Scott Landis first welcomed Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor Matheus Andre, a Graciefighter black belt, to Tuttle seven years ago for a seminar at Landis’s Apex Martial Arts Academy. Landis also is a Graciefighter blackbelt. He’s had Andre in many times to Tuttle.
“Back then, he didn’t speak a word of English,” Landis said Thursday at his latest seminar where he hosted Andre. “That was interesting. We’ve come a long way together and he’s a good friend of mine. Normally he teaches more than we can remember.”
Andre is an accomplished competitor with first-place finishes throughout his career in some of the world’s most prestigious grappling competitions in both gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu. He is the head jiu-jitsu instructor at Combat Sports Academy in Dublin, California and a training partner of mixed martial arts superstars Nick and Nate Diaz.
Andre also has a series of Youtube videos with training partner Dave Batista, a WWE superstar, fighter, and actor.
Landis closed out his class for local youngsters Thursday by introducing Andre to the kids. After taking some pictures with the kids, Andre dove right into the seminar with a hip escape drill. Andre showed the crucial technique necessary to pull off some of his favorite techniques.
“He’s very good at sport jiu-jitsu,” Landis said of Andre, “which is very good for competition, but it is different than MMA. He trains MMA too with Nate (Diaz) and those guys, but he’s really, really good at this.”
He showed methods to secure a knee-on-belly position, and how to advance to even more dominant positions. Over-under guard passes, tricks to secure submissions and a lot more were drilled.
Apex member Shawn McCarther said it’s hard to retain it all, but that’s where the gym’s teamwork comes in.
“It’s definitely beneficial for sure,” McCarther said. “The thing is it’s hard to remember it all. It’s not all from the same position. What I try to do is hold on to one thing that I like and work on that. Other people are going to remember different things.”
Andre’s English has improved since his first appearance in Tuttle. He discussed with the 13 in attendance in-depth precision technique, shared his own personal tactics, cracked a few jokes and even complimented one Apex member’s beard. He said that, in jiu-jitsu, the size of the gym doesn’t matter, but what’s inside of a person.
“I think everybody here is doing good and they’re getting better,” Andre said of the jiu-jitsu practitioners at Apex. “They’re clearly studying. The jiu-jitsu you seek is inside of you. That’s what I think. When I started getting good, it was just three of my friends and we were all blue belts. We were training together every day. We all started getting better and if one of us would miss, it would mess up the training. You don’t necessarily have to go to a big gym. I think these guys here can be anything they want.”