Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ronis Gracie: Lapel grip/Butterfly Sweep & Injuries are the Mother of Invention

Awesome poster, no?

Lately, in Judo, I've been playing a lot of butterfly guard during mat work. I've found that due to the shorter time on the mat, guys who predominantly play Judo are often SUPER enticed by the butterfly guard.
I can almost literally feel how excited they are at the prospect of passing into a pinning/osaekomi position.. Rather than fight the half-guard death grip calf crush squeeze which many Judo players adopt while on bottom as they wait for the referee to start them back up onto their feet, the player on top often sees the butterfly guard as an easier pass. That and a habit of some Judo players is higher hips (in relation to the bottom player) b/c of the faster mobility they think it provides in passing/obtaining the pin.

I've been working a lot of my butterfly sweep and stumbled across this, over at's website:

Despite my knee injury, my Judo has improved quite a bit as I have to rely on timing and proper kuzushi to get the guy moving or I don't even bother entering in.
I read an interview with Xande Ribeiro from Jiu-Jitsu magazine last month. In it he chronicles how injuries have taught him alternative, safer, and often more efficient ways to do things.
This has been my experience as well.
Koga, says very similar things about the manner in which he was forced to adapt techniques due to injury in the course of the Fighting Films DVD of his name.

For nearly 7 years in Judo competition, I was a one dimensional player. I won many matches, but literally, close to 99% were by throw/Ippon.
I have always been a finisher in Judo. In fact, I had to go back and find the last match I won by points to well over two years ago. But, I was one dimensional nonetheless.
That and in 7 years, I had only won by pin/osaekomi a handful of times and managed only 1 submission.
That being said, due to my extensive time put on the mat due to my knee injury and time away from Tachiwaza, I've been willing to take a win whenever and however I can get it. By fighting on the mat rather than waiting for the referee restart.

At any rate, be a multi-dimensional player, whether you're a Judo player or a BJJ player.
Winning is winning, especially in Judo when we have 3 different ways to win and many combinations therein.
In BJJ, follow the lead of guys like Rodolfo, Lovato, Saulo, Xande, Jacare, Roger, and others that diligently work on their takedowns and transitions.
IF it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.

Happy Trainingz!

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