Turtle and Octopus Guard?

I've seen the ads for these videos and am curious to what they are.

Can anyone give a brief description?

I have only seen clips of his video series, I don't own the set. That being said, Eduardo Telles has apparently designed an entire system of reversals and submissions from the turtle position. If you watch any of his matches in the past few years, you'll see that he generally allows his opponent to put him into a turtle position early on in the match. From an apparently inferior and passive position, he then works one of his unorthodox reversals, gets points for it, passes the guard, gets points for that, then works for a submission.

Watching his matches can be extremely frustrating from a "traditional" sport BJJ point of view, as he allows his opponents to gain advantage after advantage as he goes to his knees, but rarely allows them to sink their hooks. Most of the people who go up against him say that it is an extremely awkward and frustrating style to compete against.

I would personally never alter my strategy to the point where I made the turtle position the foundation of my game, but I'm sure you could pick up a ton of great information of how to turn it into an offensive position when you do end up there.

They are good.

I have the set, and have watched the first four (I have only watched a little of the octopus guard disc).

The overall idea is that the turtle (bottom) can be approached as a guard position. It offers a number of sweeps, reversals, and submissions from underneath your partner.

DVD1 focuses on different ways you might find yourself transitioning to turtle, and how you should protect your neck and your back as you go. This is the only disc that I felt made a lot of use of the gi, but it was mainly for collar choke defenses. It occasionally used a pant-leg grip, but those are easily substituted. It also features a number of movement drills for those who are new to the turtle (or BJJ).

DVD2 focuses on 2 primary sweeps from the turtle position: one forwards, and one backwards. The backwards sweep is my primary go-to move when I turtle, so I was glad to see it broken down with some depth. A number of variations are shown, with consideration to your partner's weight distribution, movement, and attempts to counter. The same is done for the forward sweep.

DVD3 focuses on attacking someone who is in front of you when you turtle (front headlock, guillotine, etc) with an emphasis on a low single / ankle pick takedown. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this volume, especially after watching disc 2 and assuming that it would be my favorite.

DVD 4 shows about 35-40 submissions that you can hit from underneath the turtle. Many of them are variations of the sweeps in the prior discs. While there is less depth and organization in this volume, it is clear from the get-go that Telles wants you to appreciate how MANY options there are for submissions when turtled. I saw many "new things" on this DVD that I had not seen before.

I have only watched the beginning of the Octopus guard DVD so far. This is not because I didn't like it (In fact, it looked VERY interesting) but because I was on overload after watching the first 4 discs and had been focusing on my turtle game at the time. It looked equally interesting, though I just haven't made the time to view it.

Overall, here are my "turtle reference material rankings":

1) Eduardo Telles Turtle Guard - Highly recommended

2) Mike Jen's Ultimate Back Escapes, disc 1 (2 hours, GREAT depth and detail) - Highly recommended

3) Josh Russell's The Turtle - recommended. (less depth, but has a few unique techniques. organization is okay)

4) Matt Thornton's FJKD series 2, escapes volume (turtle is one section among many, but has a handful of escapes). recommended, but not really for turtle.

5) Bob Bass & Rick Williams - Series 1, tape on Turtle bottom. (not really recommended. basic, generic, and not really well explained or organized. lots of filler.)

I have not seen Chis Haueter's Street Jits volume on the turtle, but I hope to (just to complete my list) :)


ttt because I typed all that :)

(with a broken finger, no less)

Doesn't Saulo have a turtle DVD on his new set? I haven't seen it yet, and was wondering if it's any good?

Saulos is good as well.

But telles is the best one ive seen.

I don't think the set is meant to show the dominance of going to this type of game. Just to use it in pieces to improve this particular position.

I have incorporated it into my game and feel extremely comfortable in this position. You can Defend and Attack almost simultaneously.

I'm sorry but I don't enjoy watching his matches. It's instinctively very bad from a self defense perspective.
You turtle up intentionally and it doesn't allow him
to be that aggressive. But from that perspective that
he's developed the turtle just like the guard was
a defensive position you're forced to rather than
get mounted and have your face smashed in, I can
see the point of learning his "game." So hats off to him.

Thanks for the answers.

The turtle guard looks like it would be mostly for sport and no-gi grappling, correct?


You get a "yes, but" answer.

Yes, I think playing turtle as a guard is meant for grappling (as opposed to MMA/fighting).

BUT....in the end, the goal is to make everything a point of transition. I would not turtle (and stay there) in a fight any more than I would recover guard (and stay there) in a fight. Nor would I take the mount (and stay there). My objective would be to inflict sufficient injury as to safely create my exit from the entire situation. I would not "stay" in any ground position--not turtle, not guard, and not anything else.

Too many people confuse the journey with the destination. I work on my turtle game so that I will spend as LITTLE time there as possible in a real match (grapping or otherwise). I want to be able to instantly reverse or improve position there, so I focus on using the turtle (as a guard or whatever else you want to call it) so that I have more experience escaping it.

So when I say "yes, this perspective of turtle as a good position is for grappling", understand that I feel that way about other grappling positions too.


So WTF is the Octopus Guard?

The octopus guard just looked interesting because the last time I trained, I probably had the world's worst guard.