I’ve promised more than a few friends plus myself that I was going to get back to writing again on the regular. The last couple of weeks in particular have lit a fire under my butt. So I’m aiming for a weekly column? Keep stroking my ego and I might actually stick to it this time.
What a weekend for martial arts! First, I have to give credit where credit was due, because lately I’ve been saying not so privately that I’m actually pretty sick of MMA, but UFC 153 in Rio delivered an entertaining card pretty much from top to bottom. I’m not going to recap the whole card, but I’ll summarize by saying that I was very happy for Jon Fitch’s Fight of the Night performance (I’ve been a Fitch booster since he walked into AKA), Glover Texeria is the real deal but hold schnakkies can Fabio Maldonado ever take a beating and Anderson Silva is simply not of this earth. I have zero interest in seeing him fight GSP however and at this point the only fight that I would consider spending money on is a showdown against Light-Heavyweight Title Holder Jon Jones. Give Anderson 20 million and let him retire after that fight as the greatest of all time.
By the way, to fellow Jiu Jitsu Otaku out there, I’m pretty sure Dave Herman is trolling us, but none the less I was happy to see Big Nog get the arm bar win.
How can I not talk about Metamoris? I have been looking forward to this event perhaps more than any other in recent memory. The dream match ups, the rules and format, the dream production values: how could I not go bonkers over this event. A busy schedule and a bad cold prevented me from heading down to San Diego myself for the event, but I did watch the PPV at my academy with a number of students and friends.
Again, I’m not going to summarize the whole thing here, but I will say you should go to www.Metamoris.com and spend 19.95 on the replay to support them, because ultimately if this proves successful it will be good for Jiu Jitsu and good for all of us.
I watch these event a little differently than most, as an active Jiu Jitsu guy myself I always look at these types of event and try to learn something from it. This event, with these particular rules (20 minutes submission only) got me thinking about WILL, and methods to break it. Certain will-breaking strategies may or may not have come into play because of the longer than usual format. Because in a submission only tournament, the only way to win is to essentially make your opponent say “Uncle”. But with 20 minutes we can see some very active ways and some passive ways to break the will of your opponent.
The active way of breaking your opponent’s will is easy enough to figure out and you’re likely to see this as much in a conventional match as in Metamoris’ unique format. A good example of this would be Rafael Lovato Jr. vs Kayron Gracie. I discussed this match with a few pundits and many felt it was the battle of Open Guard against Open Guard. Both Kayron and Rafael have dangerous Open Guards for sure, but Rafael has recently released http://www.ultimatepressurepassingsystem.com so you might have a hint on what he’s been working on lately (and I may or may not have agreed to review and plug his site). I’ve been fortunate enough to get to work and roll with Rafael throughout his career but have been really working on some stuff he showed me in the last few months. His pressure while on top is immense, ceaseless and will breaking. It’s like trying to move a wet, weighted blanket off of you and you eventually get to the point where you just want to let him pass to get it over with. Feels awful when he’ on top but fortunately enough he’s been kind enough to share what he knows on http://www.ultimatepressurepassingsystem.com and I can tell you it’s made a difference in my game. When I saw Kayron not working his guard as much and just trying to alleviate the Rafael’s pressure by pushing off with his arms, I knew the end was coming because he was more focused on his defense than scoring any kind of offense from his best position. That’s what I saw anyway, but we’ll see if Rafael has any insight into this match on http://www.ultimatepressurepassingsystem.com (Happy Rafael? I’ll give a more full review of your site at a later date).
The other way to break someone’s will is a far more passive way. That is to take everything your opponent throws at you and show them you’re not phased by this. Jeff Glover tried this strategy against Caio Terra (didn’t work out this time, Caio’s a smart enough opponent not to get caught in the same traps twice) and Ryron Gracie employed this strategy against Andre Galvao to better success.
I’ve known Ryron for some time but I’ve become even more of a fan of his in recent months and his whole www.keepitplayful.com movement. The dude (actually his whole family) I can describe as relentlessly positive people. When he say he’s out there to learn and test himself, I don’t really detect anything but genuineness. (I could argue he may have matured into this since he was last actively competing). Ryron’s style has always been patient, methodical, take whatever you can throw at him, rely on his superb defense and then find an opening and attack. This style, definitely frustrated Galvao during the their Metamoris match but was ultimately successful? Well, keep in mind the match was declared a draw so you can argue that either both or neither were ultimately successful in their desires. I think Ryron is a glass is half full type guy. I wonder how you would classify Andre after this match, but to be fair, he had a lot more on the line in many ways.
Speaking of will, how about that main event? Someone at my viewing party pointed out that Roger Gracie said he thought his arm was going to break, tapping out wasn’t even crossing his mind! Will is certainly what makes Roger one of the all time greats, but damn if Marcus “Bucheca” Almedia the top of the crop of the very new generation! This man can only improve at this point as well, where as the questions about Roger’s prime BJJ competition days have to be coming up now.
Again, feedback keeps me writing so if you have any comments you can post them below or e-mail me at Gumby@onthemat.com and I might address them in future columns. Aside from here you can always find me on the mat at my own academy in downtown San Jose at www.HeroesMartialArts.com Until then stay classy.