Maintain your guard and apply the D’Arce, with Gregor and Renzo Gracie

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Unlike what many people think, keeping an opponent in one’s guard is not a luxury meant only for the most flexible and skilled among us. Recovery techniques, when mastered, are more important than any talents.

Week 2 of the Renzo Gracie Online Academy program is organized thusly:

  • Eleven guard defense techniques with Renzo and Gregor Gracie.
  • Osoto gari: the anatomy of one of the most famous takedowns.
  • Quality of life: how to gauge the money necessary to stay in BJJ.

Lesson 1 – Guard concepts

Renzo Gracie explains how to use your feet to keep your opponent away, beyond your knee line and in your crosshairs.

Lesson 2 – Lying down with no grips

If you have lost your grips and are lying on the ground, it’s important to sit up to gain a greater reach before getting yourself back together. Gregor Gracie teaches how.

Lesson 3 – Lying down with no grips (but with legs controlled)

You are lying down and with no grips made, and you need to sit up. But, as you sit up, your opponent controls your legs. Gregor teaches how to follow your opponent’s movements before recomposing yourself.

Lesson 4 – Lasso

When you have one sleeve and the collar controlled, your opponent can still pass to one side. An elegant solution to this is the lasso. Learn from Gregor Gracie how and when to use it.

Lesson 5 – Lasso breaking the grip

Similar to lesson 4, but with a problem: your opponent keeps their grip on the bar of your pant leg. Gregor shows how to break it.

Lesson 6 – No grips, but legs controlled

The rub here is that you have no grips, and your opponent is already controlling your legs and starts to pass. Time to control a sleeve and use the correct angle to keep them away.

Lesson 7 – D’Arce choke

Similar to lesson 6, but now your opponent insists on getting on your side. Even unable to stabilize the pass, they prevent total recovery. It’s time to attack — Gregor will show you the dreaded D’Arce choke.

Lesson 8 – What is BJJ worth?

In reflecting upon where to invest your money, Bruno Fernandes compares expenses deriving from activities like eating out, drinking coffee and soda, or going out at night. If you look at BJJ as an investment in health, a hobby or a way to socialize, then it’s likely your gym membership will fit your budget.

Lesson 9 – Restoring your guard

You’re late, and your opponent has reached your side, without you having any grips in place. Time to use hip movements and observation to restore your guard.

Lesson 10 – Hip-escaping

Again, you’re late. Now your opponent is on your side, but with their knees on the ground. Remember that shrimping motion you always do during warmup? It’s time to use it. But, first, you should know what to prevent and where to hold. Gregor has your back.

Lesson 11 – When to get on all fours

Similar to lesson 10, but you are even more late, and your opponent is even closer, giving you no room for the recovery. Time to use the lever of your stretched arm to find the distance and get on all fours.  

Lesson 12 – Hip-escaping with pants under control

To finish the week, Gregor tackles the following scenario: this time your opponent has reached your side while controlling the leg you need in order to restore your guard. Time to use the other one to break the grip.

Lesson 13 – Osoto gari

In your takedown lesson, judo and BJJ black-belt Garry St. Leger walks you through the details of one of the most basic and efficient takedowns ever recorded, the osoto gari. Enjoy your training.

And week 2 ends here, while we keep our eye on our goals:

  • Organizing your week;
  • Maintaining your motivation;
  • Increasing your knowledge;
  • Incentivizing you to go practice.

See you on the mat!

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