The banner for Eddie Bravo's 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.
The following is a step by step breakdown of key concepts within the famed 10th Planet grappling system written by James Worley, a friend of mine. The intent is to examine the system for its tenets and to educate those interested in grappling - without falling into the trap of "Eddie is the greatest/Eddie is the worst" that clouds many 10th Planet discussions. I hope you enjoy this and look for the Q&A conclusion piece that will come soon.
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu - Breaking Down the Basics
In the first section, we went over the history of Eddie Bravo and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and took a look at some of the key aspects of the 10th Planet system. In this article, we look in detail at the three positions previously covered: the Rubber Guard, the Lockdown half guard, and the Twister. To help break down these positions and some options from each, I had two 10th Planet students, Kalei Licon and Pascal Staeheli, demonstrate them in photos. Although there are many different positions, submissions, and options from these positions, the basic paths from each are what we focused on.
The Rubber Guard
The rubber guard was invented with no-gi grappling and MMA functions in mind. It focuses on first breaking down the opponent's posture, keeping the posture broken using your leg and opposite side arm, isolating and trapping an arm to the mat, and transitioning to the submission. One of the reasons this position is very useful for no-gi and MMA settings is that the grip allows to keep the opponent's posture broken, while leaving a free arm to work towards the submission. The broken posture is particularly practical within MMA due to the fact that it greatly negates punches thrown by the opponent.
After the jump, Worley gives us essentially a 10th Planet instructional. Awesome, I know. Please do not try these moves anywhere other than a safe grappling environment (preferably a grappling school with knowledgeable and consenting adult grapplers as partners).
We resume from the closed guard of Kalei.
Figure 2 - RG 2 - Kalei opens his guard, wraps his arm behind Pascal's neck, holds a Gable grip, and breaks down his posture, being sure to close the guard after breaking the posture to prevent escape.
Figure 3 - RG 3 - With the posture broken, Kalei pulls his left leg over Pascal's right shoulder and neck, and hooks it with his wrist, being sure not hold it with the hand. At the same time Kalei also puts his right foot in the left hip of Pascal, and squeezes both knees together to leave no space.
Figure 4 - RG 4 - with Mission Conrol established, Kalei moves to isolate the right arm of Pascal to the mat by using a technique called the Zombie. To utilize the Zombie, Kalei puts his hand underneath the space on the inside of Pascal's elbow, driving it upwards and circling out, being sure to hug the knee to keep the arm trapped to the mat.
Figure 5 - RG 5 - Side view of the Zombie
Figure 6 - RG 6 - Kalei has the right arm of Pascal trapped to the mat, while hugging his left knee to keep it in place This position is called New York.
Figure 7 - RG 7 - Side view of New York. It is important to note that Kalei is still keeping the right foot in the hip and maintaining pressure with the legs.
Figure 8 - RG 9 - Top view of New York
Double Bagger to Chill Dog
Once the hand is trapped to the mat and the opponent is in the New York position, the next transition in this sequence is to clear the right hand to the opposite side of the neck, where we can transition to the Omoplata. Again, we are only covering a few possible options deriving from the positions; there are many more options than just these shown.
Figure 9 - RG_Bagger 1 - Kalei takes the right foot from the left hip of Pascal, and pulls it across his back and to his hand. He makes sure to keep his left arm hugging the knee to prevent Pascal from getting his hand off the mat. This transitional step is called Double Bagger control, and allows Kalei to clear his right arm to the other side of Pascal's neck while keeping the posture broken. This particular position requires a fair amount of flexibility to use, but is highly effective when utilized.
Figure 10 - RG_Bagger 2 - Kalei has cleared his right arm to the other side of Pascal's neck. From here, Kalei releases his left hand from the right foot, replacing it into the left hip of Pascal. Kalei then pulls the left ankle down and in front of the face of Pascal and underneath the chin, rotating his hand around palm facing away to allow more leverage to push the foot.
Figure 11 - RG_Omoplata2 - With his foot in front of the face, Kalei starts moving his hips out to his left side into the Omoplata reaching around the waist of Pascal to prevent him from rolling forward and escaping, making sure to keep the arm against the knee to prevent the right arm of Pascal from becoming freed.
Figure 12 - RG_Omoplata3 - Kalei frees his right leg from underneath the body of Pascal, constantly maintaining the arm across the waist (known as the seat belt).
Figure 13 - RG_Omoplata4 - With his leg freed, Kalei triangles both legs, and reaches underneath the left side of Pascal to secure an over/under grip. Kalei then leans forward until Pascal taps from the Omoplata submission
Though originally a Judo technique, the Lockdown half guard has been utilized more and more within recent years, and grapplers have developed the position to include a variety of sweeps and transitions. Something that separates the lockdown from traditional half guard is that rather than just holding the opponent in place, the Lockdown actually stretches out the leg of the opponent, compromising his base. This is particularly effective within MMA settings, as it can keep the opponent off base and when used correctly, the Lockdown can prevent heavy, effective strikes from being thrown. The lifting and stretching grip of the Lockdown can also provide more friction within a no-gi/MMA setting when compared to the traditional half guard.
Figure 14 - LD1 - Pascal is sitting in the open half guard of Kalei
Figure 16 - LD3 - Kalei then takes his inside leg (right) and slides it over the left foot, underneath the ankle of Pascal
Figure 17 - LD4 - With the leg of Pascal trapped within the Lockdown half guard, Kalei extends both legs, stretching out and compromising the base of Pascal.
Jaws of Life to Old School Sweep
The Lockdown is most effective when you have double underhooks on your opponent, and are pulling yourself in to his body, allowing minimal space to allow for escapes and counters, as well as putting yourself at an angle that avoids powerful punches. The guard player may find himself able to get the Lockdown with the legs, but many opponents will hold a head and arm control on the guard player, preventing him from establishing double underhooks. To work around this, the guard player can utilize the technique called the Jaws of Life to make space to allow underhooks to be established.
Figure 19 - LD_Jaws1 - Kalei has established the Lockdown, but is being held in head and arm control by Pascal
Figure 20 - LD_Jaws2 - Kalei takes his left arm and pushes the chin of Pascal away from it in a crossface, reinforcing it with his right hand. This makes some space underneath Pascal's right armpit, allowing room for Kalei to drop his left elbow inside and underneath.
Figure 21 - LD_Jaws3 - Kalei slips his left elbow inside the space created by the Jaws of Life
Figure 22 - LD_Jaws4 - Kalei establishes double underhooks on Pascal, squeezing in tight to minimize space. From here, Kalei can transition to the Old School sweep.
Figure 23 - LD_OldSchool1 - Kalei takes his hands and places them on the hips of Pascal. He then pushes the hips towards his head and extends in the same direction with the Lockdown. This forces Pascal to baese forward, allowing Kalei to get onto his side, using his right arm for support and the left to reach around the waist of Pascal.
Figure 24 - LD_Oldschool2 - Kalei uses his right arm to reach underneath the far leg of Pascal, while uncrossing the Lockdown with the legs. Kalei then pulls the far leg of Pascal towards him while sliding his legs underneath and to the outside of Pascal, coming up and applying pressure for the sweep.
Figure 25 - LD_OldSchool3 - Kalei follows Pascal up, driving into him and passing his legs over top to avoid being sucked into the guard of Pascal, while working to pass to side control.
Figure 26 - LD_OldSchool4 - Kalei has passed into side control on Pascal, holding him in a head and arm control while leaving no space. From this position, Kalei can set up Twister Side Control.
Establishing Twister Side Contol and the Twister
Before the Twister had become known to MMA and jiujitsu fans, it was known among the wrestling community as the Guillotine. With the name Guillotine already existing for a front headlock chock within jiu jitsu, Jean Jacques Machado started calling it the Twister when observing Eddie Bravo doing the move. Since then, Bravo has developed several different setups for the Twister, and has developed Twister Side Control as a means of hitting the Twister from a top position.
Figure 27 - TSC1 - Kalei is holding Pascal in side control holding the head and arm.
Figure 28 - TSC2 - Kalei takes his left arm from underneath the head of Pascal, and puts his elbow inside the armpit.
Figure 29 - TSC3 - Kalei switches his hips to face the feet of Pascal, and puts the hips on the shoulder and face of Pascal to make him carry his weight. It is important to note that the hips of Kalei are not on the ground, but completely on the shoulder and face.
Figure 30 - TSC4 - With the Twister Side Control established, Kalei now wants to force the knees of Pascal towards him onto the mat, allowing the setup for the Twister.
Figure 31 - TSC5 - Alternate view of forcing the legs down from Twister Side Control. Opponents will sometimes turn in towards you when in Twister Side Control, making it easier to control the legs.
Figure 32 - TSC6 - Kalei now takes his rear leg (right) and hooks the top leg (left) of Pascal, pulling it towards him.
Figure 33 - TSC7 - Once hooked, Kalei then takes his bottom leg (left) and slides it underneath the hooked leg of Pascal, then establishes a Lockdown on the leg.
Figure 34 - TSC8 - With the lockdown in place, Kalei reaches for the free leg of Pascal, holding it with both hands.
Figure 35 - TSC9 - While keeping a hold of the lockdown of one leg of Pascal, and holding the other with his hands, Kalei starts to roll over his left shoulder.
Figure 36 - TSC10 - Kalei completes the roll, landing in a position known as the Truck. While there are several submission options from this position, we are going to skip this position entirely and just focus on the Twister, which Kalei does by pulling the right leg of Pascal and passing it over the right side of his body.
Figure 37 - TSC11 - Alternate view of the Truck and passing the leg.
Figure 38 - TSC12 - Having passed the leg, Kalei now grips the arm of Pascal nearest to him, grabs it with a baseball bat grip, and passes it behind his head and shoulder.
Figure 39 - TSC 13 - With the arm cleared, Kalei reaches his left arm underneath the head of Pascal, then reaches his right over the face, connecting the two with an S-grip
Figure 40 - TSC 14 - With the arm isolated underneath the back and shoulder of Kalei, and the S-grip connected around the head, Kalei pulls the head of Pascal towards him, applying pressure on the neck, spine, and in some cases, the knee, until Pascal taps.
These three basic positions are something that is distinctive to 10th Planet jiu jitsu, and can be very effective when used properly. Though we only covered a few select moves here, many more are available through the books Mastering the Rubber Guard, Mastering the Twister, and available through videos on www.10thplanetjj.com