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воскресенье, 5 июля 2009 г.

The Rubber Guard

Eddie Bravo is one of the great innovators in brazilian jiu jitsu. The JJ Machado blackbelt has made an immense contribution to the sport over the years and here I will try to cover only one of his very well-known developments known as "the Rubber Guard". For those who don't know, his biggest competitive achievement on the mats has been defeating Royler Gracie in ADCC 2003. A tremendous feat by any account.

The idea really is to improve and move away from the classical jiu jitsu guard position which is considered dangerous and over-reliant on wrist control. In MMA the guy on the bottom using the traditional guard is in danger. He needs to control his opponent in order to prevent ground and pound and this maybe very difficult to do if the guy postures up and has strong arms. Of course the are exceptions most notably Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira whose exceptionally strong grip and an amazing chin allow him to withstand a terrible beating.



Many people however don't want withstand such a beating and have neither the grip strength to control the opponent nor the chin. Eddie proposes to use the Rubber Guard to control the opponent and use it to attack. A bunch of setups are available here like the omoplata, gogoplata and the triangle choke from the Rubber Guard.

Opponents argue that the Rubber Guard does not work. While it is clear that both the classic guard and the rubber guard don't have a very high success rate, some like Shinya Aoki have been successful with the Rubber Guard winning Pride Shockwave 2006 with it. Aoki, a well-known submission specialist is credited to have the best Rubber Guard in MMA by Bravo I've heard in fact.

My view is that this system has a good chance to be accepted but this needs time and success. So far there has not been such overwhelming success in application of the Rubber Guard in MMA or in jiu jitsu tournaments. Jiu jitsu fighters will learn it only if it works. The Rubber Guard needs successes in competition and perhaps it is just a question of time. Today there are just too few proponents but who knows, as 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu expands, more and more fighters will come out of there competing for the gold!

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