Natural Gymnastic was a concept developed by Alvaro Romano in Brasil many years ago, and is a series of exercises using only your own body, usually imitating animals and is based on Yoga and Kempo. After many years of studying, Alvaro has added his personal touch. He has a degree in Physical Education and is a black belt in BJJ. Romano works with Jiu Jitsu athletes since 1977 and has obtained great results with his method.
I was fortunate to train with him for a short time when I was living in Rio, and my preparation to the first BJJ World Championships, in 1996, involved solely hard training and natural gymnastics. I never lifted a single weight and instead, relied on my flexibility, movements and coordination to overcome opponents a lot bigger than me, winning the tournament in my division and also in the open weight. Later on I started to use some of his movements to warm up my students in our classes, and I still do.
Alvaro’s son, Raphael, is following his father footsteps and also does BJJ on a high level. Here you can see a video of Alvaro preparing Rani Yahya, Xande and Saulo Ribeiro for 2007 ADCC, and a short demo from Raphael in the second one.