The people you fight with the most tend to be the people closest to your heart. Anyone who has siblings or is married knows this all to well, LOL!
The same is sometimes true in the competition arena. If you are without ego, it is hard not to respect a person that you have battled tooth and nail for greatness. You both know the challenges that one must face to enter the arena. You both have prepared yourselves over the course of years and countless hours to be the person you are today.
Alexandre ‘Xande” Ribeiro is such a man to me. We have faced each other twice, with each of us holding a victory. I have long respected Xande as he is one of the best competitors to ever grace the BJJ and grappling world. He has won ADCC, and every IBJJF tournament you can think of.
So it was with great pleasure that I was finally able to train with him at his academy in Los Angeles (True Warrior Fitness, 633 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90036). I first donned the kimono as you can see in the picture, which doesn’t happen very often 🙂
He taught some fundamental techniques that will make me a much more effective BJJer. We then had a no-gi class that he had me teach, in which I shared one of my favorite submission series – the arm inside guillotine.
This might seem crazy to share techniques with each other as we will most likely face each other again on the mats. But by training with each other, we are able to improve ourselves. Competition after all, is just a way of measuring yourself – it is not the end all benchmark of greatness. The goal of all martial artists is to be our best.