Travis Stevens & His Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Travis Stevens made history at this year’s Olympic Games. He became the first American man to win a silver medal in Judo at the Olympics since 1992. While Travis is a great Judoka, he also showed some of his skills as a BJJ black belt in his Olympic matches as well. In a couple of his matches he was able to use BJJ style techniques to achieve victories over his opponents to take second place in the prestigious games. See how he used BJJ below…
There were two matches in particular that he showed his excellent ground work mentored by BJJ mastermind, John Danaher. One of his first matches, which showed his awesome BJJ work on the mat was against Ivaylo Ivanov of Bulgaria. In the match, he used some great techniques. He was able to use a clean over and under pass to clear Ivaylo’s guard and then held tight side control to win the match by pin. The pass and pin was absolutely clean and very reminiscent of BJJ.
My favorite use of BJJ by Travis Stevens had to be against his match against Avtandil Tchrikishvili, the Judoka representing Georgia in the semi finals. During the match, Avtandil attempted a throw on Stevens, which Travis blocked and took his back. As they hit the ground, Travis already had a hand in his opponent’s collar, and he was able to end the match with a beautiful bow & arrow choke. Avtandil had no choice but to tap and give Travis the ability to get to the finals and ultimately take the silver medal for the United States.
While some of these techniques are from the Judo repertoire, they are more commonly seen and used in BJJ. And they way that Travis went for the position before any submission techniques is definitely BJJ. Travis Stevens will continue to be a force in the grappling world, and I hope that we get to see him more active in BJJ tournaments and matches. If you would like to expand your game like Travis, particularly in the area of chokes, then you must check out the DVD, Chokes made by him. It will add to your game.