My first BJJ seminar – a great experience

I have been involved in jiu-jitsu since 1975 having grown up training in Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, a style created by Professor Georges Sylvain.  This style is primarily based on japanese jiu-jitsu with a strong emphasis on striking, throwing, hold escapes, joint locks, neck restraints and some ground defense.  I have to admit that the ground defense portion is limited and has never really been my strongest area.  I have participated in several grappling classes but had never attended a full on grappling seminar.

Back in June I decided to attend a seminar at a friend’s dojo in Victoria, British Columbia.  Ari “Bolden” Knazan was hosting a seminar to be instructed by his BJJ coach Keith Owen, additionally I learned that coach James Foster from Seattle was going to be there.  Ari had become a student of mine to further develop and advance in his own japanese jiu-jitsu training.

I had decided to attend for a couple of reasons.  I am not and do not pretend to be a BJJ student.  I wanted to attend to support my friend and I had heard many very good things about Keith Owen and believed that it would be a good seminar to attend and get my feet wet.

I advertised the seminar in my dojo and 2 of my students attended with me, in addition 2 other students from my associate dojo in Calgary, Alberta flew in for the weekend to attend.  I am not afraid to introduce my students to new instructors, concepts or ideas.  I believe it will only strengthen our program and help build the community.

We arrived at the dojo and quickly realized it was going to be a full house at upwards of 30 students were packed onto the mat.  All the participants except for my 4 students and I were BJJ students, needless to say we stood out just a bit.  Prior to the seminar I was introduced to Mr. Owen and Foster, both were extremely welcoming and happy to see us supporting our friend Ari.

The seminar began and was focused on side control which was not totally foreign to us.  The techniques being presented were all very applicable to our Can-Ryu style and were easy to learn.  I completely enjoyed the structure and the flow of the seminar, needless to say that both of these instructors are top notch and well spoken.  Although I trained with one of my students most of the day everyone was very friendly and all were there to learn from these amazing coaches.

Even as someone who has been training in martial arts for close to 36 years there is always something new to learn.  On this day I took away quite a bit of information that I will hopefully be able to remember.  I try and practice the techniques at the dojo and share them with my students so that we can all enjoy them.  Sometimes I will go to a seminar and only pick up a small technique that I think will really improve my product.  For me the success of the seminar is not how much I learned but that I learned something I find useful.

I have been to many seminars taught be a lot of different instructors and I can honestly say I have not enjoyed them all.  There are a few reasons I really enjoyed this one, I learned some really cool techniques that I can apply into my own system and the instructors were true gentleman.

I read somewhere words to the effect “it is not what you learned but how you felt learning it”.

Thank you Ari “Bolden” Knazan, Keith Owen and James Foster.  I look forward to training with you guys again.

Steven Hiscoe

Owner/Chief Instructor Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu

Chilliwack, British ColumbiaImage


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