GB Learning : Standing Guard Passes

Gracie Barra Professors Standing Guard Passes

What are the advantages to passing the guard standing?
More difficult for the opponent to attack a submission because of distance.
You are able to make better use of your speed advantage and move side to side on top.
Standing will negate the advantages of some styles of guard ex. Butterfly guard and closed guard. Let’s see how some of Gracie Barra’s instructors pass the guard standing.

1) Passing the Closed Guard
Most of us learn our first closed guard pass from the knees but many black belts (like Professor Rodrigo Freitas of Gracie Barra Manhattan Beach & Professor Mikey Gomez of Gracie Barra Temecula here) prefer standing to pass the closed guard. One of the advantages is that it is easier to open the tightly closed ankles while standing.

2) Standing Leg Drag Pass
Head instructor at GB HQ in Irvine, California show one of the essential standing passes with some key details on the leg grip and hip movement.

3) X Guard Pass
Prof. Kiko Meneghetti of GB Barao Geraldo shows how we can negate one of the opponent’s hooks to back step out of the Xguard. Note Prof. Kiko’s specific grips.

4) Standing Bull Fighter Pass Variation / Passagem de Guarda Aberta
This standing pass come from GB Vitoria. The grip in the belt is especially effective to control the guard player’s hip movement.

5) Standing Bullfighter / Leg Drag hybrid pass
I’m not sure if this standing guard pass by Prof. Villem Coelho of GB Jacarepagua is a Bullfighter or a Leg Drag variation, but it is an awesome standing pass combining elements of both classic passes!

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Submissions from Side mount

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Take The Back!

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: markmullen.bjj

Gracie Barra Riviera Maya 2019 Trip Details Announced

In February of 2018 Professor Rafael and I were able to attend the Gracie Barra Riviera Maya Trip. Each year it is held at a top notch resort near Cancun. The all-inclusive resort, jiu-jitsu training with Gracie Barra world champions and GB students from around the world, hanging on the beaches and traveling the Mayan ruins was  a perfect escape from the day to day in the winter. 

The 5-Star resort had all the amenities right on the beach of the Caribbean. The rooms were spacious and private. The multiple dining choices of cuisine from around the world never left you hungry. Sharing this time with other GB students  was priceless. I made some great friendships that I am sure will last a lifetime. Now when I go to a school in London, Chicago, Texas, or Utah I will not be a stranger. 

As a team we visited the Mayan ruins. This was a great time building relationship with our GB Brothers and Sisters. 

On top of the classic Mexican vacation we were able to train and learn from world champions. A few memorable moment I took home from last year was a great way to train sequences taught by Multi-time World Champion Professor Carlos Lemos Jr. His patience and execution of teaching embedded this method into me and now I use it often when teaching. Another Multi-time World Champion Professor Romulo, showed us some exciting options from the x-guard and Mount. Again, moves I continue to practice today. These are just a few Professors we learned from. There were many more. 

Last year the Gracie Barra Riviera Maya trip was a great experience and I look forward to attending in 2019. We hope some of our GB Centennial families are able to participate this year. Click on the image below for more info. See you on the beach, Coach Robert

Gracie Barra Regionals – Southwest

There is only one week left before the Gracie Barra Regionals in Phoenix.

DAY 1 – COMPNET Regional Championship – Saturday September 29th, 2018

It’s Jiu-Jitsu competition day.

The first day of the GBR will be dedicated to the Gracie Barra Competition Team. The renowned EQUIPEGB involves not only GB Athletes defending the Red Shield in tournaments all over the world but also their professors, training partners and supporters who make their dream of becoming a champion of Gracie Barra possible.

The CompNet will be hosting the first Gracie Barra Southeast Regional Championship giving you and GB students from all over the world an opportunity to compete in a safe, friendly and yet highly technical environment.

The morning of the Tournament Day will be dedicated to GB Kids ages 3-15. As a reminder, you pick the age group of the age your child will be in the year of 2018, so wether he’s turning 10 in December or turned 10 in January, he’s competing with the 10 year old Age Category, please choose accordingly.

The afternoon will be dedicated to Juvenile and adult divisions white to black belt.

Last but not least, the GB Tournament Day is launching the GB Ambassadors Program. You will have the opportunity to learn about what it takes to qualify to become an Ambassador for the season of 2019.

The Gracie Barra Regionals is a family event envisioned by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to give an opportunity for our global community to meet at the same place to learn, train, get inspired and have fun. Make plans to join us at this epic event that is designed to be a hallmark in the history of Gracie Barra.

Register Here!

DAY 2 – The GB Legacy and GB Training Day – Sunday September 30rd, 2018

Day two is dedicated to Keeping Alive the Legacy of Gracie Barra and Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

In the morning We will have live sessions giving you the opportunity to participate in live workshops, roundtables, speeches, and practical group exercises addressing topics such as GB History, GB Philosophy, Jiu-Jitsu Entrepreneurship, GB Teaching Method, Leadership and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle. We will focus our sessions around the 3 pillars of Gracie Barra highlighting the vision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr, providing you tools and information to deliver Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone in each city in the world!

The first day afternoon of the GB Regionals will be dedicated to the complete Jiu-Jitsu of Gracie Barra.

Some of the best and most recognized athletes and professors from our team will be joining forces in a “never seen before” series of Master Classes and Seminars bringing your Jiu-Jitsu game to a whole new level.

The GB Training Day is founded on the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone approach.

Three mat areas will be assembled allowing for simultaneous activities focused on different topics, age groups, and levels while keeping all GB team members together.

This setup will allow us to host Jiu-Jitsu Master Classes that meet specific learning needs and make sure the GB Training Day is attended by everyone from young children, teenagers, ladies, and beginners to high level students, black belt professors, and world champions.

At specific time of the Training Day, all attendees will gather in one gigantic training area of 6,000 square-feet to take part in the GB Seminars.

The Training Day will end with an epic Drilling and Training Session and the official GB Southeast Regionals Group Picture along with Belt Promotion.

Register Here!

Submissions Videos from the Side Mount

This week on Gracie Barra Blog we are looking at Intermediate to Advanced submission strategies from the side mount.

During the GB Curriculum week of side mount top, I saw many students struggle for ideas to submit beyond the basic Americana or 180 degree arm lock. The truth is, there is an abundance of submission opportunities from side mount top.

Let’s see some different ways to get the submission from side mount as taught by Gracie Barra instructors.


1)  Lapel Choke

Here is a classic lapel choke from side mount taught by Kayron Gracie.

2) Paper Cutter choke
This sneaky submission doesn’t get the respect that it deserves, somehow getting less attention than the flashier arm bar of kimura. Try this in your next tournament.

3)Paper Cutter Choke To Kimura
Professor Dave Weber and Flavio Almeida demonstrate a solid 1-2 submission attack combination from your initial Paper Cutter attack.

4) Kimura To Paper Cutter Choke
Let’s go even DEEPER down the rabbit hole and see how we can move BACK from Kimura attempt to a variation of the Paper Cutter choke! Often, the submission combinations can go either way. Defending one attack leaves the opponent open for the opposite attack and vice versa.

5)Advanced – Lapel Choke #1
When your opponent establishes a strong defensive frame, you may use their own lapel to choke them. I have even seen a no-gi variation of this technique put a competitor to sleep!

6) 2 Sneaky lapel attacks
It can be difficult to find an opening against a defensive opponent. using your own (or your opponent’s lapel) is a great way to attack in this situation.



See also on Gracie Barra :

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam

Edits by Robert Goodloe, Gracie Barra Centennial

Gracie Barra Team Takes 2nd Place 2018 IBJJF Denver Open

Gracie Barra Team 

This weekend the Gracie Barra Team showed up in Denver at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Denver Open in full force. We had competitors from GB Schools from all over the globe take medals at the competition. Having only two schools in Colorado and Placing 2nd in this tournament is quite an accomplishment. It is a testament to the Gracie Barra Brotherhood and Team. Check out all the results for Gi Here and No-Gi Here.

Gracie Barra Centennial

Our local school in the Denver Market – Gracie Barra Centennial did well for a school only open for 9 months. Combined its competitors brought home 10 Medals. Professor Duda, scored three – a gold, sliver and a bronze. Coach Robert brought home four, two silver and two bronze. Kirk Pearson won gold in only his third competition. David Heasley and Krista Olsen both took home the bronze. Both Alex Chapman and CJ Kennett battled in some tough matches in their first tournament. 

Mental Preparation For Competition

The time before a major competition is when the athletes sharpen their skills, push their level of physical conditioning and look to strategies for the matches.

The physical part of preparation is important, but many experienced competitors also point out the importance of the correct attitude and mind set before a tournament.

One of the most common questions that new competitors have is “I feel very nervous before a competition. Is this normal? How do I deal with it?”

This week on Gracie Barra Blog, we talk with several experienced competitors and coaches about how they approach competition, the mental attitude behind a winner and some advice to help you be at your best on tournament day.

Prof. Draculino has often headed the competition training camps at GB Headquarters in California
GB: A common question many beginner students have about competition is feeling very nervous before the tournament.
What advice do you have to help with pre competition stress?

Professor Draculino: It is very common for beginners. I would say no matter what, that they are going to be nervous in any combat sport, competition will bring the butterflies.
It happens to all of us. Even after all of these years I still have it before competitions.
It is normal.

It is something that some people are addicted to, to be honest.
It is something that is always going to happen but you have to control it.
After all of these years I have found out that it is inevitable that you will feel that.
It is very rare to see somebody going there without any kind of nervousness or being anxious. They always going to be.

I think that it is better to try to take your mind off of the task in times that you don’t need to be 100% focused.
You don’t need to be thinking about this thing 24 / 7 because then it drains you.
Try to get something that brings you pleasure and takes your attention out of the mission.
Then at the time of the competition, at the time that you make weight, the time of the warm up then you focus 100%.

I think that a lack of focus is as bad as too much focus.
I try to watch a movie, have some friends that laugh, play video games or just play with my dogs.
Something to take my mind off of the task.

GB: What advice do you give your students regarding strategy or game plan before a competition?

Professor Draculino: I say something simple: try to impose your game. Try to do what you do best.
Competition is not the time to experiment! You have to experiment at the school, at the gym, in training.

That is where you have to risk yourself, put yourself in situations that you do not normally do to evolve your game overall.

But in the competition you should stick to what you do best.
Sometimes the strategy goes in the toilet when the match happens, you have to be ready to perform according to what is on your plate!
That is why the base period in the gym is so important. You have to be good overall because you never know what you will be facing.

Try to do what you do best during the matches.
Always face very match as though it was the last one. Don’t try to think about the next matches because maybe you will get surprised!
It happened to me before and I am pretty sure that it has also happened to a bunch of people.

Always remember to go out there and have fun.
At the end of the day don’t put so much pressure on yourself because you stop thinking well.
Strategy is king! In the short periods of rounds and depending on what weight classes and belt that you compete at, mistake can cost you the match.

Prof. Andre Almeida
GB : What is your philosophy about winning and losing in the tournaments?
What inspires you to train so hard to compete?

Andre Almeida : Like everyone, I always want to win, but more than that I always believe I’m going to win. I get really frustrated when I lose a match that I know I could have won.
There are some matches that you can easily see the mistakes that you did, the positions that you lose and the opportunities that you missed, and that really pisses me off!

Besides that, if I lose because my opponent did a great job on simply blocking my attacks and were able to overcome my defences I try not be mad and learn from my weakness to come back stronger.

For years of my life I stayed full days on the library studying for countless hours and I believe that gave me a profound notion of discipline, and with good disciple almost anything is possible.
About the inspiration to train so hard to be able to reach a competitive level, the only thing I can say is that you have got to love the path, not the end.

On my life I have always tried to love, or learn to love, the path.
When I say that I workout from Monday through Saturday some may think of this as unbearable, I think I am lucky to have the time to be able to workout 6 days a week.

Of coarse some days are rough, but life is like that with everything, some days you just have to push through, but the majority of the days I’m doing tremendously grateful.

GB : Can you give some advice to Gracie Barra students who like to compete?
May students deal with stress before the competition and ask for advice on how to overcome the nerves.
What was the most helpful advice that either of your brothers Ricardo or Flavio told you about competing?

Andre Almeida : If I could give one piece of advice it would be go forward! The benefits of you registering for a competition are uncountable, winning or losing you will already have a great take away from it.
You will always feel nerves, it’s not a friendly game, its fighting, you will fell stressed.

What can help is to start on smaller tournaments to get used to the nerves, start getting used to the tension and then go climbing up the ladder little by little.

The best advise that I have gotten from brothers was really simple, give your best and then you will be comfortable by knowing that you did all you could do.
They always supported me 100% and gave me all the tools necessary for me to perform at my highest level.

Brown Belt competitor James Harnish
GB: Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you prepare for a major competition?

James Harnish : The way that I am preparing for my fight is putting myself in every possible bad position and trying to work my way out of it. I don’t really go to the gym to much for weight lifting, when I do go to the gym I usually work on my cardio as well as low weight high reps for explosiveness and speed. Most of my time is spent on the mats drilling and some high intensity training like being on the mat for about a half hour or more with a new training partner attacking me every couple of minutes so there is always a fresh person attacking me when getting ready for any competitions usually over a four to six week training camp before the event.

GB: What is the role competition plays for you in your jiu-jitsu?
James Harnish : The role that competition plays for me in my Jiu-Jitsu I would have to say would be that no matter what the outcome is I am always learning when I compete. I love to compete, it allows me to showcase what I have been working so hard on in training and also allows me to try out my techniques on someone who I have never trained with before but the big thing that competition does for me is that it helps makes my Jiu-Jitsu stronger….some people would say that competition and training are the same but in my opinion they couldn’t be more different, training is a time for learning and competition is a time to test what you have learned!

GB: Do you have any advice for young Gracie Barra competitors on training and competing?
James Harnish : If I were to give any advice to the young Gracie Barra competitors on training and competing it would be train safe and always look out for the safety of your training partners because if you hurt your training partners you will eventually have no one to train with. Also with training in Jiu-Jitsu and competing it has helped me overcome failure and accomplish my goals, not only on the mats but in life. Never get frustrated while training or competing, always stay humble and never give up….because you will never know your full potential if you do!

Prof. Fabiana Borges
GB: What is the role competition plays for you in your jiu-jitsu?
Prof. Fabiana Borges: I love competing. It keeps me disciplined in the way that I eat, I sleep, and I rest. It also keeps me motivated to learn, train. I learn a lot about my self when I am getting ready for tournaments.

GB: As an active competitor. Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you prepare for a major competition?
Prof. Fabiana Borges: I am always training with my students and working out, but when it gets closer to tournaments, I start to work more on my endurance and resistance. I usually do my preparation at Max Training in Austin two times a week and on the mats I focus a lot on drills and specific training.
I try to sleep earlier and eat better then I already do.

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