Team Pedro Sauer UK

Master Pedro Sauer Seminar – July 2018

Robin French with Master Pedro Sauer - July 2018

I’ve been meaning to get to a seminar with Master Rickson Gracie for some time now; I have missed out on the handful of times he’s been in the UK or nearby in Europe. When the latest stop on the Rickson Gracie Cup circuit was announced to be in Glasgow, my interested was piqued for sure.

Then, when word hit that Master Pedro Sauer was also going to be there to do a self defence demonstration at the competition, the decision to go was fully cemented.

Although I’ve spent time with Master Sauer in Iceland over the last few years, this was to be his first time back in the UK since 2012, and I wanted to make sure Team Pedro Sauer UK was represented at the event, to show our support.

Flights booked, first night’s accommodation sorted, and seminar paid for, the plan was for Sam Keyes to travel up with me, and for Jamie Schramm to meet us up there.

A few weeks before the event, Glasgow-based Master Rickson Gracie affiliate, Scott McVeigh sent me a Facebook message; it had been arranged for Master Sauer to put on an additional two hour seminar on the Monday evening after the RGC weekend.

What to do? Homeward bound flights had been booked for early Monday and I had plans for the rest of the day once I got home. I rationalised to myself that it was just unfortunate that I was going to miss it, but that it was still going to be an awesome weekend.

Then the day before travelling up, my Monday plans changed.

So I was available for Monday…

Maybe I could get a new flight home…

Maybe I could park super close to the terminal building at Stansted Airport, so that I could get on the road as soon as possible, to sprint down the M11 and around the M25 to the day job on Tuesday morning…

Why not!?

The new parking and flights were booked, and an extra change of clothes were packed into the hand luggage (no time to wait around for hold luggage at either destination).

Saturday morning rolled around. Leaving home at 6am, I got to Stansted and parked up. Meeting up with Sam by the check in desks, we headed straight through security. A bit of a Jiu Jitsu weekender tradition, we headed straight over to Joe and the Juice. It was nice to see the Icelandic prices weren’t reflected over here though…

Once on the plane, I popped the noise cancelling headphones on and continued my latest Netflix binge watch “Happy!” (As a complete aside, it’s well worth a watch).

Touching down in Glasgow and walking through the airport, Sam hailed an Uber. We then had what was one of the funniest and most educating drives to the Emirates Arena, for the ‘Rickson Gracie Experience

With everything running to schedule, we made it in time for the warm up mobility session with Professor Steve Maxwell. The session was great, and when it was done I felt super mobilised and ready to train.

The seminar with Master Rickson Gracie was awesome. There was some reinforcement on the message we get from Master Sauer, and Team Pedro Sauer UK mentor Allan Manganello. Additionally, there were some neat moves that I hadn’t seen before; things that I’m going to drill a lot to get them working well for me.

After the seminar, we got a lift across town (thanks Dave and Nanami), to meet up with Master Sauer at his hotel. Heading out for some food, Master Sauer, Sam and I were also joined by JJGF CEO Alex Painnain, as well as Thiago Bertoni and Paulo Tavares. After a great evening spent chatting over some quality steak, Sam and I took the walk to our hotel.

Making the most of the pre-paid breakfast, but steering away from the awful coffee, Sam and I tucked into the buffet; stocking up for the long day.

Another Uber and we were back at the Emirates. Bumping into our Dutch friends, we chilled out watching the start of the comp. With Sam taking an early flight out, I found a seat and spectated the rest of the event.

During a break in the early afternoon, and after a preface by Master Rickson Grace, Master Sauer, Thiago Bertoni and some guys called up from the crowd did their demonstration. I was pretty successful in capturing it all on video, but unfortunately the sound quality wasn’t the best (note to self to invest in a decent mic).

The event over, I was lucky enough to go grab a bite to eat with the guys again, before finding a hotel and retiring for the evening.

With some time to kill on Monday before the evening’s seminar, I took the time to take a walk around Glagow; stopping for coffee and a chat with some guys that had competed at the RGC and making my way to Nando’s for a pretty much complimentary lunch (got to love a full loyalty card).

With just over an hour to go before the seminar, I had the choice; wait an hour and get the train to right outside the academy, or take the hour walk. I opted for the later, and using Google Maps through my headphones to guide the way, I arrived in good time.

Arriving just after me was another of our Team Pedro Sauer UK guys, Jimmy Prince, who’d driven up that day for the seminar (and subsequently to be my training partner) and the following few days in Scotland.

After a brief warm up, trying to remember some of the things that Professor Steve Maxwell had gone through, Master Sauer arrived and the seminar got going.

With Professor opening up the floor to questions in his usual manner, I was first to ask a for a solution to a current problem I’d been having; strategies to deal with the ‘Rickson Choke’ / ‘Under Over’ Choke. The answer, as ever, was head shakingly simple; and for me, was worth the extension to the visit all by itself.

Further questions and solutions kept coming all the way through to the end of the session. As ever, time spent with Master Sauer is priceless; some golden nuggets were had, that I feel will have a butterfly effect on my Jiu Jitsu.

After ‘goodbyes‘ and ‘see you next times‘ were had, and selfies were taken, I took one final Uber back out to the Travelodge at Glasgow Airport, and got some sleep.

After what seemed like a stupidly short time to have a hotel room for, the alarm went off and the planes, trains and automobiles-esque rush back to Essex began. Again, everything ran to schedule and I made work with fifteen minutes to spare.

Having already offered thanks to Master Rickson Gracie and Professor Steve Maxwell in the blog posts about their individual sessions, I’d like to give a massive thank you to Master Sauer;  generous with his time and knowledge as ever, it was a pleasure spending time in his company.

Thank you to Scott McVeigh for hosting the extra seminar, and all of his work setting up the weekend’s events.

Thanks to Alex Pannain, Thiago Bertoni, Paulo Tavares, and Kerr Mcmillan; you all made it a weekend a fun and highly enjoyable weekend. (An extra special thanks to Alex for driving the JJGF and the RGC forward.)

Thank you to my training partners, Sam and Jimmy, for being generally great to seminar with. Also to Jamie for making the effort to get to the event.

A final thank you to my wife Clare, for always being supportive, and running things back home whilst I took a weekend out!

Robin French with Guro Neil McLeod and Rachael McLeod - Feb 2020

Guro Neil McLeod Seminar – February 2020

Robin French with Halldor Sveinsson, Peter Squire and TPSUK Members - Jan 2020

Halldór Sveinsson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – January 2020

Robin French wIth Professor Allan Manganello, Peter Squire, and New TPSUK Blue Belts - Nov 2019

Professor Allan Manganello Seminar – November 2019

Robin French with Johann Eyvindsson - October 2019

Johann Eyvindsson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – October 2019

Robin French with Guro Daniel Lonero - September 2019

Guro Daniel Lonero Seminar – September 2019