10th Planet Jiu Jitsu 101: Rubber Guard & Beyond

If there is a name that shocks the BJJ world the most in the 1990s to the mid-2000s the name would be Eddie Bravo. Eddie famously won in the 2003 ADCC against the great Royler Gracie by using a string of BJJ techniques rarely seen before. Afterward Eddie went on to create his own BJJ academy named 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. Eddie is famously known to name BJJ techniques with an “unusual” name, but overall he is considered to be one of the biggest influence in the grappling world. Nowadays Eddie is busy creating grappling events such as the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) and Combat Jiu Jitsu (CJJ)

But perhaps his biggest influence was the re-popularization of a technique called rubber guard. Eddie’s BJJ game is based around that and he has developed more advanced techniques as time goes by, but his base was always the rubber guard. Naturally, his students at 10th Planet mostly uses the same base techniques and it proved to be effective in grappling tournaments, MMA fight, and even in a real-life combat situation. What is rubber guard? Why is it so effective for Eddie and is it still effective now? In this post I will outline the signature techniques of 10th planet jiu jitsu and simple instructions on how to each techniques correctly.

But before going forward there are important things you should know about Eddie’s academy:

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu: Being Different

Eddie opened his first 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu School in Los Angeles after being promoted to black belt by the great Jean-Jacques Machado. By then most jiu jitsu schools offer classes in Gi and No-Gi whereas Eddie opted to focus on No-gi exclusively. Meaning there are no-gi classes in any 10th planet academies you can find today. What is the reason? Eddie explained that he wants to focus on developing techniques for MMA and submission grappling. By removing the Gi, Eddie has received (and still) backlash from the BJJ community. Regardless his academies are now spread around the world with over 100 academies worldwide, proving that his system does belong in the grappling world.

Despite his decision to remove the Gi, Eddie still uses traditional BJJ ranking system by rewarding students with colored belts. However, since the belt won’t be used in training Eddie urges his student to use colored rash guards as a replacement of the gi and belt. This decision is also highly criticized as a marketing ploy, however IBJJF creates submission grappling tournaments that require the participants to wear colored rash guards that represent their current rank in BJJ. So 10th planet can not be fully blamed for the use of colored rash guards.

Technique wise Eddie developed a game that focuses on MMA and no-gi. Meaning there are no lapel and collar techniques as we usually can find in traditional BJJ classes. Does it mean Eddie created new techniques? Even Eddie himself will tell you that he does not invent the techniques, he mainly re-popularized the techniques. Take his most famous submission technique called the twister, the technique is already known as the scorpion in traditional BJJ. But since Eddie is the one that has been able to execute the technique in competition quite often, many people will know the twister more than the scorpion. It is only a matter of popularity. Ready to learn more about Eddie’s techniques? Here are the signature 10th planet BJJ techniques.

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Guard System

Rubber Guard / Mission Control

Perhaps the most popular techniques that are always associated with 10th planet. Rubber guard is a type of bottom guard that prevents the opponent on top to deliver powerful strikes. Rubber guard requires the person on bottom to put his leg above the person on top after breaking the posture. By securing the leg using the hand on the opposite side of the leg, the person on bottom can control the posture of the person on top and therefore nullifying any type of dangerous offense in terms of strikes and guard pass. However the technique does require flexibility and the ability to squeeze your legs for long periods of time.

In MMA rubber guard is has been used often by the likes of BJ Penn and Ben Saunders. Currently, the best representative of applying Eddie’s BJJ system is Tony Ferguson who is a former UFC champion. Tony is notorious for his offensive bottom guard, and he is a black belt under Eddie Bravo. Proving Eddie’s system does work in MMA.

Zombie

Zombie is a continuation of rubber guard where the person on bottom pries the hand of the person on top to make one of his/her hands touch the mat, opening the possibilities of submission techniques for the person on bottom. This is called the zombie because the act of prying the hands are similar to when someone rose above the grave. Yes, Eddie is a weird person.

New York

New York is the next technique after Zombie. Basically, after prying the hands you will put the hand that you used to pry your opponents hand to the leg that you wraps your opponent’s neck. That means if you are in rubber guard and you are using the right leg and left arm to secure the opponent then you should use your right arm to pry the hands and then put it on your right knee afterward. Squeezing everything is paramount to the effectiveness of the guard. If you are not tight the person on top will be able to escape easily.

Chill Dog

The next technique is a weird one because to do this you will have to switch the placement of your left leg and hand simultaneously to achieve the position. This is the most common prerequisites to get into a submission move called the omoplata.

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Submissions

Twister

Often called the scorpion in traditional BJJ. Eddie uses this move very often during his competition days. Today MMA fighters such as Shinya Aoki and Angela Lee has been able to hit the same move in MMA bouts. This is a very hard technique to explain but in general you will need to get to your opponents back and then lock his/her bottom leg in a half-guard type of entanglements and after that you will need to clear the nearest arm of your opponent and then you can neck crank the opponent using a gable grip or figure four. This is a brutal submission because you are creating pressure on the neck AND the spine. I will tap very early if I got caught in this.

Conclusion

Even if you do not like Eddie’s behaviors outside of BJJ. There is no denying that he plays a big part in the advancement of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With his 10th planet system and grappling promotions, he has developed BJJ from 2 different angles and not only made BJJ more fun to watch but also giving BJJ athletes more opportunities to compete and be a full-time athlete. Eddie will forever be an influence in the BJJ communities.