Friday, February 18, 2011


Every once in while something comes along that changes things in such a profound way that, for good or for bad, they are never quite the same again.   There are many examples of this kind of thing - the only good one I can think of is the addition of Smurfette to the whole Smurf Village/Smurf World.  I could go on at length, but, I don't want to get too intellectual for you grapplers.

Another good example is the whole 50/50 guard phenomenon in the sport of BJJ.  Whether you employ this style or not or whether you love it or despise it, you can't deny it's effect on the sport.  It's a controversial and much discussed subject with seemingly equally vocal advocates and detractors.* Certainly there are some notable world champions that consistently employ this gameplan with great success (e.g., Mendes Bros, Frazatto, Terra, Malfacine to name a few). It's definitely something we should discuss in greater details here at DSTRYR/SG. 

Another case in point - the talented Ryan Hall.  No, he didn't invent the 50/50 guard or the spidery inverted game that he employs so well.  But, he represents that style and game played at it's highest level.  He's also developing the game and putting it in to practice in competition.  Watch him at work at the IBJJF Houston International Open that went down this past weekend.

* Note: 50/50 and the type of game it was borne out of is not my personal style of BJJ (I'm all about the old school attacking/submission seeking) nor do I find it entertaining to watch as a spectator. But, it's effective and it can't be ignored.


  1. That's Hilary Williams as the ref rockin' the Gold Toes too.

    I wonder at Ryan's place in the true world elite. He doesn't quite seem as physically strong as the true elite (as seen in the ADCCs) and his 50/50 game isn't quite as lockdown as the Mendes brothers'.

  2. Good point. He's definitely an innovator, but he's yet to win a major competition (Worlds, World Pro, Pan Am, ADCC - as a black belt).

    We'll see what he does this year.