Team Pedro Sauer UK

Master Pedro Sauer Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – June 2019

Robin French with Master Pedro Sauer, Alex Ueda and Johann Eyvindsson - June 2019

For the sixth year in a row, I once again made the journey to Iceland for the annual Master Pedro Sauer summer camp, at Gracie Iceland.

Making up the Team Pedro Sauer UK contingent this year, along with myself, was Peter Squire, David Glennon and Sophie Nash.

With the schedule pretty watertight now, I got a couple of hours sleep at Pete’s house after our regular Thursday evening South Woodham Ferrers class, before getting up and hitting the A12, Reyjkavik-bound (via Luton).

Having opted this year to get a hire car for the duration of the visit, on arriving at Keflavik airport we hopped into our ride for the weekend, and headed to Gracie Iceland for the first session of the weekend; a knee on belly seminar with Johann Eyvindsson and Alex Ueda.

After dropping off our bags at our accommodation, we kept tradition up and headed straight to the hot tubs. A suitable soak and a coffee later, we headed back to the mats for the second of Alex Ueda’s seminars; this time focussing on attacks from cross body.

With the sun having barely gone down at all (still a very strange aspect of our Summer visits), a bowl of skyr, and some bananas, we headed to the first Saturday session with Master Sauer. The focus of this first session was on mount control, and particularly how to capitalise and make the control better when the bad guy goes for the upa.

After another quick coffee, the second of Master Sauer’s sessions started. Tempo changed for this session, where he opened up the floor to questions. As well as picking up some great techniques, I also came away with some invaluable concepts; concepts that I’ve been trying to weave into my Jiu Jitsu ever since.

Making a break from our usual hot tub location, after the day’s sessions, we headed to one that I’d never been to before. Maybe I’m becoming an unofficial Hot-Tub-of-Iceland aficionado… Maybe not…

Visiting the same Harvester-esque restaurant as last year for dinner, we had a highly enjoyable and entertaining evening socialising with a bunch of local Jiu Jitsu guys, as well as some who like us had travelled in to spend some time on the mats with Master Sauer.

So as to see some parts of Iceland other than the Golden Circle, Johann opted this year to walk us up a rather large hill. To be honest, I think the severity of the climb was underestimated quite a bit, but it was worth it; at the top was a fresh stream heated by local hot springs (with some people even getting their costumes on and heading in for a dip).

After a quick bite to eat at the bottom of the hill, we headed back to the dojo for some rolling at the open mat session. Always a great opportunity to train with some different people and exchange ideas, I was lucky enough to grab an extended roll with Alex Ueda. I have had opportunity to roll with a handful of Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belts, and it is interesting how every single one of them has a different feel. And Alex was no exception; using a very considered and methodical approach, he chipped away at my position, putting me into ‘ever smaller and smaller rooms’, before taking the submission that I was ‘giving’ him. Thanks for the education Alex!

Sunday night saw us honour somewhat of another tradition; BBQ’d lamb at Halldór’s. Exquisite as ever, we had a great time; thanks Halldór!

Getting our bags ready to go, and ourselves all showered, we got our heads down for a few hours kip. After what seemed like a blink, we were back up, out of the door and on our way back to Chelmsford (via Keflavik).

As far as thanks go, first and foremost thank you to Master Sauer for his help, advice, and openness. Thank you also to Johann for organising not just the seminar, but also scheduling the whole weekend.Thank you to Alex Ueda for some excellent teaching, and invaluable insights. Thank you to Halldór, as ever, for all of his help and especially that BBQ (yum!).

A big final thank you to my fellow Team Pedro Sauer UK jetsetters; I look forward to travelling with you all (and maybe more) in the years to come!

Robin French with Alex Ueda and Johann Eyvindsson - June 2019

Alex Ueda and Johann Eyvindsson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminars – June 2019

Robin French with Johann Eyvindsson - May 2019

Johann Eyvindsson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – May 2019

Robin French with Professor Allan Manganello and Peter Squire - March 2019

Professor Allan Manganello Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – March 2019

Robin French with Michel Babytank Verhoeven and Peter Squire - Feb 2019

Michel ‘Babytank’ Verhoeven Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – February 2019

Robin French with Johann Eyvindsson - September 2018

Johann Eyvindsson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – September 2018