Showing posts with label roy dean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roy dean. Show all posts

January 11, 2015

Roy Dean's "Pure Rolling" - 2014 DVD of the Year

Not that anyone asked but my nomination for martial arts DVD of the year for 2014 is unquestionably Roy Dean's "Pure Rolling."  A three disk DVD unlike any other you have seen, as it is not proper to categorize it as an "instructional" as it does not offer a traditional lesson.  But "Pure Rolling" is much more then a pure documentary as to the trained eye there is actually a TON of lessons to be seen.  A unique offering from one of the most philosophical grapplers out there, Roy Dean. 

Filmed by renowned documentary film maker Stuart Cooper, Pure Rolling brings the best out of the two sharpest minds in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today.  Roy Dean and seven of his students are filmed free rolling/sparring at their home dojo in Bend, OR. where slow motion, replays, and commentary offer the viewer a glimpse into the strategy and application of students when they free roll.  Analysis by Roy Dean himself as he watches the film with you offering commentary and slowing down critical key points and elements.  Coupled with the technical prowess of Cooper along with his understanding of how to film rolling, makes this one of the best DVD's I have seen in quite some time. 

The complexity is actually in the simplicity of this film, and if I may be so bold to say so... I can't believe no one thought of this years ago!  I mean professional sports teams have used video technology since it has been affordable, why shouldn't grapplers?  One of the best things I have ever done as a stand up martial artist and a BJJ grappler is analyze myself on film.  Be it free rolling, competing, or simply practicing, one can see many areas that are in need of improvement from video analysis.  This video offers insight into a handful of different games, sizes, ranks, and experiences.  The diversity of which is well represented and caught by Stuart Coopers sharp eye, alongside the commentary by Roy Dean (competitor, teacher, student of Roy Harris) whose experience speaks for itself.

A great idea that I am sure is going to be mimicked and become standard in no time, but remember where you saw it first.  Oh... and did I mention the cost?   Free.  Yeah, you read that right... free.  Click here to get your free MP4 download now! 

June 22, 2014

Roy Dean "You Are More Capable Than You Can Possibly Imagine" - A Stuart Cooper Film

Though it was a few years ago, my sole meeting with Roy Dean has always left a positive impression on me.  Apparently film maker Stuart Cooper saw much of the same potential and greatness in Roy Dean as well which prompted a film on the Bend Oregon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach. 

A great representation of Roy Dean's positive message and approach to the arts we love, from one of the treasures of the Pacific NW.  Enjoy! 

May 22, 2014

Roy Dean Academy Pure Rolling Trailer

Roy Dean is renown for bringing top quality instructionals to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu table and his latest project has me quite stoked and excited.  "Pure Rolling" is a collaboration with Stuart Cooper Films where Dean has taken live sparring footage, slowed it down to 50 frames per second with breakdown and analysis.  This is a great idea and I am glad that Cooper brings a new technical level coupled with Dean's wickedly detailed grappling eye to the market.  I will work on obtaining a promotional copy to review on The Ground Never Misses.

May 10, 2012

Dave Camarillo Seminar July 21st, 2012 Bend Oregon

My friend Roy Dean will be hosting one of his mentors, Judo expert and BJJ black belt Dave Camarillo on July 21st, 2012 in beautiful Bend, OR.  Bend is an AMAZING town with tons of outdoor activities and great breweries!

Dave Camarillo is damn near a legend in the grappling community being a very accomplished Judoka, successful coach of many MMA fighters, and not to mention a talented writer.  His latest project is an excellent read called "Submit Everyone: The Guerilla Jiu Jitsu Files" (click on the Amazon link to the left and order today!).

Contact Dana Bartus at [email protected] to reserve your spot.  Not sure of times but it is only one day and by days end you will be rolling in a different weight class as your wallet will be $150 lighter!

February 21, 2012

Roy Dean's "Brown Belt Requirements"

Roy Dean's latest project, "Brown Belt Requirements" 3 disc DVD set.  Review coming soon on The Ground Never Misses, so stay tuned!  

May 14, 2011

"There’s a Certain Truth and Reality That the Mat Brings Out in You..."

Though I have only met him once, Roy Dean has quickly become an inspiration, and a jits mentor if you will for me.  His approach to the art is balanced seemingly both on the mat and off.  Though he excels at BJJ, he remains humble and does not take anything too seriously.  

His most recent blog post is a transcription of an interview Dean did, and it encapsulates what I feel but in a much more elegant, coherent manner.  I too feel that the mat represents truth.  You can choose to hide, or neglect the truth, but the mat shows the absolute honest truth at that very moment in time.  Buddha would say that the mat represents the cloth that wipes the dust from our mirrors.  Our mirror being our true nature, dust representing the emotions and attachments we collect from our past, and subsequently worrying about our future.  In essence we are rarely in the moment, so how can we know our true nature?

"Discover who you are" is Deans motto for business and life, and below he offers his explanation of the moniker:    

Discover Who You Are -

"Essentially I’ve discovered that if you chip away at something, not only will you become more skilled at it but it will transform you.  Jiu-jitsu is one of those rare life disciplines that can be interesting for decades… and it can stay with you in different periods of your life.  So you start as a teenager, you’re at one mental space.  You continue through college and your 20s… You get married, you have kids, you’re in your 30s. You know, the gym may get boring for you.  You may enjoy rock climbing for a few years, you may enjoy mountain biking for a few years. You may enjoy those disciplines for an entire life.  I feel that BJJ, or jiu-jitsu in general, is a dynamic form of yoga.  I did not come up with that, that was Matt Thornton I originally heard that from.  But I really feel it’s true.  It takes you and puts you in a situation where you’re working with and against your evolutionary instincts to not be dominated. 

   It brings you to one pointed concentration while you are moving around on the mat and there’s something very cleansing about that, and there’s something that is kind of primal about that.  And we’re able to funnel it through the techniques of jiu-jitsu; we’re able to actually transform these evolutionary instincts that we have to fight or flee.  And be able to create something very rich and very complex; essentially a physical language where we can communicate with each other without exchanging words.  You really can tell a person’s personality when you roll with them.  So jiu-jitsu is a lifetime art .  And once you’re able to get on the escalator, you stick with it, you discover things about yourself.

I am much more skilled than I ever imagined I would be.  Now that’s not to say that I’m the most skilled.  There are plenty of guys that are way tougher but if you just stick with it.  You think as a white belt, “Man, if I could only get my blue belt” then “If I could just get my purple.”  And eventually you’re a black belt and you’re like “Man there’s so much more to learn”.  It’s so much different.  You definitely realize the high end and the low end and you discover your own limitations.  And you learn to accept them.  It’s OK.  You know?  You beat someone in a match, that’s great.  You lose to someone in a match and you’re like, “Heh, that guys better”.  And once you’re honest… once you’re honest with yourself, it just takes you down and squares you.  There’s a certain truth and reality that the mat brings out in you that allows you to sit a little bit more comfortably in your own skin and in your own soul. 

So that is “Discover Who You Are”.

Allow the discipline to transform you.  A lot of people end up serving the discipline; they get injured, they give up their wife, they give up their job to chase the discipline.  The discipline should enhance your life, you should never serve the discipline.  And sometimes you lose perspective on that.  I have certainly stepped over that line where I’ve lost perspective and over trained.  “Oh, this means so much.”  Where you’re crushed after a loss, you’re elated after a victory.  Hey man these are just markers, they’re milestones on your own journey.  No one else is watching.  It’s your own trip.  Enjoy it.  Craft your journey carefully and you will discover who you are."

August 2, 2010

Roy Dean "Honor" Gi - Review

The man must never sleep; seminars, affiliations worldwide, producing DVDs, and now Roy Dean has released his own limited "honor" BJJ gi!  A limited release this is a custom embroidered, all cotton white gi made in China.  I would call this a medium weight gi weighing in at 4.6 pounds, not as light as a Vulkan competition gi, but certainly not as heavy as Adidas, Lucky, or Atama.  This gi is one of the nicest fitting, most comfortable gi's I have ever worn.

I have the size 6 gi (I walk around at 213#'s, 6'4") and as you can see it fits perfectly.  Generous space in the groin and armpits, yet a firm fit that does not lend itself to "swimming" in the gi.  The kimono top is not one piece but the seems are strongly reinforced.  The weave is extremely comfortable and durable.  I have rolled in the gi for the past few weeks as well as taking it to the Igor Kurinoy seminar where we were pushing and pulling, lots of lapel grabs and sleeve grips.  No problem!  Sturdy lapel that is not too thick and stiff.  The skirt is generous and can be released from your belt with two tugs (I am just now getting into gi chokes so I speak with limited knowledge, but it has been my experience that certain gi's lend themselves to gi chokes and likewise not.  For instance my lucky gi is a very tight fitting gi with barely any skirt; gi chokes are almost not doable.  Vulkan is perfect, though some criticize it for too short of a skirt, but for me I can pull my Vulkan out of my belt with one tug making gi chokes fast and efficient.).  

The pants are very comfortable yet durable.  Held tight with a drawstring, the knee's are double layered for wear and tear, and the seems are all reinforced.  The pants do not get clingy with sweat and are quite comfortable to move in and lock down triangles and arm bars with.

The gi breathes very well and is comfortable to wear even drenched in sweat (does not cling like a Lucky gi).  I would caution the washing process though.  The gi IS NOT pre-shrunk and will shrink a bit in the dryer, so air dry is what I would suggest for minimizing shrinkage.  Also I would avoid bleach in general, but especially with the custom embroidery.

Roy Dean commissioned master calligrapher Eri Takase for this "Honor" gi which is named after the beautiful kanji on both arms for "Honor" (pronounced "Mei You") which is accompanied by "Jiu Jitsu de Brazil" embroidered on the left leg of the pants.  Finally topped off with Roy Dean's logo in brown stitching on the right calf.  The design is very zen in that the gi is simple (plenty of room to add patches, or not), clean, and the calligraphy is a unique touch that is not often used.  The embroidery is tight and thick, but only time will tell how it will hold up to matt abuse and repetitive washing.

Ultimately their is only one prohibitive aspect for this gi and that is the price (retails $250, on sale at Budo Videos for $225).  But if you were to go to a tailor and get some custom embroidery done (not to mention the commission for the artwork to begin with) it would surely cost much more than $250, so in the end worth is subjective but I will tell you this... I have had a couple expensive gi's such as Lucky, and if you are in the market for one pass up all others and get this limited release.  You will not be disappointed.  I hope the calligraphy lasts through the rugged training and washing as it really makes this gi snap and look sharp!
RDA Logo

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

Jiu Jitsu de Brazil

July 14, 2010

DVD Review - "Roy Dean's No Gi Essentials"

Perusing some old leglock video's by Igor Yakimov reminded me just how far the quality of production has come in regards to martial arts instructional material. The idea back then (I do not have an exact date, but it had to be late 80's) was to have one camera, one angle, and if you wanted multiple angles, the demonstrators would awkwardly fumble around. It was often obvious how ill prepared and structured the lesson plans were. And this is not a knock on Yakimov, I just so happened to look back at some material of his that reminded me to thank people like Roy Dean for continuing to produce excellent instructional DVD's such as his latest "No Gi Essentials."

Firstly I must apologize for the delay in getting this review out. I just received the DVD a few weeks ago, as I had moved earlier this year and the USPS took their sweet ass time forwarding the package to me. So my apologies to Mr. Dean and my readers.

Excellently produced (I want to say Roy's student Rick is the main man behind the camera, but I stand to be corrected) and edited, this two disc set offers a glimpse into Roy Dean's no gi game. I think this is an excellent approach as watching DVD's of submission after submission gets old rather fast. I want to see how they got the submission. I want to gain the insight of each instructor as to how they maintain the position. Packed full of submissions and sweeps, this DVD seems to focus on developing a flowing aspect to your game. "What if" scenario's are scattered throughout the lessons which, if the keen eyed student pays close attention to, will offer countering and troubleshooting answers as well!

Live rolling clips from Dean's classes are also edited in where applicable. Certain moves he teaches are followed by a live clip of him and his students rolling along with narration by Dean. The director is also constantly moving to get the optimal angle along with multiple static camera angles as well. Rick even gets crafty with a clip shot in the reflection of Dean's beautiful dojo! Okay, you get it... technically another excellent production from Dean. Onto the marrow!

Disc 1:
Essential Movements
Essential Grips
Rolling Analysis

As you can see Dean has put in the best of what he considers essential knowledge for the no gi grappler. Not restricted to just submissions, or just positions; Dean attacks the subject from all possible angles. The progression from being able to move on the ground (shrimp, bridge, etc.) into how to grip is certainly key in the no gi game. Jean Jacques Machado once answered "Grips and speed." when asked what is the difference to him between no gi and gi grappling. Grips are essential for our art, and with no gi the need to train them is even
stronger since no material can be grabbed and the slickness of the human body makes holding anything challenging. What Dean terms "grips" with the shoulder and the head, I would refer to as posture breaking which is great to see in a DVD. Dean also explores D'Arce chokes as a method to grip as well.

Offering small doses of each subject Dean teaches a few different throws discussing how to pull off Uchi Mata with various grips, and how to set up one takedown with another such as Uchi Mata into Harai Goshi. This melds nicely into the armdrag chapter which really focuses on fluidity and combinations of movement. Dean goes over both standing and knee to knee drags.
The chapter on kimura's was the first one I checked out; it is one of my favorites! Dean does a nice job again addressing certain scenario's and flowing into other submissions and sweeps when the kimura fails. He speaks of the relationship between the kimura and the guillotine showing variations such as the five finger guillotine as well.

One of the highlights of this 2 disc DVD is the final chapter on the first disk; 'Rolling Analysis.' Dean narrates throughout rolling with white belts through purple, never dominating his students, occasionally offering limbs to see how they will react and he even gets caught a time or two. This feature is invaluable because it showcases so much about the art, the instructor,
and the student. We get a glimpse of Dean's game yet he has left the ego at home and rolls according to the level of the student. Explaining his strategy and technique, all the while giving positive criticism for the student. The love for the art, and the passion for teaching shines through in these seemingly meaningless "extra's" of which I would like to see more of from other martial artist's DVD series.

Disc 2:
Guard Options
Mount Options
Sidemount Escapes
Opening the Guard
Leglock Techniques
Leglock Combinations

Disc two offers more of the same solid fundamentals and variations on a theme. This set is meant to be structured as a private lesson format. Think of asking a teacher whom you were only going to meet once, and have only 1 hour to train with, what his essential ________ is for XX position. In a nutshell that describes "No Gi Essentials."

Sidemount Escapes is one of the gems in this set teaching us to build a proper frame as the foundation of our escape into smooth, realistic, flows and transitions. Dean makes a comment toward the end of the lesson, "The ultimate goal is to never allow sidemount." But really does not delve too deeply into "escaping the opponents guard pass" which I think would be an amazing subject, that is rarely seen taught in instructional DVDs. I was left wanting more, which I suppose is the genius behind Roy Dean.
Yet another subject NEVER talked about is 'baiting.' Dean touches upon the subject in the chapter "Opening the Guard." I must admit that what he shows is a bit risky, but if you follow to a T he has some interesting way to open the guard and pass.

What would a Roy Dean / Roy Harris DVD be without some talk about leg attacks!? Two chapters, "Leglock Techniques" & "Leg Combinations" adorn this set going into great detail on the straight ankle lock as well as offering options into the knee bar and heel hook. Protecting your own legs and exploring various leg controls finishes out the Combinations chapter.

Once again, and not really surprisingly, Roy Dean has produced another fine grappling instructional leading the way in quality instruction with top notch production. He has even just released the first BJJ app for I-Pad which you can download. Regardless of the medium in which you view it "No Gi Essentials" should be an essential part of your DVD collection.

Train Hard. Train Smart.
Jake B.

March 10, 2010

No Gi Essentials DVD Release

Our good friend Roy Dean has finished production of his latest grappling DVD, this time tackling "No Gi Essentials." You can order the DVD here!

I have not seen this DVD yet, but I will surely get it down the road and will review it here like Dean's past DVD's (which are some of the best in the industry).


February 4, 2010

Roy Dean's Latest DVD Project

Our good friend, and student of Roy Harris, Roy Dean will be offering his latest DVD project on No Gi grappling. Here is a preview clip of the production. As usual it looks high quality with solid instruction and technique.


November 23, 2009

Roy Dean Interview

GREAT new interview by Roy Dean. Roy is a class act and has lots of insight to offer BJJ. Check this short interview out! Neat site as well, check out BJJ Interviews for other great interviews.

October 19, 2009

Final Round MMA Digital Magazine

A couple of great BJJ interviews in the first edition of "Final Round" an all digital format magazine. Roy Dean and Carlos Machado offer some nice interviews along with some other MMA stars and up and comers.


September 29, 2009

DVD Review - Purple Belt Requirements

Roy Dean's latest BJJ DVD gem is entitled "Purple Belt Requirements" and it is a must have for any serious student of BJJ or grappling regardless of your rank. I have quickly come to expect an extremely high level of instruction, production quality, and insight from Mr. Dean's instruction both in person and via his multi media outlets. Once again I am pleased to announce he has risen to the challenge and lived up to the level I (and others) have come to expect.

I have been looking forward to this DVD for the past 6 months or so as I am about 1/2 way to my Purple belt in BJJ. I was bummed when the DVD arrived literally two days before my 2 1/2 week vacation last month. I managed a quick peak but nothing substantial until I got back a few weeks ago.

Where many DVDs of this nature approach the subject via the instructors personal curriculum of techniques and transitions, Roy Dean's goal with this DVD is simple, "To move you forward conceptually, so that you can create your own game." A personalization of your grappling approach lending from Dean's credo "Discover who you are."

The two disk DVD starts out with "What makes a purple belt" where Dean makes an excellent analogy of the art with studying a language. At the blue belt level one is still learning words, collecting techniques if you will. At the purple belt level one starts to make sentences which form the basis of YOUR personal game. One of the greatest things about the martial arts, BJJ in this instance, is that the art becomes a conduit for ones personality to come out on the mat.

"BJJ is not about techniques, but rather transitions." - Dean.

Do not mistake this DVD simply as a collection of techniques. Don't get me wrong, over the 170 minutes of instruction there are plenty of techniques demonstrated and taught. But the gist of Dean's lessons here are formulated around the concepts of grappling and the development of your personal toolkit. On disk one the menu is broken into Passing the Guard and Positions of the Game.

Positions of the Game offers the student a look into several of the most prominent positions of BJJ such as back mount / mount / sidemount / guard / leglocks, and approaches them from a principle based perspective including attacks and submissions but the focus is on transition. We are reminded of simple things that us beginners all too often forget such as attacking the neck in an effort to get to the arms (or vice versa), or how to use your legs which is key to the advanced game.

Precise footwork, patience when passing such as overlapping your pressure and not regressing with your progress are the fundamental idea's of the Passing the Guard portion of disk one. Again techniques are covered but not emphasized. Herein lies the golden nuggets of the DVD; 1/2 Guard Strategies / Passing Concepts / Passing Transitions. Dean expertly talks about, and demonstrates, some of the concepts and strategies (sorely missing in much BJJ instruction) of passing someones guard. Transitions are where most beginners get stuck and Dean addresses problems and solutions with details that often stump us grapplers.

The second DVD offers a number of great supplements to the main DVD such as Donald Bowerman's Purple Belt evaluation which includes technique demonstrations as well as free rolling. Also included are rolling examples from blue - purple - brown - and black belts showcasing similarities and differences of styles and approaches. These are all a nice fit for the DVD as a whole. Dean also talks about guidelines for a Purple Belt in regards to their skill requirements:
1) Smooth efficient movement
2)Complete game - a go to move in every position
3) Link your combo's using 2-3 techniques

Dean also includes some his competition footage of a black belt fight with one of his hero's Dan Camarillo. I am not sure where this fits with the Purple Belt theme of the DVD. It is an amazing match, but does not seem to fit in with the majority of the DVD. The same must be said for the breakdown of the triangle Dean offers from fight footage at Brennan's round robin tourney. I believe Dean was a purple belt at this stage in his career, but I am not sure. Nice little breakdown but again I am not sure why it is included.

To wrap up the second DVD we are invited into Roy Dean's Kuwait seminars from last year where he offered lessons on leg attacks, guard passing, and closed guard work. Again these are all interesting and offer some nice techniques and insights into Dean's teaching approach, but I am not sure how they tie into the Purple Belt theme of the DVD.

Overall 4 out of 5 stars. As usual the production quality is excellent with the picture crisp and clear. Unfortunately in this DVD the sound was a little too echo-ie which was a bit distracting. Students, true students not just technique collectors (go to Youtube for that), will want to include this DVD in their library, as Dean has set a new standard in what we should expect from an instructional BJJ DVD.


July 26, 2009

"Art of the Wrist Lock" - DVD Review

I first was introduced to joint manipulation (Chin Na - Chinese) via Prof. Remy Presas of Modern Arnis fame. Via networking at his seminars I was also blessed to train with Prof. Wally Jay and his students in Small Circle Jiu Jitsu. Remy freely admitted that he learned a lot of his locking technique and theory from Prof. Jay.

At my traditional Karate school we did very, very little joint manipulation and throws. So I would bring back material to train our black belts in and use it in sparring and self defense classes. A few years later joint manipulation became a key element in my everyday work environment as security (doorman/bouncer) in various clubs and bars in both Ohio and New Mexico. If one is working in higher class establishments striking was forbidden even if you were being swung on, so joint manipulation all of the sudden became much, MUCH, more important. I really wish I had access to a similar format and instructional DVD as Roy Dean's "Art of the Wristlock."

A two disk work with over 150 minutes of instructional material, "Art of the Wristlock" far exceeds any previous product on the subject matter. I am a HUGE fan of wristlocks both standing and on the ground, and to the best of my (limited) knowledge no other production has broached the subject of analyzing and studying the similar principles found in both Aikido and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Dean has done just that and he has done it with intelligence, panache, and most importantly passion.

Lets get technicalities out of the way. As with all of Roy Dean's DVDs (Blue Belt Requirements / Seminars Year One / and the forth coming Purple Belt Requirements) the production quality is top notch. Filmed in what seems to be HD, the picture and sound quality are some of the best I have seen, which is even more impressive considering part of this compilation is seminars filmed live! Ease of navigation, quality photography, and excellent sound and film editing are fast becoming staples of Deans DVD standards. Good on him for putting quality before quantity. A few spots in the seminars the audio was a bit difficult to hear clearly, but Dean recognized this and added subtitles so no worries.

Disk I
In what is perhaps the hidden gem of the DVD Roy sits down and offers a candid discourse on his involvement in the arts, the differences between Ju Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu, as well as the origins of the various grappling arts of Japan. Roy is quite honest in his approach sharing stories of his evolution in the arts, and the evolution of the efficacy of training within Aikido, Judo, Traditional Ju Jitsu, as well as BJJ. Perhaps many would/did skip this 15 minute intro to get to the "goods," but you should certainly give it its due and pay attention with a notebook. Here are some key points I took away:
  • All styles of grappling are based on the principles of push and pull. (I would interject and offer this principle is found in all styles period, as with striking you are pushing and pulling your hips in an effort to strike faster/harder, for instance).
  • The push - pull principle can be expressed in different ranges of combat, hence the different styles: BJJ - ground based / Judo - focus on the clinch range with grabbing of the gi etc.
  • In order to become proficient at any grappling art you MUST test your skills in an uncooperative environment.
  • Failure is how you make progress. Do not fear failure, embrace it as a learning opportunity.
Before heading into the bulk of disk 1 Dean offers his purpose in the offering of this DVD, paying homage to his own brand "Discover who you are"; "I wish to share my personal experience and technique that has worked for me. This is my expression of Jiu Jitsu."

So begins the overview of the most common wristlocks found in Aikido, the basic five numbered locks, Shihonage, and Kotegaeshi. Dean teaches the common standing variations via Aikido and then shows options to follow up on the ground transitioning to superior positions such as knee on belly, arm bars, and key locks. This is really where Dean shines in his smooth transitions. Moving fluidly from wristlock, to takedown, to submission. He also offers a couple of variations to try off the high collar tie, or clinch. Those not familiar with Aikido or wristlocks need not fret Dean offers the basic grips and methodology in application via principles, not fancy foreign language nor metaphysical mumbo jumbo. Even the rare nikkyo and gokyo wristlocks are taught.

The one complaint I do have about this DVD, actually I think it is the only one, is that in the "Groundfighting" section Dean only spends 10 minutes on the subject. As a BJJ player I was left wanting more setups, variations, positional drills... overall just...more. Don't get me wrong the applications, setups, and variations and transitions he teaches are solid! Often threatening the wristlock only to break his opponents structure and optimize on the lack of position to lock on another submission, these were awesome! I just wanted more of them!

Disk 1 wraps up with a half dozen demonstrations such as Roy Deans Aikido Shodan test, his Seibukan Ju Jitsu Sandan exam, as well as self defense demos and a couple commercials for upcoming productions. Looking to illustrate certain points Dean even offers his first Grapplers Quest competition where his opponent, to Roy's surprise, attempts to wristlock and arm bar Dean! Little tid bits such as "My training in ukemi (break falling / rolling) saved me from getting tapped and possibly injured."

Disk II
Filmed over three seminars at Monerey's famed Yosokan Dojo, disk II carries on where disk I leaves off, blending the principles of traditional Ju Jitsu and Aikido with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. "All Ju Jitsu is about moving yourself, not your opponent." another priceless quote from Dean. Emphasizing getting off the line of attack, non opposition of force, and flow Roy Dean expertly weaves a delicate thread showing how these principles are applied in Aikido, as well as BJJ regardless if one is standing or on the ground. Empahsizing sound fundamentals and principles, Roy Dean gives new perspective on the basic armbar from the guard, clock choke, and wristlocks!

Dean moves on to the subject of transitioning smoothly from standing to the ground, again pointing out certain principles that are true regardless of size, shape, or sex. Though principles were certainly the main course, if you pay close attention Dean offers tons of appetizers and decadent desserts with various clock chokes, arm locks, and again intermingling various wrist attacks as well.

In a classy act the second seminar closes with Roys student TJ getting promoted to Blue Belt. I met and trained with TJ and there was not a nicer guy in the dojo. Though this was like a 5 second clip I thought it to be very endearing and tasteful for Dean to include on the DVD (especially since TJ was demo dummy for much of the DVD;). If one watches subtely you will see that the passion and love that Roy Dean has for these arts shines forth in little moments such as this.

The final seminar offered on the disk is all about some of Roy Dean's favorite submissions; leg attacks. Working no gi Dean once again offers insight and detail that many instrcutors pass over on their instructionals. Entries, principles of leverage, and tightening up all aspects of the basic straight ankle lock are offered, as well as a great counter - escape (from straight ankle) - into a arm bar that is not to be missed! Roy closes the seminar with a
Q & A session offering a great arm bar to triangle series.

Alright, alright, I have bantered long enough. Those of you who know me know I am not that talkative in person;) I would apologize but I do not feel the need to, as I cannot say enough about Roy Dean and what he is offering the martial arts community both locally as well as globally with his DVD's. You will not be disappointed with your purchase here. Even if you think you know about wristlocks check it out, as I feel both standing and on the ground wristlocks are poorly understood and terribly underused. And for those who do not think Aikido is a respectable fighting art.... well... perhaps Mr. Roy Dean has something to show you.


June 23, 2009

DVD Review - BJJ Seminars Year One

I had the distinct pleasure to meet Roy Dean a few weeks ago at his beautiful dojo in Bend, OR. Though I did not get to train with Dean directly (I was there for his teacher Roy Harris' seminar, check out a review here on my blog), we have communicated via the net for some time now, and something about his attitude and approach to the art of BJJ and his students really resonated with me. So when I purchased his DVD on Year One Seminars, I was not sure what to expect.... let me be honest... I did not expect much because it outwardly appeared to be a hodge podge of clips and what not from various seminars. I must admit, though it does not happen often, I was wrong!

"Discover Who You Are"
The official, unofficial, brand of Roy Deans academy is "Discover Who You Are," which I think is nothing short of genius as BJJ is truly a vehicle for self discovery. For some reason BJJ is often looked at as barbaric and rather uncivilized by those who do not train it. The notion that one could find the very same attributes in BJJ as they would in a "more traditional" martial art is often marginalized. Why? I have no clue. But their are people such as Dean out there who are doing what they can to destroy such stereotypes.

"I strongly feel that BJJ is a discipline that can serve as a vehicle for spiritual development, and with all the strong checks on your ego in this art, you learn about yourself in a very visceral way. You learn about humility, dedication, and how there are forces greater than you in existence. You learn that it's often better to blend than oppose. You realize that you are more capable than you ever believed you'd be." - Roy Dean

"Year One" is a 85 minute production broken into 6 parts that clearly documents Roy's first year as a black belt in BJJ, as well as the first year the Roy Dean Academy was in existence. Roy had taught Aikido and Judo in the past, but decided to drop all other arts in an effort to dedicate himself solely to the study and teaching of BJJ. This DVD truly does encapsulate the spirit and the body of "Discover Who You Are."

Broken down section by section for ease of review and navigation:

1-Alaska Seminar:
Roy was born and raised in Alaska, so when his good friend Robert Grunder invited him to offer a seminar how could one refuse? In celebration of Roberts 54th birthday Roy flew in and offered an excellent seminar on various guard attacks, sweeps, and finishes. Nothing new or groundbreaking here, but the detail (and I saw this in Dean's mentor, Roy Harris, as well) was where it is all at! Offering small little corrections to the basic kimura's, mata leo's, and sweeps, grapplers of all levels will take something away from this seminar.

2- Summer 07
This is a nice compilation of clips from a seminar Dean taught at his annual school gathering in Bend. No audio instruction here, but one can gleam a lot from the video alone. This felt more like a montage of various topics covered over several hours. I watched wanting more detail in the instruction.

3- Purple Belt Test
I had the honor of watching Jimmy DeSilva get tested for his brown belt last month, and damn if it wasn't impressive! A number of techniques were required to be demonstrated flawlessly, and then over a 1/2 hour of intensive sparring with several students as well as Mr. Dean and Mr. Harris! Jimmy puked his brains out, but persevered and pushed to become Roy's first brown belt student.

This section is Jimmy's purple belt exam. I really cannot do this segment justice as one has to observe it to truly appreciate the message that is trying to be conveyed here. Once you get past the technique, the testing, the hard work, you see truly the struggle we all face....ourselves. Jimmy proved that it is solely up to him if he passes or fails. He must overcome his own fatigue, mental exhaustion, and shortcomings to push through the challenge of crisp clean technique and mental fortitude.

4-Roy Harris Seminar
Here is the gem of the DVD in my opinion. Again the devil is in the details, and Harris does not disappoint! Teaching the subtleties of open guard control Harris walks the students through basic principles and strategies of the open guard, and then dives into various sweeps and techniques. The overall theme was "3." Most often this referred to keeping three points of your body in contact with your opponent at all times in order to control and follow them and their intention of trying to pass your guard.

Again, I do not feel I can accurately convey the quality of instruction one gets from Mr. Harris. I have been blown away for a couple years via his DVD's, but in person he is 10 times better and more detail oriented. His control of the group, his attention to subtle intricacies of the art, and his sharing attitude have become an inspiration to me both as a student and an instructor (something that rarely happens after 18 years of training).

5-Westside Submission
Here is a compilation of Roy Dean's decimation of his competition at Chris Brennan's round robin tournament in Southern California. Roy entered as a purple belt and apparently packed his triangle and arm bar to completely own the tournament. This segment is a personal view into Roy's heart and soul clearly showing how he discovered who he is! Roy is a man of few words, but his actions speak volumes in this section.

6-What does Jiu Jitsu look like?
The final segment of the DVD is a TV commercial shot at Harris International for prospective students. A well done production that conveys the various aspects of BJJ, while at the same time demonstrating how to be a safe and sound training partner.

The production quality of this DVD is second to none! Again, I purchased the DVD fully expecting the same quality I get with my $300 handheld camcorder, but this was not the case here. Filmed in high quality (digital??), and produced like a Hollywood movie, the quality and clarity of both picture and sound is top notch. During a couple of the segments a microphone would have been handy, but all in all it was still very easy to hear clearly and concisely what the instructors were offering. Even down to the relaxing music (THANK YOU Roy Dean for not making another DEATH-METAL-KILL-EM-ALL-BJJ-SOUNDTRACK), which is produced by Mr. Dean himself, the production is top notch!

Your money is well spent with this DVD. Roy has shared with me his desire to produce one of these DVD's every other year in an effort to document the progression of his school, his students, and the art of BJJ over the years. I know I will be purchasing any DVD he produces, and will also be trying to make any and every opportunity to train down in Bend! Great instruction, good people, and top notch beer! What else could a dojo rat like me want!?! To purchase go to Oh, and did I mention Roy is barely charging anything for this.... $25!!!


June 1, 2009

Training with the one of the Dirty Dozen of BJJ

I must admit that I have lived a very fortunate and fruitful life thus far, especially in terms of martial arts. Just this year alone I have had the opportunity to train with the likes of Demian Maia, Eddie Bravo, Rigan Machado, and Tim Cartmell. Over the last 3 years I have had the great fortune to train with three of BJJ's "Dirty Dozen:" David Meyer - John Will - and over this last weekend Roy Harris. The "Dirty Dozen" is the unofficial label of the first 12 non-Brazilians to attain black belt level in the art of BJJ. They are as follows:

Rather shy and introverted when I first walked in and met Mr. Harris, he immediately came to life and took command of the room just before the seminar started. While some last minute stragglers were still getting dressed, Roy took about 15 minutes before the seminar started to open it up for any questions from the attendees. We covered some grip breaking questions, and a few tips for escaping someones back control.

Anyone who is savvy to the BJJ world knows that controversy surrounds Harris. I do not wish to drag up dirty laundry here, just search around the web for a minute and you will find plenty of good and bad stories surrounding Roy Harris. This was partially the reason I wanted to check him out; as it has often been my experience that people with "reps" on the web are one of two types of teachers:
- Completely and utterly full of themselves, and often full of shit
- Technically sound, solid, really good teachers who often make others feel threatened or inferior, hence the "others" doing their best to drag said teachers name through the mud.

Now I cannot speak for the "truth" out there, but one thing is certain, Harris does NOT fall under the first category of people I have experienced!!

"Technically sound" does not even start to describe the seminar and Roy's teachings! "The devil is in the details." was a sentence used over and over by Roy this weekend and let me tell you the details he offered on various aspects of BJJ were worth three times the money I spent!

To my delight, we started the morning session with leg locks! Harris is renowned for his leg attacks in the BJJ community. He is so good at them (especially straight ankle locks) that when he was training at the Gracie Academy Rorion pulled him into the office one day as a blue belt and told him he was no longer "allowed" to use leg locks in class! His DVD's on the subject are excellent as well.

To be honest nothing he taught was "new" to me, as two weeks prior I had Tim in town doing a leg lock seminar, and for those who do not know Tim credits Roy Harris with teaching him many of the finer aspects of his leg lock game via seminars when Tim was a blue belt! So this was a great review of the principles and mechanics that Tim offered, from one of his teachers. I look forward to doing some more leg attacks this weekend with Aaron Fields here in Seattle, WA. who is doing a Sambo seminar on leg attacks.

The second session of the day was working submission chains; working one submission from another that just failed or was defended well. The tips Roy taught for the triangle (and subsequently for the single leg pass defending the triangle) were amazing!!! Those interested in the details are welcome to class over the next couple weeks where I am happy to "share" them with you! Roy was quite candid with teaching tips that many teachers either do not know, or do not wish to share with others. If nothing else it is the love and passion for teaching that Roy posses' for the art of BJJ that will be an ever lasting impression left on me.

Roy took time to answer any and all questions. Was very polite (thanked ME for allowing him to work on ME!?!?!?!) and to the point. One of the best aspects of the training was I was Uke (demo dummy) for the whole day! This was not only an honor, but an education in and of itself! First of all Roy is a LOT bigger than I thought he was! As you can see from the picture; he is my size! And his pressure is AMAZING!!!! My broken ribs did not like the pressure, and I am sure he was being nice for the demo! I wish I could have rolled with him. Secondly one learns SO much kinesthetically from a teacher who works on you.

Roy was hosted by his black belt student Roy Dean in Bend, OR. which is a gorgeous town found in central Oregon, saturated with some wonderful distilleries and breweries! I highly suggest the Coffee Stout found on the nitro tap at Bend Brewing Co. It is un-fucking-believable!!!!!!

Mr. Dean has one of the most beautiful dojo's I have been in, with a wonderful view of the South Sister straight out the front window. His students were all out going and very friendly, and the few I worked with were great partners. Obviously Roy Dean is doing a great job raising these young mat rats!

I also had the privilege to observe Jimmy DeSilva's brown belt evaluation. He did a phenomenal job and was awarded his brown belt after making it all the way through the almost hour long test! Congrats Jimmy! Here is the video for it:

I see this post is just going on, and on, and......
So in closing if you get the chance to train with Roy Harris I HIGHLY suggest you take it! He offers seminars worldwide, as well as doing seminars almost quarterly at his academy in San Diego, CA. His technical prowess is second only to his passion for teaching, both of which I find quite important and endearing in my instructors. Also if you are looking for a nice vacation that is not too far, Bend is beautiful and Roy Dean would welcome you to stop in and roll with his guys. Great group! Great training! Great life! Live it!

Train Hard,