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Vicious Details

On the Gaussian distribution of vicious, I’m at least in the 90th percentile of humanity. I cultivate methods of hurting other human beings. But I’m an amateur compared to the likes of muay thai former world champion, Matee “Dragonleg” Jedeedpitak, as demonstrated by his seminar at Top Level Gym. Matee has an apparently inexhaustible set of ways to control and inflict damage in the ring.

We started with a light warm-up of bouncing on the balls of our feet, then translating this into stepping out on alternating sides throwing a jab-cross. We then did one sided kicks and knees.

When you slip it is a more lateral motion and slouch than boxing to avoid getting kicked or kneed. It is important to keep looking at your opponent. Recover to your original posture, slipping back and then to the angle off the cross. To warm this up we slipped our partner’s jab, then cross, then the combo jab cross.

The jab slip counters:

  • Elbow: As you slip, step deeper bringing your inside elbow up, fist pointed at the floor, and rotate the shoulder to provide power. In practice, target the flat part of your proximal forearm to their chest. In a fight, consider the axilla or chin (depending on your rules).
  • Hook: Whip a hook to the chin, using the second knuckle (index finger) thumb down as of you were stabbing at a 45° degree angle into their neck. It is like throwing an inverted back hand but hit with your knuckle. We subsequently drilled this with the pads, but threw it to the belly pad for safety, followed by cross-hook-cross.
  • Lead Kick: As you slip, slap/check their jabbing arm at the elbow, spinning them away from you. Now from there deliver the lead kick to the ribs, no step, simply use the spring rotation of the check. It is even more important to keep your rear heel elevated to allow the pivot.
  • Hop Rear Kick: Again use the slap/check, if they step away use a small hop to deliver the kick to the leg with your rear leg. It is important to note that if they are in motion Matee recommends delivering the kick to just above the knee while if they are stationary to hit the mid-thigh.
  • Side clinch: Enter as if throwing the elbow, but roll the hand up to (a) either grab the neck and push on the trapped arm or (b) clinch the hands together. Step back and knee, then pivot out to knee again.
  • Body clinch: Lower your level and clinch at the waist, place your leg behind their near leg, bump it and throw them over this leg.

In order to apply this concept we drilled:

  • Jab slip practice: Slip the jab laterally, straight back and medially but pretend you are sparring so that the jabs come in a broken rhythm.
  • Jab-cross slip practice: As above but now slipping the jab and cross.
  • Jab slip counter practice: As the first drill, but now try to apply the slip counters.
  • 4-strike clinching: They throw any four alternating punches and you slip them all, return two strikes to their gloves.

Lastly we worked on some clinch counters:

  • Side clinch escape: Your opponent has you side clinched. Drop your weight by bending your knees and post on their hip with your lateral hand. Lean laterally and lift your medial (formerly trapped) arm up and back (think backstroke) to escape.
  • Face push clinch defense counter: You have the plum position and your opponent is pushing on your face. Look to your strong side and snap your opponent toward you (down if they are taller) as you lift the elbow on this side. Pummel your head to their triceps.
  • Side clinch forearm insertion counter: Your opponent defends the slide clinch by placing a forearm in your neck, rotate your shoulder (catch their elbow between your pectorals and deltoid) and pass their frame, step behind them.

Of course Matee stressed relaxing, but also pointed out that anticipation and nervousness did not make things better. He points out not forcing your counters but having them as options depending on the rhythm of the fight.


Eddie Bravo Jiu-Jitsu for Mixed-Martial Arts Seminar

“I’m not that flexible. I just use my flexibility all the time” — Eddie Bravo

I have had limited exposure to Eddie Bravo’s variant of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, basically from reading his book Jiu-Jitsu Unleashed, intermittent clips by his students covering miscellaneous techniques, from Joe Rogan’s commentating of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and mostly the unflattering attempted application by training partners who have limited knowledge obtained in an even less systematic way. That’s a long way of saying that I had an ambivalent to negative view of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. But if it didn’t work, why have I continued to hear about it for the past 10+ years? Things that don’t work in applied martial arts do not flourish, they wither and die. So when a friend of mine messaged me about an Eddie Bravo seminar at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Indianapolis, I decided to be scientific about my opinion and check it out.

Eddie is an excellent instructor, he’s passionate about jiu-jitsu, explains and demonstrates well, and breaks some fairly complex stuff into digestible chunks. Occasionally he calls out what each side does, drill sergeant style, other times he has you work on your own. And yes each position and submission has a name. I’m not sure I caught them all. His jiu-jitsu is different, an addition for doing jiu-jitsu when neither you nor your opponent is wearing a gi, but it is not so radically different that someone like me, who has trained for a quite some time couldn’t pick-up the “pathway” he was elucidating.

I’ve been focusing on grips and grip fighting for the past few months, from my observations today the 10th Planet System allows you to have grips where normally there isn’t anything to grip. Eddie’s pathways are a method to prune your opponent’s decision tree.

Today’s seminar worked on grappling for MMA. We started from the butterfly guard with the over-under control of your partner’s arms (Cocoon). You could simply butterfly sweep but instead. break your opponent’s posture and pull them with you to the mat, free the foot hook on the overhook side and bring this calf up across your opponents shoulders. Your underhook hand grabs your ankle on the lateral side of your leg, palm facing you (Jersey because it’s close to New York the same position from the closed guard). Attempt to bring your knee and heel together. Free your overhook and grab his contralateral axilla, bringing your forearm superiorly to your shin. Release your grip on your shin and place a C-collar with this free hand in their cubital fossa (Meathook).

From the Meathook you could replace your C-collar with wrist control and free the leg underneath your opponent to set up the triangle, by sliding this leg inferiorly to your leg across their shoulders, and then cinching it behind this knee as it transitions back to parallel with your opponent’s body.

If they attempt to control your leg with their free hand, i.e. preventing the C-collar control, instead place your free hand on their pectoral, free your Meathook and grab your foot. Lift it over their head allowing it to land on the shelf formed by your forearm. Release your foot and S-grip behind their head, your former Meathook hand superior to your shin and your shelf hand inferiorly. Figure four your legs a lá an “air triangle” to finish the Gogoclinch.

  • If you can get “deeper” either due to the size of your opponent or latent flexibility, consider a Gable grip, including your knee inside the circumference of your arms, or even applying a D’arce choke including your own leg
  • If your opponent disrupts or prevents your leg figure four, simply go for gogoplata by grabbing your foot with the same side hand, scissoring their neck between your forearm/wrist and shin.
  • If they defend the gogoplata by grabbing your foot, peel it off with your free hand and reapply or use this to set-up your Gogoclinch but now with your foot hooked into their axilla on this side (Hazelett). Now take the hand that would have been applying the gogoplata and grab the wrist of their free hand, abduct your knee of your bent leg to flatten them, preventing them from rolling. You can do a one handed kimura by attempting to push this hand to back of their head.
  • If they post up on their leg, you can hook the free foot of your Gogoclinch in their popliteal fossa and then rather than grabbing their wrist grab their ankle on this side (Hazelip). You can again apply the one handed kimura as above.
  • If you end up in the Gogoclinch and your free leg is superior to their shoulders drop your calf across their posterior neck, grab this ankle and pull down to submit (Double Bag).

If your opponent defends the Gogoclinch position and gogoplata by dropping their head to the mat, prop yourself on your elbow and place your gogoplata foot flat on the floor next to their head. Grab their chin with your free hand. Now transition up to your other knee, pushing into your opponent and rolling them laterally. If they post, switch the angle and push over their shoulder and head. They will roll to their back and you will be seated perpendicularly to them. You can control their far wrist and reapply the gogoplata with your other hand.

  • You can apply a shoulder separator by creating a loose triangle, putting your free foot in his axilla and extend as you grab his free wrist and pull.
  • If this is unsuccessful, free your foot from the axilla and lift it over his head and arm. Now lift his straight arm against the popliteal fossa to arm bar. 
  • Lastly you can return to the loose seated triangle and attack his trapped arm by hooking the elbow with your forearm and locking it out (Monoplata).

The Cocoon is the “golden clinch” it is an optimal place to set-up this game, most people will not give it to you. One method to do this is to allow your opponent to get to the half-guard. Overhook their arm on the same side as you have their leg with your straight arm controlling their free knee (Pimp Hand). To keep them from advancing, bring your lateral leg superiorly to their trapped leg and triangle it with the medial leg, which then hooks your foot inferior to their ankle (Lockdown). Now insert your hook laterally to their thigh and bend the medial leg superiorly to their leg, clamping it between your legs (Stomp). Your opponent will pinch their knees together to prevent you from going back to butterfly, so start kicking/wiggling the medial leg to free it (Mermaid). You can now return to hooks inside but in the Cocoon position, if your opponent doesn’t limp arm out.

Next we worked from the Z-Guard with our opponent throwing blows (opened handed slaps). Free the top leg, removing the support of your knee from their chest, by shooting it wide while diving your head to their stomach. Grip around their waist with an S-grip, the arm anteriorly tight to your body, they will wi. Pull them forward, professionally overhook their near leg with the leg you initially freed and transition your other leg laterally, using your shoulder and head to post. Now drive into them to put them on their back.

Eddie Bravo Seminar