The Influence of Eddie Bravo
Eddie Bravo is an enigma in the jiu jitsu world. Born of the same BJJ beginnings that many of us have had, he began studying jiu jitsu like millions of others after seeing the early UFC competitions. He studied with the legendary Jean Jacques Machado and ultimately earned his black belt from him. But something troubled Eddie about jiu jitsu. Becoming immersed in the burgeoning MMA world, Eddie saw the classic study of jiu jitsu in the gi as problematic as it caused practitioners to rely too much on "handles" or being able to grip and control one's opponent using their clothing or their gi. In addition, Eddie felt that the accepted mode of instruction for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu did very little to effectively address the possibility of punches in self defense scenarios and the reality of punches in the MMA cage.
He began to explore his notion of more clinch-based jiu jitsu style and ultimately was able to win the North American ADCC Trials at his weight class, where he would eventually compete in a match that would change the course of Eddie's life and jiu jitsu forever.
The Tap Heard Around the World
Having won the North American ADCC Trials in 2002, Eddie, a relative unknown would face one of the most successful grappling competitors in history. Up until this match no one had ever beaten Royler Gracie in ADCC competition or scored a point on him.
After this amazing performance, Eddie would go on to be defeated by Leo Vieira, but the course of his career was about to skyrocket as he returned home to receive his black belt from his instructor Jean Jacques Machado. Eddie would soon open his first 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Academy.
What is 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu?
In the video below, Eddie explains his thoughts on the genesis of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu style.
Nearly 12 years after their original match up in ADCC 2003, Eddie Bravo met Royler Gracie again at Metamoris 3. Eddie at 43 and Royler at 48, put on an amazing match for the fans. The echoes of that 2003 match can be seen as Royler finds himself once again trapped in Eddie's half guard and lockdown. It's a true testament the fundamental principles of both systems, the no frills Gracie family jiu jitsu and the creative and innovative 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu techniques as the two artists traded reversals back and forth.
Bravo vs. Gracie II
If you're interested in learning more about Eddie Bravo's use of the Twister submission, please check out the BJJ Fanatics article on the Twister here.
Rickson and the Rubber Guard
In this last video, after spending time on The Joe Rogan Podcast, Eddie and fellow guest, the legendary, almost mystical Rickson Gracie spent some time discussing techniques. One of the most interesting takeaways is that we have Rickson Gracie expressing that when the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seemed to be most against Eddie Bravo, after being one of it's most important luminaries in Royler Gracie and creating a system of jiu jitsu that seemed to turn it's back on tradition, Rickson admits that he never really saw Eddie like that. This moment, in my opinion, is one of the most important moments in BJJ history. After years of controversy and bad blood, Eddie had earned the respect of one of the most important figures in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
EBI and Beyond
2014 was not only the year of the rematch between Eddie and Royler, but also the beginning of his grappling tournament series, The Eddie Bravo Invitational which is now nearing its 12th iteration. Always an innovator, Eddie has developed a competition style that attempts to address the problematic nature inherent in sport combat competitions. The results have been incredibly popular and helped launch and shape the careers of some of today's top grapplers like Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, and Eddie Cummings.
Love him or hate him, Eddie Bravo has impacted and changed the landscape of jiu jitsu and will continue to shape it for many years to come.
Now that you've begun to immerse yourself into the unique world of Eddie Bravo, you can check out his Mastering the Twister DVD here.