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Let This Renzo Gracie Black Belt And Olympic Legend Fix Up Your Grip Game!
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Let This Renzo Gracie Black Belt And Olympic Legend Fix Up Your Grip Game!

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Cat’s Paw Guard by Travis Stevens

Who is Travis Stevens? He made history by being the third male judoka from the USA to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games.  Travis also holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the legendary John Danaher and Renzo Gracie. It is an understatement to say that he is accomplished in both Judo and Jiu Jitsu.

Travis was born February 28, 1986 and is a lifelong grappler. He began training Judo at the age of 6.  He competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the men's half-middleweight (-81 kg) division. On August 9, 2016, Stevens made history by being the third American male judoka to win a silver medal in the Olympics. His other grappling accomplishments include the following: 2nd place at the 2016: Grand Prix Havana. 3rd place at the 2015: Pan American Senior Championships , 1st place at the 2015: Pan American Games Toronto, 3rd place at the 2015: Pan American Senior Championships, 7th place at the 2015: Grand Prix Dusseldorf, 2nd place at the 2014: Grand Prix Zagreb, 1rst place at the Pan American Open Miami, 5th place at the  Grand Slam Tyumen, 2nd place at the  Grand Prix Havana,  3rd place at the Pan American Championships Guayaquil, 2nd place at the  Grand Prix Tbilisi, 1rst place at the Grand Prix Dusseldorf,  5th place at the 2013: Grand Slam Tokyo, 7th place at the  Grand Prix Abu Dhabi, 1rst place at the Grand Prix Tashkent, 3rd place at the Pan American Championships San Jose , 1rst place at the Pan American Open Montevideo, 2nd place in Grand Slam Rio de Janeiro ,3rd place in  Grand Prix Abu Dhabi, 1rst place in World Cup Tashkent, 2nd place in  Grand Slam Moscow , 2nd place in Pan American Championships Guadalajara, 1rst place Grand Prix Dusseldorf,5th place in World Cup Budapest and 5th place in Masters Baku.

Travis Stevens has simple concepts that he applies to his throws, take downs, guard passing and grips. His approach is simple, and makes him one of the best grapplers ever.

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Stevens is an excellent teacher. On January 12, 2013 he opened FUJI Gym in Wakefield, Massachusetts.  He spends the majority of his time teaching there. He also teaches at Renzo Gracie Fort Lee in New Jersey. When he is not teaching, he regularly trains at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City. Another testament to his ability as an instructor is the fact that his instructional videos for BJJ Fanatics are hugely successful.

In this video Travis Stevens explores the cat’s paw grip and some of its uses in Jiu Jitsu. Certainly it is important in Jiu Jitsu to grip with a purpose. If we do not understand the inherit strengths and weakness of the grips you employ then our gripping strategy will be limited or flawed. Stevens describes the cat’s paw grip with having your fingers at the end of the gi material and rolling your fingers through the gi. Travis states the value of this grp is to lock your training partner or opponent in place.  One example that he cites is in closed guard. It is unrealistic to think we are able to break our opponent’s posture with a grip on his kimono. Stevens states that the posture is broken with our legs and the cat’s paw grip is used to hold his hand in place.  Travis also explores the spider guard and De La Riva guard as other guards where the application of this maintenance grip would be appropriate.

This video is a wonderful example of Travis’s ability to communicate technique to even novice grapplers.  Like all of Stevens’ instructional videos, there is a lot of detail. I know that I often gain new insights every time I re-watch one of his videos. Travis Stevens’ instructional videos have a powerful impact on anyone who makes a careful study of them. Certainly, the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have him.

 If you enjoyed this video by Travis Stevenscheck out his new series Scientific Gripping. You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!

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