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Wrestling and Back Takes Reign Supreme at ADCC

Wrestling and Back Takes Reign Supreme at ADCC



JT Torres had a nearly flawless run at ADCC this past weekend. Despite being a part of an incredibly stacked division, Torres stayed calm and collected, working his way through some big names, proving once again that he is one of the great competitors of our time. 

Torres secured ADCC gold in 2017 as well, cutting through the 77kg class with the same unstoppable style and well thought out game plan. Torres does not waste any movement and rarely makes a mistake. Its actually quite incredible to witness. His wrestling is spot on and when he decides it’s time to shoot a takedown, he succeeds. Torres’ ability to take the back is otherworldly. This ability is in many cases what sealed the deal for him in his matches this past weekend at ADCC.

The Atos fighter now has his own academy in Westchester New York called Essential BJJ, where he has begun to start a legacy of his own, working with his students and fostering a new BJJ environment for those in his community. We hope to see Torres again in 2021, as he will be looking to claim a third gold ADCC gold medal, a rare achievement for an American fighter at ADCC. Congratulations to JT Torres on a phenomenal performance! 

Smart wrestling and back takes, in many cases, was the story of this ADCC. Many of the competitors used this strategy to attain victory and it proved to be a very fruitful game plan. An early take down during the points half of the match is tough to come back from on the other end and if any of the names on the ADCC list of competitors were able to take the back, it was highly unlikely there would be an escape. Using these two ideas proved to be a very dominant strategy and led to quite a bit of ADCC success. 

To celebrate, lets take a look at some takedowns and back attacks from some of the best while we impatiently wait for Mr. Torres to film a new instructional! 

We’ll start with 2x ADCC gold medalist, Yuri Simoes and a single leg variation. Check it out! 


Simoes starts with a very common upper body configuration when it comes to wrestling, an inside tie. We find throughout our time in BJJ that inside control is favored almost everywhere and there’s no exception here. Securing the tie, Simoes keeps his elbows mobile, closing them down tight when necessary, and opening them when he’s preparing to shoot. AS he opens the elbow Simoes takes a step with his left foot toward his partners right foot and then a step with his right foot around to the backside of his partner. Here, he’s positioned himself directly on the side of his partner forming a “T” with their shoulders. 

As Simoes looks to secure the leg, he reaches between the legs and achieves a high crotch position with his grip. This is unlike most single leg set ups, as Simoes is not giving away anything is the way of posture. He’s not bending down and putting himself out of position to acquire the leg.

Waste NO Energy with Yuri's Efficient style, Click Learn More!



Keeping his head connected to his partners chest, he lifts the leg from the floor and begins to rotate to his right. He uses his head to off balance the upper body, as he spins and takes his partner to the mat.

This is a lot different than most single leg sets ups I’ve seen. A lot of them require us to give up posture and head position. I like how Simoes is securing the takedown with much less movement. Super applicable stuff here!

While we’re on the subject of takedowns and back takes, you may have heard of this next guy. Gordon Ryan took the back multiple times at ADCC 2019 and he made it look easy. His methods of attacking the back are absolutely incredible. Ryan systematically took the back in almost every match, and here we have some detailed instruction of how he likes to work to the from the closed guard using an arm drag. Check it out!



I feel its important to think for a moment on what Ryan opens up with here. Whoever dominates the gripping exchanges will dominate the set-ups and have the most success. Obvious? Maybe, but this is something that I don’t think we give enough consideration from the bottom. Keep this in mind. 

Check out more from ADCC 2019 DOUBLE GOLD Phenom, Gordon Ryan Here!



Gripping his partner’s wrist with his left hand, Ryan reaches under to secure an arm drag style grip on the arm. As he elevates his elbow, he pushes his partner’s wrist under his arm drag arm, placing it out of his path. As he passes the arm across his body, Ryan performs a knee pull, bringing his partner forward and off balancing them. 

As Ryan secures his partners lat muscle with his top arm, he shifts his hips, shrinking his far side knee down below the level of his partners ribcage. Using a pendulum style kick of his leg, Ryan can create the momentum he needs to come up on to his elbow. Here he tucks his elbow in tight to his body and uses his chest as a wedge behind his partners arm to make sure it doesn’t come free. With his partner now carrying the bulk of his weight, Ryan can now transition to the top and begin to attack the back however he chooses. 

I want to reiterate something here as Ryan does. This is something that I’m probably missing and you might be too. With every arm drag, we need to make sure our chest is above the arm and facing out partner, not the ceiling. This is a fantastic reference point that should always be observed when we’re looking to hit an arm drag.

Wrestling and back takes reigned supreme this weekend at ADCC. It prompts me to delve into these themes a little deeper. These guys might be onto something! 

Systemizing Closed Guard by Gordon RyanGordon Ryan has already changed the course of Jiu-Jitsu with his Guard Passing Instructional now he is set to do the same with the Closed Guard! Systemizing Closed Guard will provide the road map to success when in Closed Guard. Update your classic Closed Guard technique with a modern HIGH PERCENTAGE approach to attacking from Closed Guard!



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