In recent news that went under the radar, Abu Dhabi Combat Club No-Gi Submission Grappling (ADCC) has announced the superfight grappling rematch between 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system founder Eddie Bravo and sixth-degree black belt Royler Gracie.
Bravo and Gracie first met in 2003 when Bravo was just a brown belt under Jean-Jacques Machado. Gracie, of course, studied under Helio Gracie, the co-founder of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is the brother to Royce, Rickson and Robin Gracie.
In their match up in 2003, Bravo had earned a match with a regional victory that led to an invite to take on Gracie, a four-time Mundials champion and two-time ADCC champion. At the time, no one had ever even scored a point against Gracie at ADCCs before this match.
It was pretty clear who the favorite was heading in to the showdown.
By this time, few people knew the extent of Bravo's technical abilities, nor did they know of the new system he was slowly developing that included his infamous "Twister" submission.
The stage was set.
It was not the finals. Rather, it was still just a quarterfinals match up that was expected to be another easy win for Gracie that would lead to another championship.
Follow me after the jump for some of the best technical jiu-jitsu you will ever witness:
Before we start, let me first give a thank you to Zombie Prophet for the .gifs. Check out his site (Ironforgesiron.com) -- he has .gifs and videos of fights up faster than anyone else on the net.
This jiu-jitsu match is one of the more technical matches you will watch; however, it is also one of the more important and significant matches to happen for ADCC. It also earned Bravo worldwide recognition and respect amongst the jiu-jitsu community, giving him the credentials to develop his own system of Jiu Jitsu.
Let us jump right into it:
We start with Bravo on the mat, while Gracie stands above him. They initially begin to look for wrist control and arm drags until Bravo latches on the left triceps and right forearm, dragging Gracie down to the mat with him.
From there, Gracie enters into Bravo’s half guard. What we know today is that Bravo loves to play from inside his half guard, developing several sweeps and submissions from that position. His crown jewels of his 10th Planet system are the "Lockdown" position and the "Twister," both of which involve a heavy dosage of half guard.
Back to the clip.
Once in that half guard position, Gracie (on top) posts his leg out to keep his balance and to maintain his strength and weight as to not be easily swept. He immediately attempts to establish an over/underhook to control the posture of Bravo. Meanwhile, Bravo is closing down the right leg of Gracie, preventing him from passing the guard and scoring points.
In the clip, you first see Gracie attempt to get out from Bravo's half guard. Bravo has established a figure-four leg lock underneath Gracie's knee and has done a very effective job of trapping it there.
In Gracie’s effort to escape, Bravo reaches under the free leg of Gracie and clasps that arm with the other arm, which is coming up and over Gracie’s back. Bravo has essentially prevented most, if not all, mobility for a short time by Gracie -- One leg is trapped deep in the half guard and the other being is controlled with an under hook under the knee of the second leg.
This set up is now what the system teaches to be the "Electric Chair" position. And when he has the set up, you can see Bravo try and rotate to sweep Gracie to his left shoulder. However, Gracie maintains balance and stays heavy, preventing the sweep.
As a fan of technical jiu-jitsu this is one of my favorite clips.
We are still inside Bravo’s half guard here with Gracie still attempting to pass. Gracie, in fact, does rotate his hips into Bravo and snakes out his trapped foot, passing into side control.
Bravo counters when he takes the left foot, which happens to be furthest from Gracie, planting it down right above Gracie’s just freed foot. He digs his heel under the ankle of Gracie and pulls it right back in side control.
One of the most critical and effective teachings of Bravo’s now famous 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system made its debut in the main stage of this match up.
The lockdown is done from the half guard where both legs are isolated on just one of your opponent’s legs. This position is very beneficial because a lot of teachers believe the half guard is an advantageous position for the top grappler
However, the lockdown makes the bottom grappler much more aggressive in his attacking ability.
Bravo takes his left leg and steps over Gracie's right leg so his right calf is behind the knee. He then threads his left in-step under his own knee. He slides his right in-step around Gracie’s right in-step and extends his legs to tighten.
The position is heavily uncomfortable and can make lesser opponents submit. The position is also a gateway to several sweeps.
In the clip you see Bravo and Gracie fighting inside that half guard. Bravo works to maintain the lockdown, while Gracie fights to escape the half guard. Almost the entire duration of the grappling match happens from within the half guard of Bravo. And while many may believe Gracie was the aggressor for being on top, it was actually Bravo who kept attacking from his back.
In a scramble, Gracie escapes Bravo’s half guard. Bravo immediately begins to scramble to work back to escape side control. Gracie postures to his feet, and in a brilliant showing of balance, Bravo jumps into the mat, sucking Gracie down to the mat and almost gains back control.
Gracie wisely prevents that from happening as he sits on the right leg of Bravo and slides himself into side control.
Bravo's nifty moves and the composure of Gracie in his technical arsenal leads to an exciting scramble in favor of the black belt.
Previous to this clip, Bravo swept Gracie into a triangle set up that Bravo escaped. It was the first time Gracie had been swept that way in competition and was the beginning of what would become the first in several offensive attacks Bravo successfully performed on Gracie.
In this clip, Gracie breaks free of the half guard and sits into side control. From there, Bravo uses his furthest leg from Gracie (the left leg) to sneak under the torso of Gracie. Unfortunately, the clip ends shorter then I wanted, and right after Bravo pushes up to make enough space to slide underneath and gain full guard.
That transition is called the "Jail Break" and was also effectively used by B.J. Penn against Georges St. Pierre in their second match up.
The facet of what makes the 10th Planet system is the rubber guard. While unorthodox, it has been very effective in grappling competition. The main starting point is breaking down your opponent with an arm to bring your opponent as close to you as possible. You will need loads of flexibility to control this maneuver.
Bravo reaches over the back of Gracie, forcing Gracie down as he also brings up his left leg very high on the back of Gracie. He grips the left ankle with that right arm, as well as brings the free leg on the back but lower than the attacking leg.
Bravo hugs that leg with his left arm around the knee area, making the leg heavier and keeps the force controlling Gracie within the guard. He also changes grip from over the ankle to under the ankle, which also enables much more force on the control.
While still maintaining rubber guard, Bravo uses more force to pull down on the leg to control Gracie when he releases his hand grip on the ankle and instead pushes so its his forearm on the leg pulling down. Bravo also brings up his free leg to join the attacking leg to keep both shoulders under control.
Gracie begins to stack Bravo. If it were not for the force on the back of the neck and shoulders and the insane balance by Bravo, Gracie would in all likelihood escape. Instead, Bravo remains composed and keeps the rubber guard to control Gracie.
It should be noted that this is the jiu-jitsu world’s introduction to the rubber guard in the big stage of competition.
As the rubber guard attack continues, what seems to be a flustered Gracie maintains his defense against the unorthodox attack of Bravo. Bravo elects to attack the right side of Gracie when he isolates his rubber guard to that shoulder. He snakes his arm under to bring the pressure down of the leg and Gracie attempts to softly shrug off the attack.
For those of you who are jiu-jitsu practitioners or just grappling fans, you will notice how simple the set up is for an omoplata or gogoplata from the position they are sitting in. However, Bravo mentions afterward that Gracie must have been double jointed so he did not want to waste his time going for joint based submissions.
While posturing from inside Bravo’s rubber guard a small dog fight ensues for arm control of Gracie’s left arm and in the scramble Bravo secures the triangle.
Bravo secures the left leg under hook on Gracie to prevent him from escaping, using any of his mobility. In the fray, Gracie is seated momentarily and begins to work to defend. He goes from his knees to his feet and begins to sneak out of the choke. He also stacks and pancakes Bravo from within the choke. Bravo rolls into the stacking done by Gracie, which again forces Gracie to his knees.
It's history from there -- the first is Gracie tapped out in Abu Dhabi.
Going over the entirety of the video (if you watch it) you will notice several minutes of stalemating and grappling (usually) from the half guard. Gracie does an awesome job at staying heavy in the chest/throat area on Bravo and disables him from creating space. Bravo’s jiu-jitsu heavily relies on spacing to perform any number of his innovative sweeps.
Also, while Gracie is busy stifling Bravo, Bravo is busy attacking Gracie from a position not often thought of to be an offensive position. In a fight that Gracie was winning on points, Bravo showed that if you leave the slightest opening he will take advantage.
Personally, I CANNOT wait for the rematch!