What? Who am I to say this? I'm a nobody. I'm a very ordinary purple belt who trains part time. I do not have the time (nor the desire) to reach the heights of BJJ, No Gi submission wrestling or MMA achievement that these fine specimen have reached and that's exactly why I shouldn't emulate how they behaved in this fantastic match at the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu Jitsu absolute finals:
One of the best things I learned in BJJ is from 4th degree black belt Roy Harris. In one of his fantastic instructionals he explained that in BJJ there are rules and:
As a beginner you learn the rules and you obey them
As in intermediate grappler you start breaking the rules and learning from that
As an advanced grappler, there are no rules
Similarly, Matt Thornton once wrote that in BJJ, there are no rules, only warnings.
If you try to do what Andre and Rodolfo do in the match above, you will get the living crap swept, passed, mounted and submitted out of you. You won't be able to make it work (if you are anything like me and let's face it, the absolute majority of us are not of their calibre).
They hardly ever establish positions. They are basically playing chess on speed. I'm not saying it's sloppy, because it really isn't. I'm saying if I tried to play the way they play I would make it look sloppy. I would look like an idiot and I would probably injure myself and my training partners (or at least really piss them off) and I wouldn't (here is the important one) learn anything of value.
As a beginner (and 6-7 years of part time training into BJJ I am most definitely a beginner) I am still working hard at learning and obeying the rules of grappling. I always work for the underhook before I attempt passing half guard. I keep my elbows close to my ribs* when in guard in fear of getting arm dragged or arm barred. Unlike Mr Galvao, my awareness level is still developing and I do NOT see the arm bar a mile off like he does.
While the above match is fantastic and great, I still don't think it's better** than the one they had a few years back (the ADCC 2009 Brazilian Trials), this time NoGi. As you all know, I'm more of a gi fan but great grappling is great grappling and this one has one of the most beautiful back takes in the history of back takes! I hope you enjoy it.
*Yes I admit that I toy with giving my arm sometimes from inside closed guard to encourage my partner to go for the armbar so I can pass but that's not my core game. That's something I experiment with sometimes.
**except for the throw. Dang it that was a beautiful throw. I'm sure Seagal invented it though!
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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