Team Pedro Sauer UK

Professor Allan Manganello Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – February 2018

Robin French with Professor Allan Manganello and Peter Squire - February 2018

When we heard that Professor Allan Manganello was booked to fly (halfway to the UK) to Iceland in February, Pete and I knew we had to work out a way to get him the rest of the way!

Taking a step back for a minute… For those that don’t know, Professor Allan is a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Master Rickson Gracie and Master Pedro Sauer, a Certified Instructor under the Gracie Academy, and luckily for Pete and I, a mentor for us and the guys at Team Pedro Sauer UK.

After finalising a very tight schedule, Pete and I finished up our regular Saturday teaching routines and headed off to Heathrow Airport; picking up Professor Allan, along with our Icelandic chums Johann Eyvindsson and Halldór Sveinsson.

Ticking off our first ‘must-do’ off of the weekend, we headed straight for some chicken at Nando’s. This gave us some time to catch up with each other; good times!

An early alarm woke me on Sunday morning. The day was here, the day that I had been obsessively prepping for ever since Professor Allan had casually dropped into a diner conversation in September last year that Pete and I would be testing for our Purple Belts the next time he visited.

A short drive, a strong coffee and a couple of bananas later, the test began. Splitting us up, (Professor Allan had me working with Johann, and Pete with Halldor), we first showed a number of ‘must-know’ Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques. Next up was to run through moves we knew from a number of different positions. This ran straight on to rolling, gi and no-gi; Professor Allan wanted to see how we dealt with starting from a variety of positions; both advantageous and disadvantageous.  The assessment culminated in Professor Allan himself donning his gloves and testing our ability to keep ‘punch proof’ whilst rolling.

The test was over, I’d left everything on the mat. I wondered if it was enough… Fortunately it was, and Professor Allan uttered the words I’d hoped to hear, ‘you’ve passed!’

Whilst I am overjoyed by this, I also understand that whilst grades are discrete steps, personal development is not; every day is another infinitesimal step towards a never ending better version of yourself. As such, I am determined to not rest on any laurels, for any amount of time; I’m already back to trying to better my Jiu Jitsu.

Next on the filled-to-bursting schedule was a Blue Belt test for our latest cohort of testees. The PSBJJA is quite unique, in that it has a syllabus that must be demonstrated; both from a technical aspect, as well as from in a live application. As we thought that they would, the guys and girls all did great, and passed in great style.

After packing up the mats for the afternoon’s seminar, the various affiliates all sat down for brunch, where we spoke about the business aspects of what we do.

The seminar itself started on Sunday afternoon, with Professor Allan’s focus being on Mount Mastery. As ever, the material was presented in a very joined up manner. I personally benefited from seeing better ways of doing things that I was already implementing in my ‘game’.

The seminar was well supported, with our largest turnout to date. This together with the fact that the guys testing for their Blue Belts take our active homegrown count up to nine, make me extremely happy and proud to see how well the club is developing.

Some excess snow in Iceland (that’s got to be bad, right…) meant that the homebound flights were delayed. This gave us time to drop the mats back off, and grab one last meal to socialise, before another run back to Heathrow.

Pete and I dropped Professor Allan and Johann off at Heathrow, and got home at just after midnight. A little over 24 hours, and the whirlwind weekend was over; a weekend I am still processing now, as I write this…

As ever, I am immensely thankful to Professor Allan; it takes a huge amount of effort and commitment from him to regularly travel to, and mentor us guys here in the UK. Thank you!

Robin French with Johann Eyvindsson - March 2018

Johann Eyvindsson Seminar – March 2018

Robin French with Guro Daniel Lonero - September 2017

Guro Daniel Lonero Kali, Silat & JKD Seminar – September 2017

Robin French and Peter Squire with Professor Allan Manganello - September 2017

Professor Allan Manganello Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar – September 2017

Robin French and Peter Squire at Women's Self Defence Workshop - August 2017

Women’s Self Defence Workshop – August 2017

Robin French with Sifu Jim Brault - August 2017

Sifu Jim Brault Wing Chun Seminar – August 2017