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Jen >> Joe Moreira Comparison??


5/14/09 3:03 PM
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Jasonbaldy
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Mike, you have rolled and trained with several high level guys. Can you discuss how Joe's style is similar or different than other jiu jitsu black belts? I hear a lot of haters that try to dismiss Joe's jiu jitsu skills which I think is laughable. Joe is not a young guy anymore but I'd put my money on him against a LOT of people, even those that are half his age. At the risk of sounding like Joe's promoter I once heard (I have no idea if it is true) that black belts off the plane from Brazil went to Joe's school and during friendly rolls he dominated them.
5/14/09 6:10 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/14/09 6:17 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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As far as those who dismiss Joe's skills on the mat, I have never heard anything negative from anyone who has actually rolled with Joe personally. Those who have a negative opinion of his skills either are basing it on hearsay, video footage of Joe from over 25 years ago (I think that is it quite an assumption that someone's game has not improve in 25 years), or basing their opinion on his sport BJJ skills from his NHB performances.

Guys like Randy Bloom were with Joe at his school on a much more regular basis than I was. I also recall Randy saying that many black belts would come to Joe's school as soon as they got to the US and he never saw Joe tap to any of them. I also know there are several forum members and reputable black belts who have seen Joe dominate other black belts, but they understand that what happens in training should staying in training and to discuss it openly on the forums is disrespectful towards those involved.

Of course I am not saying that Joe is unbeatable. Many years ago, he competed in the Masters World Championship and took silver, so he obviously lost the match in the finals. However, on the way to the finals, he did beat the previous year's champion and that guy is a serious bad ass (I've trained and rolled with that guy too).

The bottom line is that Joe has never claimed to be some unbeatable champion and nor has any of his students ever claimed that either. However, I think that in sport BJJ, Joe is a lot better than the average black belt and definitely no scrub. I guess what bothers me is why people make it sound like his skills are sub-black belt level when they have never rolled with him and he has beat reputable black belts in competition.

I freely admit that Joe's sport BJJ abilities are far better than his NHB abilities. He can handle himself in a fight, but he's definitely not a top level competitor in the NHB arena.

Joe may have flaws in other aspects of his personality or life (who doesn't?), but those are different issues from his skill on the mat or his willingness to teach and share information.
5/14/09 8:54 PM
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Jasonbaldy
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An interesting and thorough reply. I don't doubt there are people that would best Joe in a jiu jitsu match as there are a large number of extremely talented and highly skilled black belts. However, as you stated, those that try to diminish Moreira personally or professionally likely have no first hand experience with him.

Do you think Joe emphasizes certain aspects of jiu jitsu (when he is teaching) compared to other black belts? For example, I've always read that Joe is a slow, tight, pressure oriented style of bjj. Are most high level guys you trained with similar in this style (if in fact that is an accurate statement)?
5/14/09 9:24 PM
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Bolo
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The only person I have rolled with who has a similar style to Joe was Adilson "Bita" Lima. It's not to say that other high level guys I rolled with did not have a tight pressure kind of game, but rather that the feel I got from Bita felt the most similar. Most other black belts I have rolled with feel nothing like Joe.

From what I remember, Joe doesn't really emphasize his personal style in his teaching. He's an encyclopedia of techniques, so he tends to show a bunch of stuff and then allow the student to pick out and determine what is best for his/her game. For example, Joe has taught guard passes that were not smashing and pressure oriented though I've never seen him use that kind of stuff in action.

Keep in mind, what I say about his teaching is what I recall from group classes 15 years ago. I really don't know what his teaching style is like now in his group class format. When I learn from him or have him teach seminars, I determine what topic I want him to cover and I only have him each things that I know he is really good at and uses 95% of the time.

Joe's game is tight and pressure oriented, but it is not always slow. It was much slower in the past when he was much heavier. When I first met him when I was a blue belt, he was a fat 250 lbs.. Later, he dropped down to 220 and was that weight for many years. Now is is under 200 lbs.. Joe said to me that when he was much heavier he felt much slower, especially when he was on the bottom. He said that he felt he could move much faster once he was under 200 lbs..

The other thing about Joe's "slow" game is that he understands how to train with students. He goes easily and plays at a level that allows the student into the game. But he will definitely move fast when he needs to.

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