I got back to Ohio from Cozumel, MX on May 19th and found that there were no slots available for the upcoming Osiander seminar on June 6th at The Ohio Combat Sports Academy in Reynoldsburg, OH. I was pretty bummed– I knew things were tight in my schedule and I had managed to work things clear for that day. Imagine my surprise when, two days before the seminar I got a message saying that 3 slots had opened up! I jumped on it, of course, and was excited for what turned out to be a 4-hour seminar!
I missed out on a private due to a prior obligation so I had to “settle” for just the seminar. Let me tell ya, this ranks in the top three of my favorite seminars / privates, and that is saying a lot as I have spent a lot of time with some of the best in the world! (IMHO)
This seminar was four hours long and covered a LOT of technique. I learned many years ago (at the Marcio Stambowsky seminar) that, in these situations, you should not expect to retain everything that is taught in the seminar, but rather should try and focus on the things that really speak to your style and game. For me, it was the omoplata techniques that really excited my BJJ brain! I first got interested in the omoplata in a mini-seminar given by Andris Brunovski (I am yet to do a write-up on that). That mini-seminar started to change the way I thought of the omoplata. Further, a little later on, I started doing privates with AJ Agazarm (write-up pending) and got even more excited about the omoplata game. I started to look at the ompoplata as less of a singular submission, but more of a transitional submission that can be used 1: to submit, 2: To transition into many other positions of control and, 3: transition into other submissions. The omoplata transitions really well into both armbars and triangles and in this seminar I learned some new perspectives on how to create and / or force those transitions.
The seminar started off with Kurt hooking up a set of speakers attached to his mp3 player and started blasting (moderate volume) some Lamb of God. This was interesting and a bit funy, but not a big distraction.
His first technique was a “hip-out” armbar from closed guard. After that, he went into an omoplata from , what I call “double knee-guard” (double pocket sleeve grips with both knees pressuring the biceps), which I play a lot – especially on bigger guys. He showed an interesting stylistic flair, where he doesn’t rotate on the hip and throw the leg over the shoulder right away. Instead, he stays square with the opponent (after kicking his leg through to set-up the omoplata) then rests his foot on the kidney of his opponent to keep his opponent from rolling through immediately after the kick through. After that, it was almost a blur of related techniques, follow-ups, and counter-techniques. I am sure I was not the only one who lost track a little of all the techniques shown but the ones I decided to focus on are going to work into my current game pretty nicely.
One that I liked in particular is a “forced sweep” from the omoplata position, where you first use your legs to block his ability to roll through the omoplata, and then position yourself so that, via leverage on the shoulder, you force him to roll through, giving you a nice position of control sitting on your opponents chest; ready for a variety of submissions!
It seems funny though, that with my fascination with the omoplata going on three years now, I really haven’t inserted into my live-rolling yet. I am not sure why that is, really. When I am free-rolling I tend to be a very reactive player; simply trying to react to my partners efforts and counter them. Not a bad thing, I guess, but it does REALLY affect my offensive game! I suppose I should do something about that 🙂
In the end, this ended up being a favorite seminar for me. I know some people don’t care for the “marathon” sessions, but I for one find that my brain starts seeing everything from a BJJ perspective. Kind of like after playing Tetris for too many hours in a row and everything starts to look like Tetris pieces.
Anyway, to sum up this seminar…..
Yes, Kurt swears alot. If that is something that bothers you, I wouldn’t recommend one of his seminars. If that doesn’t matter for you, you will find a very talented teacher and Jiu-Jitero who is equally passionate about sharing his game and helping others to find their flow. Kurt was SUPER responsive to all questions and would not hesitate to get on the ground with you and say…”Here, try it on me”! That is something that you don’t get with a LOT of seminars. Not really a negative for those Professors that don’t do it, but a definite plus for those that do! Kurt took zero breaks, was never on his cell phone, etc. and as 100% focused on the students at the seminar. I REALLY appreciated that and it was Kurt’s attitude, humility and willingness to be “just another guy on the mat”, plus the fact that he was clearly there to “Do Work”, that really won me over. I would, without question, go to another of his seminars! If you get the chance, GO FOR IT!