Following my positive experiences training alongside Sam Cook at the Female Fighters Camp last year, I decided to try a seek out more female BJJ seminars. Especially from females around my weight class. My year started well with the Wominar 11 and a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to grab a seminar with Claudia Doval when she visited Gracie Barra Trafford Quays. So I thought it might be an idea to write short blogs about training with these amazing women and what to expect.
I am not going to go in-depth into who Claudia is and her accomplishments. Afterall that’s whats google for! But let just say you may know her as a female grappler with multiple world and international titles, may have spotted her refereeing at numerous IBJJF events or simply just recognise her flaming red hair from social media lol!. The seminar was held at Gracie Barra Trafford Quay which is a small but really friendly gym. With just over 20 grapplers on the mat, the seminar was busy but not enough that you couldn’t easily see the techniques or ask questions.
I’m not going to cover any of the techniques in massive detail. It’s not fair to her as an instructor or the people who attended. Plus I like to have every advantage (including surprise) with my training partners (so no spoilers!). All I will say is that the session was incredibly well structured.
In generic terms it started with a movement-based warm-up looking at some of the details of the spider guard moved into omoplata entries from both the spider guard and the collar sleeve grips. Next up was a breakdown of completing the omoplata from every perspective from grips through to getting the tap before covering some counter options for if your opponent does roll out. From an overview, the seminar appeared to cover only a handful of relatively simple techniques but they were covered with multiple layers of details making it beneficial for everyone attending (white belt through to black). The two hours really flew by.
Claudia is obviously a experience coach and instructor. The session logically flowed together from entries to control point and through to finishes with technical micro details added throughout. During the session she observed the group making corrections, answer queries and bringing the group back together when she observed common challenges. As well as being generous with her coaching time she also gave time for general questions and photographs at the end the session. She was genuinely generous with her time and made everyone feel welcome regardless of gender or rank.
Claudia is definitely an instructor I’d love to train with again. Although spider guard isn’t my A game by any means I still took away some absolute gold that I will be adding into my game. If she does do a seminar in your part of the world between her competition and refereeing adventures I would definitely recommend jumping on board!