It was a very inspired weekend with Marcos Torregrossa, who taught several classes at the academy, in addition to a fantastic half guard seminar.
We have been fortunate to have an influx of higher level practitioners at the dojo. Ralph Gracie brown belt Paul Moresi joined the Academy and teaches on Saturday. Rafael Lavato Jr. black belt Ben Baxter dropped in last week and shared his x passing skills with us. And now Marcos. I am excited by the new influx of information, the stylistic variances, and how it’s keeping the Academy evolving.
Professor Torregrossa was always good. He won the World Championships as a blue belt, and is currently is a world class black belt in the lightweight division. His game is off the hook. I was able to experience a top level, state of the art competition game. Shiny and new. Aggressive and sharp.
If Kano Jiu Jitsu was version 1.0, and BJJ was 2.0, this was 2.5. It utilized Brabo chokes, De La Riva, 50/50, spider guard, half-guard, deep-half, judo gripping, wrestling, footlocks, and advanced combinations that included the key transitions that win at the World level. His system was numbered as well. It was all mapped out. Nothing was left to chance. He knew what to go for at all times. There is a gulf between a solid black belt and a world class competitor. That can be difficult to believe for some, but once you feel it, you understand. I have felt it a few times now. It leaves an impression.
Although originally receiving his black belt from Cassio Werneck, Marcos sought out Lloyd Irvin to take him to the podium at the largest tournaments in the world. Master Lloyd is doing that for him. Marcos spoke with great respect of Lloyd Irvin’s personal abilities on the mat, in addition to his coaching style. Team Lloyd Irvin are a passionate, focused team, and I’m excited that Marcos was able to find a home for his competitive spirit.
Marcos shut me down when we rolled. From the moment he grabbed my gi, I could feel the power. And the focused intent. He broke my grips off at will. The force he generated with his legs was so well directed and so precisely placed that I couldn’t keep up with the threats. There was no gap between them. Overlapping threats. He showed me a triangle setup that he used on me. It was brilliant. I cannot wait to use it. Tricky, sophisticated, and aggressive. There are no playful exchanges in the competition game. Someone is winning and someone is losing, at all times. It’s physical and psychological punishment, in a campaign to impose your will.
Marcos is one of the most dedicated athletes I have had the pleasure of being around. Focused intent abounds in him. The hill behind my house is a punishing sprint. 10 trips up is hellish. Marcos did 20 sprints to start the morning, with guard passing movements on the way down. Then he taught a private lesson, a 3 hour seminar, which included some rolling, then went back to the house for a Crossfit workout. Normal day. He is conditioned, acrobatic, flexible, and precise. Everything you need to win at the World level. The knife could not be sharper.
I’m looking forward to having Marcos return, not only to teach, but to be a training partner and keep me up to date with the latest evolutions. Marcos is living, breathing, and training jiu jitsu for the most demanding application of the art: competition. We thank him for sharing his knowledge with us.