Pedro Carvalho immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and quickly gained a reputation for holding nothing back. The owner of 11 medals won in jiu-jitsu tournaments in his native Brazil, he publicly espoused the belief that instructors should share with their students even their most advanced BJJ techniques because the way those students perform in competition reflects back on their teacher.
That idea prompted Pedro Carvalho to declare in a 1995 interview in Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated, one of Black Belt’s sister publications, “I make sure I teach them everything I know. Even in Brazil, some places don’t teach you all the stuff, but I do.”
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Fast-forward to today: Pedro Carvalho now has more than 30 years of grappling experience under his frayed belt and a growing network of jiu-jitsu schools across the United States, and he’s every bit as willing to share his knowledge with his students — and, fortunately, with the BlackBeltMag.com audience.
In this exclusive BJJ techniques video, the Brazilian martial arts expert shows you how to pass your opponent’s guard and move in for the full mount!
BJJ TECHNIQUES VIDEO
Brazilian Martial Arts Expert Pedro Carvalho: How to Pass the Guard and Get the Full Mount
"In any discipline of study, including a martial art like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the keys to successful training will always be pace and progression," says Pedro Carvalho in the introduction to his books, Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 1: Gi Techniques and Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 2: No-Gi Techniques. "Each must be explored and experienced to facilitate the best skill development."
Pace and Progression for Developing BJJ Techniques
"Pace refers to the rate at which new information is given or received and to the speed that the student practices," the Brazilian martial arts expert explains. "To ensure successful skill achievement, the student should refrain from training or attempting techniques that his instructor believes are beyond his level."
Such a principle, Pedro Carvalho says, is especially true when it comes to sparring. Until certain BJJ techniques are practiced an adequate number of times, attempting them in sparring can cause a student to lose faith in valuable techniques simply because he is not yet capable of performing them well.
"Each student should pay attention during practice to each detail of a given technique, and it should be repeated slowly and smoothly with a gradual increase in tempo as the technique begins to sharpen," Pedro Carvalho explains.
Progression refers to the routine used in the class and to the order in which techniques are given to the student.
Essentials for Training in BJJ Techinques
Each class is made up of three progressive elements, each element being essential to proper training, according to Brazilian martial arts master Pedro Carvalho:
- Warm-Up and Drill: Students are guided through a series of exercises that allow them to stretch and strengthen the muscles particular to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
- BJJ Techniques Instruction: Each move is broken down into its various component. The average number of techniques taught in a given class is about three.
- Sparring: Students are given the opportunity to test their skills against one another and observe other students sparring.
"Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools have similar technique progressions, and as long as your instructor is a recognized black belt, you are in good hands," Pedro Carvalho says.
For an optimal training experience, the Brazilian martial arts instructor recommends:
- Find training partners who will train safely and allow for sufficient practice.
- Find a qualified instructor; if he is not a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, then he should at least be a recognized representative of a specific school, not merely someone teaching a generic variation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
- Study your movements and techniques in detail, ask a lot of questions and spar as often as possible.