BJJ / grappling tips: Rubber Guard Meathook attack - perfect technique beats attributes

Eddie Bravo showing the meathook from the
rubber guard at
The solution to 99.9% of BJJ / Grappling problems is: move your hips!

It is unwritten BJJ / Grappling law that after a hard session to sit down and discuss some techniques / recent fight shows / conditioning tips and what not with your sweaty primates. I had recently witnessed someone almost pull off a Meathook set up to triangle choke from the Rubber Guard against a much stronger dude.The opponent  basically powered out of the move and blasted the Rubber Guard open. I could see the frustration and I could imagine that doubts were entering their mind about the move (or maybe about Guard attacks in general).

You can sometimes get away with less-than-perfect technique, but when the opponent’s attributes (speed, strength, flexibility, sense of balance…etc.) are higher than yours then you need to analyse your techniques and make sure they are impeccable.

If you follow that link I have given to the Meathook set-up, you will see it demonstrated by Eddie Bravo himself. The man innovated the whole Rubber Guard system but also has very impressive flexibility, which he has developed over a number of years. It would be fair to say that his flexibility allows him to get away with a broader margin of error than you and I.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Rubber Guard and most of Bravo’s system of techniques and tactics. The thing is, I don’t think that you need to be as mad-flexible as he is to pull them off. You just need to have impeccable fundamentals. Most importantly, you can’t skimp on your hip movements.

Look at the pictures again. On the second and fourth pictures you can clearly see that Bravo’s hips are moved to his left and not square to his opponent (the dummy) kinda working towards the back, but not as clearly on the other pics. That hip movement allows deeper penetration of his left hand into the opponent’s left armpit, hooking into his "meat". This serves several purposes:

  1. It moves your hips out of the way, giving your right leg the space and freedom it needs to spring up for the triangle
  2. It moves your hips out of centre, this makes it more difficult for your opponent to pin you and a lot more awkward to life and slam you
  3. It literally hooks your body weight (if you engage your abs) to your opponent at such a an angle that it further reduces his leverage to lift you or alternatively blast out of your guard
  4. It relies on a hook-structure, thus drastically reducing the amount of energy you need to keep the position or advance from it
If you don’t believe me, tried both variations: try hugging an opponent in your guard (doesn't even have to be Rubber Guard!) and hang off them while they are on all four and then do it again after you have moved your hips to the left and put all your weight to the side. They will quickly tell you that they feel more out-of-balance and threatened in the second scenario.

The thing is, if you have long legs and arms and are flexible, you will get away with less hip movement and if your leg-and-arm clamp is strong enough, you will keep your opponent down and maybe even pull off the move, but why settle for second best? Especially if second best is bound to let you down when the opponent is stronger, more experienced or has more energy than you.

Me with My BFF Mr Eddie Bravo
The solution to 99.9% of BJJ / Grappling problems is: move your hips!


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters

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