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The Headquarters Position With Rafael Lovato Jr

The Headquarters Position With Rafael Lovato Jr


We at BJJ Fanatics are really excited to bring this new course with Rafael Lovato Jr on pressure passing to you soon. 

Rafael Lovato Jr, for those who don’t already know, has an amazing career in BJJ with multiple medals at the Worlds in both gi and no gi competition, multiple Brazilian nationals, multiple Pan Ams and a Gold at the No Gi worlds in Abu Dhabi, as well as an ADCC Finals.  

Following this great BJJ career Lovato is now tearing up the MMA world over at Bellator, being the current Middleweight world champion with multiple wins by rear naked choke, an armbar, TKO’s, and a great display of striking prowess as well as ground game domination. 

Rest assured that when Rafael shows us a technique or concept it can work in multiple domains of combat!


Something that is undeniable about BJJ right now is that it’s exploding as a sport. There are more and more BJJ gyms and the innovation and communication of new technical aspects of the game sees BJJ growing and evolving as a rapid rate. 

Sharpen Your Defense with Xande Ribeiro! Click Learn More!


Seven or eight years ago Rafael would have certain strategies for guard passing that he’s had to adapt as now there are so many threats from De La Riva hooks, berimbolo, and wide ranges of flexibility, lapel work, the list is endless! 

This is really inspiring as it shows that our journey doesn’t stop with BJJ. Even when we reach black belt level, or even when we reach a level like Rafael’s, we still continue to search and discover. 

One of the things that has continued to evolve for Rafael is his own sense of organic connection and chaining of movements so that there isn’t a rigid distinction between position and submission. 

When we begin it’s very useful to break things down into separate phases of understanding the game, what we can focus on, and where we can improve. 

It’s very useful to understand the difference between when we should be in Survival mode as opposed to when we can start to progress towards our own escapes. From here we need to know how to control, and be comfortable with the control and not seeking after the submission. After a while the submissions begin to be more available.

So the journey continues.

What Rafael is speaking to however is a deeper level of discovery and creativity where these distinctions begin to become much more fluid and opportunities are presenting themselves much sooner than might be expected

As Rafael is gaining position the submission threat is already there so it makes his pressure passing game that much easier. Equally as someone defends the pass this opens them up to further threats by submission. 

The OODA Loop concept is really useful for us to understand here so we’ll take a quick look at that. 

The OODA Loop is well-known to military and law enforcement personnel as the acronym for Observe Orient Decide Act.

It was developed by United States Airforce Colonel John Boyd and initially was applied to dogfights between military air forces. If one pilot could observe, orient, decide and act quicker than another pilot then the cumulative effect of them being one step ahead of the enemy lead to inevitable victory. 

There are often multiple and rapidly changing OODA loops within the chaotic environment of combat and this is definitely true of BJJ. What Rafael is describing is placing his opponent within a situation whereby they are behind the curve of decision making as there are so many threats coming at them and every decision they make leaves them open to further attack and pressure.

This cumulative effect of pressure that Rafael outlines in the Headquarters Position leads to the same result as the successful fighter pilot.

Total Victory!

As Chinese General and legendary strategist Sun Tsu said:

Victory belongs to the side that scores most in the temple of calculations before battle. 

Defeat belongs to the side that scores least in the temple calculations before battle.

Most spells Victory.

Least spells Defeat.

None, surer defeat.

I see it in this way, and the outcome is apparent.

So stay tuned for Rafael’s upcoming BJJ Fanatics tutorial on his formidable pressure passing system and invest in your own preparations for war to take your top game to the next level!


The Diamond Concept of Defense by Xande Ribeiro is a MASTER CLASS in DEFENSE. If you find yourself getting your guard passed constantly, or you are getting stuck in side control Xande can help you out. These techniques don’t require extreme athleticism or strength, just the power of the DIAMOND! Know how to structure your body to form the Ultimate Defense regardless of skill level!



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