Beauty and the Beast: Michelle Nicolini and Tom DeBlass Beach Camp
This past weekend the jiu jitsu stars aligned when 8 time world champion Michelle Nicolini joined forces with the ever popular Tom DeBlass at a three day Beach Camp in Cocoa Beach, Florida hosted by Off the Grid BJJ and black belt Frank Dukes. Nearly 50 male and female practitioners from as far as Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, and all over the United States converged on this beach paradise to learn all of Michelle's favorite gi techniques and Tom DeBlass' favorite no gi techniques.
"The best way to spend a weekend. My favorite seminar I've ever been to!"--Lizzie Hershberger
Each day's session was broken into approximately 1 hour of each sharing their games with the students with everyone drilling the techniques to build understanding and muscle memory. The one hour mini sessions with each athlete were jam packed with excellent technique. The seminar was topped off each day with a Q&A session that covered everything from specific technique related questions, to Tom and Michelle's thoughts on competition, teaching, and life beyond the mats.
"Beautiful Camp! Technical, effective techniques for any age or body type. This was by far the best seminar I’ve been to!"--Trevor Cutter, Purple Belt Ocean County BJJ
"I can't decide which I'm more thankful for... the world class instruction, or the incredible friendships I made on this trip."--JM Smith, Black Belt at Renzo Gracie Charlotte and owner of Refugee Jiu Jitsu
The bulk of Michelle Nicolini's sessions revolved around her use of the shin on shin sit up guard and countless sweep and submission variations from it. Michelle's in-depth teaching style would have her presenting a specific technique and usually 3-4 variations that can be used depending on the opponent's reaction. Below is a great video from BJJ Scout that will give you a good overview of Nicolini's shin on shin expertise.
"As a white belt, doing seminars with some of the best teachers on the planet can be intimidating. Tom and Michelle went out of their way to make every student feel welcome and taught in a way that, even with only ten months experience, I could walk away with some great concepts. This camp was the best trip of my life."-- Jonathan Smith, white belt, Forte Jiu-Jitsu, Montreal, Canada
"This camp was the best Jiu Jitsu was experience I have EVER had. Amazing world class instruction and an amazing location."--Hayden Martz Brown Belt Instructor at Flow BJJ, Camden Maine
Tom DeBlass started off the seminar with a very powerful shallow guillotine choke that opens up not only submission, but passing options. From there he covered his famous half guard, transitions into deep half guard, multiple reversals, heel hooks and more. In the sample video from the Beach Camp below, DeBlass breaks down one of his favorite entries into the deep half guard position. Check it out.
"For me this camp was truly life changing, but not because of the jiu jitsu. The friendships made, life lessons taught, everything."--Brian James, Alliance Atlanta Purple Belt aka Jiu Jitsu Cop
Besides the awesome techniques, the three day format allowed people from differing academies to get together and share their love of jiu jitsu. What better way to spend a great weekend at a phenomenal vacation spot like Cocoa Beach than with two world champion BJJ athletes who seemingly came from two different places to share the common ground of jiu jitsu.
If you want to dig deeper into the half guard stylings of Tom DeBlass, you must get the best-selling Half Domination DVD or On Demand instruction. If you're new to the half guard game, this will be the only resource you need to get you started. If you've been using half guard for a while, DeBlass will make sure you're fixing any issues you may have and developing your game even more.