Go train and don't think about it

Most people train less than they would like to. As new year's is coming up many people promise to train more whether it is jiu jitsu or zumba. I would definetly want to train more myself.

I don't have many tips but one way of ensuring that I get enough training is going to training on an autopilot. This means not weighing the pros and cons of training today but instead just doing it automatically. If you're working, you can just see it as a nice extension to your working day.

Many people promise to eat right as well..don't have any tips for that besides don't eat desserts.

Gi review: Storm Typhoon

Overall impression and fabric
This review is on a A3 White Storm Typhoon gi. Storm has been around for a long time as it was founded in 1996. Recently the brand has become more popular with the launch of the Typhoon line that is promoted as the “most comfortable gi in the world”. Storm is endorsed by Renzo Gracie and Andre Galvao. According to rumours, there is also a Galvao signature model on the way.

The first impression of the gi is that it is a very good allaround gi. The facric is incredibly soft and comfortable and the jacket fabric reminds of the Isami Sachiko. The pants seem like regular twill pants but are somehow much softer and nicer to wear. I guess the gi reminds me of a good judo gi as well.

The gi top is made with 550 gr fabric so it is definitely not a light gi or anything (same weight as Tatami Estilo). The weight of the gi top is around 1,2 kg. It has no seam on the back and the fabric weave is closest to gold weave. One of the most notable features of the jacket is that according to Storm it has antimicrobial qualities due to an agent they put into the gi. For someone new to jiu jitsu: This is a great quality if it works in the slightest because anyone can catch a ringworm.

The white jacket has 3 embroidered red patches on it that I personally like.

The pants are very traditional with no extra patches. They have incredibly comfortable knee pads as well (shown in details section). The pants also have a pocket for a mouthguard.

The fit and sizing

The official sizing from Storm was pretty accurate and the A3 fits me nicely. I am 182 cm (5.11). The sizing chart is below:

Measurements of my own gi (out of the bag)

Key issues with fit

- The sleeves are cut in to an angle less than 90 degrees. This makes the gi slightly bigger around the chest area I think.
- The pants have quite a classic fit and they are slightly wider than the Estilo. The crotch area also has more fabric which gives some extra comfort and mobility.

Here is a picture which demonstrates the angle of the sleeves. The overall cut of the jacket is slimmer than in the Estilo A2

The pants are roughly the same size and fit as the Tatami Estilo but a little wider. The Strom has also more fabric in the crotch area.

I compare the Storm A3 to the blue Tatami 3.0 Estilo A2 but my other reviews have compared the Tatami to Atama single A3 and Koral Light A3 so you can use them to understand how the Storm sizes up against them as well.


The collar is quite thin but really sturdy and difficult to manipulate. It seems that the collar thickness is not the only factor that contributes to your opponent having hard time grabbing your collar. Atama’s have very thick collars but I get a good grip easier on them than on the Storm collar. This is because the Strom collar is wide and strurdy.

Here are some collar comparisons to the Tatami Estilo 3.0

The sleeve cuff length is 16,1 cm which is the tightest cut so far. For comparison the Estilo cuff is 17,3 cm and Gameness Platinum cuff 18 cm. I value this characteristic highly because it helps fighting against spider guard players.

The pant string is very simple but stays tied pretty well in training. One thing I don’t like is that the pants only have one center loop instead of the usual two.

The Storm Typhoon has good reinforcements overall, especially on the pants

The knee pads are really comfortable


Definite upsides of the Storm Typhoon include:

- The most comfortable fabric ever

- The antimicrobial treatment given to the gi top.

- Very tight sleeve cuffs

- A good collar which is difficult to manipulate

- Knee pads on the knees that have the sufficient thickness and softness to really ease the knees

The cut is not optimal if you’re the skinniest guy ever but according to my experience 90% of serious jiu jitsu guys aren’t that skinny.

Overall, one of the best gis I’ve seen.

Overall grade: 9 ½ /10


Nick Diaz's boxing style

A great article demonstrates the similarities between Nick Diaz's MMA boxing and old school boxing under London prizefighting rules. Comparisons are especially made to Daniel Mendoza pictured below:


The article is also interesting from a grappling perspective as it points out that boxers used takedowns to wear down and hurt their opponents.

Go to article


The Marce choke

As I mentioned yesterday I didn't know what the Marce was, a reader of the blog explained to me..

"The Marce choke is a darce finish that Glover learned from Marc Laimon at Cobra Kai in Las Vegas. It's the one he and Bill Cooper do a lot where they keep the darce/brabo grip the same but drop on their side and clock their hips in towards their opponent to finish. It's the same way the anaconda choke is usually finished. If it doesn't work it's very easy to roll back to the top for the regular finish or to backroll onto the full mount and finish from there. "
I've seen glover go into this a bit in the deep half dvd if I recall correctly...A nice finish

Worlds 2012 date announced

Next year's world championships will be held surprise surprise in California...

The competition kicks off on May 31st and ends on Sunday the June 3rd. Just start booking the flights...


Darcepedia by Jeff Glover

Just heard a rumour that Jeff Glover is coming out with a new 2 DVD set. Not surprisingly it is about the D'arce choke (Brabo choke).

The list of techniques and pre-order:


I never knew so many D'arce variations (I don't know what a Marce choke is) existed. What is great, Jeff apparently shows a few escapes as well. I probably don't know any D'arce escapes

My first or second loop choke sub ever

I have recently tried to look for submissions a lot more from the bottom since they probably are one of my weaker points. I've been trying both guillotines and loop chokes from the bottom. For example Marcelo seems keep his opponent's cautious of dropping their necks too low because of his guillotine from hell. Opponents mind their necks and end up getting swept. In Marcelo's case this happens often with the hook sweep from butterfly guard.

As I don't have a good understanding of guillotine mechanics I've started experimenting with the loop choke from Z-guard. Today I managed to catch a seasoned blue belt off guard with it. I noticed that just like Marcelo's guillotine and hook sweep, a Z-guard look choke seems to work well with the basic Z-guard push sweep (hold the sleeve, push with ankle to armpitholding collar or fabric around the knee).

We also experimented with a version where the choking collar grip is made palm down instead of palm up. This makes slipping  the other hand below the elbow slightly easier


Gi review: Gameness Pearl Weave

Overall impression and fabric

I have had a blue A3 Gameness Pearl Weave kimono for a while now. When it come out it was the first lighter Gameness gi.

It is more of competition oriented gi than the standard Gameness platinum but obviously heavier than the new Gameness feather gi. The Platinum is tank with a super thick collar. The Pearl fabric weighs 550 grams (same as a Tatami Estilo) while the Feather fabric weighs 475 grams. It has rubber collar which is surprisingly sturdy for a rubber one. However, according to many people its best quality is that it doesn’t have the dog on the backside…

As mentioned before the jacket fabric is not as comfortable as a Tatami Estilo or even a Keiko Raca, but is sure feels durable. I’ve used it maybe 20 times and I really can’t see it ripping or anything.

The pants are rip stop pants, but somehow sturdier than for example Shoyoroll or Ouano rip stops. I actually love the material. The pants are also reinforced around the knees. What this basically means that it has 2 layers of fabric.

The design of the pants is very plain so you can add your own stuff

The fit and sizing

The good thing about the Gameness Pearl is that their sizing chart is actually accurate. I am 5.11 and A3 actually fits me about right. The sizing chart is below:

Measurements of my own gi (many washes in cold water only)

Key issues with fit

- The pants are pretty baggy compared with any kimono. This gives you some extra mobility while someone grabs your pants, but the grips on them become harder to brake.

- The go top is actually quite a “slim fit” everywhere apart from the armpit area which seems to have more space.

This time the comparisons are made to a classic white Atama A3 single weave and a blue Tatami 3.0 Estilo A2. Atama’s fit is smaller than the Gameness. However the slimness of the cut is approximately the same apart from the armpits where there is extra facric in the Gameness. The Tatami Estilo 3.0 has longer sleeves and pants than the Gameness and is baggier.



The Gameness pearl does not have a very thick collar. The collar is rubber covered with rip stop fabric. Here you can see the comparison between Gameness pearl and Atama single weave collars.

The sleeve cuff length is 18 cm which is quite a bit wider than an average sleeve in a jiu jitsu gi. The Atama single has a 17 cm sleeve which is a disadvantage for the Gameness.

The Gameness Pearl has a very old school pant string but I feel that old school pant strings actually come less undone than the new school round ones that are often elastic. I think the best string is probably in the Keiko Raca pants. It is round and sturdy and hardly ever comes undone.

The Gameness Pearl has many useful reinforcements in the armpit and in the side vents


The Gameness Pearl is built to last with reasonable weight. The material is coarser than Keiko limited’s, Atama single’s or Tatami Estilo’s but will definitely last. The pants are disproportionate baggy compared with the top, but if your legs are like tree trunks, this is the Kimono for you.

Overall grade 9-/10


Becoming more ”submission oriented”

I started thinking how nice it would be to land submission against guys with similar skill level than me and not just play it safe. This would also help tremendously in competition as you don’t have to fight the full match time every time. Also if you end up in the bottom with 30 seconds to go being down 10-0 on points, your only option is to go for a submission.

Personally I’ve only landed a few submissions in competition. I started thinking I really need to try to add one solid bottom submission to my game. Currently from the bottom I have success mostly with triangles (add in the occasional oma plata or open lapel choke from closed guard). To have more submission tools I think I really need to add a good choke to my a-game. Even a really succesful competitor told be that he is clearly more worried when the opponent has a submission oriented bottom game instead of a sweeping game.

Now I am in between trying to learn either the guillotine or the loop choke properly. I guess the guillotine is more versatile as you can apply it from more positions and use it in no gi as well. The thing is I think I currently understand the loop choke mechanics better so probable will be working on that one.

Christian Graugart’s blog (the former BJJ globetrotter) has great videos on both the loop choke and the guillotine that I am going to use in order to learn:

The Loop Choke (Oli Geddes version)
The "Icelandic" guillotine :)
Also…This week I had a morning practice where I decided to try to take every reasonable submission opening I got. This forces me to take little risks every once in a while and helps to get repetition for submission attempts.


Gym visit voting ended today…

Thanks to all 43 voters. Andre Galvao’s gym beat the University of Jiu Jitsu with a margin of only a few votes. This means I’ll be going to Andre’s. Doing nothing also got a few votes but the Gracie Academy got none! No love for old school jiu jitsu. Maybe you want to spare me from too many self defense techniques.

Judging by the description Andre Galvao’s must be a wonderful place to train. Not only is Andre their head coach, but they have Bruno Frazatto (featherweight Pan Ams champion, Worlds silver medalist in 2008) is assistant coach. The list of instructors:



Fly to Brazil in business class for 1199

I just spotted that you can get business class ticket to Sao Paulo on Lufthansa (from Finland) for 1199 EUR.

This doesn't sound like a super deal but I think it is. Even a normal ticket can be 1000 EUR and business class tickets are usually at least twice the price...My friend is flying today and paid 3500 EUR. Flying 11 hours in economy is a burden and even the jiu jitsu guy should get some comfort every once in a while

The offer:



Morning training today

I went to morning practice today at 7 am before I had to go to work. Felt surprisingly easy to get up despite it was still pitch black. For me it is quite easy to get up early one time per week but if I try to do more I feel really tired while training.

This morning we were doing north south escape drill (spinning to guard, turning to single leg etc.) which were great drills for early morning because they open up your back in the process. It is funny how sometimes I can’t even throw my legs over my head in the morning but in the evening I’m flexible like a ballet dancer. We also did some sparring but due to my poor warm up, the sparring pace was quite slow.

Morning practice is really great for doing drills. Especially because it feels like even my brain is not completely awake and then I drill which could make the movements kind of automatic.


North South choke, it works with the gi..

During training this week I've really noticed some positive development in my side control. Especially the north south version where I grip my opponents pants near their hip and the other arm is over. I usually try to go for a north south kimura or a lapel based back take from here but not with that great success.

The thing is that most of my opponents allow me to turn their neck facing away from me with my ribs. I do this to get a better control of the position. However, it is actually a set up for the north south choke as well. I just suck at the north south choke. I have to try the north south choke more often.

Here is Marcelo explaining the choke. The thing is that 50% of people don't even protect their neck from the choke so you can skip the clearing of the hands


Mount flow drill

Most of the drilling I've done in the past is concentrated on sweeps, passes or overall body movement. I've never seen a mount to side mount and back drilling done before but this must be a good idea since these transitions are often performed very quickly to counter something.

Andre Galvao said that in his class they drill 80% of the time and spar the remaining 20%. I guess the warmup is drillling as well. In a normal class of 1,5 hours the sparring would only be three 6-minute rounds. I know this might sound boring but I guess this way people would get the necessary repetitions done..

Gi Review: Tatami Estilo 3.0

Overall impression and fabric

I got a blue A2 Tatami Estilo 3.0 (new design) yesterday. I’ve heard a lot of positive comments about the Estilo 2.0 but the design was not perfect for my taste. As I saw the new design I felt a lot more comfortable getting this kimono.

My first impression was that the gi is very well constructed with triple stitching in all important areas. This can be clearly seen as the kimono has white contrast stitching. The gi is a little heavier than a shoyoroll, Ouano competition gi or a Vulkan but slightly below the weight of an average kimono. Overall, I could say that the Estilo lies in between a light competition gi and a heavy & durable training gi.

The jacket is made of pearl weave fabric and has similar characteristics to the Gameness Pearl weave kimono. However, the fabric feels much better. It feels smoother on the skin but is still more difficult to grab than a Gameness. Smoothness is a characteristic that is often overlooked but if you don’t use a rashguard under your gi it really helps your skin against mat burn, ingrown hair and even infections.

The collar is rubber covered with canvas, which is supposed to make the gi dry faster. The gi top is made of 550 gr fabric.

The pants are made of canvas which in my experience is harder to manipulate than twill.

The fit and sizing

The sizes run a bit big on the Estilo 3.0 and I would recommend everybody to get one size smaller than usually. Here are the basic measurements of the gi I got before washing it:

The most important things to notice regarding the fit and sizing of the Estilo:

- The pants are longer than average so if you have really short legs it might not work for you. However, Tatami allows you to mix and match the jacket and pants so you could just get a smaller pant size if you have this problem

- The bagginess of the gi is pretty average, somewhere between a Keiko and a Koral

I also compared the gi to a few standard gis that are a white Atama A3 single weave and a black Koral A3 light. As you can see from the pictures below, the Atama is smaller and tighter in almost every aspect. The Koral is bigger and baggier than the Estilo but the pants are shorter.


Collar thickness is between the Atama (picture) and the Koral. However it feels pretty sturdy.

The sleeve cuff length is 17,3 cm which is below average and great. Still, the Atama (first picture) has an even tighter sleeve but only slightly. The Koral sleeve in the second picture is clearly wider.

Tatami has used a round rope as a pant string instead of twill. The rope is a pretty solid and it doesn’t stretch as much as say an Ouano Competition’s ropestring does (The Ouano gets undone all the time). On top of that the loops are probably the best I have seen…really sturdy and there are 4 of them.

As in the 2.0 Estilo, there are extra reinforcements all over. For example in the sidevents..

The patches look nice but can be easily removed be breaking the stitching.


The Tatami Estilo 3.0 is a very solid, comfortable gi. The design has also improved since the 2.0 but they’ve kept all the good materials, reinforcements and details. The gi is somewhere between a light competition gi and a sturdy and soft training gi. I’d say if you’re only going to own one gi, this is definitely one of the best options out there (The others being perhaps Padilla & Son’s and Atama).

Overall grade 9+/10

You can get your Estilo at least at:



2 great ways to train I can recommend to anybody

I have recently discovered to great ways of structured training I can warmly recommend to anybody.

1. Drill with your friends.
To my experience, many bjj teams underdrill. This is probably because drilling is repetitive and boring. Still everybody knows it is important and the best BJJ and judo players drill a lot of repetitions.

Every Thursday morning at 7 (yes 7 am) we gather with Toni and Jukka from BJJ Center and drill a similar set every week adding one or two bonus moves..The set consists of:

- hook lifts
- hook sweeps
- double legs
- single legs
- x guard technical stand up sweeps
- passing toreanda style switching sides
- rolling guard retention while opponent x-passes
- guard replacement from Andre Galvao's book
- arm drags
- z guard shaolin sweeps (shown on the blog)

I you want to start a drilling routine, just order Andre Galvao's drill to win. There's no better book

2. Go through a whole instructional DVD with your friends systematically
I know, that at least steelduck who is one of the most active bjj bloggers does this every Sunday. This is a good way to get the most out of instructionals. Just watching it might encourage you to try a few techniques. However, trying to drill everything really tells you which work the best for you. You might also find new types of techniques that you like after all. Just remember: Don't start skipping too many techniques


Trip to Rio approaching

Toni will be going to Rio for three weeks to train at Ricardo Vieira's academy and enjoy the beach life this next Saturday. The funniest thing is I am most jealous because they got acai there.

On behalf of the blog, I will also make a small sponsorship gear donation for Toni's trip :). Too bad I don't have any webjiujitsu patches...

We will post some photos and videos here once he comes back. If Toni picks up some nice details from "the source" we will try to report them here as well. If you have good tips for Rio they are more than welcome (send a private or comment)


Nutrition, a breakfast problem

While trying to eat healthy I am only an office worker and most of the morning if really have to dash out the door to get to work early to get to practice at night. Those bills just don't pay themselves..However, if I don't eat anything, I'll end up buying candy or drinking coffee with an empty stomach that completely messes up my gut.

My friend Sebi commented that he uses this specific recipe he picked out of BJJWeekly for a good breakfast. Should really try this out some morning.

The recipe is as follows:

"The night before take out about a cup of frozen fruit (I use Wyman's Mixed Berries but anything will work) and put it in a bowl. If you like you can drizzle it with a little honey. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning mix it up with a cup of cottage cheese and you've got a delicious high protien, high fiber, low carb meal that will keep you fueled up till lunch. For an extra bonus crumble on a few crushed walnuts or macademia nuts. If you want to limit your sugar you can skip the honey, but your fruit won't be nearly as juicy in the morning."


Roger Gracie talks about evolution of bjj competition and admits he is teaching the berimbolo :)

A great interview sponsored by Scramble:

How to be a champion?

I am no superserious competitor myself but caught myself thinking today what it would take to do good in say purple/brown belt mundials. Here are some thoughts..

You need an instructor who knows how to build champions
This can be hard to achieve if you live outside the US or Brazil and you don’t have too much BJJ near you home but trying to have a good instructor is vital. Lloyd Irvin commented the issue like this on InsideBJJ:

“The only factor you should consider, if your goal is to become a World Champion, is have they created a World champion before?  You also have to look deep because many of these celebrity instructors also attract students that come from other teams and already have a decent skill set.  This is common and happens at my school also.  All of the time these days!  You have to see what students they have taken from white belt and turned them into World Champions and also look at what they have done for the guys that came in already with skill sets. Did they turn them into World Champions?  I just want to make sure my point is clear that I’m only talking about guys who truly want to give it their best shot at becoming a World Champion.  If they just want to compete for the fun of it, they can join any team that allows their students to compete.”

I would also emphasize the importance of the everyday instructor, as I think he gives 99% of the guidance and the remaining 1% comes from fancy seminars. It doesn’t help if there is a superinstructor teaching 10000 miles away in Japan under the same affiliation who comes by every 5 years.

If we’re thinking about black belt level, there probably are a number of champion makers out there such as Saulo Ribeiro, Fabio Gurgel, Ramon Lemos & Andre Galvao, Fernando Terere, Leo Vieira etc. 

You need to have someone better than you as a training partner
This can be difficult to achieve if you’re Roger Gracie or Marcelo Garcia but most of us are in a situation where they can find a class where there’s a handful of people who will beat you most of the time. I guess Roger and the likes of him who don’t have an equal training partner try to go against the training partner’s strengths and not their weaknesses.

The importance of having good training partners can be witnessed with the creation of champion hubs such as Fabio Gurgel’s academy in Sao Paulo and the Atos academy in Rio Claro (or San Diego)

You need to drill and do a serious amount of boring repetitions
This is emphasized by nearly everybody including Andre Galvao in his new book and Lloyd Irvin in the interview above. I’ve also heard that the Alliance pro guys do a good amount of repetitions on their go to techniques every day.

You can’t eat like normal office geeks
My cousin is a pro basketball player and I really feel bad for him. Apparently there are like 4 dishes they’re allowed to eat and most of the time it is prepared by the team chef.

You have to train and compete a lot
Self explanatory. For us hobbyists, this is the most important one


Eating like Andre, day three

Breakfast: Bread and honey, oatmeal
Snack: Didn’t have to time for it at work
Lunch: Veal steak, pasta and greens
Snack: Tangerine and a cinnamon roll (slipped)
Dinner: Chicken and rice
After dinner: Nuts, tea

Pretty decent day apart from the cinnamon roll. It is nearly impossible to stop eating every snack they offer at the office. If you’re a athlete, the people around you probably eat like athletes which would make things easier.

Interview on Ary Farias' early days

If you've watched the Arte Suave documentaries, you probably remember a section with Jacare Souza sparring with a little kid. That kid was Ary Farias who is now one of the best featherweights in the world. A good article



Eating like Andre, day two

Breakfast: Natural yogurt, bread with honey
Snack: Tangerine
Lunch: Bread, egg, some greens
Snack: Tangerine
Dinner after workout: Recovery drink, Salad with mozzarella
Later: Nuts

Felt pretty good to get to eat the honey in the morning yesterday, I needed something sweet. Besides that, I ate a bit lighter than the day before yesterday. Had a lot of energy to exercise with the diet.


Eating like Andre, 1 day

Breakfast: Yogurt, banana, oatmeal
Snack: Tangerine
Lunch: Meatballs, salad & potatoes
Snack: Tangerine
Dinner: Salmon, sweet potato, cucumber based sauce
Later: Nuts, yogurt

Feel pretty good, but since I am accustomed to candy and sweet snack my body woke up screaming for sugar. Following this diet for a week should reduce the craving for excessive amounts of sugar. Today I’ll be training and see how it goes.

Andre Galvao's diet next week

I recently got the drill to win book by Andre Galvao and in the first chapter he describes his diet (when not dropping weight). As I am probably the worst junk eater in BJJ, I figured reporting how better eating would affect how my training feels like and what my energy levels are. I usually eat too many snacks and candy and sodas there should be a clear benefit for me.

Andre's diet is very basic and nutricious but he also uses a lot of supplements (of which I only use glutamine and protein shakes). It emphasizes the importance of night protein consumed before going to bed to let your muscles grow. It also has similar characteristics to other bjj diets, such as eating the fruit separately from other foods. It goes as follows:

For breakfast:
Fruit (banana,apple,blueberries,strawberries, etc.)
Whole wheat toast with olive oil and honey
Cereal (oatmeal or quinoa)
Whole yoghurt or whey protein shake

Snack (3 hours after breakfast, 30 min to 1 hour before lunch)
One fruit

One kind of complex carb (sweet potato, rice, pasta..)
Animal protein (meat, chicken, eggs etc.)
Green salad and vegetables

Snack: (3 hours after lunch, 30 min to 1 hour before dinner)
One fruit

Roots/carbs (sweet potato or manioc) with olive oil and little salt
Fish, eggs or mozzarella cheese
Green salad and vegetables

Before bed:
Handful of nuts, whey protein shake or yogurt

This diet is for an athlete who trains regularily so I will try to do at least 5 training during the week. Just had natural yogurt with banana and oatmeal porrigde for breakfast..I will write down the stuff I eat and how I feel while training


Shaolin sweep from half guard

I've was recently learned a few good details about the Shaolin sweep from half guard/z-guard. This sweep goes by many names such as roll over sweep (Caio Terra), the Frazzatto etc. This is the sweep that Bruno Frazzatto hit on Cobrinha in the 2008 mundials. Many people see this as something advanced, but in my opinion this a basic sweep that we all should master. It is also good as a movement drill.

The new details about the grips and the movement of the arm while going for the sweep are all explained in this video. Just have the patience to watch and absorb..


Pablo Popovitch diet

While eating chocolates today, I started thinking about what I should really eat if I could control myself.

BJJ nutrition discussions seems to be heavily influenced by the Gracie diet, which emphasizes not mixing foods that do not match in a single meal. You could combine foods that go well with each other.

Now I stublem upon Pablo Popovitch’s diet which has (not surprisingly) similar characteristics to it. Pablo must have a good diet when you look at his physique. The bad thing is I could never have milk, d’oh!

Link to article


Shoyoroll Mitsuyo Maeda pre-sale

If you don't mind waiting six months for a gi...For me, these are perhaps too thin. Probably my next one is a Padilla or a Storm

Name: BATCH 11 前田 光世 (AKA THE COUNT)
Type: 450 Pearl weave Jacket / 10oz Drill Cotton Pants w/ Gold Weave crotch

Color: White w/ Dark Gray & Yellow Trim

Price: $165 retail

ETA on Shipping: 4/5 2011

Special Release News: Combo Limited Series Sticker / Shirt / Deck will be sold as well.
DATE SALE: 11/24 MIDNIGHT PST (1 HR ONLY) AND 11/25 (1 HR or Less)


DVD Review: Caio Terra 111 half guard techniques

First let me start out by saying that 111 techniques is a lot of material and this set will last for years. Caio also puts in a nice amount of details so you really can’t fast forward this set and think you really got it all. I feel that the set is also quite gi centered as many techniques rely on lapel grips etc.
At first glance the structure of dvd seems unclear. I was very puzzled in the beginning with things like “underhooks and hooks” but once I got used to it, it’s actually quite clear. The structure of the dvd can be seen at:


The DVD starts in a logical way with “getting out of bad spots”, explaining how to escape to a better position when your opponent has established a dominant control against you half guard. Usually this means getting a good cross face and flattening you out or getting close to completing the knee slide pass. Caio shows very good techniques how to put your opponent back into your preferred distance and re-establish the knee-shield.

“Getting out of bad spots” section 2 is more about reversing the situation when the opponent does something to disrupt your knee shield distance control. Aka, the situation is not as bad as in section 1. The disruption can be a switching of the hips and turning or simply underhooking your leg etc. Caio goes through almost any reasonable scenario and presents good solutions.

“Underhooks and hooks” focuses first on the traditional underhook sweeps you can hit when you get to your side with an underhook. As in many modern jiu jitsu DVDs, the knee shield is used as means to getting into a proper underhook half guard position on your side. This is a good thing and I feel this DVD overall helps to speed up the understanding of linking these half guard positions (knee shield & underhook half guard). Caio variations of the classical sweeps were also a bit different that I am used to seeing, which was refreshing.

After these sections the dvd goes through different half guards and half guard related guards one by one. The sections that stood out the most were the single leg guard, scissor guard and the kimura. Probably because they are the most basic sections. I find myself watching the basic stuff on this dvd over and over again, while with many other lesser dvds I tend to get bored and skip to the fancy techniques. This is most likely because Caio’s ability to explain details is very good.

The single leg guard section is about the sit up guard with one of your opponent’s legs between your legs and your front leg pushing his far leg. I usually go to this from the De La Riva guard. What really astounded me was that Caio did not focus on a single preferred grip position or a single way the opponent bases, but basically went through them all. Even for a single leg guard player, many of the grip variations were completely new.

The scissor guard (low knee shield guard with cross grip on the sleeve) and kimura are short sections but the reason I liked them a lot was that Caio explains the guards in a very tactical way. In scissor guard for example he goes into great detail about the exact moment when to push your opponent over in the scissor sweep (the moment he tries to move his arm a little bit further out). A good tactical detail in the kimura section is how to roll into armbar using your shin if your opponent is too strong for the kimura from half guard.

I also have to mention that the deep half guard section is probably the most complete deep half guard sweeping set out there. It has more sweeps than Jeff Glover’s set although Jeff goes more into how to get into the deep half guard. Some of the variation are different to Glover’s set. The leg work in the Homer Simpson sweep is different etc.

Overall, I see lot techniques that are useful and very suitable for competition. What is crucial, the DVD gives options on what to do if you happen to lose a certain important grip from a certain position. This means it is a complete approach.

As a conclusion this set is a good set. It would be perfect for a person who has started out with closed guard (as the majority of us do) and has begun looking into half guard. For the more experience guard player, this is basically the bible of half guard.