The seminar last Saturday with submission grappler extraordinaire, Brandon Ruiz, was amazing. Brandon mainly talked about takedowns, posture, clinching, and grip fighting. He gave a couple of core concepts that have changed the way I think about the standup game. Anyway, let me share a few of the insights as best I can.
The double leg takedown.
Most people drive directly toward their opponent as if they will be running right through them. The problem with this is that you land in the guard. In MMA, instead of having a game plan of 1. Score takedown 2. Pass guard 3 Punish opponent – why not skip step 2 altogether? IF you land in a guy’s guard, you’re opening yourself up to submission risks that you wouldn’t have in side control.
Instead, you want to utilize takedowns that solve this problem before it starts. Brandon taught a version of the double leg from clinching positions taught to him by one of his coaches at the Olympic training center that involves lateral movement. This variation has the benefit of never touching your knees to the mat.
The procedure is as follows: Get inside position (more on that later), armdrag/bump/schuck, keep low-but-upright posture, shuffle laterally, lift the far leg and pass the near leg as to avoid the guard.
Here’s Eddie Edmunds finishing the takedown like Brandon taught.
Once you throw your enemy to the ground in ruin, its time to give him a fair option. Ankle submission or side control. You sink in a catch-wrestling foot lock – and your opponent has to choose between defending the lock or have you pass his guard. He can’t do both. Obviously, there are more details – if only you were there to have Mr. Ruiz to explain them to you, you’d be set.
I’ve used judo style clinch in the past, so I was especially interested in Brandon’s Greco-Roman and submission wrestling clinch work. His bread and butter was “inside position” which was one hand on the bicep, one hand on the collar bone. Simple, but effective.
Brandon showed us how to arm drag, fireman’s carry, double leg, and hip throw from this position. His setups were super solid. Even a wrestling novice like me was able to use them effectively against bigger and stronger opponents (which was about 75% of the people at the seminar).
Two on One
So you’ve tried to armdrag and take the back, but your opponent is turning round you like a merry-go-round. Or maybe your opponent has let you grab one of his arms with both of yours. With the two on one position gained, the world is your oyster. Brandon showed us some principles about posture and hand placement that really make this position work – forearm into the armpit and cutting a straight line in front of the guy, using your head to wedge in his jaw.
From here there were several options. One move he showed us came from Kali stick fighting – a simple move that makes you say, “I can’t believe that this works!” – but it works very well. Another one was a wrestlers version of judo’s uchi mata. If they try to stop it, you’re set up for an awesome snap down and subsequent back taking.
Dealing with the guard
Don’t. Deal with taking top
Submissions and other things
Leg locks and chin-straps, forcing submissions, taking control via first contact – there was a ton of stuff. Brandon taught for two plus hours, and then we did king of the hill and sparring drills. I’ll stop myself from droning on and I’ll sum up. It was awesome training.
Also, if you read this in time – Brandon is competing down in Florida right now – check www.themat.com to watch the FILO championships live. If you don’t catch them streaming, they’ll most likely have youtube links up.
Just wanted to put the word out – Brandon Ruiz is having a seminar this Saturday at Fusion, 11:00 – 1:30. Fee is only $20. Brandon is an excellent teacher and really knows his stuff. His takedowns are amazing. If you don’t know who Brandon is, check his bio below. I’ve had the opportunity to roll with him a couple of times and I can tell you, he is an animal. After he beat the pulp out of me, he gave me a number of really good pointers to help my game – which I use all the time now.
Brandon is holding the seminar to raise funds to help him go to a FILA grappling world championship. It’s a true world-tournament, and invitation only. If you want some excellent training and help support Brandon, I’ll see you Saturday.
2008 Pancrase Submission Wrestling World Champion
“The King of Combat Grappling” & Outstanding Wrestler Award
2008 FILA Grappling World Silver Medalist
2008 IBJJF Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships Bronze Medalist
2004 Greco Roman Pan Am Championships Silver Medalist
3 x Pancrase Submission Wrestling National Champion
4 x Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Grappling State Champion
8 x Greco Roman & Freestyle All-American
Judo State Champion
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt (Machado)
Just wanted to start spreading the word, so you can put it on your radar. And by “put it on your radar” I mean to start rearranging your life, if necessary. Not only is he 6x world champion, Saulo is one of the most sought after instructors in the world.
Saulo Ribeiro is coming to SLC for a seminar possibly February 26-27, maybe the week after.