Seminar Review: Flavio Almeida at Gracie Barra Twin Cities

Bottom left: 3rd degree black belt Flavio Almeida
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If there is one thing that I know- thanks in no small part to all the gyms I have visited and all that I still have to go to- is that BJJ is full of politics and  rumors.
Rumors, stories, theories, legends, whatever you want.
I have heard who said what about whom, who switch their affiliation, who withholds rank, who’s a sandbagger and on and on and on.
I know the feuds and I decided that I would go out and see what I could see in the BJJ world. When it comes to Minnesota, our little world is comparatively small. So I think it is just as important to get out there and find out for yourself what there is. 
I’m not telling anyone to jump gyms, swear some allegiance or anything like that. I’m just saying that you never know a place or a man until you’ve tried.
Case in point: Flavio Almeida. 
Now, I’ve heard about classes and seminars with head instructors (sorry, no names) that are like boot camp drill sergeants.  A lot of yes sir, no sir, stuff like that.
And no laughing. No smiling.
It wouldn’t be the first time I was at a seminar and questioning my life choices.
However, Professor Almeida did not fit the bill.
I’m not sure that there was a moment that he wasn’t smiling.
For a 3rd degree black belt, I think that a certain amount of pomp and circumstance would have been expected.
That’s what I get for having expectations about anyone or anything.
I mean, by beer is High Life. How can I have expectations?
Besides working takedown, sweeps and submissions, Professor Almeida was more than happy to share any insight, tips of philosophies that he has picked up in his lifetime of learning.
Not only that, but he wanted to roll. 
There really aren’t that many black belts that are lined up and ready to grapple at their seminars. Most seem content to wander around or hug the wall, letting others do their best to ape the movements. Not lined up for round after round of grappling with any color belt that stepped in front of them.
A rumor’s not a rumor that doesn’t die.
Between Professor Rodrigo Sul and Professor Flavio Almeida, let this rumor die, because you might be hard pressed to find a Zebra mat (or any other mat) in the state that offers a more hospitable instructor. Let alone such a famed affiliation.
Damn, only one goofy ass remark this time. I must be sober.