BJJ / Grappling tips: Kron Gracie's guard

Master Rickson Gracie, Grandmaster Helio Gracie
and professor Kron Gracie
Kron Gracie has an amazing all-round jiujitsu game. He is fantastic from every position and attacks with submissions with seemingly reckless abandon, but having spent a few hours learning from both Master Rickson and some of Kron's and Rickson's black belt representatives in Amsterdam*, not to mention the fantastic work by my own teacher Eddie Kone who's learnt from several of Grandmaster Helio's sons, I'm really starting to believe that none of it reckless and Kron's jiujitsu game, very much like that of his father Master Rickson Gracie, builds on a deep understanding of the levers of jiujitsu.

First of all, have a look at this match between Kron and the formidable Leandro Lo from the IBJJF Worlds 2011. In particular, start watching from 3:13 after Leandro sweeps Kron and you will see how Kron connects his spine, thru his hands and legs, to Leandro, frustrating his pass attempts.

I've watched the segment from 3:13 to 3:26 several times and I'm always impressed by how easy Kron makes it look to simply maintain the same distance between his hips and Leandro's. Very frustrating. Even when Leando realises that he needs to dominate Kron's right arm to anchor and pass, Kron has a simple yet effective solution to strip the grip: He brings is his left knee as a Z-guard shield:

Leandro does manage finally to pass and even take the back for 4 points, but Kron manages the distance the whole time so Leandro's "control" is very short lived. From 5:00, Kron's leg work is amazing. He constantly keeps his feet outside or on Leandro's body and arms. He's constantly bearing his weight onto Leandro, connecting to him. From 5:24, Kron's grip fighting and sleeve dominance leaves him in quite a safe spot against the passing tornado that is Leandro Lo.

The gem for me is really how light Kron's body is on the mat. Obviously, he can't levitate so if he's light on his back, it must mean that he is heavy on this feet, which are in turn heavy on Leandro. Also, to facilitate this, watch how Kron circles his feet from the outside in or from the inside out so they always land on top of Leandro's wrists every time Leandro tries to grip Kron's pants:

This tip I learnt from Master Rickson alone is worth its weight in gold, excuse the pun.

"Every time the opponent touches you, they must carry your weight!"
Master Rickson Gracie

Kron uses this and a ton of other strategies to make his guard so very dangerous. The video below is quite a nice study of Kron's Collar grip guard which uses examples from the match above: 

One of the most important lesson's I've learnt both in Martial Arts and outside it came from my karate instructor, Kyoshi Siamak Rezaie. He said something to me that I shared here on the blog in an article called BJJ / Grappling tips: How best to learn BJJ / Grappling: Listen to my actions and see my words. Kyoshi said:

"You must always try to steal the most amount of knowledge from all your teachers. We as instructors always strive to share as much as possible, but there will be times when a move or detail gets missed. We are only human. You must not only watch my actions and listen to my instructions, but also listen to my actions and see my words"

I hope this helps inspire you to do just that.

*Obviously, I am no expert on this. I'm barely scratching the surface.


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