Van and Alex, founders of Masterskya Brooklyn, recognized the genius of Lachlan Giles long before he went on a tear through the ADCC absolute division. They also had some fortunate timing, and months ago booked him for a seminar in their Brooklyn academy on his way back to Australia following the ADCC.
And so, out of all the famous academies in NYC, it was their pay-what-you-can gym, at the end of this scaffolded walkway, in the basement of a building with no address, where the most popular man in /r/bjj put on a three hour seminar, six days after taking bronze at the olympics of submission grappling.
Alex bravely played the role of uke, which meant an evening of tapping to the world's best leg locker. All in service to his students. He may have had a slight limp at the end of the evening.
Halfway through the evening, Lachlan demoed a technique, looked around said, "Who wants to try it on me?" Two beats of silence and a few nervous giggles filled the room. Then Mike Davilla, MGA blackbelt, stepped up and says, "I do."
The last 30 minutes of the evening was a Q&A, which started out about technique, and then veered into Lachlan telling stories of the "What kind of week has it been?" variety:
~"What was your training like for the ADCC?"
~"I just focused on wrestling and leg locks..."
~"After losing the first round of your division, why did you enter the absolute?"
~"Seth told me that I'd be more likely to get invited back to ADCC next year if I did it. I thought about how hard it was going through trials, and said, 'I'll do it.'"
At the end, Lachlan took a group picture and selfies with everyone who asked. More than one person asked for a picture of themselves leg-locking the Lachness Monster.
Lachlan is a true gentleman. Absurdly knowledgeable (he literally has a PhD in knees), but humble, accessible, and funny. It was a pleasure getting to spend time with him that week. He's a great ambassador for the sport.