Alexandre “Dande” Santos Seminar: Recap and Pics

Written By: Hector Silva
Photos By: Lance Edwards

Gracie Barra Westchase held its very first seminar featuring Alexandre “Dande” Santos, a renown Gracie Barra black belt instructor and competitor. Professor “Dande” is opening his own school in Austin, TX soon, but prior to that he was the Head BJJ Coach at UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral’s Gracie Barra Cerritos. Professor “Dande” has been teaching since he was a purple belt and was charged with taking care of multiple Gracie Barra Gyms in California. Professor “Dande” is also very close friend with Gracie Barra Westchase’s owner and leader Ulpiano Malachias Neto and Gracie Barra Champions Forrest’s Head BJJ Coach Alejandro Siquiera. All three friends met and were room-mates in California, and the bond was evident as all three black belts were on the mat during the seminar.

“Dande” referred to Proffesor Ulpiano as his “…brother from another mother.”

Professor Alejandro even remarked, ” If it wasn’t for these friends maybe I stay in California, or go back to Brazil.”

You could tell just in the first couple of minutes of being on the mat together how close the bond was between these BJJ “brothers form another mother”.

Professor “Dande” started his seminar by leading the traditional Gracie Barra warm up after which he divided his seminar into two parts. He addressed the standing position and fighting for take downs as all matches start on the feet. Then he proceeded to teach some of his favorite submissions on the ground.

The standing techniques he taught:

  • The Pieze Throw with an armbar finish that “Dande” learned from his original master.
  • A Triangle from the same grips as the Pieze Grips. Learned from Baurilo Estima and used by Roger Gracie to submit Xande Riberio.
  • Judo Sacrifice Throw with a butterfly hook.

After the students had a water break “Dande” showed his ground submissions:

  • Cowboy Choke. A submission after passing the guard with an escaping opponent.
  • Armbar with a lapel trap, with a lapel choke variation.

In the end this was a very beneficial seminar with multiple students recognizing the techniques as “sick”, or whatever the kids say now a days!

Proffesor Ulpiano made sure to tell his students not to worry about learning all the techniques of the day, but rather to master a few. He used a few of his students and friends as testaments as to how much this method works.

“Dande” then revealed his secret on why he moved to Texas.

“We are trying to make or group stronger.  We have great instructors in Texas,” Dande said.

Enjoy the pictures!