This years recent Mundials really represented a passing of the figurative guard on many fronts.
just taking a look at cover of the most recent Gracie magazine, tell you the tide is shifting. Yes brazil still has some really sick BJJ and will always be the Home of the art, but finally on all divisions home-grown international talent is starting to stand out.
There have always been a few exceptions going as far back to the 90’s with north america BJJ pioneers like the Serra & Camarillo brothers, Yuki Nakai, Marc Laimon , Steve Dasilva and BJ Penn holding their own and dominating in thier respective divisions while hailing from America, but now it is different.
Many of the previous generations champions moving out of Brazil to open academies the real secretive high level “Brazilian technique” is out there and its not a secretive any-more.
The faces at the top are changing but some things remain very much familiar.
XANDE RIBEIRO | IT WASNT A COMEBACK SINCE HE NEVER ACTUALLY LEFT.
Most of the big dogs from the 2005-2010 era of bjj have moved on to either MMA or settling down to develop the next generation of Brazilian Jiujitsu talent, “Xande did both – fighting in Japan & teaching at the university of jiu-jitsu along side his brother and master in the art Saulo Ribeiro”
When I heard Xande was “coming back” to compete in this years (2015)Mundials i have to admit I was torn. Watching him put his game on the mat is always a pleasure as he is well balanced competitor who can catch opponents anywhere
“Although it is impossible you’d be a fan of BJJ and not know of his work still if you are curious take a look”
The issue was would his time tested BJJ game work vs the leaders of the new school in the game. we all know the type, the guys who want to pull guard pull to Berimbolo to “Quarupple reverse” Delariva to tie you up with a worm guard grip and take the win by half an advantage after the entire time runs out.
I am clearly joking,” at the world class level everyone has a pretty well developed game or would be thoroughly exposed way earlier in the qualification rounds leading up to the ibjjf mundials” but still I had this creeping fear coming off an injury and not really being at the vanguard of the “tangled up” BJJ that is taking over the sport side of things that Xande’s all to familiar formula for domination
take down—> pass—> mount—> finish
pull guard —->to sweep or finish
May get stalled out given the rules and new tactics being put to work at the highest levels.
MOST OF YOU MISSED THE MAGIC
Now most of you didn’t even really see what occurred. And I don’t blame you, as a relatively new practitioner of the art “lets say anyone less than 10 year experience” when you watch a match its through a certain lens. The game has changed and given the evolution of things most of you are too busy counting advantages and points and more recently submission attempts to really notice the BJJ master class put on by one of the sports all time greats at this years world championships.
Xande Riberio | 2015 the Brawler
Aside from being a student in the system I have been watching both Ribeiro brothers since the day i started the art and skills aside one things both guys are always on point with is Tactics and strategy.
Generally the overall plan is to attack where the opponent is weakest and take the sub when it appears usually from the mount or back mount.
This year the man switched gears , fighting like we have never seen before.
With his legacy already cemented in the history books of the art and nothing to loose Xande did something very few people expected and registered for the world championships in the adult division though he could do masters if he wanted, and put his game on the mat move for move with the young bucks beating them all. Going move for move in a really open game and though almost down many times, in classic Xande fashion digging deep and using clean technique to close to door of opportunity firmly shut on the opposition.
This approach and style of match had him in some really tight situations,like right down to the wire back defence and sweep exchanges but as shown time and time again.
The Amazingly solid base of fundamentals in Jiu-Jitsu Xande brings to every competition will never go out of style so whether everyone is jumping guard of working take-downs the man is ready for action.
check out the amazing Guard work & Back Defense displayed in the finals match vs Lucas Leites to pull out the 7th Mundial championship in his competitive career
Sadly today even in something as reall as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu there is a growing faction of “unbeatable magically pure technique” types too good compete in any format while talking down everyone else’s game.
So its a great event when Xande steps up and defends the claim
“Ribeiro Jiu-jitsu is a complete expression of classical and modern Jiu-Jitsu”
By winning his 7th world title going blow for blow with some of today’s best, and calmly walking off the mat like that title was never in doubt.