Coach Mike Palladino
The name Marcelo Garcia is synonymous with BJJ. In the first decade of the 2000’s a quiet young man with a large smile burst on to the Jiu Jitsu scene. Marcelo’s Jiu Jitsu was ahead of its time, to many, he appeared to be from the future. After retiring in 2011 as a double World Champion (ADCC + Mundials) to focus on his academy in NYC and his students, he quickly was recognized as one of the best Coaches in the sport as well; developing a team of up and coming colored belts known as “The Dream Team”.
I first met Marcelo in 2007 at my very first tournament in NJ. I was and still am a HUGE fan of his. I’ve had the pleasure of taking his classes on a few occasions. What has always attracted me to Marcelo is his approach to BJJ. When an athlete leads the pack in a sport, it’s best to investigate and study what exactly they’re doing to be different. Luckily, no matter where you were in the world, you could get a closer look at Marcelo’s training and teaching on YouTube, a platform Marcelo was able to share his approach on.
In his video ‘Marcelo Garcia: 3 Modes of Training’, Marcelo teaches us about how to train in the academy. He trains 3 brief rounds, all with a different modality. In the first round Marcelo is completely defensive, not engaging or taking any risks. In the second round, Marcelo is all offense, blindly moving forward, throwing caution to the wind. In the third and final round, Marcelo is strategic, taking risks but also being cautious. He finishes his demonstration by talking to his students about the importance of using the training room as a place for experimenting, exploring and developing which requires a level of risk taking as opposed to showing up to every class trying to compete with your peers. “In training,” he says, “you get to restart if you get submitted.” It’s a great point by Marcelo, showing that you can afford to explore and take risks because if you get submitted, you high five and reset. Obviously, competition is not the domain or environment to explore or take huge risks. Competition is where you go in with your proven and tested skills. Training is where you can explore and continue to develop your weaknesses. Competition is where you don’t explore but stick to your A game and proven techniques. Two different mindsets. He goes on to say, those who compete in the training will not round out their games, they may be tough training partners but only for so long.
As a competitor, Marcelo was always a submission hunter. On the chase, to finish his opponents as opposed to winning by points. But Marcelo also had incredibly effective escapes. His side control escapes and counters were so unorthodox to the standard escapes. The reason he had such effective systems of escape is because he consistently put himself in bad positions against his training partners, spending time in bad positions so he can technically and efficiently map out his escape routes and develop a system regardless of his opponents movements and decisions. Marcelo was truly something special and I’ve learned a lot of lessons from him over the years as both a student and a coach.
You don’t want to miss this seminar! Join us Sunday, October 8th in Beacon at 11:30. EGA students, please note this seminar is now FREE for all students!
New Striking Schedule
All Strikers, please note the schedule changes that take effect beginning Monday, October 2nd! This is also a reminder that shin guards and gloves are required for all Muay Thai classes. There are limited quantities for purchase at EGA. See your coach or someone at the front desk for assistance. For the FULL EGA SCHEDULE click HERE. Save it to your bookmarks!
Meet Coach Matt (Chete)
Whether you’ve been at EGA for 1 week or several years, you probably recognize Coach Matt (or Chete as most of the adults know him)! He might’ve been the one welcoming you or your child into the gym for the first time, pulling you aside to learn some basics at your first few classes, or always being up for one more roll or conversation at the end of class. After finding his way to EGA as a white belt about 8 years ago (how he landed here is another story for another time!), he fell in love with the sport and the tribe and we’ve yet to be able to get rid of him! In fact, you may see him around even more nowadays as he’s stepped into a new role on staff overseeing our kids programs, regularly coaching, and taking on more administrative responsibilities.
Chete first got a taste of jiu jitsu through his uncle, who is a Black Belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu, in the mid-90’s and also through the UFC. In his mid 20’s after becoming a father (baby number 3 will be here any day now!) he felt the urge to learn how to not only protect himself, but also his growing family (his wife Cynthia and son MJ also train). As time progressed, so did his skill and belt level which led him to another side of jiu jitsu – coaching. “My favorite part about coaching is having a positive effect on someone’s life. I love being able to help people develop and grow and see them go from timid and meek to bold and courageous.” Chete wants people to know, “It’s never too late to steer your life in a positive direction. When you reach a point where you feel like no one believes in you and you have nothing in life, come to the gym and train! There is always something here for you. Never stop training, we need you.”
Women’s Open Mat
We are so excited to provide not only our ladies, but also those from other schools, a Women’s Only Open Mat! Come get in some great rolls on Saturday, October 21st at 1PM. Whether you’re preparing for a competition or wanting to sharpen your skills, we’d love to see you there. Please share the invite and let’s pack the mats!
We have another opportunity to partner with Family Services in Poughkeepsie to make sure our local kiddos are all suited up for Halloween! We are accepting new and gently used costumes of all sizes at EGA till Tuesday, October 24th. Thank you so much for how you lavishly love on our community!