The Arena was just featured in an interview on On The Mat on Wednesdat 12-15-2010. The interview was conducted with one of the recent attendees of the Demian Maia seminar held at The Arena. The full text of the interview follows:
Interview w/ Monta after his attendance @ Demian Maia Seminar!!!!
Wed, 2010-12-15 21:15 — bjjbo
Monta recently attended Demian Maia seminar held at The Arena in Point Loma, Ca. Martial Arts have been a part of Monta life for the past 6 years, his training started at CSULA where he was introduced to Judo & Jiu Jitsu. Over his 6 years of training Monta has an opportunity to train with some of the best instructors & fighters around the world. Monta currently trains under Sean Apperson & Ricardo “Franjinah” Miller at Paragon Hollywood. His dreams are to one day to become a Champion.
OTM- Monta how are doing, how is the training been going?
Monta- I’ve been doing great. Training has been going great as always, I do wish I could have more time to train due to my busy schedule however anytime I have to get on the mat is something very satisfying to me.
OTM- So I saw on your Facebook you attended the Demian Maia Seminar this past weekend how was that?
Monta- The Demian Maia Seminar was an awesome experience. There were over 50 people in attendance “regular bjj practitioners like myself and even well known accomplished grapplers/fighters in the game all there to learn from one of the best in the world. In addition the seminar was also streamed live online so people at home can see it. However no disrespect to the people who watched it online but the feeling of being there, talking with him, being corrected on your technique by him, & interacting with the other people there with the same reason your there is something you can’t get by watching it on a computer screen.
OTM- Where was the seminar held & how it being their?
Monta- The seminar was held at The Arena in San Diego, Ca. It was really cool being there not only because I was about to train with one of my favorite BJJ Grapplers/UFC Fighters Demian Maia but also because The Arena is one of the academies I have on my “ Academies to Visit list” amongst other great academies in the San Diego area. For anyone that has been to The Arena or plans on visiting just know that the gym is huge and everyone there is super friendly. The gym is so huge it was able to fit the over 50 people in attendance at the seminar.
OTM- What were your expectations for the seminar before you arrived & were they meet?
Monta- Honestly Bo going into the seminar I had no idea what to expect. Demian Maia’s style is very fundamental as you can see in a lot of his grappling fights and even in his UFC fights. So going into the seminar I went in with a great excitement and curiosity as to what he was going to teach us. After the seminar ended I defiantly felt it was worth the wait, the money (which wasn’t a lot) and the long 2hr 30minute train ride from Los Angeles.
OTM- Was there a main focus point of the seminar & what was it?
Monta- The seminar was broken into 2 sessions both 1 hour 30 minutes long, the first session of the seminar focused on the top game while the second session focused on the bottom game. The moves he taught were not fancy, both sessions focused on very basics moves in jiu-jitsu such as kimura from the guard, how to properly control the back, doing an arm bar from side control amongst other basic techniques. In addition to the stuff that Demian taught he also took 30 minutes of him time to answer questions we and other people online may have about specific techniques.
OTM- Now we both know Demian Maia is a high caliber fight, what information or knowledge did you gain from him to help your training or game?
Monta- The thing Demian always emphasize to us in all of the moves that he taught that I found helpful was using balance, leverage, and missing component to make our game more solid. I feel in my growth in bjj or anyone’s growth for that matter we are taught all of these great moves but we aren’t taught how and the details in regards to making them efficient which causes us to make the same mistakes over and over again. These key points Demian Maia pointed out was defiantly helpful with improving my game.
OTM- Monta I saw on Facebook & other Mma links of pictures of Xande Ribeiro & Cyborg, what were your impressions of them?
Monta- I was actually pretty shocked to see them both at the seminar. Being that Xande is one of my favorite Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter since 2006 it was a great pleasure meeting him for the first time. He was very friendly with everyone that was in attendance. It was a great pleasure meeting him and talking to him about his experience in the game.
As for Cyborg for some reason I was too…… intimidated to talk to Cyborg but he seemed like a nice guy.
OTM- Were they also involved in the seminar?
Monta- Xande was deeply involved in the seminar he was actually the one that Demian demonstrated a lot of the moves on. In addition he was going around helping people out with the moves and was even kind enough to take pictures with people and answer question about moves after the seminar. Cyborg was also in attendance but shockingly enough he was there as a student just like us. In addition TUF Alumni Nam Phan was there too. It was totally amazing seeing all these world class athletes learning from Maia just like me. It is a true testament to the old saying “Your never to big/old to learn something new”.
OTM- Sounds like it was a seminar you didn’t want to miss, how about you what are your plans for the New Year & new Jiu Jitsu season that is right around the corner?
Monta- Well besides trying to stay alive for another year –l- I hope to do some traveling around the United States and see what the world has to offer. On the jiu-jistu side of things after over a year off due to minor injuries and other setbacks I hope to get back to competing because I truly do miss competing. Other than that all I want to do is keep growing in the sport, learning, hopefully meet new friends along the way and most importantly have fun.
OTM- Monta thanks for your time it was great catching up with you.
Monta- No problem Bo thanks for the interview I really appreciate it. Shout out to all my peeps and anyone interested in seeing my jiu-jitsu adventures hit me up at facebook.com/monta2damax.