Marcelo Garcia Private Lesson


Purple Belt
Apr 19, 2004
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Hey guys, I have a one hour private lesson lined up with Marcelo Garcia tomorrow night. I was wondering what I should ask him to show me. I've already attended his seminar, which focused a lot on the x-guard, so I don't want to ask too many questions about the x-guard. I'm already planning on asking him for his take on finishing guys once you have their back.

I was just wondering if you guys had any other good suggestions as to stuff I should ask him to show me. Thanks.
i'm sure he could show you a thing or 2 about arm drags.
i'd be up for rolling with him and having him decide where he could help me, if i were you.

have fun and let us know how it goes.
I'm with DirectDrive on this one. Ask him to roll with you the whole lesson and instruct you along the way on how you can do things better, how to defend the sub better, etc.
I would say, please roll with me for 5 minutes and let me try some stuff. Then you can evaluate where my weakest points are, or specific problems with a position.
i wanna know how much that costs, thats pretty insane. a private with marcelo, damn
hamoom said:
i wanna know how much that costs, thats pretty insane. a private with marcelo, damn
visit fabio gurgels website i remember ive seen there how much a private lesson costs
buttefly guard

he's awesome at that
We had Marcelo teach at our school for an entire week a couple of months ago and let me tell you your in for a great time he's amazing and totally cool. the arm drag and butterfly guard series that he taught are pure gold. even after just one hour your game will be greatly improved. I don't agree with the idea of just rolling with him and working on what he points out there. decide on or let him decide on a series and pay attention to all the details.

anyway just my two cents.
How to get the back and finish from there, how to defend your open guard in no gi, arm drags and butterfly. IMO.
Normally, I would just ask to roll with him and have him correct my mistakes (like you guys suggested) but he has a badly injured hand and hasn't been rolling lately. Nevertheless, I may wind up doing this if I can't come up with anything specific for us to work on.

Sauron: Hmm... Butterfly guard seems like a good suggestion.

I paid $185 total for a 3 hr. seminar with Marcelo on Saturday and a one hour private lesson tonight. Marcelo's full booked but I am lucky that I train with the promoter who's organizing his West Coast seminar tour. I'll post pictures if I can find someone who's available to take pics of us.
Really cool private lesson. Marcelo is such a laid back and funny guy. He always has a smile on his face and is a good teacher. He had problems with his english but he was able to demonstrate all the details and points that he was unable to verbally communicate.

What was interesting was that Marcelo remembered me from his LA seminar. I started telling him how much I enjoyed the seminar and looked forward to trying those moves. I also mentioned that he probably remembered me because I was the only tall asian guy that attended. He responded by asking me "Do Chinese no like jiu-jitsu?" I responded that I have no idea but I know that I like jiu-jitsu. Also, what was interesting was that Vince from (the guy who set up the private and the seminar) had lied to Marcelo that I was some brown belt phenom. Imagine the surprised look on his face when he saw my faded blue belt.

In any case, we began our private lesson with me asking him to demonstrate his butterfly guard. Marcelo showed me how he fights from the butterfly guard and what moves he likes to do from there. He demonstrated 5 sweeps + a transition to x-guard. Naturally all of the sweeps are setup by an attempt at the basic butterfly guard sweep (hook sweep). Marcelo is really big on fighting grips on his legs in the butterfly guard. He absolutely refuses to allow the other guy to obtain a grip on his legs in the butterfly guard. Constantly fighting to break their grip and block their grip attempts. The sweeps he demonstrated are really cool, different from the other butterfly guard stuff that I'm familiar with.

After drilling these moves for a bit, we worked on my x-guard. Interestingly, Marcelo is really big on the placement of your legs in the x-guard. You place them higher up, with the bottom hook behind the knee, if you're sweeping them forward. You place them lower, with the bottom hook on the top part of the calf if you're sweeping them backwards.

Next, I asked him about finishing opponents from the back. Marcelo's biggest point is to always maintain position first. He keeps trying different chokes from the back. He also showed me some nifty ways of breaking your opponent's grips where they are gripping your arms to defend the choke (too hard to explain on here).

Finally, Marcelo and I rolled for about 15 minutes. He told me that he had dislocated the thumb on his left hand and tore the major ligament there. However, he told me that he's basically recovered but wanted to play it safe. As such, he wore this splint/support device while we rolled.

Well I decided to pull guard on Marcelo just to see what his top game was like. Let me tell you, he may not be renowned for his top game, but he kept passing my guard and, not surprisingly, dominated me. Marcelo doesn't concentrate on controlling you in his top game. Instead he gives you openings to try escapes because this sets you up for his subsequent moves. For instance, he gave me space to hip out of his side control... which consequently set me up for this nifty move where he switches to the opposite side and took my back.

In the course of the 20 minutes, I think I spent most of it with Marcelo on my back or me desperately trying to avoid some kind of a sweep attempt (usually in vain). What was particularly impressive was that Marcelo was only using his right hand to grip me because he was babying his injured left hand. Despite that handicap, I couldn't pass his guard at all.

All in all it was a great experience. Despite his accomplishments, Marcelo is a really humble guy. He had no ego. I wish I had pictures to share with you guys but there was no one there to take them while we were training. I did take a couple of pics with him after the private but I doubt you guys would be interested in our stupid poses.
Good job,I'd give my left nut to get a private lesson from him. You sound like you had fun, good for you.
AHHHHHH?!? So that's why you left class so early yesterday. Wierd stuff, we were working on back control stuff yesterday too.
thanks for the details're extremely lucky and it sounds like you had a great time...i for one would be interested in your pictures after your session...HUGE garcia fan here haha.
Wow, you are a lucky man. Garcia really sounds like a great guy.