As I nerdily mentioned several times last week here on The Grumpy Grappler (see here, here, and here), I headed to San Diego this past weekend to give a talk at The American Philosophical Association--which went fine, but that's beside the point of this post! While I was in town, I had the priviledge of visiting and training with ADCC absolute champion and all around good guy, Dean Lister. Lister is the head of grappling at a great gym called Victory MMA. The first day I was there, I saw several current and former UFC fighters. In addition, both Lister and Jeff Glover co-taught a class on the "S-mount"--which is a great position I haven't practiced and used as much as I should.
However, the real treat of the trip was doing a private with Lister on knee reap variations of the heel hook. Not only was his instruction thorough and clear, but he also did a great job identifying and correcting some mistakes I had been making before when trying to apply the technique. It was an eye-opening and illuminating experience that I won't soon forget! If my time with Lister had ended then, that would have been enough to make the trip to San Diego worth it. Instead, he let me take him out for a few pints to discuss his own jiu jitsu journey. Then, he kindly offered to take me back to his apartment on the beach to see the set up he has for fighters who want to make a trip to San Diego to stay with him and train. For just $30 per night, you can stay in one of the three bunk beds he has set up in his extra bed room--which includes the daily fee for training at his world class gym!
Needless to say, I will make it a point to return to San Diego to train! Then, after having the chance to hold some of his trophies and pose for some pictures, we walked down the boardwalk to a local bar and grabbed a few more pints before I had to call it a night and head back downtown to my hotel. All in all, it was an extraordinary experience. I highly recommend that grapplers get in touch with Lister about training at Victory MMA. To say it was worth it is a gross understatement! In the weeks, months, and years to come, I will be working hard to master the skills he taught me in the hour + we spent together on the mats!
In case you didn't see the really cool piece about Lister in Vice's Fightland a few weeks back, you can check it out here. And below, I have included two videos by Stuart Cooper that either focus on Lister or contain him imparting some of his sage wisdom! It's a blessing to be part of a sport where we get to meet and learn from our heroes. Take advantage of that aspect of grappling whenever you can!