Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Modern Jiu-Jitsu

I'm one of those Jiu-Jitsu guys which some of you probably can't stand, and that is because I use 'modern' Jiu-Jitsu techniques, and if you have no clue what I'm talking about, I'm refering directly to the berimbolo, the 50/50 guard, reverse de la riva, and many types of inverted guard and techniques.

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida sets up a berimbolo on Rodolfo Viera at the 2012 Mundials

So why do so many people get so pi**ed with these types of techniques? Well for one they can be VERY annoying, and the majority of people have no clue what is going on and will probably do something completely stupid which will result in most likely getting your back taken or your guard passed.

Another reason is that these positions can take you from a very comfortable position into one that can there is a high chance you will be submitted. For example, the 50/50 guard is a neutral position, but if the other guy manages to step his leg over he can pass your guard with ease and from here could potentially take your back.  

But probably the main reason for hating these positions is that they are very hard to defend, and I'm not saying that a blue belt will be able to berimbolo a brown or black belt, but against someone who is the same level as you or a bit more advanced than yourself it's very hard to defend. Also, since these positions are relatively new, the defences for them are limited, they are out there but there isn't that many. 

So why are these techniques so popular? Well the main reason these techniques are as popular as they are is because they allow you too transition to the back relatively easily (if completed successfully). The back and the mount are the most dominate positions in BJJ, submission grappling, and relatively any grappling based martial art, and also score 4 points in competition under IBJJF rules. But most people will choose to take the back over the mount as personally I think you have considerably more control over the opponent from the back, plus back control is probably the hardest overall position to escape.

Another reason they are so popular is that lots of people at the highest level use 'modern' Jiu-Jitsu techniques and have great success using them in competition, people such as Rafael Mendes, Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles, Guilherme Mendes, Samuel Braga, Bruno Frazzato, Caio Terra, Ryan Hall, Bruno Malfacine etc. Yes they are all people who fight at the lower weights, but now you are starting to see even people at the higher weights using these techniques. It doesn't even stop there! many of the best fighters at the lower belts also use these techniques on a frequent basis, people like Gianni Grippo, Michael Liera Jr, Edwin Najmi etc.

It also has to said that these techniques have become so popular due to the phenomenon which is the Miyao brothers, these two have berimbolo'd there way to the top of the podium in every major BJJ competition in the world, and with both of them winning there respected weight divisions and atleast one of them reaching the final of the absolute, which inevitably was against Kennan Cornelius. I first heard of the Miyao brothers through a video I saw posted by BJJ Hacks and I must say I was very impressed! But when I saw Paulo Miyao fight live at the IBJJF Europeans in the January of 2012, it completely blew me away on how fluid his Jiu-Jitsu was, and when I got back home the first thing I did was watch videos of the Miyao brothers on YouTube and try to copy there game as much as possible. Obviosly since then I've added stuff to my game which I liked from other BJJ competitors most notably Ryan Hall, Gianni Grippo and Michael Liera Jr.

The Miyao Brothers (Paulo and João Miyao)
The Miyao brothers themselves have grown the concept of 'modern' Jiu-Jitsu as there entire game is completely based on it. How many times have you seen one of the Miyao brothers pull de la riva guard in the opening seconds of the round and inevitably berimbolo the guy only to take his back and finish the match with some variation of choke i.e. RNC, bow and arrow choke, or ezekiel choke.

These types of techniques aren't as new as you might think, as the berimbolo has been used by Samuel Braga since 2005, but the berimbolo itself didn't come mainstream until the Mendes brothers hit the scene and has grown even further since the Miyao brothers have been dominating the scene at the lower belts. Also the 50/50 guard has been used by Ryan Hall since well, forever!

So why should you learn these techniques you may ask? Well probably the best way in order to defend something is to understand It's key principles. For example, I'm not the biggest fan of x-guard but I know in order for the position to be successful my opponent needs to keep control of the leg nearest his head. The same can be said for the berimbolo, the most important thing to remember is to not let the guy put your hips on the mat, this is CRITICAL!

Personally I love these types of techniques and I would encourage all of you to give them a shot at least once. By the way I am no BJJ instructor the comments I have made are mainly my point of view.

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. It's not hating the "modern" BJJer, it's being frustrated by someone who's doing something you aren't familiar with, and, instead of learning from it, just complaining about it in various forms (it's too much stalling, requires too much flexibility for most people, etc.). Honestly, I have buddies who do that all the time and as a more top-game player, I welcome it as it helps me develop my own game. I love BJJs evolution! looking forward to whatever's next. Good post.