[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-qsrivMmew&w=560&h=315]
Welcome to another episode of “It’s Science”. We  continue our 2013 season with a look at Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles (2010-2013). Now on to the fun stuff…
 
Abstract: All matches observed of Cobrinha used in this small sample occurred at gi IBJJF events, inside his weight division, and between 2010-2013. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data). Matches were selected at random based on available matches  – selected using a random generator from 20 total available IBJJF matches matches between 2010-2013. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.
Breakdown: Some things simply get better with age. Cobrinha may be a perfect example of this mantra. While Rubens Charles once reigned as king of the featherweight class, it’s in the last few years where he may be at his most dominant. We decided to only study the past 3 years of competition to keep techniques and styles relevant, in doing-so we leave out a lot of the bulk of Cobrinha’s career. Fortunately, he has remained competitive and strong. In fact, one could argue that today, in 2013, he is at his very best.
Most impressively, Cobrinha submitted his opponent in 9 out of the 14 matches we observed. That’s a 75% submission rate in all of his tournament wins. You would be hard pressed to find many other active competitors doing the same, much less one that is over the age of 30. His average match length was very short because of this – roughly 6:15. When matches are short, it allows you to be aggressive, fast, and dynamic. Cobrinha does exactly that. He pulled guard in almost all of his matches, and used a slick combination of De La riva Guard and Sit-up guard to score first by sweeping his opponent. His opponents often made the mistake of fighting the sweep and giving their back. This was the beginning of their untimely end. In our observation, Conbrinha did not lose the back once. Once he got to your back, you were finished!
It’s not often you find a competitor who not only stands the test of time, but improves as they get older. Cobrinha is likely to join the ranks of top competitors like Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Royler Gracie, Pe De Pano, and Megaton – to name a few – that have been a force at their weight well into their master and senior years.  This was truly one of the most fun studies we have done.
Notable stats:

  • Submitted 75% of his opponents in winning matches
  • Scored first 58% of the time
  • Pulled guard 79% of the time
  • 56% of his sweeps came from the Sit-up guard
  • He averaged 1.12 sweeps per match
  • He finished a choke from the back in 5/5 matches in which he achieved the position
  • 83% of his passes were a “knee-through style” pass
  • His average match length was approximately 6:15 (almost the length of a blue belts full match)

 

Top Competitor Cobrinha
Successes Sit-up guard
Avoided… Takedowns
Top Technique 1 Sit-up guard to Single Leg
Top Technique 2 Choke from the back
Number of Matches Observed 14
Submits Opponent 9
Wins by Points 3
Minutes of footage watched 84 minutes
Scores First 10
Total Wins 12
Total Loses 2
Sweeps (Position)
De la Riva Sweeps 5
Spider Sweeps 2
Sit-up Guard 8
Sweeps (Type)
Ankle Pick sweep 5
Scissor 2
Sit-up to single leg 8
Total Sweeps 15
Passes (Position)
Half-Guard 1
Standing 5
Passes (Type)
knee through 5
knee up, from hg to mount 1
Total Passes 6
Taking the Back
from passing the guard 1
guard 4
Total Back-Takes 5
Submissions (Position)
Back 5
Side Control 2
Closed Guard 1
Half-Guard Top 1
Submissions (Type)
choke from back 5
armbar  2
omoplata 1
cross collar top 1
Total Subs 9
Start of Match
Guard Pull 11
Pulled on by opponent 3