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Bloody Elbow Review: No Kurtka - A Sambo Based Approach to Submission Grappling

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T.P. Grant reviews Reilly Bodycomb's new two volume DVD set "No Kurtka - A Sambo Based Approach to Submission Grappling" which covers no gi grappling, both standing and on the ground.

Reilly Bodycomb is a rising star in the world of grappling instruction. A Sambist trained at the famed New York Combat Sambo school, Bodycomb has won acclaim in both international and domestic Sambo tournaments and represented the United States at the 2008 Sambo World Championships. He also is an avid no gi competitor, competing at NAGA and ADCC events. Bodycomb coaches his unique brand of grappling at NOLA BJJ, both Sambo and No Gi.

His seminars and instructional material are becoming increasingly in demand as awareness of Sambo is increasing in the American grappling scene and many grapplers are looking to escape the restrictive rules of the dominant jiu jitsu organizations.

I have attended two of his seminars, in addition to having bought one of his books and his Top Rock download, which is fantastic. From that it should be pretty clear that I'm a fan of Reilly's views on grappling, so when both volumes of No Kurta became available to download off his website RDojo, I bought them immediately and have gotten a group at my school together to work on the techniques, some of which I'm familiar with.

What will you learn?

This video set is a guide to the style of grappling that Bodycomb teaches and uses in no gi grappling. It's an approach that defies the meta-game that many of the competitors who are used to gi jiu jitsu competitions bring with them to no gi competition. It is a expanded version of what he teaches in his Top Rock video and no gi seminars that streamlines the learning process a bit.

The production values on this are honestly excellent. Nothing over the top but the camera work is solid, you can see everything you need to see, Reilly's instruction is clear and easily audible, and there is an overlay of music that removes those long awkward periods of silence, mat creak, and grunting that is the norm for many DVDs.

Volume 1 - Takedowns and Dynamic Submissions focuses on grappling on the feet, and Reilly shows how to use his more upright stance against the lower wrestling stance common in no gi competitions. What is really excellent is that Reilly goes over a few key takedowns from a variety of grips, dealing with possible counters and pitfalls. For instance the first seven videos deals with employing an ankle pick from a variety of grips and how to branch off that technique. The first volume also deals with trips, body lock throws, in addition to sliding and flying submission attacks.

Here is a quick sample chapter from Volume 1 that covers transitioning to a body lock throw off a failed singled leg.

Reilly Bodycomb's 'No Kurtka Vol 1' DVD Sample - "Single Leg to Back Arch" (via Reilly Bodycomb)

Volume 2 - Counters and Matwork has one of the better videos I've seen. It lays out Reilly's belief that leg control is a position unto itself and shows how to maintain it. He then goes into detail about the leg locks that come out of that position, how to enter into the leg locks both standing and on the ground, and escapes from leg locks.

Here is a sample chapter from Volume 2 on escaping the dreaded heel hook.

Reilly Bodycomb - Heel Hook Escape (via Reilly Bodycomb)

Who is this best for?

If you are looking to compete in specifically the IBJJF rule set, this set isn't really for you. If you are looking to compete in ADCC, ADCC Pro, or NAGA rule sets or you just want to want to broaden your grappling horizons in general then these DVDs are for you.

In terms of experience, some of this can be introduced to fairly raw beginners. The takedowns and grip fighting are pretty foundational. The leg locks require a bit more advanced feel for grappling just because of the ability to move on the ground required, but even then a student with a few months experience should be able to start drilling them effectively.

Final Thoughts

This DVD set passes the YouTube check pretty firmly. Some of the techniques are out there, but the grip fighting, the integration, and the sequences on leg control and a few of the leg locks are not found anywhere for free. At this point it is well known that I personally am in favor of more open rule sets for grappling. The style taught by Bodycomb is a bright example of some the dynamic grappling more open rule sets would enable. No Kurtka, supplemented with Bodycomb's Top Rock download, is an excellent, meta-game defying addition to any technique library.

The DVDs are available on Budovidoes starting tomorrow, September 20, for $40, but you can also download them now directly from Bodycomb's website DRM-free for $20. For that price, it is a fantastic value for the amount and quality of information you are purchasing.

'No Kurtka' - A Reilly Bodycomb DVD on submission grappling (Trailer) (via Reilly Bodycomb)

For more MMA and Grappling analysis, history, technique, and discussion be sure to follow T.P. Grant on Twitter or Facebook.

For more Bloody Elbow coverage of all things grappling, be sure to bookmark the Bloody Elbow Grappling Hub and check out the Bloody Elbow Grappling link in the Library tab at the top of the page.