FUJI Raleigh Tournament October 2021

The FUJI Raleigh Jiu Jitsu tournament was hosted on October 24, 2020, and we had 13 students that competed and represented Team Casarez. For many of the students, it was the first time competing. It is always exciting watching students compete for the first time because there are a lot of emotions that come with competition.

Managing the emotions that come with a jiu-jitsu match at competition pace is challenging. There is excitement, but there are also nerves and fear. This is normal, and I encourage my students to compete if they can because it is a way to face these nerves and fears that we have. These weekends always leave me so proud of the students as they take on these emotions head first.

The 13 competitors brought home a total of 17 medals, with the following results:

Kids:

Silas – 3rd
Valentina – 3rd
Cristalia – 3rd
Gabriel – 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Caike – 1st, 2nd

Adults:
Caike – 3rd
Noah – 1st
Xavier – 3rd
Shawn – 3rd
Brian B – 2nd
Andrew – 1st, 2nd
Brian – 2nd

Arthur and Henry also competed, and while they did not medal, they fought hard and showed true understanding of technique as they competed. This is important to me because it shows that the students are learning and improving, and are able to retain this information even under a stressful situation.

I would also like to shout out Andrew, who competed for the first time in the purple belt division. He earned his purple belt only 2 weeks before the competition, and won his division in Gi and got 2nd in No Gi. It was also his birthday, and it says a lot that he chose to spend the whole day competing! We are very proud of him.

We also had students who were not competing come out to support, including Sarah and Trinity. It is always a good feeling to have teammates cheering you on as you compete, so we appreciate students who take the time out of their weekend to be there for their teammates.

Every competition, we learn more about what we need to improve and focus on, and we take these details into the gym, and eventually into the next tournament.

Congratulations to the whole team for an amazing and exciting weekend!

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!

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 #6

GI Single Leg Takedown – Pass – Side Control – Armbar

This sixth installment for the technique of the week by coach Tony Casarez while he demonstrates how to complete a single leg takedown using the gi, and from there he passes the guard into side control by trapping the leg with his legs. This starts with controlling the grips on both the collar and sleeve. From there while keeping the collar grip, dropping levels, and securing the leg, he then knee cuts across the stomach to pass. After this, he proceeds to move to the opposite side of the body with a fully secure side control position. Through the transition to the final side, he is able to secure the opposite arm for a finishing armbar.

Breakdown:

  1. Control the collar and sleeve grips
  2. Let go of the sleeve and drop levels to secure the leg for the takedown
  3. Control the opponent to the ground
  4. Utilize a de la riva pass to get to one side
  5. Let go of the pant grip and get the underhooks
  6. Transition to the opposite side and secure side control
  7. Use the far underhook to transition into the finishing armbar


Though this move may seem like a lot of steps, it is the essence of the BJJ flow: All control and not brute force. This is exactly what Coach Tony Casarez and his team are always teaching here in Cary, NC. This is a beautiful combination of moves that both the Adult BJJ and Kids BJJ classes go through in the fundamental classes, to then perfect in the advanced classes. We are a proud Lucas Lepri affiliate and strive to help our students on and off the mat. 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.