Thursday, 3 April 2014

Bravo Vs Gracie 2

With all the reviews and follow on from Metamoris 3 one of our guys, Andy Whitelam, asked me to do a ‘Currie Breakdown’ of the Bravo v Gracie match. This is not an depth review, there's guys who can do than better than me so it won't be too technical but it's the key points as I remember it.

Most of my observations are focussed on Eddie for 2 reasons; I must admit to being a bit of a fan of Eddie and having trained with him a bunch of times I understand his game a little. Secondly I don’t really think Royler did that much to review apart from hold on and not get submitted.
Side note; may just be me but I think a few of the Gracies on the Metamoris shows have tried to just not lose rather than win. Royler, Clark against Rafa, Roger against Buchecha and maybe even Ryron against Galvao….maybe.

I read a conspiracy theory that the Gracie Brothers are feeding their “sport” relations to world class competitors to show that the “sport” is not as effective as the “art” saying that the purpose of sport is to win but the purpose of the art is to survive. Ryron surviving against a bigger, stronger opponent shows how “effective” their system is. And their student Schuass drew with Cyborg. The Gracie infomercial of getting beasted while viewing as success rolls on.
Back to Metamoris 3 and the much awaited re-match starts as Eddie shoots a vicious double leg……….

Ok, time for real review;
This is quite possibly the most important match that these 2 will ever compete in; Royler to prove that Eddie’s previous win was a fluke and Eddie to prove that his system is legit. What followed was almost like a 10th Planet instructional.

Eddie pulls quarter guard right off the bat and immediately kills Royler’s angle for the knee cut pass that is probably his most formidable weapon. The quarter guard is a non-loadbearing guard, you are not carrying your opponent’s weight so you can keep it for a long time if you require, that allows you a lot of movement and gives you the option to bail quickly if you need to and is one of my favourite guards. Eddie has a ridiculous ‘squeeze’ in his legs so knew Royler would have a tough time passing. [I’ve been in his half guard and it is tight]
Eddie works very patiently while Royler tries to pour on the pressure; Royler can’t seem to progress the position as Eddie is being very patient, a trait he has shown in all his matches, he’s not going to move unless he has his grips absolutely locked in.

The first 6 minutes or so are just jockeying for position, trying to establish grips, trying to get a slight advantage over the other before launching their attack. I’m kind of surprised that Royler is trying the same thing whilst getting nowhere; I thought he might have switched his pass by now unless maybe he can’t or thought it was working. It’s different when you are in the moment rather than detached and watching.
So, the most crucial point of the match occurs at around 13:40 on the clock, Eddie gets the grips he requires and switches to lockdown so you know he is now set to hit his sweep.

At roughly 13:05 a big mistake from Royler as he pulls out his overhook allowing Eddie to rotate his legs that is key to the Electric Chair (a mistake made sometimes with Electric Chair is people try to use the arms to pull the leg into position but it’s all in the legs) Once this sweep is set it is pretty unstoppable, best you can hope for is a re-roll but that wasn’t happening this time.
Eddie tests Royler’s flexibility until 12:30ish but what looks like Royler rolling him back, to me is Eddie rolling back to better secure position before going fully to top. [I remember Eddie saying on more than one occasion to test their flexibility]

By keeping the lockdown even whilst on top it becomes a very strong position, it’s kind of like having a half mount with grapevines. It is also a very strong position to pass from as one of your legs has passed already and makes a barrier for the other one to pass which is achieved at 11:50ish.
Royler for some reason is making hand gestures, don’t know if he is trying a little ‘sportsmanship’ or is frustrated.

Eddie using the wrestlers cradle and cross face really well so when he starts to switch to north/south Royler recognises the escape route and fall into yet another trap.
[This was something Eddie taught us, to create a ton of pressure then release it in one place thus providing the only means of escape so you have to go that way and of course they have let you do this so you have usually escaped into something worse. My coach, Chris Haueter, is a master of this]

As Royler takes the bait, Eddie rolls for the back but his hook is just a little too shallow. He still attacks the neck crank really well but his position seems a little off otherwise I believe he would have had the submission right there. The hook being too shallow is then evidenced at 10:20 as Royler managed to escape the attempted back take during the transition.
Royler gets back on top in Eddie’s half guard and attempts to do something that had not worked for him previously in the match, he doesn’t seem to know how to escape this position and is kind of lost.

Eddie now knows his way to win and immediately looks to utilise lockdown again.
8:00 to go and Eddie hits the Electric Chair again and holds position for a while, Royler looks to roll Eddie and get back on top, Eddie doesn’t seem to fight this too hard, maybe saving his energy for his final attack, maybe a little fatigued or setting up something else..
5:55 another Electric Chair from same set up but not quite settled, again Royler rolls to top but Eddie resets and Electric Chair’s to top again. 5:30 to 5:15ish you see Eddie start to look to Royler’s feet, giving a glimpse of him looking to finish now.

Referee stops the match to reset in the middle, there’s some Gracie drama (isn’t there always) but after protests and a picture is provided the referee resets them in the correct position. This is probably the last bit of motivation that Eddie needs, he knows Royler has no idea of how to beat him and trying to ‘improve’ your position in the reset seems a little weak. [Apparently one of the other Gracies shouted at the referee from the side-lines to “stand them back up” for the restart}
Referee is having none of it, stays strong and restarts from the correct position [I guess he’s out of Metamoris 4]

Eddie had the Electric Chair position but got rid of the leg so he has some kind of lockdown/rewind the hips/leg drag/stoner control position. I’ve seen him hit arm triangles and twisters from here so looks to be a good strong finishing position but you saw his intentions just before the restart.
As Eddie continues to work the lockdown, I swear I saw Royler tap, Glover said he saw it too but thought he must be tripping, think I’m tripping too.

Royler starts pushing Eddie’s face away or looks like Eddie is being pushed away but at 3:58 he uses that momentum to reach down for the foot and roll.
Eddie looking to finalise his ‘Vaporiser’ which is not just a calf crank but a calf crank with a twisting foot lock too. At 2:26 you can just about see Eddie’s right hand pushing down Royler’s foot creating a calf cranking, toe holding, foot locking bag of pain [I know, he showed me then Helen did it to me too and it hurts like hell] Royler must be tough as hell to not tap because it looks on or maybe he has the mentality that he doesn’t care if it busts something as long as he doesn’t lose.

From 1:15, looks like Eddie is going for a modified heel hook, same again at 0:40 and time “runs out” or should it?
0:00 Metamoris guys stop the match even though it said in the rules that if one guy has a near submission they will let time continue until the submission is finalised or the opponent escapes.

Guess it wasn't close enough.

11 years in the making and within 20 minutes it’s all over.

My Conclusion
Eddie performed better on the night, he had a plan and stuck to it, taking his opportunities at the right time.

Royler was never in the game, he seemed totally unprepared for Eddie’s ½ guard game which is the foundation of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. In fact it seemed as though he had never seen Eddie Bravo grapple before. Maybe the Gracie camp didn’t expect ½ guard and there isn’t much about Eddie on the internet either…….
Eddie told us something along the lines of “don’t even think about rubber guard until you ½ guard game is down”

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I personally was involved in Royler’s camp, I would have specifically looked at a couple of things.
*Watch the roll Eddie had with Marcelo, see how Marcelo handles distance and angles

*Read any of Eddie’s books or watch any of his speeches, he pretty much gives away the basis of his system
*Look at this picture on Eddie’s FB page. There is Eddie, a guy who says his entire system is built on a good ½ guard, training with ½ guard master JJ Machado and ½ guard pioneer Gordo.

But now the dust has settled, life is back to normal and nothing has changed. Maybe Eddie gets a more students, keeps his legacy intact and cements his undeniable place in history. The Gracies already have their legacy and place in history. Both will continue to have the nut-huggers and the haters.
Someone on the net called it the greatest match in the history of Jiu Jitsu, give me a break, it wasn’t even the best match that night, performance of the night for me was Gui Mendes, he absolutely killed it.

If you think this Metamoris was hyped, wait until they tempt Marcelo out of retirement!

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