Marcos Tinoco vs Vitor Oliveira

This match gives us a lot of good material to review. First the mandatory safety talk

DO NOT JUMP TO CLOSED guard. If it is something purple/brown belts want to drill with each other in agreed upon training - No problem. If you are not yet at the purple belt and want to drill this, just grab me and ask and we will go over it.

Here is a video explaining why

Here is a lengthy post from John Danaher explaining it with bigger words:

Anyways, on with the match.

1) grips, posture, and not giving your partner your weight. I deviate from the norm on grips. I do think they are important, but I don't think they are the be all/end all of competition. In fact they can be a mental barrier/excuse. You cannot have parts of your game lead to mental weakness. Grips do that for some. Some grips are better than others, but if you don't win the grip battle you can't let it rattle you.

Here Tinoco (Marcelo Garcia gi) initially gets poor grips. Oliveira controls Tinocos right sleeve, (like we covered in class), and with his other hand he has what is often considered the dominant grip - strong side lapel with the under grip. That is not set in stone, but it easier to control with his grip than it is with Tinocos grip.

Notice that they both keep a very low, classic Jiu Jitsu stand up posture (bent at the waist - heads forward/feet back. Neither guy is giving the other guy his weight. They are not pushing into each other and they are not standing upright. This is illegal in Judo as it is considered stalling. In Jiu Jitsu we aren't just trying to throw, but also have to keep the pulling guard element in mind.

Tinoco acknowledges that he has inferior grips and jumps guard. For tournament Jiu Jitsu, (when legal) it is not a bad strategy. In Wyatt Earps video he shows a few examples of why it could be a bad idea and I agree with most of what he says.

Oliveira doesn't buy into the guard pull. He keeps his elbows and knees connected so that when Tinoco opens his guard Oliveira IMMEDIATELY starts to get an angle and begins passing. I love this example because neither guy really lets the other guy get set up with his attack. I talk about this in class all the time. One way to avoid a big pass the guard battle, (or any other battle), is to not jump into the game but immediately attack.

Tinoco eventually lands the sweep that Gavin gets on me all too often (!!) but Oliveira doesn't accept the sweep. He immediately makes space and gets back to his feet. Once back on the feet Oliveira give up that classic Jiu Jitsu stand up/stalling posture for a half a second and Tinoco lands a beautiful foot sweep.

Notice in the sweep Tinoco doesn't trip the leg that is weighted but sweeps the leg that doesn't have weight on it. If you have taken my class on this you understand. If not, ask me and I'll show you....... (alternatively come to comp class tomorrow and ask me).

2) Controlling the pace and learning how to pick your wave. Disclaimer: I don't surf - so my analogy could suck. Surfers don't paddle out, immediately turn around and then just ride the first random wave they get. They paddle out and wait. They compose themselves. They feel the ocean. They get a sense of the timing and when they spot a wave coming they focus everything on timing it correctly. Jiu Jitsu is exactly the same.

When I talk about using the connection with your partner to see what moves they are giving you that is our version of a surfer reading the ocean. Watch Oliveira throw takedowns at Tinoco; he isn't timing anything or reading his partner, He is just trying moves to see if anything sticks. Contrast that with Tinoco, even though he doesn't always have the best grips, he uses them correctly and reads his partner. When he feels the opening he hits a move that makes sense and has a fair amount of success.

There is a martial strategy of forcing the opening that contrasts with what I am saying. This is where you throw moves at your partner and then relentlessly follow up until something works. There is typically a tremendous skill disparity between those who can pull this off well and those who do not.

One of our training partners uses this strategy well. Watch Matt Loeskamp use this strategy. He doesn't use it exclusively - he has a number of strategies he uses. However when he forces the opening notice that his position is never compromised and he follows up over and over again until he gets something he wants. Notice that he doesn't neglect timing or balance, he respects those elements as well.

Matt is skilled and uses the strategy well. There is a big difference between that and being frustrated and randomly throwing moves are your partner. That is kind of what Oliveira is doing here. He eventually gets frustrated and pulls guard. Tinoco composes himself well in the guard and stands up. When he does Oliveira decides to abandon guard which puts him in an interesting spot..... He can't take Oliveira down, and he can't make his guard work. At about 8 minutes even he does a great job of getting in on a single, but Tinoco has a good sprawl and shrugs it off.

Tomorrow we are going to go over "the drill", which is our formula for navigating the stand up portion of the game. If you are purple belt and up and want to deviate from the drill.... awesome, you should at least a bit. You need a sense of what makes take-downs work and what doesn't. If you are not yet purple belt..... learn to master the drill before you go off road. I didn't make it up because I was bored and didn't have anything to do. It was to give you the basics of how to handle the stand up game. If you practice it enough then you will GREATLY increase your chances of scoring first AND not injure your training partners in the process. It's called a win/win.

Post questions below or hit me up in class.