The recent Metamoris Pro event - submission only super-fights - saw the meeting of one of my jiujitsu and grappling idols, Saulo Ribeiro, and a man who's done enough to earn a permanent place in jiujitsu history - Brasa's own Rodrigo Comprido Mederios in what was, ironically, the night's only gi match. The match is still available from Metamoris Pro's website but here is my own breakdown of the event.
Beyond that, the following segments / grappling exchanges where the most fruitful with tons of jiujitsu knowledge to be extracted and drilled.
1. Saulo - Arm drag to belt grip - pulls butterfly guard and attempts a sumigaeshi (sacrifice) throw - settles for the open guard - Comprido works for leg binding grips and goes for the pass - Saulo resets and realises that it's less than ideal positioning for him- Saulo breaks pant grip and stands back up.
Saulo's resetting is flawless in this exchange. He used his hips and right arm straight frame to create so much space that even Comprido's long limbs aren't long / strong enough to contain him.
2. Grip fighting and head placement- Saulo reads the weight distribution change and avoids foot sweep (kouchi gari), a sweep which he is actually famous for himself.
3. Saulo concedes dominant grip on the his right arm, lulling Comprido into thinking that he doesn't have an attacking chance from here. Saulo opens the lapel with his left (the seemingly dominated arm) and whips his right arm under for the shoulder throw- drop seoi nage- and lands in side control. Saulo moves in to control Comprido but lands in his half guard. Saulo immediately shuts down Comprido's deep half and full guard recovery - Comprido controls the belt with his left hand and Saulo attempts to pass.
Again, Saulo's resetting strategies and techniques and frames are amazing. This was clearly his game plan for the match. Knowing that the more dangerous shoulder from the top is the far one (in the picture below that's Comprido's right shoulder), he quickly pushed it with both hands, snuck his own right knee while he worked his right hand inside the lapel near the collar bone, then stiff armed his way to safety and got up. Jiujitsu poetry in motion.
5. Comprido uses a double lapel grip from standing to stall the action - Saulo breaks one of Comprido's grips - goes for another, albeit unsuccessful, drop seoi nage - pulls butterfly guard and ends up in half butterfly. After realising that he couldn't get any attacks launched from there, he resets again to stand up
6. Comprido jumps to closed guard - Saulo sits in base and works to open the closed guard old school style, almost daring Comprido to attack for the triangle - he then stands up and slips a leg out to half guard.
Comprido attacks for the omoplata but Saulo was reado. Saulo almost slips out but ends up in a biceps crush position and this was another great jiujitsu lesson to learn from the legend:- he waits patiently for Comprido to attack it, knowing that he'd need both hands to finish it but Comprido's right hand was controlling Saulo's trapped hand. As soon as he releases it, Saulo frees the trapped hand and if you re-watch that short exchange a million times, like I did, you will see that Saulo moves his head away from Comprido's head and closer to the shins, giving his trapped arm more room to manoeuvre.
Once Comprido releases the hand, Saulo adjusts his position and slips the arm out and controls side control and transitions quickly to mount. Upon inspection, you can see Saulo's left knee next to Comprido's hip, waiting to slide across to mount which he does as Comprido gives up on the biceps crush and attempts to regain guard.
Comprido over commits his turn and Saulo looks good to take the back but Comprido turns back and slips his left arm under and adjusts his hips for the deep half guard - Comprido works his grips and gets a beautiful Waiter / Rocking chair sweep
Saulo fights it a little but immediately adjusts his thinking for positional escapes and creates frames and returns to guard - Saulo resets and stands up
8. Comprido pulls closed guard and works Saulo's hand slightly past centreline - He sits up for a hip bump sweep, but because Saulo's left arm is past his centre line, he realises his options and soon adjusts his support hand sideways and goes for a drag / back take which Saulo defends by turtling - Comprido tries to flip to get the hooks but Saulo's defences are perfect and take him back to an open guard position. The match ends in a draw soon after that.
I learnt so much from watching this match over and over. First I watched through then watched it again, pausing and rewinding the interesting parts. Then, I wrote down the segments I felt were worth re-watching and I'm sure the more I watch it, the more gold nuggets I'll find. At that point, I went back and rewatched each individual jiujitsu exchange many times to really see what was happening.
I was mostly interested in what happened before and after what we commonly call a jiujitsu technique happened. I wanted to see the set-up and the follow-up and these two fantastic martial artists had a ton to teach in this great 20 minute match.
If you want to learn more about how to learn from watching, check out my article from 2009 on how to best learn from DVDs, tailored for the Part Time Grapplers like you and I.
ps. These photos are screenshots from the event to explain what I'm referring to. I do not have any rights to these photos and if Metamoris wants me to take them down, I will immediately.
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!