Monday, October 20, 2014
Throughout the year we around a handful of product reviews. For the most part we like doing them, sometimes they wind up disappointing and other times they are incredible products. Today's review comes straight from Matt at MappingMyBJJJourney. For those of you out of the loop, Matt has become rather well known for his mapping of techniques that coincide with books, videos and BJJ curriculum. Recently, he took a long hard look at the Digitsu Tanquinho DVD, and gave it a review accompanied with his usual mapping prowess. So without further ado...
The Digitsu Tanquinho DVD Review:
If you’re not familiar with the name Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes you’ve been living under a BJJ free rock for the last few years. To bring you up to speed here are a few fun facts about Tanquinho. He earned his black belt from GM Francisco Mansur. He has wins over a veritable Who’s Who of BJJ legends, check out some of his wins HERE, and at the 2013 Worlds had what most would consider his finest tournament showing ever. At Worlds he defeated Eduardo Ramos, Cobrinha and finally Rafa Mendes in route to a gold medal. Immediately after winning the world title Tanquinho turn his focus to MMA, where he is currently 2-0 with both wins coming by submission. His girlfriend is pretty good at BJJ too.
If you’re already a customer of Digitsu you have a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as format and video quality. Digitsu’s audio and video are of high quality and do a good job of presenting the material. There are 2 DVDs, with a total running length of roughly 2 hours. Tanquinho’s English is very good and never an issue. He explains each technique well. He and Mackenzie have different color gis on to more easily see the intricacies of the technique. The only gripe I have about the presentation is that Tanquinho is almost always talking to Mackenzie when he’s demonstrating techniques. Don’t get me wrong, everything is clear and I had no problem at all understanding him or following the technique but it would be nice if he looked in the camera a little more often.
In each chapter Tanquinho demonstrates the technique from start to finish twice in full detail. The camera is stationary and if needed he moves to show a different angle. There a few instances where a picture-in-picture pop-up is used to show an additional angle. After the technique is taught it is demonstrated several times from different angles while heavy metal-esque music plays. Normally I fast-forward through this portion of the instructional but Digitsu has added something that I’ve never seen before: subtitles during the replay. These provide additional reinforcement to what is being demonstrated. As someone who takes notes while watching DVD’s I really liked this new feature. If you don’t normally take notes from a DVD reading along typically enhances retention.
The 1st DVD is the longest and has twenty-five chapters that are focused on passing your opponents guard. Multiple variations are demonstrated based on your position and/or how your opponent reacts. A few submissions are also demonstrated off the passes. A few of the techniques that stood out to me on this DVD were: Long Step Pass, Half-Guard pass to far side arm lock, Half-Guard pass kimura counter, X-Guard step over pass, 50/50 to knee slide pass and 50/50 step over pass. In particular the Long Step Pass has worked very well for me and something that I’d never seen before.
Disc 1 Table of Contents
• Posture and Mobility Drills
• Long Step Pass
• Knee Slide To The Opposite Side
• Knee Slide Pass to Rolling Back Take
• Calf Slicer vs. RLDR
• Berimbolo Defense
• Deep Half Guard Pass
• Deep Half Guard Pass 2
• Deep Half Guard Pass to Mounted
• Deep Half Guard Waiter Sweep Pass
• Passing Traditional Half
• Half Guard Pass With Shoulder Pressure
• Half Guard Pass To Far Side Arm Triangle
The 2nd DVD, approximately 45 minutes long, has 18 chapters and is focused on attacking your opponent from a superior position. This DVD has some interesting options for attacking that I haven’t seen before. Namely the mounted collar choke (it’s not what you’re thinking), the mounted arm lock defense counter (effective and very easy to integrate into your game) and the side control collar choke. The collar choke may not be high percentage but will probably get your opponent moving which will open up other options. The arm lock counter is interesting and will be something that I’m looking forward to playing around with. And finally the side control collar choke chains nicely from the kimura, which is a position I’m in a lot. Rounding out the DVD is a nice chain against an opponent that is in the bottom turtle position. These techniques aren’t earth shattering but are ones that logically flow from one to the next and present a couple options to attack a turtled opponent.
Disc 2 Table of Contents
• Tomoe Nage Fake To Ankle Pick
• Flying Tomoe Nage
• Mounted Collar Choke
• Mounted Arm Lock
• Arm Lock Defense Counter
• Arm Lock to Bicep Slicer
• Side Control - Bicep Slicer
• Side Control - Collar Choke
• Side Control – Step Over Collar Choke
• Side Control – North/South Lapel Choke
Wrapping It Up:
The Complete Champion is available HERE for $69.95 and contains 2 hours of instruction spread out over two discs. The table of contents and mind map of disc 1 should give you a good idea of the material so that you’ll know if it’s something that you’d like to own. The audio and video are solid and I really like the additional subtitles during the replays. The techniques are best suited for someone with a firm grasp of the fundamentals because there are times when Tanquinho assumes you know how finish a certain technique. I’ve been training for 4 years regularly and had no problem following along but I don’t think that this would be a good fit for beginning white belts. That said the posture position and techniques from it are very good once you’ve got some of the basics and posture down. I found about a dozen techniques that I’m excited to drill and I’m sure several will make it into my regular game.
To keep up with Digitsu check out their website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You may also want to check out my reviews of their other DVDs: Gianni Grippo DLR, Lucas Lepri NoGi Master Series & Lucas Lepri Championship Guard Passing.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
So much has been said about certain so-called ultra effective Russian combat techniques, yet, until now, little was known of them. Shrouded in mystery and doubted by some, we finally get a glimpse of some of these deadly moves.
Behold, grapplers. That is all. [Go Scramble buddies.]
The Eddie Bravo Invitational 2.0 took place this past Friday night in Hollywood, Ca. The sequel consisted of two 16 man brackets, the first at 135lbs and the second 155lbs. Competitors hailed from some of best teams in the country (7 of which came from 10Planet Schools) they include Cobrina, Zenith, Renzo, Baret, Couture, Atos, JJ Machado, Cobra Kai and many more (over 25 in all.)
If you missed the first EBI, matches are 10 minutes long and based on submission only. If there is a draw at the end of 10 minutes the matches go into overtime - which can consist of up to 3 periods. In these periods a competitor must choose to start in a disadvantageous position - in full arm bar catch (spider web) or full back pack (over under with hooks in.) You can win via submission or by having the fastest escape from those positions.
In the end Geo Martinez defeats Fabio Passo via calf-slicer to win the EBI 135 lbs. title, and fellow 10th Planer cohort Denny Prokopos had the quickest escapes versus Nathan Orchard to capture lightweight title. Both men had four matches each and Denny had two RNC’s, a twister and a quick escape overtime finish. Geo finished all four of his matches via submission which included a heel hook, RNC, and two calf locks.
The entire event was a success from a viewers POV and we can't wait for more. On that note we were a little disappointed with the lack of illegal footage from the event, but we assure your we will post them as soon as we find them!
The next EBI is slated for February and as usually it will more than entertain us!
Monday, October 6, 2014
OK. Sure. There's the Keenan of it all and that's always a great great story. He was pretty amazing all the way to the final in the open class at 20154 No-Gi Worlds versus an equally amazing and larger Yuri Simoes. You will like this match, we guarantee it (as if that means anything).
But, Gabi. The phenom that she is. Hated by some. Ridiculed by others (how dare they). And, revered and feared by us. She is a true work of art and a gift to BJJ. Watch her absolutely destroy Mackenzie Dern in what looks very much like a playful wrestling match between a parent and his/her 6 year-old child. Except for the Americana. That part is brutal.
Overall, this was probably the best No-Gi Worlds we've seen since its inception. If you've been keeping track the No-Gi Worlds have had a slow start. That's largely because most believed (and still believe) ADCC to be the true best-of-the-best competition in the world of sans gi. Originally, many of the world champs from the gi world were absent in the competition, but we are seeing more and more of the world's best competing now. Props to No-Gi Worlds and the elite grapplers who competed in it.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Grip strength - For a grappler it would akin to a boxers legs. When a boxer gets hurt or as they age, their legs are some of the first things to go. Superior hand strength is not only for sport, but for your everyday life as well. Unlike your 1000 kipping pull-ups a day, working on your grip is actually functional and important in your day to day life. As we age and arthritis sets in, the hands tend to get the brunt of punishment. Strength training, dynamic tension and stretching are all essential parts of training, but few focus their efforts on the hands.
As a grappler and martial artist, my hands get beat up. In the kimono, they get crushed, torn, twisted and bent in ways that should not happen. At the end of a long training session my fingers ache, sometimes for days. What helps, is pre-hab and continual work on gripping. I make an effort everyday to stretch my fingers, wrists an forearms as well as use both static and dynamic exercises to increase strength and endurance.
Today, check out Guy Pendergrass and some of his old school Judo exercises for BJJ grip strength. Make an effort to do these at least once a week in conjunction with your other hand exercises and you will not only improve your game, but also your overall health and well being.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
We have featured Riley on our site before and he is possibly one of the most technical American leg lock instructors in the US. He is a product of Sambo Steve in NYC and now teaches out of NoLa BJJ in Louisiana. He is releasing a No Kurtka DVD with tons of techniques that you can start using immediately. Riley teaches in a manner that goes above and beyond just showing the move. He details and breaks down each move and includes theory behind each. Take a look at this clip from his DVD that shows you how to escape one of the worst positions in submission grappling - the sambo heelhook.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
After many years of covering grappling from around the world we feel we have done at least a tiny bit in helping to expose the importance and influence of Luta Livre on both BJJ and MMA. We've covered the history of LL and it's roots it Catch Wrestling and Judo, several times before. There really is no need to do it again, but we will leave you with a few broad points to ponder (which of course will make some people angry.)
1. Catch Wrestling (the father of LL) is the catalyst in the "creation" of BJJ.
2. You would not be attacking ankles in the gym if it wasn't for Luta Livre.
3. LL has had more influence on modern MMA than any other art.
Now that we have made you irate, its time to enjoy a video from Luta Livre Blackbelt and ADCC vet Nicolas Renier, NR Fight Productions brings us Luta Livre Spirit featuring Roberto Leitao. Watch and enjoy some of the greatest and most influential grapplers in the world.