Friday, December 6, 2013

Reilly Bodycomb's 'Top Rock' - A dynamic top-game and leg-lock download

I had the pleasure of taking a private lesson with Reilly Bodycomb earlier this year.  My goal was to start focusing on a mostly IBJJF legal leg lock game. He was in town for an IBJJF legal leg lock seminar.  Due to scheduling conflicts on my part I decided to set up a private lesson with him.  Having seen his DVD's prior to the private lesson I knew he was legit but just five minutes into the private lesson I started to question what I had got myself into.  Reilly pulls no punches.  He wanted me to feel what a proper ankle lock feels like and by God I started to ask myself, "what did I just sign myself up for?!  I'm going to have to endure some punishment on my own legs to fully comprehend the amount of pressure he applies to get legit taps."  That being said it was probably the biggest bang for the buck private lesson I have ever done and I have done private lessons with World Champions.  I won't hesitate to train with him again when he is visiting my town. I have not seen his recent release but based on the reviews that I have read on various grappling sites I am incredibly anxious to purchase this myself.  Having recently promoted to brown belt I am excited to start implementing some of the more aggressive non-legal IBJJF leg locks into my game.

I highly suggest giving this seminar/video a good look among some of his other DVD's which can be purchased from  I had a completely non-existent leg lock game as a high purple belt and now have a much better understanding and much improved ability to threaten leg locks from various positions.

This particular seminar available for download in MP4 format is groundbreaking.  You have the ability to view the content and pay what you feel it is worth.  Give it a shot because I don't think you will be disappointed.  If you get the chance to train with him in New Orleans or just a private lesson I can't recommend it enough.  He is very intuitive to your needs and will custom tailor your lesson based on what you want.

Mobile users that have issues viewing the embedded video can locate it here:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gui Mendes: How to win by A LOT of points

So the Mendes brothers were in Tokyo last weekend presumably doing some seminars.  They also competed at the Rickson Cup 2013 and both went on to take gold in their respective weight classes and closed out the open weight division.  The below video is pretty brutal if you were Gui's opponent.  Clearly Gui used this match to get some extra work in as he repeatedly passed the guard and allowed his opponent to recover.  It's a great match to watch if you are interested in studying Gui's passing style.  Enjoy.

Link for mobile users:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flashback Friday: Keenan Cornelius vs Lucas Leite

So this one happened just a week ago but I couldn't wait to share it once I ran across it.  The match took place at the 2013 Jiu-Jitsu Expo which is becoming a very popular annual event.  Keenan has not disappointed so far at the black belt level so let's see how he fares against the likes of Lucas Leite of Chekmat.

Link for mobile users having issues viewing embedded video:


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Flashback Friday: Gui Mendes vs Justin Rader (2008 World Championships)

I am waaay overdue for an update to the blog.  Life has really gotten in the way but I hope to have a little bit more time to devote to bringing some new content.  For those that follow along...I plan to have matches from the BJJ Expo up as soon as the event is over each day so stay tuned if you don't plan on ordering in a week!

Budovideos was kind enough to share this video from 2008 and I couldn't help but pass it along. This event was the 2008 World Championships and depicts both Rader & Mendes as brown belts. It's evident early on that Gui's style has not changed a lot over the years.

*Skip down to the bottom if you don't want the match spoiled*

Match Commentary:
Early on Gui looks to pull open guard. He manages a seated single leg guard and transitions into De La Riva.  Gui's super deep DLR hook helps him work towards the back similar to a Babybolo. Rader defends well but Gui turns it into a single leg take down to score 2 points and begin to work his crushing top game.

Gui threatens the back and Rader flees out of bounds at the 2:26 mark.  At the restart, Gui pulls guard carefully as to not give up any points to Rader.  Gui works a half-guard butterfly and maintains an over hook on Rader's arm.  From this position Gui hits a beautiful sweep for another 2 points.  Rader manages to catch quarter guard but tries to get to his knees giving Gui the timing to move into mount.

Gui still maintaining the over hook attempts to attack for an armbar/omoplata.  He settles for the shoulder lock but Rader escapes and moves out of bounds in typical Rader fashion.

On the restart Gui works to guard and quickly throws up a triangle.  He manages to trip a standing Rader.  Rader works out of the triangle choke and attacks a straight ankle lock.  Gui defends well and manages to pass the guard again landing in side mount.  This was the beginning of the end at the 5:30 mark.

Gui uses Rader's lapel to control the cross face and threaten with a baseball bat choke that he's now famous for.  Rader defends well but cannot escape Gui's nasty top side game.  The match ends with a pretty lopsided score in favor of Gui.

For Mobile Users:

Upcoming blog posts:
1. BJJ Expo Matches
2. Review of Shoyoroll Winter 13 Shorts
3. Review of Shoyoroll Original Logo LS Rashguard 
4. Next SYR gi drop?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Copa Podio Middleweight GP Highlight by BJJ Hacks

The Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix took place September 8th featuring some incredible talent ranging from brown to black belt.  Athletes from Ralph Gracie, Atos, Caio Terra Association, and many more great teams represented very well.  If you would like to watch some of the matches On Demand you're in luck.  You can do this here:

If you'd just like to get a taste of what transpired then take a look at this great highlight that BJJ Hacks just released for the event.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: JT Torres vs Carlos Frederico Rodriguez

This match took place at the 2013 IBJJF Vegas Open recently.  If you are a JT Torres fan then you will probably enjoy this match as he shows some excellent technique.  I won't do my regular commentary as there is just a lot of beautiful Jiu-Jitsu going on this match but rather highlight some of my favorite moments.

JT initiates a closed guard pull (yes take that closed guard pulling haters...even top level guys do it!).  Action is moved and restarted in the middle of the ring.  JT moves into a deep DLR / X-guard position, pops up into a technical stand-up and finishes a nice single leg take down.

At 4:11 JT is attempting to Berimbolo, his opponent rolls away, JT inverts to roll with coming up into the leg drag position.  Text book leg drag to pass here.

At 5:28 Rodriguez manages to turtle but JT is maintaining an inside hook with his far arm to control the hips.  This allows JT to pull him into a slick back mount.  JT sets up a bow and arrow choke to force the tap at 5:37.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rio 2013 Judo World Championship (Highlight)

No, it's not Jiu-Jitsu but its damn cool.  For those that missed the stream last week here is a nice little HL someone put together.  If you are looking for the event online, look no further than here:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leg Drag like a Boss to Pass Reverse De La Riva

Feeling a little down?  Able to pass your buddies De La Riva guard but getting stuck in Reverse De La Riva?  Bruno Frazatto shows an excellent way to pass the frustrating position by maintaining a low base, using lots of pressure, and finishing with a leg drag.

1. Maintain a low and heavy base.  Do NOT post your free leg too far forward or you risk getting swept by Kiss of the Dragon or in X-Guard.

2. Remove collar grip.

3. Lace the legs by controlling the bottom leg pant sleeve.

4. HEAVY shoulder on top leg.

5. Free hand controls collar.

6. Tripod up and move back a little to remove the RDLR hook.

7.  Leg drag--->Consolidate the upper body and pass.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Flashback Friday: Clark Gracie vs Ken Primola

You've probably seen the Most Ridiculously Photogenic Jiu-Jitsu guy memes.  Clark Gracie has only recently become more of house hold name due to him winning his first world title at the 2013 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships.  Clark Gracie won in epic fashion against Marcelo Mafra that saw him come from behind and choke him out in the final seconds to claim his first gold at the highest level in his career.  Clark Gracie's "meme fame" came about as a result and the very match this photo was lifted actually took place at the IBJJF New York Open in 2012 (before the Pan match).  

Commentary (Skip to the bottom for the video):

This match would start in typical fashion.  Ken Primola with his wrestling background obliges Clark Gracie's open guard pull.  Both fighters waste no time establishing grips.  Ken tries to pass low on the knees but Clark is able to keep his grips and invert preventing the pass. 

Clark manages to set up his spider guard with leg lasso.  At the 1:00 mark Clark removes his right hook that was used to prevent Ken from passing, then inverts underneath him for the omoplata. Because Ken is standing it is imperative that Clark sucks his arm in and shoot his hips high to secure the omoplata shoulder lock position on his standing opponent.  

Ken steps over to the far side but his shoulder is still trapped.  Ken attempts to drive his near side knee into Clark to help him posture but it's no use.  Clark manages to secure his left arm over Ken's back.  

Ken stands and Clark maintains a grip in the collar and one on the leg to disturb his base.  Clark alternates his grips in an attempt to make him come back to the ground.  It's worth noting that once he brings Ken lower, Clark lets go of the collar and focuses more on the legs.  When Ken begins to posture back up Clark attacks at the collar again to disturb his posture.  

At 2:20 Ken finally has to set him back down out of frustration.  Clark does an excellent job to move his hips away from Ken to keep him broken down.  At 2:26 Clark uses his far hand to attack the collar and begin setting up his choke.  Clark begins sitting up and Ken chooses to roll which is exactly what Clark wanted.

Clark lands in a crucifix and the lapel choke is on. The omoplata still trapping the far arm and the near arm is under hooked making it nearly impossible to defend the choke.  Clark forces the tap at the 2:33 mark.

For more awesome references to omoplata setups, take some time and watch this episode of Budovideos Rolled Up with Shawn Williams.  Shawn is a big fan of the omoplata and goes in depth with the position.  Around the 4:18 mark Shawn does cover the omoplata choke and details to finish it.  Give it a look.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Caio Terra Seminar Review

Caio Terra is easily one of the most visible and vocal competitors in recent years.  His gym, Institute of Martial Arts is based in San Jose, California.  He has not only built a gym with excellent competitors and instructors but he has been spending a great deal of his time traveling the globe giving seminars.  In addition to this he has established over a dozen affiliates throughout the country.

I have been following Caio Terra for the last 4 years both in competitions and his instructional DVD's.  Being a small grappler myself, I can relate to a lot of the techniques that Caio teaches and uses with a a lot of success.  His dominance in major tournaments speaks volumes about his abilities and I have found his teaching methodology to be fairly easy to follow.

When I heard a local gym would be bringing him in for a two day seminar I jumped at the opportunity.  Caio has never visited Texas for seminars and considered myself lucky that he would be in my own backyard.

Day 1 (Gi portion)
Caio gave our group about seven topics of things we could focus on for the gi portion of the seminar. The majority vote would decide on the focus for the techniques he would show.  We chose to work the De La Riva/Berimbolo stuff.  Caio made a comment about this before starting.  He said, "most of the time everyone wants to work really hard techniques because they think they are better...the reality is they are just harder." That seemed funny at the time but was a great point.  I think sometimes we tend to over-complicate Jiu-Jitsu and lose sight of the importance of executing clean, basic techniques that are high percentage...or at a minimum easier to achieve a higher level of understanding.

Caio began by showing how to initiate and maintain the DLR guard.  He also pointed out that dragging your opponent to the ground for Berimbolo can be very laborious (which I totally agree with) and that it is vital to break down your opponent in order to get it.  One might not necessarily go straight for it by pulling/yanking on them and trying to force but first to hide your intentions with lapel and/or sleeve grips.  His methods for initiating the sweep were a bit different than what I have previously studied.  I have spent a great deal of time utilizing the Mendes brothers stuff so it was good to see a different perspective.  In some ways it was a challenge to execute his technique as I tended to get confused on occasion due to my muscle memory.  So over the course of day one we covered the following from DLR guard:

1. Back take (Babybolo)
2. Leg drag from Berimbolo (probably my favorite)
3. Back take from Berimbolo
4. Mount from Berimbolo

This may not sound like a lot of techniques but it really was.  The amount of detail Caio shows could be overwhelming for a white belt but necessary.  We ended the day with Q&A over anything we wanted, even techniques which were not covered during the seminar.  This was excellent as he showed us how he sets up and finishes his secret ankle lock attack from DLR guard.  Video below shows him hitting this same ankle lock in a recent IBJJF tournament.  He has used this same submission against Fabio Passos (Cobrinha black belt) in competition a little about a year ago.

Caio Terra vs Fabio Passos

Caio rolled with pretty much everyone that was interested after pictures were taken.  It was apparent pretty quickly he intended to triangle choke every single victim opponent.  When it was my turn we exchanged some pleasantries.  I attempted a sitting guard-->single leg technical stand-up which he quickly shut down.  I joked about it and he actually allowed me to attempt it again which I managed to get and sweep he let me. As I was attempting to pass towards the back he started to invert a bit and forced me into 50/50 guard (see exhibit A):

Exhibit A
That week I had been working on some 50/50 guard stuff from his half-guard DVD (specifically the ankle lock) and was pretty nervous in this position with him as he's known to be a killer with leg locks.  As I was battling for grips he stood up and began removing the 50/50 guard and moved quickly into side mount.  As I was preventing the cross-face he slid into mount, trapped an arm, and threw up a triangle rolling to his back. This happened so quickly I really didn't see any of it coming.  I defended pretty well but he transitioned into an armbar to finish the roll.  I lasted maybe 2 minutes.  I can honestly say that he is the smoothest I have ever rolled against.  I have experienced world class black belts pressure, explosiveness, etc. but Caio never exhibited any of those traits.  He was just smooth as can be.  There was nothing wasted...simply efficient.

Day 2 (Nogi portion)
At the beginning of the second day, Caio reiterated that we chose a difficult topic the day prior and he would pick for the second day...something much easier.  We spent the entire second day working from the side mount.  The focus was on moving to north-south, trapping the far side arm with an over hook and moving into side mount on the far side to eventually finish the armbar.  We worked the following scenarios:

1. Finishing same side armbar (2 different methods)
2. Switching sides to far side armbar (2 different methods)
3. Finishing the armbar many different ways on the far side based on your opponents responses to defend and interlock their hands.

The nice thing about this particular series was that after each variation, he would add a layer or option depending on your opponent's response or attempt to escape the submission/position.  It is worth noting he covered the armbar he managed to finish with against Jeff Glover at Metamoris earlier this year.  (Video is linked at the bottom of this article.)

Again, it may not sound like a lot of material but it really built layer upon layer from beginning to end.  I probably got more out of the second day for some of the basic concepts that I had not seen before. There was no rolling at the end of the second day but again he allowed questions which I took full advantage.  I asked how to finish the ankle lock from 50/50 when your opponent hides their feet really well (particularly figure four).  He showed multiple ways to attack the non-hidden foot by way of ankle lock and toe-holds. One of the great concepts I took away from it was almost anytime your are working the 50/50 guard...if you want to sweep, submit, escape you have to be willing to make space with your hips.

Overall I think it was a very good seminar.  Caio showed some excellent techniques and details. I do get the impression that Caio is a perfectionist while showing technique.  There were some moments when he appeared to get a little frustrated with his training partner while trying to show technique.  Some positives to take away from those moments that should be applied during training are the following:

1. The training partner should never feed any moves; don't make the technique easy because the reality is most techniques will not be easy to apply on a resisting opponent.
2. The training partner should react naturally (not necessarily defend) but use good posture when stuck in DLR guard rather than slumping over, don't just lay flat on your back while your partner attempts Berimbolo, etc.  These are not natural during a live roll so why would you do this while training?  Giving that much natural resistance makes it more real for the person attempting the techniques.

Something else worth noting.  After circling up to review some of the covered techniques, if someone had a question about a detail he would have them perform the move in front of the group and then correct the issue.  This is good for both the people directly involved and also the group.  Being able to evaluate what others are doing or having issues with may answer some questions for everyone involved.

All in all it was an excellent two days of training.  I might not recommend a Caio Terra seminar to a white belt but every one's learning curves are different.  I've seen my fair share of blue belts that have a hard time keeping up with the level of techniques during some seminars.

Things Caio has upcoming:
1. World Jiu-Jitsu Expo in November.  I asked him if he had an opponent and he said that had not been determined yet.  Stay up to date on this event here:
2. Pan Jiu-Jitsu Nogi Championships the last weekend of September.
3. Rumor has it that Caio will be launching an online training site.  I confirmed with him via Facebook that he indeed plans to launch the site.  No target date was provided.

I'd like to extend a huge amount of thanks to Collin Grayson for hosting the seminar.  He provided most of the pictures for this article.  He is also now the first and ONLY Caio Terra affiliate in Texas!

Related Blog Posts:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: Rafa Mendes vs Justin Rader (Pan 2012)

This is a great match that exemplifies Rafa Mendes when he is at his best.  It's not often that you see Justin Rader get dominated but Rafa simply has his number.  Some of the techniques you see on the Mendes Bros. training site are executed in this match.

Commentary:  (Skip to the bottom for the video)
The match starts with both competitors working from their preferred positions.  Rafa pulls open guard and Rader looks to establish his own grips and pass.  Rafa transitions quickly to De La Riva guard, controls the hooked pant sleeve with a solid grip and stands up into a single leg passing immediately a leg drag position, then into side mount.  This worked well for Rafa for a couple reasons:  1. Rader's posture was not favorable & 2. Rader's trapped leg completely extended and disturbed his base.

Rafa wastes little time and appears to work Rader's lapel free from the side mount, feeds it under his head and attempts to set up a baseball bat choke.  Rader does an excellent job of staying mobile underneath and forces Rafa to let go.  

When the action restarts Rafa moves to knee on belly, then switches sides (as seen on his training site).  He controls the far arm with a figure four and as Rader defends awkwardly by standing up. Rafa transitions brilliantly into a back mount dragging Rader to the ground.  Still threatening with the arm control he slides his leg over and attacks the armbar.  In typical fashion Rader manages to defend very well and escape from deep waters like few others can do.

Action restarts in the center at 2:11; Rafa grabs the same side lapel and shoots a well-timed triangle. The timing Rafa uses to lure him in and bump Rader's elbow inward enough to lock in the triangle is worth noting here.  Very smooth technique.  Rader crouches down trying to survive the choke but it's in too deep.  Rafa forces the tap at the 3:00 mark.  It's not often you see Rader get taken apart like this and simply a HL reel match for Mendes.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Flashback Friday: Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister vs Kyle Griffin

Those in the grappling community should be very familiar with Dean Lister's body of work.  He is a veteran MMA fighter in multiple organizations most notably Pride FC and the UFC.  He still remains fairly active in the grappling scene by competing in super fights and ADCC.  Did I mention he's won ADCC three times?  The guy is incredibly good and well known for his brutal leg lock game.  

In this particular match, no points are scored for the first 10 minutes to encourage submissions. Only in the last 5 minutes are points tallied to determine a winner should the match exceed the time limits.  It took place earlier this year at the UFC Fan Expo 2013.  

Commentary:  (Skip to the bottom of the page for the video)
As one might expect, Lister engages enough to take a seat and begins working a semi-open guard. 

Lister fighting from his half-guard sits up with an under hook while Griffin counters with a whizzer and tries to remain in the top position.   

Griffin hits a very nice back step pass from the half-guard at 1:32 and attempts to move back into the topside half-guard.  Lister sees this and begins lacing Griffin's left leg and hunts for a submission.  Griffin is wise and immediately starts to defend and retreats out of bounds.  

When they restart at 1:57 Griffin attempts a nice pass but Lister is so quick to recover, gain the under hook and works from the turtle position.  Lister traps his right leg and forces a take down from the knees.  

Trying to prevent the pass Griffin manages to tie up Lister's upper body and they reset again. Griffin secures the head attempting to pass and Lister easily reverses position again.  

Positions are exchanged again after Lister attacks for a leg.  Shortly after Lister reverses to the top position with ease.  At 4:52, Lister begins to sit back and create a figure 4 lock on Griffin's left leg preventing Griffin from being able to escape as easily this time.  Lister fights to secure the toe hold forcing the tap.

I think this format is really great for Lister.  He doesn't mind giving up position and has an uncanny ability to reverse and regain dominant positions if he loses a potential submission.

Link for those using mobile:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Homemade Acai Smoothie

Acai pronounced (Ah-Sigh-EE) has become somewhat synonymous with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle these days.  If you have an Instagram account you've no doubt seen lots of pictures of Acai bowls and smoothies littered all over.  The Acai berry looks similar to a blue berry but closer to the size of a grape. While the fruit by itself isn't all that sweet, a bit tart to be honest, it is believed to offer some anti-oxidant properties.  Since this fruit is naturally grown in South & Central America you aren't likely to run across any fresh offerings at your local supermarkets.  You can, however, purchase it in frozen (concentrate) flat packs from some nutritional health stores.  I have had good luck finding them at my local Market Street stores.  They are not terribly cheap costing about $4.99 for a 4 pack.  I thought it would be a nice post workout snack after a hard training session and have experimented with some different ingredients.  Below is a recent smoothie I mixed up.

1-Banana (73 calories, 18.7g carbs)
1-Frozen Acai flat pack (110 calories, 18g carbs)
A little less than 1 serving frozen pineapple (<70 calories, <18g carbs)
12 oz of 2% milk (170 calories, 15.92g carbs)
Total Calories (Approximately): 413 calories
Total Carbs (Approximately): 66.62g

Keep in mind that you can always fine tune the nutritional side based on what you throw in there.
And there you have it, a total of a little more than 12 total ounces due to the the other ingredients added.  If you find that it's not icy, cold enough...throw a little bit of ice and blend.

While experimenting with different version of the smoothie I have used yogurt to add some flavor and calories and found it to be very good..  If you wanted to drop the calories and carbs overall I would suggest substituting the yogurt (Activia Light) for a banana.  I have also used orange juice instead of milk which was also excellent.  The concentrate Acai is very potent and could probably be cut in 1/2 to save on the calories and put towards your next smoothie.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Flashback Friday: Paulo Miyao 2013 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Match

Here is a match with Paulo Miyao from the 2013 IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu tournament earlier this year. Unfortunately I don't know his opponent's name but it does appear to be an Absolute match.

Miyao threatens early with a leg-lasso spider/De la Riva hook which eventually allows him to attack with Berimbolo as you would expect.  His opponent does a good job to prevent the back-take by taking a seat himself and controlling Miyao's grips (note: Miyao's non-DLR leg).

At the 3:00 mark Miyao attacks with an Omoplata which was the beginning of the end.

His opponent attempts to posture out of the shoulder lock at 3:47.  Note how Miyao compromises his posture (at 3:56) and bring him back to the floor.

Miyao does an excellent job of keeping the pressure on as his opponent finally tries to somersault roll and Miyao obliges him.  He allows him to feel safe, remove the shoulder lock, then takes his back for all his efforts at 4:26.

Interestingly Miyao appears to finish the match with a modified sleeve/collar choke rather than the typical lapel choke from the back.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nogi Volt 2.0 Grappling Shorts Review

I've been meaning to do a review on these shorts for quite some time now.  I have been a customer of Nogi Industries since 2006 and own a few older pairs that still held up well to this day.

Nogi Industries has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing grappling shorts for some time now.  The brand was originally founded by MMA fighter Chris Brennan back in 2003.  Back then, Nogi was one of the first companies to utilize stretchable fabrics that lent themselves well to the sport of grappling.  My first pair of Nogi shorts were the OE model that I still train in to this day.  One of the reasons I have been a fan of the shorts produced by this company is not only for grappling but they work well in other areas such as working out in the gym and even for casual activities like swimming.  They are versatile to say the least.  Today Nogi has become a pretty main staple in the grappling apparel business and a big sponsor/contributor to Budovideos during IBJJF pay per view events.  The Nogi brand has really set the standard for "ranked gear" consisting of rash guards and grappling shorts.  In addition to the training gear Nogi Industries has to offer, they also have a nice selection of outerwear such as hoodies, t-shirts, and hats.
Old faithful pairs of Nogi shorts

One of things that has always attracted me to the Nogi Industries brand is the simplicity of their designs. I have never been a fan of designs featuring blood, get the idea. These shorts feature some well thought out embroidery vertically along the side, and horizontally along the bottoms (front right panel and back left panel).  The font of the embroidery resembles a cross between Gothic and Old English font and looks nice.  Black piping is utilized on both the front and back panels and gives the shorts are very clean look.  I also like to use these shorts to lift weights at the gym so the clean design is nice and avoids unnecessary conversation from people I typically try to avoid while working out.

The quality of construction seems very good which has been pretty typical of past Nogi shorts that I have owned.  The stitching does have one spot that isn't perfect but doesn't seem to be enough to affect the long term durability of the shorts.  Other than this one spot, the stitching throughout the shorts is very good.  Not much has changed with the enclosure system and it is pretty par for the course with respect to their older models.  The hook and loop enclosure coupled with a draw string help ensure that the shorts have a secure and comfortable fit in the waistline.  The crotch area boasts a super stretchable material that seems to be very durable.  I've become a big fan of embroidery over laminated logos and Nogi has upgraded in this area.  The rigors of grappling combined with regular trips through the washing machine take their toll on laminated logos.  For this reason I prefer shorts with embroidery like that used on the Volt 2.0's and these have proven to be durable so far.
Black portion features stretchable material
Inner drawstring + enclosure system
Velcro stitching failed here

Fit + Rolling Impressions
The overall fit of these shorts doesn't disappoint.  They are by far the most comfortable pair of Nogi shorts I've owned.  The 30" waist size I ordered fit very well.  The amount of leg room is impressive and don't leave the feeling that they are restrictive.  The stretchy fabric used in the interior panels and crotch area is a big upgrade over the older model shorts.  This is very important for me as I am primarily a guard player and need the freedom in the leg and crotch area.  The material feels nice and light and don't feel laborious to train in.  They are sturdy enough to feel durable but not overly stiff like some shorts that use rip-stop material.  My only gripe about these shorts is a mishap I had while putting them on after I had them for a couple months. While opening the Velcro enclosure, the portion that is stitched into the shorts came apart.  It seems the stitching that holds the Velcro simply gave way.  I'm sure these can be fixed fairly easily but I was surprised to see this happen.  It either says something about the strength of the Velcro or lack of good stitching holding the Velcro onto the shorts.  I doubt this is a common problem with these shorts as my other three pairs have never done this.


Closing Thoughts
Nogi Industries really hit the mark with the Volt 2.0 grappling shorts.  They continue to set a high standard in grappling apparel creating designs that are nice and not overly gaudy.  Out of all the grappling shorts I have owned over the years the Nogi brand shorts seem to hold up the best and look less worn than other brands making them a very good investment.  Nogi Industries products can be purchased through various online vendors including their homepage.  I do recommend checking out their homepage as they tend to offer some nice sales throughout the year.  Since we are in nogi season I hope to have some more reviews on shorts and rash guards soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Flashback Friday: Ramon Flores vs Ryan Hall

July was an insanely busy month but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things with the blog. Here is a nice, short match from Ultimate Absolute II which took place just over a year ago.  This is a very cool event that encourages submissions (nogi) by allowing reaping & heel hooks.  This match shows that the 50/50 guard can actually be an exciting position when heel hooks are allowed.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Guide to BJJ Seminars

When I first started training Jiu-Jitsu I felt that training with a variety of high level guys would no doubt enhance my progression in the sport.  As a white belt I managed to attend a few seminars and even though the amount of knowledge I gained was minimal it was definitely a fun experience. After five years of experience I can honestly say that the average person probably doesn't stand to gain as much from seminars until you've reached an intermediate level (blue belt).  I don't think that should discourage newer grapplers from attending seminars but one should keep things in perspective.  In my experience seminars are usually three hours and tend to be a little overwhelming on the amount of information.

List of high level grapplers I have trained with (in no particular order):

1. Marcelo Garcia
2. Robson Moura
3. Bruno Bastos
4. Rico Bastos
5. Romero Jacare Cavlacanti
6. Jamil Kelly
7. Robert Drysdale
8. Reilly Bodycomb
9. Caio Terra (next month)

How can you get the most out of a seminar?
I can't stress the importance to take notes either during the seminar or immediately afterwards.  Most seminars cover a lot (sometimes too much) and details will get lost if you don't take notes.  Recently after a Robson Moura seminar a training partner and myself recorded ourselves drilling all of the techniques so that we could go back and review it.  This is far better than just taking notes.

Something else to consider regarding seminars is scheduling a private lesson with the instructor. One on one instruction is really hard to beat and one of the best way to take your grappling to the next level.  Seminars are often packed with over thirty students on the mat and it's hard to replicate the kind of individualized attention you can get during a private lesson.

Another consideration is will they allow video?  In my experience, most do not want video taken during seminars but it never hurts to ask.  Don't be a jerk and just assume they won't care and create an awkward situation.  Politely ask the host of the seminar ahead of time and/or the person giving the seminar.  They may allow it but ask that you not make it public.

Which ones should I attend?
Early on during my training in Jiu-Jitsu I would attend every seminar I possibly could with a high level superstar.  I didn't necessarily know what the content would be and just tried to absorb whatever it was that they were teaching.  Through my progression I've learned that as you become more advanced it is much easier to learn new concepts or find ways to implement them into your game.  I am fairly picky about what seminars I will attend these days.  I ask myself will they offer something that fits my game?  Do they offer something that is lacking in my game?  If the answer is yes then that is a great motivator to attend and gain new knowledge.  Would I be better off just scheduling a private with the individual?

Another type of seminar that isn't typical but can be very beneficial are training camps.  Many high level schools will hold training camps that may last a few days or even a week.  These are often put together prior to a major event such as the IBJJF Pan or Worlds tournaments.  This is not only a great opportunity to work with multiple high level black belts but can also help you get ready if you plan to compete at those tournaments.  This can go a long way to teach you how to prepare for tournaments in general if your gym doesn't have a program dedicated to tournament preparation.

In the Spring we had Bruno and Rico Bastos at our gym for a seminar leading up to the Pan 2013 tournament.  It was the first of that type I attended and it was a great experience.  The techniques focused on passing the open guard and how to deal with the dreaded 50/50 guard that so many competitors like to use these days.  The training was grueling compared to most seminars as the repetitions were very high paced and focused on developing muscle memory under tough situations. There was lots of rolling at the end of the seminar to end the day.  This was one of the best seminars I have attended to date.

Here are a couple clips from the Bruno & Rico Bastos Pan Camp seminar.

50/50 Guard Pass

Spider Guard Pass

Which ones should I avoid?
One of the first seminars I had the chance to attend when I got into Jiu-Jitsu was an Eddie Bravo/10th Planet seminar.  I didn't know much at this point in time, did some research, and quickly realized that this was a pretty specialized system that I didn't intend to focus on.  I skipped it and certainly glad that I did.  This is a pretty extreme example but you need to consider the content that will be covered during a seminar if at all possible.  Imagine a multiple time World Champion is in town teaching the 50/50 guard and you're not a fan?  Why attend it if you don't want to learn that aspect of Jiu-Jitsu?  Will you learn something?  Most definitely but don't throw your hard earned money somewhere you won't find good value.

I highly recommend researching and looking for reviews from other people that may have attended a particular seminar.  There are plenty of valuable resources such as Sherdog's Grappling forum: to ask questions and receive feedback.  Sometimes we get enamored with the success or style of grappler only to find out that their seminars are lackluster or they simply aren't the greatest instructors.  I've heard plenty of horror stories of instructors that show up, have everyone do cardio for 30 minutes, show some techniques, and just not really show a lot of fire or interest in being there.  These are the type of seminars I try to avoid.

Whatever your training preferences may be I think there are great opportunities to learn from training with a wide range of people.  This can be accomplished by attending seminars, dropping in at other gyms, or even switching up the training schedule at your own gym.  Getting to train with a variety of training partners and even instructors can help elevate your game to another level.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Flashback Friday: Gianni Grippo vs Luis Rubalvaca (2012)

This match took place in February 2012 at the IBJJF Houston Open.  I'm a big fan of Grippo and who doesn't love to see a Feather competing against a Heavyweight?!  At the time Gianni was still with Renzo Gracie but recently made the move to Marcelo Garcia (NYC).  Luis Rubalvaca received his black belt from Jacare Cavalcanti later that year in September.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Flashback Friday: Marcelo Garcia vs Xande Ribeiro (ADCC 2005)

Here is a match from ADCC 2005 featuring Marcelo Garcia and Xande Ribeiro.  This was the 3rd place match in for the Absolute division but it is the stuff of legends.  Marcelo did manage to win his own weight class of -77kg.  This contest featured an undersized Marcelo Garcia showcasing the stuff that has made him famous.  You will see him use the very techniques that has made him one of the best pound for pound grapplers in the World.  Many of these techniques can be found on his online training site

2005 Absolute Brackets

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flashback Friday: Rafa Mendes vs Bruno Malfacine (WP 2011)

This is an interesting match up that we are rarely treated to.  Rafael Mendes (Atos) and Bruno Malfacine (Alliance) are a couple weight classes a part in IBJJF tournaments and the weight classes in this tournament are much wider pitting two of the best against each other.  This match took place at the World Pro 2011. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013 IBJJF World Championships (Review)

The 2013 IBJJF World Championships concluded around 10pm central time Sunday night.  It was an excellent event featuring some incredible matches and upsets.  That being brain is FRIED from watching most of Saturday and Sunday's live stream.  

Academy Results

1 - Alliance - 94
2 - CheckMat - 53
3 - Atos Jiu-Jitsu - 45 

1 - Alliance - 74
2 - CheckMat - 45
3 - Gracie Humaita - 32 

1 - Gracie Elite Team - 65
2 - Gracie Barra - 52
3 - Alliance - 33 

1 - Gracie Elite Team - 47
2 - Alliance - 41
3 - Gracie Barra - 34 

*Additional results can be found at: 

Notable moments (Spoilers if you haven't seen the matches. Skip down and watch the matches first.)
  • Gui Mendes being knocked out in only the quarterfinals.  He played a dangerously close match and didn't push the pace losing a ref's decision.  
  • Tanquinho was impressive.  I picked him to make it to the finals but who would have expected him to beat both Cobrinha AND Rafael Mendes the same day?  Probably the most impressive run in the black belt division in my opinion.
  • Caio Terra showed that his win against his nemesis, Bruno Malfacine, at Pan 2013 was not fluke.  He played a very similar game and won the 50/50 battle to claim another World title.
  • Leandro Lo showed that he is one of the most dynamic standing guard passers and open guard players of the tournament.  He had only 2 points scored against him in the entire tournament.  
  • Paulo Miyao FINALLY beats Keenan Cornelius in the Brown belt Absolute final.  This is an amazing feat considering that he fights at Light Feather.  
  • Braulio Estima was very impressive and showed the world that he still is competing at the highest level dazzling with a ridiculous kneebar.  He closed out his weight class and conceded to teammate Romulo Barral.  
  • Atos was shut out at black belt in all divisions.  
  • Ary Farias had appeared to win the Light Feather final, left the mat area to celebrate, was penalized for doing so which docked him an advantage and caused him to lose the final.  Very unfortunate as the match was one of the best finals during the weekend.
  • Lucas Leite was excellent making it to the final at Heavyweight...which is two weight classes above his natural division.  
  • Bruno Bastos (Nova Uniao) retired from Worlds competition and gave his black belt to Buchecha after losing to him in the Absolute division.  
  • Buchecha proved AGAIN that he is the best pound for pound guy out there.  He was incredibly dominant winning both his weight and the Absolute division.  The Absolute final against Rodolfo Veira wasn't close at all. 
Xande Ribeiro (Match 1)

Caio Terra (Brasa) vs Fabio Passos (Alliance)

Rafa Mendes vs Mayako Borges

Braulio Estima's INSANE kneebar in slo-motion.

Gui Mendes (Atos) vs Daniel Beleza Light Feather Quarterfinal

Rodolfo Veira (GF Team) vs Leo Leite (CheckMat)

Rafael Mendes (Atos) vs Tanquinho (Soul Fighters) Feather Final

Caio Terra (Brasa) vs Bruno Malfacine (Alliance) Rooster Final

Ari Farias (Atos) vs Gabriel Moraes (CheckMat) Light Feather Final

Leandro Lo vs Michael Langhi (Alliance) Light Final

Friday, May 31, 2013

Flashback Friday: Andre Galvao vs Rafael Lovato (2008)

This match took place not long after I first got into the sport so at the time I had no idea how big a deal both of these guys were. It's interesting to see how Lovato's game has changed since 2008.  You will rarely see him pull guard.  These days he seems much more focused on getting on top and forcing his pressure style passing with a lot of success.  These two guys will face off again in just over a week at Metamoris 2.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 IBJJF World Championship Brackets

Here are the Adult Men's Black Belt brackets for the 2013 IBJJF World Championships.  Previous preview of the tournament can be found here:

Now on to the brackets!  Adult Men's Black Belt Brackets:

Rooster 1 of 2
Rooster 2 of 2
Light Feather 1 of 4
Light Feather 2 of 4
Light Feather 3 of 4
Light Feather 4 of 4
Feather 1 of 2
Feather 2 of 2
Light 1 of 4
Light 2 of 4
Light 3 of 4

Light 4 of 4
Middle 1 of 4
Middle 2 of 4
Middle 3 of 4
Middle 4 of 4
Medium Heavy 1 of 4
Medium Heavy 2 of 4
Medium Heavy 3 of 4
Medium Heavy 4 of 4
Heavy 1 of 2
Heavy 2 of 2
Super Heavy 1 of 2
Super Heavy 2 of 2
Ultra Heavy 1 of 2
Ultra Heavy 2 of 2

For my own interests I've included the Adult Men's Purple Feather and Lightweight brackets below:

Feather 1 of 8
Feather 2 of 8
Feather 3 of 8
Feather 4 of 8
Feather 5 of 8
Feather 6 of 8
Feather 7 of 8
Feather 8 of 8
Light 1 of 8
Light 2 of 8
Light 3 of 8
Light 4 of 8
Light 5 of 8
Light 6 of 8
Light 7 of 8
Light 8 of 8

Men's Adult Brown
Light Feather 1 of 2
Light Feather 2 of 2

Again, if you want to watch the Worlds tournament via online stream, be sure to visit to get your event pass.