Robby Malof Highlights GFTeam
I got started in BJJ back in 2007 after watching a bunch of Ultimate Royce Gracie re-runs on Spike TV. I became extremely fascinated with MMA which lead me to train Jiu-Jitsu after my 8th grade year of wrestling. I joined GFteam in 2012 after meeting Vitor Oliveria.
What about GFTeam is special to you?
I love how GFTeam is such a tight knit group. Unlike many other associations that focus on quantity, I feel we focus on quality over the masses. It’s also a tighter group of people that know each other relatively well. I don’t think you can say that about some of the bigger associations. What really struck home for me was when Master Juilo came to my aid during my knee injury in the 2016 Worlds. He treated me with so much care and concern, it felt like family was right by my side.
What is your typical class structure? Example, warm up tech and roll?
My classes typically start off with a 5 minute jog that leads into some mobility drills/stretching. We then continue into our line drills (shrimping, forward rolls, backward rolls, etc.) After the warm up we spend at least 30 minutes drilling technique or going over a new move. I leave about 30 minutes at the end of class to roll. All my classes are 90 minutes long.
Thoughts on leg locks and reaping?
I personally like leg locks a lot. I think understanding them and knowing how to apply and defend them is a must. As we all know leg locks are extremely dangerous if done recklessly. It’s important to incorporate it in your game. I am 100% against reaping in the GI. Though I feel all advance divisions/purple belts and up for NO GI should allow reaping and all leg attacks. That goes for IBJJF too, but once again only in NO GI.
What is your bread-and-butter move for BJJ?
Hands down my Guillotine Choke.
Do you think training in the gi is important and relevant when getting ready for an MMA fight?
Honestly I don’t think it makes a big difference. Though I still put my GI on regardless during training camp because I have to teach my classes.
How was your transition into MMA from BJJ and tips for it.
I started training at an MMA school. So I was always training all aspects of MMA. I was surrounded by UFC fighters, BJJ guys and etc. The transition was super easy for me. I think you definitely have to have the passion to fight first off because MMA is harder than BJJ. This is coming from someone who has done both and has competed in both. My tip is to train all aspects of your game. Doesn’t matter if you’re a BJJ black belt or world class striker. Nowadays you have to be well rounded and always be a student of the game. Find a really good MMA school with creditable instructors.
What does your typical training sessions look like when getting ready for a BJJ tournament or an MMA fight?
My training stays the same year round until its an MMA fight. I typically train 5-6 days a week usually 2x a day with plenty of rolling and drilling. I also incorporate some sort of strength and conditioning training 2-3x a week. When it’s time for a MMA fight, I make sure to cut back on teaching and incorporate more striking and MMA sparring with specific people.
How do you balance running a gym, teaching and training for competitions? Do you also work a regular job on top of it?
Balancing it all is very difficult. Anyone who is competing at the level that I am and doing what I’m doing knows its not easy. But on the flip side I chose this life and I really do enjoy it. So the key for me is just routine. It took time getting use to my crazy hours and the lack of sleep I would get. My body has adapted and it has so far worked out. Everything at this level is a compromise but I always make sure all my ducks are in a row before traveling for a competition or training. My full time job is my academy and competing!
What would you say is the single most important thing you take away from BJJ for MMA?
Discipline. Without discipline in your life, you can’t reach the highest of the highs or truly reach the success you desire.
Anything interesting you would like to share with the community?
I think 2017 will be my breakout year and I want the world to know my name! I’m the young old guy! I’ve been competing since 13 until now (25). I have competed against the best in the world and have virtually won all the major tournaments besides Worlds or Pans. I am coming for the TOP! Lastly just always remember to follow your dreams! Anything is truly possible if you believe in yourself and work hard! OSS!