Archive for the ‘Breakdowns’ Category

Marcelo Garcia’s SLX to X-Guard Transitions, and a few X-Guard Sweeps to go with them.

 

So in my first breakdown of Marcelo Garcia’s Single Leg X-Guard (SLX) I covered some of his basic sweeps, grips, counters and leg positions when in the position. In this article though I’m going to cover when he switches out of it, or more importantly, the WHY. And because the reason he switches to X-Guard gives him a que for a specific set of sweeps, we’re going to cover those too.

We’ve already shown how dominant the position can be on it’s own, so he has to have some clear reasons on why he switches to Full X-Guard, from the SLX. So what are some the ques that let Marcelo know when to switch?

Firstly, Marcelo tends to go SLX > X-Guard, not so much X-Guard > SLX. He also usually starts in SLX to being with. I attribute this based on the fact that SLX is much easier to gain in the first place. He also usually starts with the overhook, I’d also attribute that to it being easier to get.

In our first GIF, (which is too small for text unfortunately) Marcelo is facing Renzo Gracie at the ADCC. Renzo attempts to counter Marcelo’s SLX by grabbing the back of his head with both hands,  keeping his hips forward, low and keeping his opposite leg out of reach. By driving his hips forward, it makes it much more difficult for Marcelo to keep his outside leg on the hip, the position has become a very uncomfortable stack for Marcelo. Since Renzo has both hands free, he is able to base forward if Marcelo were to try and send him over the top by letting go of Marcelo’s head. Renzo is also keeping his base slightly to his left away from his trapped leg. From this position it would be very difficult for Marcelo to execute any of the SLX sweeps we showed previously, over-the-top or the basic sweep. So what Marcelo does with his outside leg is brings it inside for the X-guard position on Renzo’s opposite leg.  He did this by keeping pressure on Renzo’s left leg with not only his hand but also his butterflied leg. This keeps his legs wider and easier to slip his outside foot in for the X-guard position. My favorite part of this sequence is when Marcelo then lifts Renzo up EVER so slightly using both his arms and his legs (by extending them upward) which causes Renzo to step in with his foot that had been generally pretty far away during this sequence. Marcelo catches the ankle with his right hand, gets his right leg butterfly hook high on Renzo’s thigh by lifting his hips (Marcelos foot is right below Renzo’s hamstring) and creates tension with his ankle grip. By pulling the ankle to him, driving forward with his right shin, and extending with his left leg Marcelo causes Renzo to fall backwards and Marcelo uses the momentum from the sweep to bring himself up and pulls his legs underneath of him to be able to come up for the sweep. Note that Marcelo during the entire sequence was blocking Renzo’s SLX’d leg either with an overhook or the inner part of his arm.

sweepagainstrenzo

In our second GIF Marcelo pulls off any amazing sweep against Andre Galvao, but only after recognizing that he needed to make the switch to full X-guard from SLX. The video was kind of cruddy, so hopefully I can explain it well. Again, an opponent is stopping the SLX by pulling themselves into Marcelo, squatting low and trying to base out to the opposite side, keeping their leg out of reach. Andre keeps his leg behind him instead of up and to the side like in the GIF with Renzo, so Marcelo uses a different option. When Marcelo rocks himself up by extending his legs and then falls back bringing his legs in he is changing his “structure” or frame against his opponents body. Ryan Hall talks about this concept in his Inverted Guard DVD Series. It’s a great tool for manipulating momentum and changing your opponents position. You’ve provided a support to an opponent and kept the pressure on, and then when you want to remove that support, it unsettles your opponent. It’s an excellent tool from the bottom for sure.

Key differences in Andre’s defense compared to Renzo’s: Andre is farther back with his hips much lower to the ground than Renzo and keeps his leg much farther back when Marcelo moves to full X-guard, even going down to his knee on it. Andre’s free arm is really the only thing stopping Marcelo from sending him straight back. Marcelo takes Andre over his (Andre’s) right shoulder because he has no available posting opportunities at that angle.

sweepagainstgalvao

Here is the same exact sweep, on a Rickson Gracie Black Belt (whom I believe is Brandon Hetzler?). Except this time he changes the angle to take his opponent to the side (almost over the top) of the underhooked leg based on the fact that his opponents base is weak to that side because he’s leaning towards it. He again has the “two birds” grip with the underhook on the leg and sleeve grip on the same side. You can get a much better view of his feet position and how he switches them to execute the sweep in this GIF. This Black Belts defense was something we’ve seen before, to pull into Marcelo, base to the opposite side and keep his leg back. It stopped the SLX no problem, but allowed Marcelo to easily transition to X-Guard. This opponent is a bit taller than his other two which can make getting the SLX difficult unless you’re whole body is virtually up in the air.

sweepagainstricksonbb1

 

So when should you switch to X-Guard?

Well, Marcelo does it when guys are putting a lot of pressure into him (typically pulling on his head or collar), with their hips heavy into him, and when he can’t control their non-SLX sleeve. He does it when they are based off to the non-threatened side and keep their leg back. He does this regardless if he has an underhook or overhook.

 

 Key Points:

  • Marcelo likes to block the far side knee with both his hand and his butterfly hook to ensure he has enough space to get his other foot in X-Guard position from SLX.
  • He will transition to X-guard even if he doesn’t have the underhook on the SLX’d leg.
  • He applies pressure just so he can release the pressure later and take the available space in a different way. AKA changing your structure.
  • He controls two limbs with just one limb, by underhooking the leg and grabbing the same side sleeve.
  • With the X-guard Marcelo has sweeps available in a 360 direction around you, depending on what you throw at him.
  • His transitions to X-guard from SLX are not spur of the moment decisions. They are part of a system that gives him signals when confronted with certain situations. He knows exactly what he’s looking for and knows exactly how to make his opponent give it to him.
  • Body types definitely change up the SLX game. I know when I’m facing a really tall guy I really really have to get my hips off the ground. It seems Marcelo will only momentarily hang out in SLX against an opponent with a good base, throw a couple SLX sweep attempts, but then switch to X-Guard.

To learn from the man himself, check out MGinAction.com, Marcelo’s personal online training platform.  He covers the SLX and X-Guard on his website and touches on a lot of these points, as well as a lot of points we haven’t discussed.

 

Notes:

One of the reasons I like doing breakdowns is because it really forces me to be a dedicated observer. These are just the distinct transitions and sweeps I observed in his highlight footage, there could very well be other ques and options involved, and knowing Marcelo, I’d find that highly likely. Anyone can do this by playing the same clips over and over. And the more people who are doing it the more observations people will make. I may not see what someone else sees, and we may see some of the same things, but not all. This is all part of breaking down the huge puzzle that is BJJ, but the more “eyes on” we get, the better off we’ll be. I cannot tell you how many times my BJJ game has taken gigantic leaps from someone pointing out something drastically obvious or on the other side of the coin pointing out something so small that it made the difference between being able to sweep blue belts to being able to sweep black belts. I’m not trying to cover “this is SLX guard” or “this is X-Guard”. I’m trying to point out things that correlate. Showing one sweep is fine and good, but seeing how it relates to your opponents ques is much better. Moves in BJJ do not exist in a vacuum nor in isolation, they are all a part of something much larger going on. It’s a chess battle with all the pieces moving at the same time. Having an answer for every defense, submission attempt and position is truly the ultimate goal, and although it will never happen, it doesn’t mean we can’t try.

 

Advertisements

Flexible Guards, and how to deal with them.

There are many notable exclamation points on our BJJ timelines. One of those points that I found massively annoying and unforgettable is the first time I came across a persons guard who seemed to me, at the time, impossible to pass. As you exert all of your energy while flying in every direction you can think of, they have this smug look on their bastard faces:

Smug flexible guard player, Gumby.

gumbytheasshole

That son of a green bitch.

No matter what you throw at them their body just pancakes and squeaks away.

But as with all things, we evolve. At the highest levels of competition massive amounts of flexibility is still a major nuisance for guard passers, but their tricks are being decoded even as I type this.

For this breakdown and analysis I’m going to show how two of the best guard passers (in my most humblest of opinions) in the BJJ world, Rodolfo Vieira and Rafael Mendes, pass a flexible opponents guard using basic principles to isolate an opponents hips. It’s not intended to be a step-by-step tutorial of the passes they are executing and basically I am just focusing on the principles of their passes. Check it out, and see if you can implement some of these principles into your guard passing game. You’ll note that Rodolfo deals with spider guard much more and keeps his hips away before bringing them back in, as to where Rafa is dealing mostly with DLR and open guard so quite often stays in a squat like position before going for his passes. I believe it’s better for someone to understand the principle of something than to know a technique out of the blue, because that way people will develop their own methods for deconstruction something.

Let’s start with the Pressure Passing King and Supreme Chancellor of Leg Drags, Rodolfo Vieira and Rafa Mendes, respectfully.

Rodolfo Vieira & Rafael Mendes

A flexible opponent can often bring their opposite side leg across your chest which helps them square up. Or they will bring it under your arm and attempt to invert. Rafa and Rodolfo attempt to solve this problem by doing a number of things and there’s many intricate things going on in these clips but what I feel are the main points are:

1. Turning their opponents hips AWAY from them but not allowing them to turtle.

2. Using their heads as a wedge to divide their opponents legs from their torso.

3. Gripping the upper back of their opponent.

4. Blocking the far side leg, either with their leg or their arms. (typically the shin)

5. They stay at the lower body and controls the hips, not the upper body of their opponent like traditional side control.

6. Often times, their passes aren’t just one smooth movement, they’ll settle into each step comfortably and slowly.

7. Stack, then dive for the leg drag position with another stack.

In the video below, I point out some basic observations that I mentioned above.

Passing flexible people is all about controlling their hips and taking away the space for them to rotate. If you grab a flexible guys leg, he can still spin his hips around. Try pinning a leg with your shin and then reaching around their hip or wedging your head in but all the while trying to control where their hip is and what it is facing. When you stack, try and get them on their neck or they can still swivel on their shoulders. Don’t just try and stack them into oblivion and force them away from you, try and keep them attached to you. Pull their upper body into you while pushing their legs away with your shoulder so they can’t turtle. So much of it is about tightness. When Rodolfo stacks he tries to stack them on their neck, not on their shoulder blades. He mitigates how much they can move by gripping the back of their collar (pulling towards him) and gripping their pants at the butt (pulling up).

Another excellent tid bit is how Rafa will simply change his upper body angle to be able to reach with the arm he wants to reach with. He actually turns away from his opponent briefly so that his left arm can get to the left side of his opponent faster. Don’t be afraid to reach across your own body and grab the outside of an opponent. He always tries to find the shortest route to do something, which leaves no space available. Moving yourself is most of the time much easier than moving your opponent to where you’d like them to be. Like so:

vlcsnap-2014-05-21-12h13m21s68

A noticeable attribute with Rafa Mendes and Rodolfo Vieira is that they typically go around the legs, vice someone like Leandro Lo who goes through their opponents guard. Leandro Lo’s style of passing is excellent against flexible individuals, and paired with Rafa and Rodolfo’s excellent styles makes for quite an arsenal of BJJ guard passes. Check out Leandro Lo’s style via BJJ Scout here.

This is only a small handful of examples that are out there, don’t fear the guard! And my biggest recommendation is to just get right into someones guard and discover what is going on for yourself. You’ll never be able to execute passes if you don’t try. Look for a handful to start with (the Leandro Lo DLR counters by BJJ Scout is my favorite guard passing series in the world) and just step in and work your way through it. You might not get it perfect the first time (you won’t) but eventually you’ll have a great guard passing game.

Bottom Line:

– Control their hips. Control the direction their hips are facing and where the hip itself is. (On the ground, in the air, etc)

-Try new things, check out Youtube and try to implement what you can into your game at the gym. BJJ has a nice natural way of showing you what will and won’t work on the mat. Give it a couple tries and if it’s not working ask your friends and coach and if it still doesn’t work, shelf it and move on to something else.

-Stack them to their neck, not just their shoulder blades, then wedge your head in while controlling them with a collar grip and a back of the pants grip.

-Give intense pressure with your shin into their leg and then with the same side arm reach to the opposite side outside hip of your opponent and try and pull them into a post leg drag position.

-Generally speaking keep your hips extremely tight to your opponent. No space!

Marcelo Garcia, the man, the myth, the legend.

I’m a huuuuuge Marcelo Garcia fan. His humility, sportsmanship, kindness, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills make him the perfect representative of our art. He is, to me, the greatest BJJ practitioner we’ve ever had. Most people would tend to agree, and although there are plenty of worthy candidates, none of them of accomplished so much with such a large weight disparity, which represents just how special Marcelo’s technique is.

When I was a white belt I found myself naturally getting into Single Leg X-guard (Forever here on out known known as SLX as far as my blog is concerned) and one day asking my instructor what I could do from there. That’s when he showed me the basic SLX sweep and I’ve been bringing people down with it ever since. If my life was on the line and someone said “Dan, you have to hit one sweep to live, what position do you want?” it would be SLX. I cannot recall a time someone was able to stop it once I was in the position. It’s a giant killer, it’s a small guy killer and to me is vastly UNDER UTILIZED. The power of this position comes from the fact that you have THREE limbs isolating ONE limb. It also acts very similar to the Butterfly Position but is much harder for an opponent to retreat from.

I’m going to show you some entries, the basic sweep, some counters to counters and a beautiful situp variation all with GIFs of Marcelo Garcia in Action (pun intended).

Let’s do this.

Here’s Marcelo slapping the SLX on. Any time you have one leg behind your opponent between his legs, and the other leg in a butterfly leg position between his legs you are able to get to this position. The HEEL of your foot goes on the hip, being careful to not reap. Generally you also need to control the opposite side arm to stop them from bumping your knee down and sliding into mount. Getting into SLX is even easier to enter against a standing opponent just by butt scooting forward. There are two main grips he uses on the leg, the overhook and the underhook. Marcelo teaches the overhook as his preferred position but after analyzing his video it seemed the underhook was a little more versatile. Generally speaking, an easy way to get into SLX is via sitting in the butterfly position, scooting in and flairing one foot up, to bring your opponents leg up, then you kick your leg behind and over. If you’re reading this though breakdown though, I recommend you already have a good understand of the entries.

In this GIF, Marcelo gets the underhook on the leg, it’s his preferred arm position for doing the situp sweep as it makes it even easier, but it’s not necessary.

Entry1

Notice the clench with his arm below. If Marcelo doesn’t get the underhook immediately he will clench their leg to his body using the inside of his arm and try to re-position from there.

singlelegxentry

entry2

 

The Basic SLX Sweep:

Here’s the basic sweep. Not only does he have the strong underhook, but both knees are clenching his opponents leg. Notice how Marcelo comes up with the sweep. There’s a drill people sometimes do at the beginning of class where they do standups like that. Marcelo does it ALL THE TIME. If his opponent falls, Marcelo is going to come up using the momentum. (I cannot for the life of me think of the name of this standup drill, someone help!)

basicsweep

Sometimes Marcelo’s opponents will lean over the top of Marcelo to prevent him from pushing them backwards, that’s no problem for Marcelo. He’ll just take them over the top.

overthetop

 

Marcelo’s SLX Situp Sweep:

It was watching this video below that made me realize something about Marcelo’s situp sweeps. They use the exact same principle as his butterfly sweeps, block the arm post, and raise the opposite side leg while turning the corner as some would say. This is the only video I could find of Marcelo doing this sweep with an overhook on the leg, but he does it no problem.

overhooksitupsinglelegxsweep

You’ll see below that sometimes his opponents will squat very low to try and stop the basic SLX sweep. This actually makes it even easier for Marcelo to do the Situp sweep because his opponents can’t get their foot out from under themselves and up quick enough to post on. So when he turns the corner his opponents knee acts as the rotating point and he doesn’t even have to stand up all the way.

situpsweep

Same thing, but his opponent is already committed way too far to the side Marcelo wants to take him. Notice how Marcelo extends his butterfly hook even though it’s not on the leg he’s raising. He does this to push his opponents hips away from his opponents leg post. It is typically the only post his opponent will have and once his hips are on the opposite side of the post, gravity does the rest.

situpsweepeasy

Same thing, different angle. Marcelo’s preferred grip is right above the knee on the thigh, but he likes to keep his bicep under the calf so his opponent can’t put their foot down. It works on all sizes.

situpsweepbigguy

His opponent tries to counter by bringing his free hand across to take the place of his missing arm post that Marcelo has taken from him, it only prolongs the inevitable. Notice how when Marcelo comes up he stiffens his left leg out on the ground? This gives him a nice post to drive from and stops his opponent from driving back into Marcelo when he begins his rotation.

situpsweepcountercounter

This sweep was actually a few minutes in the making. Which made me feel as if Marcelo is one extremely patient man. Cobrinha is basing out hard to the sweeping side, keeping his hand away and rotating his leg inward to prevent the basic SLX sweep and SLX situp sweep. It seemed to me in watching the video that Marcelo was waiting for that one simple shift in Cobrinha’s hips that opened up a weak plain to Cobrinha’s back. Cobrinha intelligently pulls guard conceding the sweep. Pushing the SLX foot off is one of the counters, but since you have to reach back and twist your body to do it, it exposes you. Making sure to straighten your back ALSO stops their leg from being able to come over your head. So back straight and head up!

cobrinhasweep

 Notes:

  • Marcelo doesn’t always have the far arm control, sometimes he starts these sweeps when his opponent actually has HIS sleeve. Right when he starts the sweep or in mid-sweep Marcelo will counter grip just in case his opponent let’s go.
  • Passing on your knees while in SLX exposes you to the Situp variant, the Basic sweep is possible, but not as likely.
  • Passing while standing exposes you to the Basic SLX sweep, the Situp variant is possible with a far side sleeve grip and underhook on the leg.
  • Marcelo executes beautiful posture when coming up for the Situp sweep.
  • For the Situp sweep Marcelo ALWAYS extends his Butterfly hook but doesn’t kick it straight up, he kicks it to the side or a 45 degree angle to force his opponents hips over their posting leg.
  • Your butterfly hook, heel on the hip and control of the far side arm are the three main factors stopping your opponent from coming to mount. Do not let them bump your knee between their legs, keep it angled upwards.
  • Beware of an opponent trying to force you to reap their knee, if they are reaching and trying to do so, they will expose the Situp sweep or Situp sweep to the back, so just kick your leg off and go for it.

Leg gripping options (Underhook is preferred variant for all sweeps):

  • Underhook NOGI:  Hand on the thigh right above the knee, bicep on the calf
  • Underhook GI: Same as NOGI or you can grip the pants right above the knee instead of just palming it
  • Overhook NOGI: Grip as if doing an ankle lock, but slightly higher up
  • Overhook Gi: Same as NOGI or you can grip your collar for extra tightness

Arm gripping options:

  • GI: Any far side arm sleeve grip
  • NOGI: Behind the far side arm elbow grip

 

Marcelo Garcia has been a huge source of inspiration for me and many BJJ practitioners, I hope my breakdown and analysis did him even a small amount of justice. I definitely recommend subscribing to his MG in Action website! I also have to give a huge shout out to BJJ Scout who I’ve talked to constantly about breakdowns and he gave me the vote of confidence and inspiration I needed to start what I’m currently doing.  Feel free to comment and discuss the article below!

Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie 2, 11 Years in the Making

The much anticipated rematch of Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie ends in dramatic controversial fashion, a draw. I don’t know how anyone could have watched this match without their hearts racing. While I don’t think it illustrates if the match back at ADCC  2003 was a fluke or not, it does show positives and negatives to both grapplers styles and put on one hell of a show.

Let’s start at the beginning:

The match makes its way to the ground via a half-guard pull by Eddie Bravo. In the gif below, you’ll notice he does three major things during the pull to establish a strong half-guard.

1. He blocks the far hand so Royler cannot cross face him immediately and put him flat on his back.

2. He brings his half-guard side elbow to the inside and close to his body, to prevent Royler from getting the underhook.

3. He makes sure he is on his side when he lands.

Things Eddie could have done better with the guard pull:

1. Making sure Royler did not get his knee through initially.

pullinghalfguard

From here, Royler takes a ranged knee slide approach. Ranged meaning that since he doesn’t immediately have the underhook, he tries to keep his distance to stop Eddie from getting underneath of him, which is what Eddie wants. They continuously fight for the underhook, and when Eddie reaches under to grab under Roylers far side leg, Royler does a few different things to prevent Eddie from going to full blown deep halfguard, he flattens his own hips out, steps his leg back  and/or cross faces Eddie in an attempt to create distance, put pressure on Eddies body to turn it away and make Eddie unable to get that underhook on his leg.

An example:

stoppingthedeephalf

Eddie eventually gives up the under hook to Royler, and Royler gives him the Shoulder of Justice:

shoulderofjustice

But, getting the underhook would actually be Royler’s undoing… well, as far as electric chair sweeps are concerned. In this sequence Eddie gets the underhook back, but far far more importantly get’s Royler’s knee back to the ground between his legs a la traditional half guard. Up until this point Royler’s knee had already been cut through with only his foot stuck between Eddie’s legs which made it impossible for Eddie to put the Lockdown on Roylers leg. Let us take a look at how Eddie gets to the Lockdown.

lockdowncontrolandunderhook

In essence, the Lockdown can be a great tool for bringing your opponents hips over you, which can set up Electric Chairs, which Eddie hits for the first real action in the match, albeit almost 7 minutes into the match:

firstelectricchair

This puts Royler into the Electric Chair submission, it’s something one of my instructors does quite a bit and if you’re flexible it’s not too difficult to bear. Royler defends by grabbing the back of Eddie’s head. Eddie eventually tries to use the Lockdown/Electric Chair combo to sweep, get’s rolled back over and then once again comes up on top.

electricchairsweep

Royler becomes frustrated from not being able to escape Eddies top control (visibly throwing his hands up) and Eddie capitalizes by passing to side control.

pass-to-side-control

 

Once in side-control Eddie sets up a pretty slick rolling backtakethingymajigneckcrankmaybeiddontfingknow (I’m going to name it Gandalf’s Pipe, since a teammate made that name up):

oilcheckbacktackthingy

Well it’s not that complicated, but still, it’s a rolling back take that Eddie slaps a reverse Lockdown on whilst going for what Jeff Glover called a Neck Crank but looks more like a Spinal Lock/twist (like a Twister) from a RNC grip on his opposite arm.  Royler eventually gets out by shrugging Eddie off the top of him.

Note: This writer does not approve of Oil Checks. No sir.

From here, we end back in a familiar place, half guard, with Royler on top.

Eddie eventually hits the same sweep as Royler does not seem to know how to deal with the Lockdown:

sweep2

 

Eddie eventually comes up on top, but Royler reverses it with a sweep of his own…back to….you guessed it…half guard.

Roylersweep

 

Eddie hits his third and fourth electric chair sweeps in the following gif, but with one minor variation. When Royler tries to counter the fourth (second in the gif) electric chair he brings his leg over Eddies head, but does so without bringing his weight to the same side, which allows Eddie to counter by bringing Royler back the way he came, and in a much worse position then he had been in previously.

eddiethirdsweep

From here, they tried to restart in the center of the ring as they were super close to falling out of bounds. A little drama ensued where Royler refused to put his legs back in the correct place, but to be fair, it did appear as if Eddie layed down as if he thought he was in guard anyway. A little grumbling from both of them and the ref  (Scotty from OTM, Lucky Gis, etc) got a video as evidence and restarted them properly.

restartconfusion

Eddie pulls off a rolling calf slicer he calls the “Vaporizer” from the position they restart in. Although it appears painful, Royler doesn’t tap and the time runs out with them sitting in the same position for a few minutes:

endofmatch

Below is not a gif but rather a screenshot of the final position again. Both men seemed to realize that this is where they would end the match at. For a calf slicer, you want to be able to bring someones calf as close to their hamstring as humanely possible, one issue with the way Eddie tried to finish this move is that Eddie’s own body stops this from happening. Also, paired with a high pain tolerance, great flexibility and the mental fortitude of a reinforced concrete wall, Royler wasn’t going to tap.

vlcsnap-2014-04-02-21h46m28s135

 

What this match means in regards to their ADCC match:

Nothing.

Why “nothing” you ask? Because these men have been training 11 years since their match in 2003. Whether Eddie Bravos submission win over Royler Gracie then was a fluke or not will never be known, people change, perhaps Eddie has been training harder in those 11 years. We will never know.

However, there are some things we DO know now about the two grapplers:

These are my personal thoughts, and I assume many will agree and disagree, please feel free to comment on your take of things!

  • Royler did not have any answer whatsoever for Eddie’s Lockdown game. Eddie was able to sweep Royler with the Electric Chair sweep 4/4 times he tried. Although I’m sure Royler prepared for Eddie, I’d question whether he trained with people who know and can implement Eddie’s specific style. There are many counters to the Lockdown and I didn’t see Royler employ any. Perhaps his game hasn’t evolved as much as it should to at least counter new threats.
  • Although many would argue Eddie bested Royler in this match (and I would agree as far sweeps and submission attempts go) I have to point out that staying in bottom half-guard being crushed on for literally over half a 20 minute match does not speak well to the positional dominance of Eddie’s style. He didn’t seem to have an answer for Royler until he was able to finally get to the Lockdown. Which makes me question Eddie’s comments about 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu being better for MMA.  Bottom half guard is not a place you want to be for 10+ minutes. Although it being a grappling match, it could just very well be that Eddie knew his strongest aspect of his game was his halfguard when he specifically obtained the Lockdown and implemented his game as such.
  • I didn’t view any of the submission attempts Eddie applied as “legit” submissions except the “Vaporizer’ calf slicer near the end. Not as far as Royler Gracie is concerned. Kind of like how I didn’t view Clarks omoplata attempt on Rafa as a legit submission, it wasn’t close and it wasn’t going to happen. (Do people even remember that he tried?)
  • Royler and Eddie represent two extremes in BJJ to me. Royler represents the old age grinding “stick with what you know” BJJ. Eddie represents the new age grappler who is too caught up in the future to remember to master the past. I think this was represented well in their match. Royler focused on positional dominance but had no answers for Eddie’s newer style. Eddie’s threw out submission attempts that I would view as low percentage and generally reckless. There’s good to be had from both men FOR SURE. And I think the best grapplers are somewhere in the middle of the Eddie/Royler scale of grappling extremes.
  • I was pretty bothered by the fact that both men couldn’t agree on equal NOGI rules, but I understand where both were coming from.
  • I forgive them for their heightened tensions during the match, this was one for the ages and both men felt that they had a lot on the line. Royler his legacy, and Eddie vindicating himself.
  • I would have preferred they be in the same weight bracket.
  • Scotty’s beard is manly as hell.
  • Relek should not be allowed near a microphone or a backpack.
  • This was my favorite Metamoris by far despite only having two finishes. My heart literally exploded BJJ feels all over my computer monitor during the Bravo vs Gracie match.
  • I liked both guys speeches, but was a little sad Royler didn’t give more props to Eddie.
  • Eddie is a legitimate BJJ Black Belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He also has been and always will be. But it’s pretty evident that the Lockdown has lot’s of potential situationally. It’s something I used to use a lot when I was first starting out, and will have to spend some time investigating some more.
  • The match doesn’t show how effective 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is as a system, but it does show that using new techniques can best those who are unfamiliar.
  • Royler really really likes the knee slide pass. When he already had his knee through I kept asking myself why he wasn’t switching to a reverse knee cut or going to mount. Maybe he felt something I didn’t, but it seemed readily available.
  • The commentary team of Jeff Glover and Kenny Florian was AWESOME and very FAIR to all competitors.

 

Overall 10/10 would have a BJJ heart attack to again.