I've been around the game for a little while (okay, a long while depending on how you look at the statistics), I know a decent amount about the politics of the game, the rivalries, the attitudes. All the bull**** that shouldn't matter but does.
I've been to a lot of seminars from a lot of grapplers. Some of the best in the world, and the best that ever will be, and still, I never rolled with anyone that inspired me to roll as much as Bill "The Grill" Cooper did.
Let's put the 27x Grapplers Quest Championships to the side. Don't look at the wins. Don't look at YouTube or anything like that, because stats and videos can't tell you what it is really like to roll with a man.
There are a lot of different sorts out there. When you pay for a seminar, you aren't just paying for the man or the skill, you are also buying the personality. Which can really suck.
I'm talking about people that preach. People that waste your time telling you about how you need to think or live you life.
If you knew anything about the people you were teaching (or at least me) you would know I will never be like you. I will never be a world champ and people paying for what I got will only ever happen on a street corner.
Just show me your f***ing moves.
If you have advice, fight. Keep it to a few sentences and show me the G** D***ED TECHNIQUE!
And shouldn't have to ask you if I am doing it right. I shouldn't have to pry information out of you. That is what the money was for.
We've all been to those kinds of seminars or seen them on YouTube. And it sucks.
About three years ago I was at a seminar featuring TWO world champions. It cost almost $200 for what was supposed to be a two day event.
It turned into a one day, three hour event in which both seemed utterly bored and just kind of wandered around. Until one found a stash of rubber weapons used for self-defense and decided to play with those instead.
Yes, I am still bitter to this day.
If it is done right. It inspires with few words at all.
Here are four words: Bill "The Grill" Cooper.
Yes, that was just four, you don't have to go back and count them.
Now, I missed the first few days (yes, I said few. For missing the original date Bill made up for it by staying FIVE DAYS!) so I didn't get a chance to roll with him until one of the last days. However, I did get a chance to talk to others that had.
"What did you think of Bill?"
*Blank stare with crooked smile* was what I always got. Like people didn't quite have the words to describe rolling with him.
More than willing to roll with anyone and everyone that wanted and with an insane gas tank, Bill rolled like he was playing around, experimenting, putting himself into awkward positions, but he never stopped. He was never stuck. It was never a mistake.
It was inspiration.
Seeing him sweep a 280 pound brown belt over and over again made my stomach hurt.
I could never move the guy. I could never sweep him. How does this 160 pounder do it?
Simple: he is better than me.
But it isn't strength. It isn't some arcane knowledge that was passed down to him. He makes everyone think they can do it. That is can be done. And he does it with a smile on his face.
This was Bill's first trip to Minnesota and, for the love of s*** I hope that it won't be his last because you better believe that we still have more to learn from him and that we will be trying like mother f***ers to get him back out here.
Oh, did you miss the seminar because it was only "two hours"... sucks to be you guys (and yes, there were a lot of you from several gyms). I hear the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th days were pretty surreal.