4 or 5 Jiu-Jitsu basics we learned from Demian Maia

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A rápida vitória de Demian Maia foi uma das lutas exibidas pela Rede Globo, com atraso. Foto: Divulgação UFC

Demian Maia’s quick win was one of the fights on the delayed broadcast on network television in Brazil. UFC publicity photo.

For the new MMA-fan universe, the only thing that mattered was whether Demian Maia would manage to win at UFC 148, where he made his welterweight debut against the game Dong Hyun Kim last weekend.

He himself seemed to be acutely aware of that and felt likewise. “Barring the title fight with Anderson [in 2010], this fight at UFC 148 was the most important to me. I needed to show my Jiu-Jitsu in the octagon; there was a lot at stake, and good thing it ended quickly,” said Demian Maia at the post-event press conference in Las Vegas.

GRACIEMAG.com applauds the performance of Demian Maia, who gave his opponent no wriggle room, managing the takedown and mount that resulted in his lightning-quick victory. But win or no win, it doesn’t in the least bit affect our appreciation for Demian, who is, above all, a superb Jiu-Jitsu professor.

On the pages of our magazine, spread throughout numerous issues, the black belt from São Paulo taught at least four or five useful details for basic Jiu-Jitsu. Details that work, whether on the mat or in the octagon.

1. Private lessons and Jiu-Jitsu

If you’ve been feeling like you’re stuck on a plateau, private lessons can open your eyes to a whole world of minor details capable of changing your game. If you’re higher ranked, offer to help your teacher with his private lessons. It’s an excellent way of learning, says Demian.

2. Passing half-guard

When you’re on top looking to pass half-guard, seek to press your opponent’s lower back against the ground. That way he’ll be all the more vulnerable. Without his lower back on the ground it’s easier for him to defend or surprise you.

Another minutiae that ends up helping him to not position himself sideways and hinder your pass: stick your foot, the foot of the leg caught in his half-guard, up against the opponent’s gluteal. That way his half-guard is more perpendicular to the ground, which means he can’t move much, and the laws of gravity will help you in pressuring in attack, freeing your leg and surmounting his guard.

3. Clocks in Jiu-Jitsu

When attacking with a clock choke, it’s common for beginners to telegraph that they’re going to grab the collar and try for the finish. Don’t go trying to stick an open hand in, as it’s easier for him to block you that way. The thing is to be quick and stick balled-up fist in when he least expects it. Once your fist passes under his chin, open your hand and get a firm grip on the collar.

4. Armbar and adjustment

With the armbar, remember to keep the opponent’s wrist flush up against your chest. Furthermore, keep his thumb pointed upwards.

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