great Gi-based school made us wizards in grips and lapel chokes
The classes I attended were taught by Henrique Rezende. I didn’t quite know too much about him but while in NYC, I got a chance to catch a few vids on him online but really learned a lot by chatting with the man himself. Henrique was a awesome dude and made sure every student learned the techniques well. The classes I attended were well taught. We mostly learned armbar set-ups from side-mount and a nifty hooksweep sequence form butterfly. These were techniques I learned at Gracie Barra Calgary, but with a different take. I noticed that at high-caliber schools we tend to learn not just the technique, but the sequences and options that are beyond it.
I’d love to come back, perhaps years later when I’ve moved up several levels. I visited as a white belt and could only attend a few classes. Ha, the only time I got to meet Marcelo was during my first visit. We chatted for about five minutes and its true, he really is one of the most nicest guys in the game. Attitude, like techniques, should also trickle down from master to students.
ahhh I didn’t get a picture with him.