Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 4 - When to Use the Thumb In Collar Grip

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 4 - When to Use the Thumb In Collar Grip

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When using the cross knee or knee cut pass, the most important thing for Rafael is that he can use his elbow to put pressure on his opponent’s neck and face. With the thumb in collar grip, he has a hard time utilizing his elbow pressure, so he prefers to go four fingers in. However, in almost every other situation, Rafael will use the thumb in grip. This does not necessarily mean either is right or wrong, but this is what works for him.


Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 3 - Knee Cut Pass with Cross Collar Grip

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 3 - Knee Cut Pass with Cross Collar Grip

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With his knee in the middle, Rafael pushes his opponent's outside leg down and away, keeps a same side collar grip with his other hand and turns his knee to the inside with his weight on his opponent's core. Next he switches to a cross collar grip and pins his opponent's arm to the mat. He opens his elbow to put heavy pressure on the face and he cuts his knee through, keeping it facing away from his opponent with his hip heavy on his opponent's hips. He pulls the sleeve high as he completes his pass, and from here he can keep the pressure or easily transition to knee on belly.

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 2 - Advanced Warm Ups

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 2 - Advanced Warm Ups

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Continuing his evolution of movement, Rafael shows a few more warm up drills he's been using since starting his MMA career. These are a little more advanced, but should be accessible for all levels. The drills are great to perform on their own, but can also be combined and interlaced with many other drills to keep a good fluid series of movement going.

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 1 - Introduction and Warm Up

Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Evolution of Jiu Jitsu 1 - Introduction and Warm Up

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In this series, Rafael Lovato Jr., the most decorated American Jiu Jitsu competitor to date, teaches some of the techniques he's been refining over the last several years. As of late, his focus has been on his MMA career, forcing him to adapt his Jiu Jitsu game to a style he can use in the cage as well. One of the main things he's been working on is his mobility, so he kicks off his seminar with a few warm up exercises to improve agility and flexibility.

Inside the University 512 - Sparring Session

Inside the University 512 - Sparring Session

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The students at the University of Jiu-Jitsu are sparring in preparation for the World Championship.

Inside the University 511 - Sparring Session

Inside the University 511 - Sparring Session

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In this sparring session before the World Championship, one partner gets to pick his starting position and then they begin a normal round.

Inside the University 510 - Takedown Sparring

Inside the University 510 - Takedown Sparring

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Getting ready for the World Championship, the students do some takedown sparring where the winner stays on the mat and keeps fighting.

Inside the University 509 - 50-50 Guard Specific Training

Inside the University 509 - 50-50 Guard Specific Training

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Here is some specific training in the 50-50 guard, which is often used as a stalling position in competition, so in this scenario, everyone will assume they are down one advantage and must get on top to finish a sweep and get their two points.

Inside the University 508 - Winning the 50-50 Guard Battle

Inside the University 508 - Winning the 50-50 Guard Battle

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When looking to get out of the 50-50 guard, Saulo first pinches his knees and pushes his opponent's knee to the ground. After his opponent's feet are uncrossed, Saulo now pushes himself back and away from his opponent, giving him the space he needs to stand up into base. From here he looks to establish himself in a strong top position.

Inside the University 507 - Grip Fighting

Inside the University 507 - Grip Fighting

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This week is all about training for the World Championship, so everyone is warming up with some grip fighting, and setting up their takedowns after breaking the grips.

World Championship Training Highlight

World Championship Training Highlight

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The World Championship is next week and everyone at the University of Jiu-Jitsu has been training hard to prepare for battle. Here is a little highlight of some of the training. Good luck to all competitors!

Inside the University 506 - Flipping the "S"

Inside the University 506 - Flipping the "S"

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Touching on some details of the collar drag, Saulo first notes the importance of not stretching your leg too much when your foot is on the hip, which can allow your opponent to easily pass your guard. Another key point is to not pull your opponent on top of you when dragging the collar. To avoid this, he puts his weight on his posted hand and foot on the hip, keeping his own hip off the mat. Now when he drags the collar, he can easily shift his body to the outside. This is when he flip the "S" by rotating his legs and hips to face the other side, placing him in a position next to his opponent where he can easily climb to the back or finish on top.