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Have You Seen This Over Under Defense By The Incomparable Tom DeBlass?
Over Under Defense By Tom DeBlass
Who is Tom DeBlass? Tom DeBlass is many things. He is one of the most sought after instructors in the grappling world right now. He is a world class grappler and former mixed martial artist. He is an exceptional instructor. He has a huge social media following from his technique breakdowns and advice on relationships, transformation, adversity and training. Tom DeBlass is many things and world class in all of them.
Tom has many accomplishments in grappling and mixed martial arts. He has fought in both the UFC and Bellator. He is a 3x ADCC veteran, Fight To Win Pro Main Event Winner, 2016 ADCC North American Champion,2016 ADCC American Nationals Absolute Champion, ADCC NY Super Fight Champion,2015 Black Belt World No Gi Masters and Absolute Champion, 2014 ADCC North American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Pan American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2009 ADCC North American Champion, 2009 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2007 Brown Belt No Gi Worlds Champion, 2007 Brown Belt Pan American Champion, 2007 Brown Belt American Nationals Champion, 6X Grappler’s Quest Expert Champion and member of the New Jersey Martial Artist Hall of Fame.
DeBlass’ education and teaching ability is also exceptional. Tom earned his black belt from legendary ADCC and MMA veteran Ricardo Almeida in just over six years. There are many testaments to his exceptional teaching ability. His first black belt is the great Garry Tonon. Gordon Ryan is Tonon’s first black belt. Tom is a former elementary school special education teacher. This experience has honed his ability to take complex concepts and make them understandable to even the novice grapplers. Another testament to his teaching ability is his academy Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has over 350 students and 20 black belts. Additionally he has an empire of affiliates around the world.
It is also worth noting the Tao of Tom’s social media presence. He has many great quotes from training to adversity, transformation and life. Here is a great quote from Tom on transformation, “The last 4 weeks I have dedicated to changing myself. Every day I have been praying, asking God to help me in the areas of life where I struggle. Regardless how successful you may think you are, there is always so much room for improvement, always. I am nowhere close to where I want to be, but every day I am getting better. It is a conscious effort that I must put in, but I feel myself becoming a better person.”
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In this video Tom explores a defense to the popular over and under pass. Certainly it is a tough pass to deal with from the half guard with a knee shield. The pass is executed by wrapping one arm around your opponent’s knee shield from the inside out with a grip on your opponent’s hip. The other arm is wrapped around your opponent’s other leg from the outside in. To pass it is a matter of cutting the angle around the controlled hips and flatting out your opponent. It is important to pass on the side of the leg that is pinned to the mat and not the knee shield side. After explaining the pass on a high level, Tom explores in great detail an effective way to counter the pass. He frames one hand on the hip and the opposite hand on his opponent’s head. From here he swims out the far side leg and wraps it around his opponent’s head. Note the importance of the detail to stay off your back. DeBlass states this is a key component. There may be a variety of reasons why you are unable to swim your leg over your opponents head. If this is the case, Tom suggests to post both hands on this opponents hip. From here your opponent will continue to drive in. However, it affords you the space to move your hips away from your opponent and complete the leg swim. This is a simple but effective counter to a pass that is normally difficult to defend. Well done Tom DeBlass.
This video is a fine example of Tom’s ability to breakdown technique and principles in a manner that is applicable to everyone from the white belt to black belt. Without a doubt, we can all refine our game with the information provided. Tom DeBlass is certainly many things. Beyond Jiu Jitsu technique, he sets an example on how to run an academy and our mindset for training, transformation, adversity and life in general. The Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have people like Tom DeBlass.