Inside the University 547 - Creating Opportunites

Inside the University 547 - Creating Opportunites

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Saulo explains that the cross collar choke is not easy to finish on an opponent equal to your level, but it is very effective to set up many other positions and create opportunities. When you go for the choke, your opponent must react, and depending on how he reacts, many possibilities will open up for you. The key is to keep attacking.


Inside the University 546 - Timing Your Grips

Inside the University 546 - Timing Your Grips

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Saulo points out the importance of properly timing when you make your second grip, and taking it with speed and force. As his opponent comes back the other way, Saulo turns, throwing his shoulder off the mat like a punch to grab the collar. If he goes without speed or force, it will easily be defended.

Inside the University 545 - Creating the Reaction to Set Up the Cross Collar Choke

Inside the University 545 - Creating the Reaction to Set Up the Cross Collar Choke

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Saulo's typical setup for the cross collar choke begins with his cross collar grip, followed by a 45 degree hip escape as he pushes the collar away. Now his opponent reacts by coming back to him, just as Saulo wanted, so he immediately sets his second grip underneath his first. From here he pulls his opponent in, switches his hips to face the other side and flexes his wrists to finish the choke.

Inside the University 544 - Staying on Your Side

Inside the University 544 - Staying on Your Side

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One of the main points of focus while in the closed guard is to not be flattened out. This is why Saulo is always looking to get on his side and stay there. His collar grip arm will help him by keeping his opponent at a distance, but it's his shoulder that is doing the work. Also, it's important that his top leg is pinching down and keeping pressure on his opponent.

Inside the University 543 - Getting to Side Closed Guard

Inside the University 543 - Getting to Side Closed Guard

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After watching students practice, Saulo points out the difference between escaping your hips and moving to the side. When punching the collar grip, he swivels his hips so he gets to his opponent's side, staying connected. He is not escaping his hips and creating space.

Inside the University 542 - Collar Choke from Closed Guard

Inside the University 542 - Collar Choke from Closed Guard

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From the closed guard, Saulo makes a cross collar grip and stretches his arm as he turns to the side on his hips. From here he grabs the gi on the cross shoulder and escapes his hips a little more to create his angle. Now he pulls his grips in with his elbows to his body to finish the choke.

Inside the University 536 - Back and Forth Hip Movement

Inside the University 536 - Back and Forth Hip Movement

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Saulo breaks down the fundamental movement of the hips while recovering guard. After his bridge, while still on his side, he is using a back and forth motion to gain momentum, whether he goes to recover guard or turn belly down. If he recovers, his inside leg now becomes a frame against his opponent's body, and a new point of leverage to use.

Inside the University 535 - Recovering Guard when Your Opponent Passes Your Legs

Inside the University 535 - Recovering Guard when Your Opponent Passes Your Legs

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Saulo's opponent is passing his guard, so as soon as he gets around the legs, Saulo's first move is to turn on his side at his 45 degree angle, with both elbows attached to his body. His opponent drops his weight to put pressure, so Saulo bridges to create space. If he now has room to move his hips, he brings his legs in to recover guard.

Inside the University 533 - Taking the Back from Half Guard

Inside the University 533 - Taking the Back from Half Guard

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From the half guard, Saulo bridges and gets the underhook, keeping his hand closer to the side of the back rather than reaching across, to protect from the whizzer. Now he switches his legs, using his outside leg as his hook. He opens his elbow and turns to his shoulder, opening space for him to get to his knees and sneak out the back door, ready to attack his opponent's back.

Inside the University 532 - Using the Bridge to Create Space

Inside the University 532 - Using the Bridge to Create Space

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When turning to block with your shoulder, it is important that you don't turn too far that you start facing the mat. Stop when your shoulder is in your opponent's chest. Also, any action taken from here must begin with a bridge. Whether you're going for the underhook or looking to recover, the bridge will create the space you need.

Inside the University 531 - Proper Framing from Half Guard

Inside the University 531 - Proper Framing from Half Guard

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Now Saulo focuses on the proper framing techniques to use while on bottom in half guard. Rather than trying to push his opponent away with his hands, he turns to his side, making a block with his shoulder and letting his hand on the ground. From here, he can bridge and bring his arm out to make an underhook. Another option is to frame both hands on the biceps, and hip escape to create the space needed to recover guard.

Inside the University 530 - Bridging Mechanics from Half Guard

Inside the University 530 - Bridging Mechanics from Half Guard

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Correcting a couple mistakes he saw his students making, Saulo shows not to put your hook leg too deep in the half guard. This mistake will keep you from being able to escape your hips as much as you need to create the space to recover guard. Also, it is important when you bridge that you don't throw your arm over the top of your opponent's head. Keep it on the nearside for better leverage and control.