This review is the second in a three part series on Takedown101.com ‘s DVDs. The first was The Single Leg seen here http://www.nhbgear.com/forum/index.php/topic,72826.0.html .
I thought it was logical to go from The Single Leg to Closed Guard to The Open Guard Game. First you have to get to the ground, then you are in closed guard, and then open guard is the next step in the positional evolution. This DVD has caused me to rethink my view of the closed guard.
I always thought of the closed guard as the white belt guard. You lock it down then you hold on. When you advance you start to play more open guard. You open the game up more. This DVD has shown me that when you advance even more maybe you go back to closed guard.
Attacking and the submission is the ultimate goal of BJJ. Dave Camarillo told me about his preference for closed guard because it is an attacking guard. Paul Schreiner is another one that comes to mind when I think of attacking closed guard styles. Dealing with a good closed guard adds an extra step to the pass.
Because closed guard is an attacking guard it makes perfect sense that the DVD starts off with the most basic attack, the armbar from closed guard. Ken teaches the “fundamental” armbar. I call it the fundamental armbar because it includes all the steps (foot in hips, bridge, breakdown with other leg on back etc etc. It is not a swinging armbar. At this point my assumption that the closed guard was going to be a beginners DVD was correct.
Over the next 5 chapters Ken starts linking moves. Chapter 2 is a counter armbar. Chapter 3 is a basic sweep linked from chapter 1 and 2. I love this sweep because you land in mount. It’s salt of the earth BJJ. Chapter 4 flows off of chapter 1. The armlock is called Ude-gatame in judo and I always had trouble getting it. I saw Jean Jacques hit it in the 99 Mundials. The DVD gives critical details to make this lock work. Chapter 5 flows from Chapter 1 then Chapter 4. This is another technique that makes me think of JJ Machado. In fact I call this one JJ Machado armbar control. Chapter 6 is a counter to the counter in Chapter 5.
Chapter 7 flows from Chapter 5 but goes in a different direction. Now we start to explore the Omoplata. Chapter 8 is a kneebar from the Omoplata we learned in Chapter 7. I think you get the point.
The DVD also covers the scissor sweep. I always like to see this sweep with technical details. It is one of the very first sweeps you learn if not the first. The way I was taught was to shift your hips and make a scissor and get the sweep. There is so much more to it. Like the rest of the DVD you are given three additional options coming from the first sweep attempt.
Next covered is choking. This section gives two moves. The first is the very basic choke from the guard. The second is the basic armbar from this choke. Both are very simple moves that many abandon early on in their BJJ. But if you look at guys like Rickson, Rener, and Ryron it might inspire you to go back to these attacks. The trick is to do them with technical proficiency and to link the attacks.
While studying Chapters 16, 17, 18, and 19 I realized Ken was developing closed guard games within the closed guard game as a whole. 16, 17, 18, and 19 covered the Kimura. I realized the value of the notebook during this section. I had developed thoughts on the techniques along the way and I wrote them down. I am glad I did because often you only think of that thing the first time you watch the DVD.
Chapters 20 through 23 are kind of bonus chapters. Ken gives some simple fundamentals like how to move your hips to properly get into spider guard. He gives a fancy sub from open guard when the guy stands up. I really like Chapter 23 because it combines a sweep and an armbar. Often when we start thinking about subs we forget about sweeps and vice versa. Linking two subs together is effective, but linking sweeps and subs is killer.
This DVDs biggest strength is that it gives you a game. It is not just a series of moves from a certain position. It links the moves for you. You could almost draw them out on a flow chart. That is why it is a great beginners DVD but also a very strong advanced DVD. White belts can learn a few moves from it and probably be overwhelmed. Blue belts can definitely add to their bag of tricks and start thinking like a purple belt. Purple belts will want to review this to get some ideas for linking, and if they are working on the closed guard game.
Very rarely do we see a DVD that could benefit a brown belt or a black belt. I am neither so I don’t feel qualified to draw that conclusion. I sat down with a brown belt friend of mine and watched the DVD. He thought that once you are at brown or black belt level your game is already developed. If that game is closed guard then the DVD could definitely remind you of some things, and maybe put some moves together in ways you hadn’t thought about. He also thought it would be valuable in teaching because of the detail it gave. He explained once you know a move it is hard to convey because you can do it in your sleep.
The DVD is 74 minutes long and covers 23 moves. It cost 29.99. That is $1.30 per move.
this instructional was team taught and I forgot to mention that. Buiu is the other instructor working with Ken. I liked having both of them because they have a different style of teaching and it adds variety.
Michel Buiu Porfirio is featured in many technique photos as well as many upcoming DVDs. Now in Philadelphia, he originally hails from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He is a CBJJ certified second degree Black Belt from team Nova Geracao. Buiu has taught and competed for most of his life and was Rodrigo Medeiros and Toco's first student many years ago. His Nova Geracao upbringing has alllowed him to teach with many Brazilian Top Team academies and he was an instructor in Brazil under eventual American Top Team Head Coach Ricardo Liborio.
Buiu's most inspired teaching was when he taught at Gama Filho, helping underprivileged youth learn jiu jitsu while trying to steer them away from the favela drug culture, sadly losing a few students along the way. Continuing his mission to spread jiu jitsu, Buiu currently helps Noah teach in Philadelphia and is considered a heavy influence in many of Takedowns 101 Brazilain jiu jitsu techniques.