Rubber Guard Popularity

It's been a while since I've been in North America, and I was wondering how popular the Rubber Guard (tm) is getting these days.

In tournaments or in your club, do you see a lot of guys doing the "by-the-book" Eddie Bravo style rubber guard? Or guys incorporating just elements of it?

I guess basically I'm wondering this style of guard has changed the landscape at all in the no-gi grappling world in North America. Or is the degree of flexibility required so uncommon that relatively few people can actually make it work?

in my opinion there is a lot of monkey see monkey do when it comes to the rubber guard.  a lot of guys do a 1/2 assed 'mission control' position and hold it until the guy can regain his posture. 

seems like people get mission control and just expect triangles and omoplatas to just happen out of thin air.

I'm in Australia (never trained with Eddie) and I make heavy use of Mission Control and the omo plata / armbar setup when the opportunity presents itself.

you're worried about people copying eddie's copied stuff?

I see guys working it at tournaments at varying levels of knowledge. Some work it half-ass, hoping for something. Others are pretty decent with it.

The lockdown 1/2 guard game has become my bread & butter.

kungfugrip - you're worried about people copying eddie's copied stuff?

No not at all. Why would I worry about that?

I asked the question because both the teaching and the marketing of the rubber guard strike me as a substantial departure from the existing instructional material on the market. The book and the DVD present a complete sub-section of his game in a way that is relatively easy to assimilate. Further, it is a visually distinctive game - it is very easy to see if someone is playing it at a tournament.

I am simply very curious how big an impact his combination of teaching and marketing has had on the no-gi grappling scene in North America.

 It would be an interesting metric to know what percentage of all guardwork in the no-gi divisions at local and major tournaments is rubber guard, and then to see how that percentage has changed over the last few years.

I'm guessing (without any hard data to back it up) that it's currently somewhere in the 5% to 10% range.  Perhaps that's also the same percentage as people who can put one or both feet behind their own head and not have their knees explode.

Does anyone else care to share their own estimate of percent of guardwork at tournaments that is rubber guard (as opposed to high guard, closed guard, open guard, etc.).

 I have had the same experience as gusto

I use lock down to old school or electric chair..... but havent gotten too into rubber guard that much. 

Just seems hard for me to set it up and I am very flexible

it's not as popular as people would think because it's a fatiguing, pyrrhic style of guard that involves a LOT of holding on and small grip battles and, unless you've devoted a huge amount of time to the muscular endurance and flexibility required for much of it, it simply isn't fun to play or particularly effective against someone who knows what they're doing and where to put their hands.

While the rubber guard has undoubtably increased in popularity, I find the sitting guard style, which leads to armdrags/x-guard used by Marcelo, to be the style that has changed guard work the most in recent years.

(This is my obeservation from bjj classes, as I do not go to competitions that much.)

Considering the amazing amount of coverage & discussion devoted to it, I haven't seen it make much of an impact OVERALL.

It certainly hasn't "changed the landscape" of BJJ from what I have seen.

 only smaller guys use it, too dangerous for the bigger guys


do you really think eddy invented all that shit?

 Nah, he's just associated with its popularity.

I definitely saw the lockdown before I knew of Eddie and most of the 'rubber guard' stuff to actually.  He put some names to it and put down his strategy and it looks good but I just can't seem to work it.  I have more success with the 'Shawn Williams' guard.

I have followed his game from the lockdown and I find it helps in certain spots but it is not what I go to right away, I like it when I mess up and let the guy get too much top control.

i dont know i learned that shit the same time as bravo from the same people (who learned it from gordo)

it's always been popular with the folks at the machado schools

Yeah I agree.  I learned the lockdown at Renzo's long before I knew of Eddie.

I think you can find the lockdown drawn on the walls of caves.  I don't think it was 'invented' recently.

Maybe it hasn't caught on partly due to the fact that it's easier to deal with big guys with SPEED and the rubber guard game seems to be a slow battle of inches. Maybe that's why so many guys favor the butterfly guard and the x guard. Then again, I haven't trained at Eddie Bravo's gym so I can't say this for sure.

jonpall - that is a really interesting observation. I hadn't thought about the speed aspect, but that might be part of the game's appeal to me (I generally tend towards a more methodical game).

Rubber Guard is still cool, but in the big picture what's way cooler is that Eddie put a detailed, complete no gi game out there for us to study. For those of us with limited access to no gi training at our academies, his materials are priceless.

In some ways I think Brazilians lag Americans in no gi. Admittedly Marcelo is astounding and there are other great no gi Brazilian competitors, but I am amazed by how the "balance of power" shifts at gi and no gi tournaments. Brazilians still dominate gi tournaments, but there are some Americans that are incredibly tough competitors at the no gi events, and it's not unusual to see a lower ranked American beat a higher ranked Brazilian.

So maybe no gi is the younger child in the BJJ family, and people like Eddie are helping to make it better, faster.

I'm in Australia.

There's a black belt at my academy who weighs about 60 kg and is fiendishly good with rubber guard, though he has a great guard and triangle generally. The rubber guard isn't a slow battle of inches with him.

There's another blue belt who is heavier, stronger and not as flexible but whose rubber guard is developing nicely.

It definitely works well for some people.