Friday, June 24, 2011

Dustin Denes Seminar

Today I had the opportunity to attend a seminar by Dustin Denes. Dustin is a 3rd degree black belt with quite a slew of accomplishments, including submitting Marcelo Garcia in a BJJ competition, a 12-4-3 MMA record, helping start American Top Team, and training for a period of time in Brazil under the Nogueira brothers. There's more information about him on his website

I got out of my internship at 5:30pm (I'm still looking for a full time job- read: paid) and (fighting jersey shore traffic and the rain) raced over to the seminar, which was held at BJJ Shore Academy. BJJ Shore Academy is run by Bill Scott, a first degree black belt under Pablo Popovitch. As soon as I entered the gym, a woman greeted me, showed me the locker rooms, and took my ticket verification for the seminar. Bill immediately introduced himself, and all the other students were very friendly. I am pretty sure I was the only person who did not train there, which made it all the more awesome that everyone was so welcoming. I was also one of the lower ranking students; most of the others were purple or brown belts with one other blue belt who had 2 stripes.

Dustin immediately got into drilling. We went over three things during the seminar

- basic triangle setup
- transition from the armbar to the triangle
- omoplata

Even though this was a three hour seminar, these three items took up the entire time. It looks very basic, but Dustin showed some ways of setting up the triangle and omoplata that I had never seen before. I was drilling with one purple belt who bases him game off of the triangle and he said he felt lost! I liked spending such a long time drilling each one. Dustin is very big on details, and went around to each pair and gave a great deal of attention and instruction. He is very intense, which I've found is a teaching style I really like. He balances it out with a sense of humor. For example, whenever he sees someone who doesn't have their grips, he tells them "What are you doing? Waiting to sign autographs? Holding your hand out for a margarita?" He calls his drills "chop certified" and "battle tested", meaning that he has used them consistently in competition and that they are high percentage moves. I like having these basic moves broken down so that I can understand how they really work and how to execute them in different situations. I'm not sure if I'll ever base my game off of the triangle, but I'll certainly be more gutsy in going for it.

It's hard to explain why I enjoyed the seminar so much. When you have someone as enthusiastic and caring as Dustin teaching, it's hard to not like what you're learning. He talked to everyone during the seminar, and spoke to me for a little asking where I had trained, etc. I also like Dustin's mindset of always working hard and always practicing to improve. I think that most teachers emphasize this, but it's very evident that Dustin really lives what he preaches. To him, there are no "tricks" or shortcuts in jiu jitsu; it's just a matter of drilling, repetition, and understanding.

Additionally, BJJ Shore Academy seems like a great place to train. The students, Bill and the other black belt (forget his name) were extremely welcoming, and invited me to come back whenever I wanted to. They seem to have seminars somewhat frequently, and mentioned past guests like Pablo Popovitch and Vagner Rocha. They knew my current instructor's name (Jason Scully), and spoke highly of him. If I lived in that area, I would definitely train there. You can find out more about BJJ Shore Academy at

No comments:

Post a Comment