“Day of Zen” – Part 2

First of all sorry for the delay in following up with a review of Mario Sperry’s No Gi/MMA seminar. Teaching, training, work, studying and my four-month old boy Hunter have kept me very busy lately! Now without any further talk from me, here is my review of Ze Mario’s seminar which took place at my good friend Liam Resnekov’s VT-1 Gym.

Ze Mario taught a great No Gi/MMA Seminar for a very lucky group of students and Ze Mario being one of the greatest BJJ/MMA coaches of all time sure didn’t disappoint! The “Zen Machine” started by emphasising the idea of controlling the fight and playing your game and best positions. Ze Mario started by teaching how to pass the closed guard and controlling your opponent explaining the differences between opening and passing the guard with the gi and without and more specifically for MMA. Ze Mario followed up with learning how to control and sweep your opponent from the open guard, which he considered vastly superior to the closed guard when fighting without the gi. Ze Mario emphasised developing an aggressive, attacking open guard and using your opponents movements and reactions against him to effect a sweep. He also explained that once you understand the basic mechanics of the techniques to start practising it against a live (resisting) opponent so that you develop functional sweeps and learn how to go around your opponent’s power.

Ze Mario sharing his knowledge!


Ze Mario was very open and giving with his knowledge, happily answering all questions and sharing his thoughts and experience with the group. Towards the end of the seminar the “Zen Machine” taught his ideas on how to control the turtle position, how he likes to take the back  and control the opponent by clamping down his hips instead of the usual “hooks in” position. Ze Mario explained how he felt that his method is a much better controlling position although in competition you should put your hooks in to secure your points then transition to th stronger hip clamp control from the back. From here Ze Mario also taught a variation of the rear naked choke that he prefers to use in no gi/mma and how he has found it to be vastly superior to the traditional Mata Leon(rear naked choke). The leverage he achieved using his method was tremendous and quickly had a our training partners taping vigorously!!!

Ze Mario concluded with talking about the importance of learning how to use technique and developing 3-4 positions to a really high level. He believed that if you truly master 3-4 positions that it could take you to the highest levels of competition!Ze Mario then got the guys to roll a little and I was honoured to roll(get steam rolled by:-) ) with the “Zen Machine” once again. Just prior to rolling Ze Mario humbly stated that if anyone gets his neck, arm leg or whatever that he would happily tap. Ze Mario is a man at peace with himself and got over the battle of egos a long time ago and now he just trains for fun and love of the art!

Ze Mario, myself and a couple of my students after the seminar!

Needless to say at 43 years of age, Ze Mario is still a physical specimen and flawless technician. I was completely dominated and submitted several times with what appeared to be relative ease on his part! A very humbling and huge learning opportunity for me. I feel my own Jiu jitsu game has improved tremendously already! Mario Sperry truly is a master of the art, although he would never let you call him that! Let’s hope a little “Zen” rubbed off on all those in attendance. I thank Ze Mario for sharing the gift of Jiu jitsu with us, Alex Prates for brining him to Australia and Liam Resnekov for hosting Ze Mario at his gym for the seminar. I am so lucky to call you all my good friends!

Group shot after Ze Mario seminar!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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4 Responses to ““Day of Zen” – Part 2”

  1. “Day of Zen” – Part 2 | Australia featured blogs Says:

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  2. Zen Gardening | Addys Organic Gardening Blog Says:

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