Eddie Bravo – “On The Evolution Of BJJ” – July 29, 2010

“Eddie Bravo On The Evolution Of BJJ”, By Ernest Mello for Inside BJJ


Inside BJJ

How old were you when you started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Eddie Bravo

24

Inside BJJ

Comparing your age when you started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and guys who started at your age, to guys born in Brazil who started at a young age like 5, do you think there is an advantage to starting that early in life? Or, do you think the guy who started at, say age 25, has the same opportunities as the guy who started training at, say age, 5?

Eddie Bravo

Yea, there’s a tremendous advantage by starting as a kid in any sport. You can’t start playing basketball at 24 and get to the NBA; not going to happen. It’s always an advantage to anything, basketball, chess, tennis – anything.

Inside BJJ

Do you think there is even a shot for the guy who started mid 20’s versus the guy we just talked about in competition.

Eddie Bravo

Ultimately, the chances are slim, ultimately. Right now, so many people have started playing Jiu-Jitsu, and Jiu-Jitsu is so huge there’s a lot of ways to get around all that stuff. You know, the reason I was able to beat Royler, and I started so late, was that the Jiu-Jitsu game was so wide open there was a lot of room for tricks and sneaky attacks. You can get around all that traditional stuff using my tricks, but, you know, as time goes on and everybody knows the tricks and it’s the kids, it’s the kids, the people who started as kids, they’re always going to have the advantage always.

Inside BJJ

Well, I believe you have definitely started something revolutionary with Jiu-Jitsu. Where do you think BJJ is going long term? How is it evolving with things like Rubber Guard, your system and the 50/50 Guard which are pretty controversial? Do you think, as you said, it gives the guy who started later an advantage? Where do you think it is evolving?

Eddie Bravo

Well, it’s definitely evolving, but a lot of people are against the evolution. There always will be people for the evolution. So, no matter what, it moves on, and it moves forward. It would move a lot quicker, a lot faster, if there wasn’t so much resistance to the evolution. So, unfortunately, there is [resistance], and all it does is slow it down. It doesn’t stop it.

Inside BJJ

Do you see organizations like the IBJJF putting a halt to the evolution in banning a lot of techniques, such as the Twister and techniques like that, in the same way Judo really controls the amount of ne waza or Jiu-Jitsu involved in their organizations, just to keep it the way they like it?

Eddie Bravo

Yes, you know what? You see. It’s either that or its complete ignorance.  You know, I mean, banning the Lock Down that’s just incredible! That’s the tree trunk of my game. I’ve never twisted anybody’s knee with it you know. Some people tap early to it, if they’ve never felt it. After you feel it, you realize it’s just a control position. I wish the Lock Down was a dangerous knee twisting submission. I wish it was! That would be great! That would be amazing because I’m pretty good at it! All I would need is a Lock Down and it’s over. It’s incredible they’re banning it. It’s not even a submission hold and they’re banning it! It’s not even a submission hold! It’s pretty incredible! That just shows they’re trying to stop evolution and strategically trying to stomp out my style. You know cause a lot of people are doing Lock Down; even Roger Gracie is using Lock Down, Roger Gracie! The top guy in Jiu-Jitsu in the world! He’s playing Lock Down! What are you going to tell him, “You can’t play lock down”? You going to ban that? That’s incredible!

Inside BJJ

Right. So, if he starts busting out Twisters on people are they going to say no, no? Is there going to be a controversy if he’s DQ’d on something like that?

Eddie Bravo

Oh, no, no. I don’t know if Roger will ever be playing be playing Twister. I don’t know if he’d ever do it. It’d be interesting. It’s ridiculous I mean the Twister is a high school wrestling move. It just shows, uh, fear of the new. Scared to death of it? Or just complete ignorance? I’d say it’s one of the two.

Inside BJJ

I say complete ignorance. It’s a high school wrestling move. Yhey baby the high school kids and protect them to death. You can’t even slam a guy in a high school wrestling sport, but the Twister’s legal and is completely safe and proven. But, they [IBJJF] ban it.

Editorial Note: Heel hooks are not legal in IBJJF tournaments.

Eddie Bravo

And yet heel hooks are legal. See, that is a clear example. Everybody is aware of this. They are aware that heel hooks are the most dangerous. Twisters are not dangerous. Yet, they ban Twisters and keep heel hooks.

Inside BJJ

It freaks them out.

Eddie Bravo

That’s a clear example of stupidity, but nobody does anything about it. We just sit there and watch. No one does anything. And really, it’s like totally directed at me and my people. Me, directly at first, because I was the only one who was fucking doing it in Jiu-Jitsu. There was no one else even doing it! There was thousands of wrestlers who know how to do it. They just didn’t know how to get it on anybody from side control. So that rule was, like, directed completely at me, and now it’s directed to my association. And to a lot of my people my association is like the Dark Side. I’m like Darth Vader.

Inside BJJ

You’re like a Sith Lord!

Eddie Bravo

Yea, it’s incredible! How did that happen, man? I let my students teach my class. If my students have better techniques, and are better at a certain technique, and I want to introduce, it I let them teach. I’m always bringing in new shit. People always got the latest shit from me. My students are my scientists. How am I Darth Vader?! How did I become the bad guy?! I’m letting my students do anything, you know. You don’t have to have a uniform to come into my class; you can come in with whatever. We like it. You know everyone comes in with like Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, and everyone coming in with different styles, we like that! You do that in another school and you get, you know, you get persecuted like “Why are you wearing that shirt?!” But like, we welcome that, how am I the bad guy?

Inside BJJ

Right! You are a rarity in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scene. You outwardly. Just you and Dave Camarillo, whose quote is, “Train with everybody”. You guys produce some of the top guys out there.

Eddie Bravo

I mean really at this point it’s really all about, to have a successful business, you have to be the most dominant. The most important thing is you have to be the most dominant person in your school. If your students are wrecking you, that’s not good business! If an instructor goes in and the students are tapping him all the time, it’s not going to last for long. Jiu-Jitsu is the only martial art where you have to spar with your students 100%, you know? So, it’s different. There’s a conflict of interest.

You want to teach them everything you know, but then they want to tap you, you know? And if you get tapped a lot, everyone gets tapped, but if you just get wrecked, it’s the end of your Jiu-Jitsu. You start getting wrecked – it’s the end. You got to be on top of your shit! You got to keep your students like, you want to teach them, but then they want to dominate, you know. So right now, that’s the most important thing to keep your school together. So if that’s the most important thing, and you train you whole life with the gi, you better damn well keep that fucking gi on so I can dominate you. We’re going no gi, not so much domination! Especially if this guy, two guys come in from Oklahoma, they wrestled their whole lives. Oh, not so much domination! But put the gi on then domination! You got to learn in the gi – the first two years in the gi before you learn no gi. You know, just so I can dominate you. Because I’ve been yanking on collars and sleeves my whole life, I’ll fuck a dude up! You know what I mean? That’s the mentality.

Right now, that’s the most important thing. Anything that threatens that like outside moves; outside moves would mean you are not the most; there is some shit you don’t know. It means your black belt is incomplete. If there’s some other shit out there, so that’s how they feel. So there’s a whole different  part of Jiu-Jitsu out there that exists that you are not that good at, you haven’t  put the numbers in of course you want that to go away , that threatens your business. You know, so right now again, the most important thing is to dominate your own students. When it comes to the point where, you know it’s all about when you’re trying to build an association, you have 20, 25 schools, 30 schools, 40, 100 schools. The most important thing is going to be that your students know everything there is to know about Jiu-Jitsu. So you want to bring in all you know. Half the time when I’m bringing in technique, it’s just to prepare my students for what’s out there. When they compete, you know what I mean. Cause if you don’t want to learn for yourself, you better learn it for them. And that’s the problem! How are they going to learn it, if you don’t know it? Are you willing to say, “I don’t know this shit, but this student does, and he studied Marcello Garcias’ DVD, and we’re going to go over it”? Are they willing to do that? No, most people aren’t willing to do that. To say my student knows it better than me, bam! I’m going to let him teach. That’s hard! But you have to do that! Unless you know it all, you have to do that. Every instructor has to do that – they have to. They have to. And if they don’t, there’s no way one dude knows everything. You know how many different guards there are? There’s so much to learn there’s no way you even know half of the game.

Inside BJJ

Not in your lifetime.

Eddie Bravo

No, it’s like there’s always a new branch. Now you have to learn 50/50. Now you have to learn Deep Half. Now you have to go back learn fucking Spiral guard. Now we got to do Inverted. Now we got to do Lock Down. That’s just guard game on your back. There’s like 9-13 different ways to play guard off your back, and they’re all distinct. Like you look at a guy who’s playing X Guard, you can tell if he’s playing X Guard or Deep Half you know what I mean? It’s a different style. You got to spend time with each thing. You don’t have time. It’s like, “Okay, which couple guards am I going to pick for my first 5 years and hopefully I’ll add another guard”. It’s just too much! So, if you’re not using your students to bring in outside techniques, who’s doing it then? Who’s doing it? Someone’s got to do it. Are you doing it as an instructor? And if you were doing it as an instructor, because I try to do as much as I can, I only have so much time, I don’t have enough time to go searching everyone’s DVDs for the best stuff. So, I have all my instructors from all my schools, and now all their students, if they find some shit, we’re all sending links to each other, ”Check out this technique. Check out this one, is this legit?” If it’s legit, we celebrate. We want it to work! I want Leo Viera to come up with some new no gi shit. I’ll take that, boom! Another one stockpiled! You know you have to do that, cause if you don’t you’re going to drown.

Inside BJJ

One more question if you don’t mind, really quick? A Quatoowef question.

Eddie Bravo

Yea.

Inside BJJ

What’s up with Quatoof? When’s he going to be on Rogans’ podcast?

Eddie Bravo

Quatoof got shot.

Inside BJJ

Quatoof got shot?!!

Eddie Bravo

Got shot?

Eddie Bravo

Yea

Inside BJJ

So, no TV show?

Eddie Bravo

That’s out, he got shot.

Inside BJJ

So, Quatoof is dead?

Eddie Bravo

Yea, yea…Oh, the cartoon?

Inside BJJ

No, I’m talking about Quatoof, Quatoof!

Eddie Bravo

Oh, no. he’s dead. Quatoof died.

Inside BJJ

You heard it here first, InsideBJJ.com, Quatoof is dead!

Eddie Bravo

Got shot in Compton!

Inside BJJ

Thank you Eddie Bravo, you’ve been great!

Eddie Bravo

Thank you.

11 Responses to “Eddie Bravo – “On The Evolution Of BJJ” – July 29, 2010”

  1. Andre says:

    The lockdown is banned?! I have an IBJJF referee course and I have never heard about this. The lockdown is usually used as a stall move, that is the only reason someone could get warned about it, but a ban I haven’t heard.

    Nothing against Eddie Bravo, but it does seem like the guy is always trying to fight something that isn’t there. The Twister is a spine move, all spine submissions have been banned for years in sport BJJ, it is not because of him, it’s just a rule of the sport. It was there before him and it will probably be there after him.

    Thanks for the interview though.

  2. Andre says:

    The lockdown is banned?! I have a referee course and I have never heard about this. The lockdown is usually used as a stall move, that is the only reason someone could get warned about it, but a ban I haven’t heard.

    Nothing against Eddie Bravo, but it does seem like the guy is always trying to fight something that isn’t there. The Twister is a spine move, all spine submissions have been banned for years in sport BJJ, it is not because of him, it’s just a rule of the sport. It was there before him and it will probably be there after him.

    Thanks for the interview though.

  3. eric vade says:

    There are a lot of amazing, super talented guys out there…Marcelo, Roger, etc…but there is no system even close to 10th Planet…and just to clarify you may want to do some more fact checking when it comes to tall tales of blue belts and wrestlers handling any 10th Planet black belt on the mat…that is straight up nonsense!

  4. james says:

    Good interview. Deffinately a difference of opinion when it comes to some 10th planet guys, but hey to each his own and im sure no matter where people train, there are going to be good grapplers and average grapplers.

  5. biff says:

    Should have read “Heun and Epstein,” spell check changes stuff.

    Rereading my post, I should clarify my opinion is Eddie is a good grappler (but not great, never medaled in ADCC, and we keep reading accounts of blue belts and wrestlers owning him at his own school when they visit) and a terrific teacher (based on feed back by his students, the truest measure of an instructors ability), again though not “great,” as his guys not only routinely lose at low level tournaments none of them are winning medals in ADCC.

    My own opinion, Eddie is a unique instructor, and as better than average skills, but is just not elite (nor am I).

  6. biff says:

    Yeah, and when Leo beat him 40-0 (or whatever it was), he bragged about lasting without being tapped. Then we follow Leo’s career and he rarely subs in ADCC.

    Eddie is good, but he never even medaled in ADCC, wish he wouldn’t have sat on that one win, so we’d know if he really is as good as he says. I’ve seen his best guys (Being, Epstein, etc.) get absolutely schooled and submitted in regular Grapplers Quest divisions by guys of equal and even lower “belt” level.

  7. That Leo guy says:

    Hey eddie, how about Leo dominating you. talk about that butt pirate. talk about rubber 10th pjj guys never winning any type of championship in mma or no gi bjj

  8. Great Interview.. I agree it takes so much time to just become proficient at something as limited as a few guard positions/strategies and to understand all the fine details. The game is constantly evolving..you can’t expect your average(or even exceptional) instructor to have all the answers. By having a school that is open, its a great way to evolve with the sport..

    RIP Quatoof 🙁

  9. Seph Smith says:

    What are you guys talking about, “And yet heel hooks are legal. See, that is a clear example. Everybody is aware of this. They are aware that heel hooks are the most dangerous. Twisters are not dangerous. Yet, they ban Twisters and keep heel hooks.”. No they’re not. Name an IBJJF Tournament that allows them.

    • insidebjj says:

      Seph,

      Agreed. Heel hooks are not legal. I’m firing the writer. It was probably an oversight at the moment. I’ll get an editorial comment in place.

      Inside BJJ

    • look I’m not sure what he means but I think he meant that some no-gi tournaments ban the lockdown but allow heel hooks, which I’ve seen firsthand is true

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