This past week, Marcus Aurelio Jiu Jitsu Academy had the honor of welcoming Master Murilo Bustamante onto our mat for a jiujitsu seminar.

Once the reigning Middleweight UFC Champion, Murilo has been practicing jiujitsu for over 30 years, and he has lived by the creed of martial arts philosophy all his life.

He’s a tall man, easily clearing six feet. His salt and pepper hair is cut short, and he sits down on the mat wearing his glasses, calm and collected. Everything about him exudes control–from his tone of voice to his patient explanations, and before training he invites us to sit and do a quick study of jiujitsu.

You’ve often read about the psychological and physical benefits of jiujitsu. Improved balance and coordination, less fear, more patience, and above all: foresight.

Master Murilo’s and Master Marcus’ cool-under-fire attitude is no accident. Although it takes perseverance, they’ve both steadily continued studying martial arts year after year, honing their knowledge in a sport that demands that you put everything into it–heart, body, mind, and soul.


During Master Murilo’s seminar, we learned several new arm submissions, mainly variations of the kimura from the mount. We also learned two new lapel chokes.

Here is a breakdown of some important tips we learned:

Never ball your fist when gripping deep into someone’s collar for a choke. Instead, grip deep behind the neck, hand palm up and fingers closed. The trick is to keep the thumb on the side of the hand rather than tucked under the four fingers, which stresses the carotid artery and makes your chokes more efficient.

The second thing that stood out to me was the use of arm submissions. Master Murilo mentioned that they were one of his favorites, which makes sense since you can’t go through a jiujitsu bout without encountering hands and arms at each turn.

Normally, in my desire to end a match with a full on triangle or rear naked choke, I tend to focus far too much on the neck when there are other submissions lying in plain sight. This was a great reminder to not focus solely on the obvious (such as far reaching chokes that many of my opponent see coming), and instead focus on how I could twist my opponent into a more favorable position from the mount.


All in all, the seminar was an eye opening experience. And it was incredible to have four black belts and one coral belt in a small class of twenty people. One of the things I love about our school is the instructors’ attention to detail and the quality of our classes due to our gym being smaller than others.

Make sure not to miss out the next time we host a seminar! The lessons taught won’t be gone over again, and you’ll always wonder what could’ve been had you trained with a coral belt for a day.

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