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The Importance of Grips in Closed Guard Attacks
World champion and leader of the Zenith Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team along with Robert Drysdale, Rodrigo Cavaca has played a part in the development of a number of jiu jitsu superstars like Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and Michelle Niccolini. He is well known for his deadly straight ankle locks and also his innovative closed guard techniques. Let's take a look at a few of the ways, he utilizes unique gripping styles to launch his closed guard attacks. In the first, he utilizes a Brabo Grip which is the use of the lapel to control posture and to also secure submissions. In the second series, he utilizes a powerful sleeve grip that controls not only the opponent's arm and posture, but also connects him to the opponents leg which takes away an entire side of their body.
Brabo Grip Sequence from Close Guard
In the video below Rodrigo Cavaca details his "Brabo Grip" sequence which utilizes the opponents gi lapel to control posture and secure submissions.
In this closed guard attack series, Cavaca uses a very strong Brabo grip (lapel grip) utilizing the opponents lapel draped over the far shoulder to maintain strong posture control. Once the opponent's ability to create space is taken away, the ball is in your court to take your time and adjust your hips creating space for your second grip to be established which secures the choke.
For those of you, who may not have heard of the Brabo grip, the video below offers a great study on the use of the Brabo grip primarily from the side control position. It will give you some great ideas on how versatile and powerful the control can be utilizing this grip position.
Octopus Series from Closed Guard
In the video below, Rodrigo Cavaca offers a number of sweep and submission options from the closed guard.
The keys to this Octopus series include maximizing the control on your opponent's base. By using an under leg grip that also connects to the same size sleeve grip, one controls 2 base points or an entire side with one hand. This small, but powerful detail opens up many options beyond these techniques as well. Whether you are going for the omoplata sweep or one of the arm bar variations he shares, it all begins with that powerful control which eliminates an entire side of the opponent's body.
For more about the importance of developing a strong closed guard game, check out this article by BJJ Fanatics here. The closed guard is very often the first guard that one encounters when they begin training jiu jitsu. In our haste to progress and improve, there can oftentimes be a rush to move on to what we perceive to be more elaborate or fancy moves. Once we have some time under our belt, it pays to go back to those positions we may have rushed through to make sure we have developed sound fundamentals and maximized the potential inherent in the position.
Are you ready to develop a deadly closed guard system that will have your opponent's and training partners terrified when those legs close? If you liked the closed guard Brabo Grip series and Octopus series, you will want to Check out Rodrigo Cavaca's 4 Volume On Demand Set "Wiseman BJJ" on sale today for only $77!