Judo Chop: Michael McDonald, Edwin Figueroa And The Bro Hug

UFC Fight Night 24 had a lot to offer. Twisters, twisting arm controls, twisting arm lock attempts and twisting takedowns - it was a veritable smörgåsbord of technique on display.

In particular though during the Michael McDonald vs Edwin Figueroa Bantamweight preliminary fight was the much maligned 'Bro Hug' which on the surface may look like a sign of mutual respect (the empirical outlook of Catch As Catch Can Scientific Wrestlers saw it as nothing more then a transitional phase in a match, dubbing it 'The Gentleman's Embrace'), one grappling art believes it to have esoteric sometimes psychic properties and it has its roots among MMA's most famous family, the Gracies.

Everyone should know by now that Gracie Jiu Jitsu was founded by Carlos and Helio Gracie, and that their brothers Osvaldo, Gastao Jr and Jorge also fought. What many don't know is Helio had a twin brother Rugo.

Rugo Gracie learned Jiu Jitsu with his brothers but his interest in the human spirit would end up being greater than his interest in human physiology. When Helio and the other brothers started embarking on challenge matches, Rugo was not happy believing combat was not the best way to resolve a conflict and in particular he implored Helio not to take the fight with Masahiko Kimura. Helio did and had his arm broken, and as Rugo tried to point out the error of Helio's ways ended up being ostracised by the family, fleeing to the United States as an exile.

The family would write Rugo out of its history, but Helio became overcome with guilt and so made all his sons names begin with the letter 'R' as a tribute and reminder of his twin brother Rugo.

Unbeknown to them Rugo had eventually settled in San Francisco by the mid 1960's and in parallel with the Hippie Movement had modified his Jiu Jitsu - meaning the gentle art - to a new art he dubbed Ureshii Jitsu, meaning 'happy art'. Becoming actively involved with a commune he shared his new style with the bohemian artists in the area including beat poets who affectionately gave him his hippie name 'Bro-zilian'.

At the core of his new art was a move he dubbed the Rugoplata believing that a loving embrace was the best way to solve all conflict. Along with his hippie name and his American friends' need to spell words phonetically instead of looking them up, the Bro-Hug was born.

The Bro-Hug spread like a fire through San Francisco and visiting hippies took it back with them spreading it across the United States. Rugo was last seen getting into a Volkswagen Camper Van heading North, but no other record of him since then has been discovered.

After the jump a look at the Bro-Hug in action

W1tfe8_mediumHere we see the beginning process of the Bro Hug. When both fighters have their hands on their hips and make eye contact, a psychic connection has been made to allow the free flow of positive energy, stimulating the brain to release endorphins and serotonin  Pretty soon we can see these brain chemicals taking effect by the change in expression on Edwin Figueroa's face.



10ndcvc_mediumBoth fighters head towards each other in the center of the Octagon and Michael McDonald offers his hand to shake. This is the correct initiation of the Bro Hug. However Figueroa prematurely goes straight for the hug, showing his relative inexperience in the grappling arts to McDonald. It's to be expected, after all Figueroa started off as a striker and it can be a slow process for those new to it.




Both fighters do however follow the Bro Hug protocol of making sure their hips don't get too close to each other and the sudden break often mistaken for nervous self awareness is actually to make sure there isn't a positive energy overload which can sometimes result in dizziness and fatigue.




Below are diagrams found on how to perfectly execute a Bro Hug, found in the unofficial guide "The Bro Code"

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