Jiu Jitsu Concepts: Gui Mendes Seminar

As Lucas Lepri affiliates, all of our students were invited to attend the seminar hosted by the Lepri Headquarters on October 16. The seminar featured Gui Mendes, a 4X World Champion and current professor at Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy in Costa Mesa, California.

For the students who were not able to attend the seminar, I wanted to share some of the key takeaways that were discussed. I would also encourage you to watch some of Gui Mendes’ competition matches so that you can get an understanding of his style.

Concepts in Jiu Jitsu

Gui Mendes began the seminar by stressing the importance of concepts in jiu jitsu. In particular, he focused on concepts that involve passing the guard. His belief is that concepts are fundamental to learning jiu jitsu, and help students to tie techniques together.

The concept that he shared first was the idea of varying degrees of distances that are used when passing the guard. These distances were:

  1. Far distance
  2. Middle distance
  3. Near distance

Far distance includes any time when an opponent has control of the arms or collar, but your legs are kept far away so that the opponent cannot control them. Far distance, for example, would be when the opponent has spider guard.

Middle distance is when an opponent has control of one leg, and a sleeve or collar. This would be when an opponent has de la riva, for example. Finally, near distance is when there is little to no space between the opponent and yourself when passing the guard, and this would be headquarter position or half guard, for example. He showed examples of passes for all of these guards.

When passing far distance (spider guard), for example, he shared a three step process:

  1. Create distance
  2. Open the gap
  3. Attack

Creating the distance involves constant movement, or “a flow”, as he described. He encouraged students to always stay moving so as to keep the opponent active and adjusting. As an opponent is adjusting, this is when the gap is open. He described a 1-3 second window of opportunity for attack that involves the time when an opponent is adjusting to recompose their guard.

Techniques to Pass the Guard

The other techniques that he showed were guard passes from middle distance and near distance. The middle distance pass was a de la riva pass when the opponent also has the underhook on the leg. Because the leg is underhooked, you cannot remove the de la riva and slide your shin over. You have to also address the underhook. His approach was to move the de la riva leg up to the hip, and then grab their collar and pressure in. This traps their leg, so that you are then able to initiate passing. This technique is difficult to describe in a blog post, so if you are stuck on passing de la riva, come talk to me either in person or through DMs, and I will share it with you.

There were a lot of great concepts and techniques shared by Gui Mendes that it would be impossible to share all of them. Some of the concepts can be found on this video: How to Control the Distance to Pass ANY Guard In Jiu Jitsu by Guilherme Mendes.

How to Study these Jiu Jitsu Concepts

If you are interested, the entire seminar will also be posted on Lucas’ Online Training Program. I highly suggest purchasing the program if these concepts and techniques spark your interest. The Online Training Program also has hundreds of Lucas’ techniques and other videos such as training footage and guest instructors.

Finally, Gui Mendes also has BJJ Fanatics instructional collections on Understanding the Distance on Top.

We will also be reviewing these concepts in class over the next few weeks!

Students Learn from 9X Adult World Champion Lucas Lepri at Annual Seminar

Lucas Lepri and his three students, Dante, Kleber, and Marcelo, visited Team Casarez on May 8, 2021 for the annual Lucas Lepri seminar. Each year, the school invites Lucas to share his latest modern techniques, meet with the students, and lead the celebration for the annual belt ceremony.

Lucas Lepri is a 9X Adult Black Belt World Champion and a world class instructor. He is also the Head of the Lepri Association and the Head Professor of our coach, Tony Casarez. Lucas’ technique and attention to detail have propelled him to the highest levels of the sport. Our students had the opportunity to spend the Saturday afternoon learning these details and asking him questions. 

 

Lepri Techniques

The seminar began with 31 of our students lined up in order of rank. Lucas introduced himself to the school and then jumped right into technique. The next 2 hours were spent covering a series of guard passes that can be used when the opponent has the lasso and de la riva guard. 

When passing this type of guard, Lucas stressed the importance of passing the knee across the opponent’s shin, rather than their thigh. This breaks the opponent’s grip on the pants, and allows you to begin passing. When passing, the grip should be on the opponent’s lapel, in line with their collar bone so as to control the shoulder. Lucas also noted that students should aim for their shoulders to be behind their opponents shoulders when passing and their lifted and away. This prevents the opponent from being able to frame. Once the hand that is lasso’d is able to pummel to the outside of the opponent’s leg, then you can come up and begin to establish side control. This is just a brief summary of one of the techniques that Lucas showed, but there were many variations and options that he offered that all of our students practiced. 

 

 

Student Promotions

Following the techniques, a belt ceremony took place and 10 students were individually recognized for their hard work and consistency. During this ceremony, Thryn, Brien, David, Mike, Christian and Catherine received their blue belts. Sach, Milo, and Fernie were promoted to purple belt, and Luiz received his First Degree on his black belt. All of these students have been working hard over the past several years to receive their promotions, and we are proud of their dedication to the sport. We are excited to watch their journeys unfold as they begin to practice and compete at these new levels. 

 

 

Following the Seminar 

Once the belt ceremony was over, students were free to roll, socialize, and enjoy the rest of the Saturday afternoon. Students who were recently promoted took the time to get a couple of rolls in under their new belts. Other students chose to stay just to watch Ted roll with one of Lucas’ brown belts, Marcelo. Lucas and Tony took the time to chat with students, and also to record a technique for the YouTube Channel. Be sure to keep an eye out for this technique which will be released shortly!

The seminar was a great success, and we are very honored and grateful to have had Lucas visit the school and share his knowledge with us. Thank you to all of the students who attended the seminar and helped to make the day special. 

We look forward to another great seminar next year!

 

Technique Of The Week #7

De La Riva Pass to Far Side Armbar

This week in our seventh installment for the technique of the week, coach Tony Casarez is one of the ways pass the De La Riva guard and move securely into a far-side armbar. This technique starts by removing the pressure from the outside leg by removing the de la riva hook and stepping back. At this point Tony steps over the outside leg and secures the grip on the collar with his right hand while forcing the outside knee behind the opponent’s hamstring, hence trapping his opponent’s hips. This allows him to collapse down and secure the underhook. With shoulder pressure, his body moves forward until he is free from the opponent’s leg and then utilizes his knee to pivot to the opposite side. While still having somewhat of a underhook on right arm he moves from a tight side control immediately transitioning into a far side armbar by pulling the opponent’s arm up and moving around the head. The final point is that prior to finishing the armbar, the opponent’s leg is secured preventing an escape.

Pass to Submission Breakdown:

  1. Push de la riva hook leg down and step back with the far leg
  2. Step over the far leg and secure the collar grip with the right hand
  3. Drive knee behind hamstring, trapping opponent’s hips
  4. Lower your body and collapse the opponents open half guard
  5. Secure underhook
  6. Move your body up and free of the legs
  7. Utilize the right knee to pivot around to the opposite side of the body
  8. Using the underhook on the right arm pull the opponent up and transition around the head
  9. Secure the leg and arm pinch the knees and submit

At Team Casarez BJJ here in Cary, NC — a Lucas Lepri affiliate — Coach Tony Casarez and his team strive to teach the most practical moves that will help in both competition and self-defense. We have both Adult BJJ and Kid BJJ programs which drill moves just like this on a regular basis. We invite all to come train with us creating a welcoming team friendly environment. We have students from Raleigh, Durham, Cary and more, so do not hesitate and come try a free week today. Contact us today for more information on our BJJ classes available.

Technique Of The Week #5

This fifth installment for the technique of the week starts off when your opponent has you in a single leg X guard position. A brief breakdown of single leg X is when the person has control of the ankle via hugging it to the side of the body. The outer leg is secure to the leg and pinching the inner knee creating pressure while the foot wraps to the front of the hip. The inside leg is positioned between the legs with the shin on the inner thigh or foot on the inner hip, and pinching with the knees. This position can be very dangerous for leg lock attempts, sweeps, and more.

Now What to Do:

  1. Right away, you see Tony grab the top of the foot for the outer leg and secure a grip on the inside leg pant cuff.
  2. Once he removes the outer leg he proceeds to drop down and grab the collar keeping the grip on the inside pant cuff.
  3. Then, he long steps back forcing the opponent to roll to his side keeping the grips the entire time.
    This provides enough space for him to shin slice on top of the opponent’s legs to the opposite side of the body without inference of the legs (since they are smashed down by the left grip) and control the back position.
  4. From this point, he puts the available right leg hook in place and rolls to his left hip allowing the other hook to be implemented.
  5. Now with the back properly controlled, he feeds the collar for the choke and rolls once more to position for the GI choke submission.

Avoiding this single leg X guard comes with knowing how to pass it, and following the steps above will teach you just that. At Lepri Raleigh here in Cary, NC — a Lucas Lepri affiliate –Coach Tony Casarez and his team display techniques like this to the BJJ students to help them in both competition but also in self-defense scenarios.

Our Adult BJJ and Kids BJJ programs drill moves just like this on a regular basis, so no matter the position there is an opportunity for a pass, and then submission. BJJ has changed the lives of many and we invite potential students interested in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary to come try out a free week. Check out our class schedules and let us know when you are stopping by to learn from the best in the Triangle area. Contact us today for more information on our BJJ programs.