Training Program: Attacks from the guard with Jefferson Moura

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[First published in 2006.]

Looking for a series of training
exercises to sharpen up your guard
in a week? GRACIEMAG went after
one of the greatest authorities on
the subject to teach you, once and
for all, to play from the bottom – and
come out on top

Two-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Jefferson Moura is
the latest to take the reins as coach at the main Gracie
Barra headquarters, in Rio de Janeiro. He is also the one
responsible for the academy’s competition team. With
the fight areas packed and new talent coming up on his watch,
the heavyweight hopped into his gi to teach a week’s worth of
attacks from the guard. Pay close attention, and turn defense
into your greatest attack. To do so, the black belt was assisted
by also-teacher Kleber “Buiú” de Oliveira.
Exercise 1 – Playing closed guard, sink your grips into your teammate’s
left sleeve. Next, open your guard and position your right
foot on his/her hip and then do the same with your left foot. Lift
your opponent’s left arm, position your hip sideways at the same
time pulling the arm to the left.
Position 1 – Repeat the movement from exercise 1. After putting
your adversary’s arm on the mat, raise your torso, maintain your
left hand’s grip, release your right hand’s grip and position it under
your opponent’s armpit, like a hug. Next, first put in a hook with
your left leg and lift the torso. Once on your side, put in the other
hook with your right leg and take your adversary’s back.
Exercise 2 – Lying with your back on the mat, sit up supported
with your right hand on the ground. Then, get up supported by your
right arm and bring your right leg back, without losing your base.
Position 2 – With your adversary in your closed guard, grab
onto both their sleeves, put your feet on his/her hips and push
your opponent’s hips away from you. Bring your body up against
your opponent’s and at the same time hook your feet in between
his/her legs.
With your left hand, grab your opponent’s belt from behind. Next,
prop your hand on the ground. At this moment, your adversary pummels
with his/her right arm. Pass the lapel from your right hand to
the left hand that was holding the belt. Your right hand grabs your
adversary’s left sleeve. On trying to hook-sweep him/her, you will
likely be impeded by your adversary’s base. But, with the space
opened up between the two of you, you now release your right grip
and move up, repeating the move from exercise 2. So support your
left leg on your opponent’s back and, without releasing the grip,
jump up and pass your right leg over your adversary’s shoulder,
positioning yourself to sink the triangle.
Exercise 3 – Sitting with your arms in front of you, lie back to the
right, raise your legs and roll until on all fours.
Position 3 – Seated, sink a grip on your opponent’s left sleeve with
your right hand. Now with your left hand, grab his/her belt. Notice
how your adversary moves away, and afterwards supports his/her
shoulder on your chest to try and pass your guard. Take advantage
of the movement and pull him/her into your half-guard. With the
aid of your legs, and the grip on the belt, lift your adversary’s hips,
slide under your opponent’s body and roll with your adversary,
repeating the move from exercise 3. At the end of the movement,
your adversary will have his/her back to the mat and you on top,
in his/her half-guard.
Exercise 4 – With your back to the mat, get up and sit with your
arms in front of you. Next, simulate a lunge for a leg, tip to the right
and roll in the direction of your arms until ending the movement
on all fours.
Position 4 – Lying down, position both legs between your opponent’s
legs. Sit up, sinking grips with your left hand on your
opponent’s left lapel and your right hand on his/her left leg. When
your companion gets up to try and pass your guard, move your
grip on the leg from the outside to the inside. By lowering his/
her head, your opponent makes it so you can hook his/her head,
and cause discomfort with a choke. Go under your opponent
with your body and position your head under your adversary’s
shoulder. Tip him/her, so his/her back is to the ground. Without
letting go of the grips on the lapel and leg, turn with your adversary
as though rolling until you are on top. Lower your hips,
switch base and with your right hand grab his/her left shoulder,
throw the weight of your body over him/her and finally squeeze
out the choke.
Exercise 5 – Keep your legs up and crossed, like in a closed
guard. Uncross them, and raise your legs until your hips are up off
the mat. Turn your hips while your body is up high, and then return
to the initial position.
Position 5 – With your adversary in your closed guard, open your
legs and raise them like in exercise 5. To finish, grab your adversary’s
right hand, pass your left leg over his/her head, raise your
hips and sink the armbar.
Exercise 6 – Keep both your legs up high, with the left one
folded and the right nearly fully extended. Lower your legs and
fit your left foot under the right knee. Raise your body and extend
the right leg.
Exercise 6 – Keep both your legs up high, with the left one
folded and the right nearly fully extended. Lower your legs and
fit your left foot under the right knee. Raise your body and extend
the right leg.
A Pointer ON getting a better command of this system is to
write down the sequences and do an evaluation of your performance
during the training session. Thus one better identifies which situations
need greater work and what questions should be answered.
Use the last day to have your questions answered and do the positions
not yet entirely assimilated over again. Eating right and getting
enough rest are also important recommendations. Train hard! g

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