Jiu Jitsu Science: Braulio Estima

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Braulio Estima Statistics

It’s Science is back feat. the controversial Braulio Estima. To read this full artcle be sure to pick up of the upcoming issue of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine. Here’s a taste along with some of the raw data.

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Notable Study Stats:

  • 60% of passes were from spider guard or X-guard
  • 93% win percentage
  • Scored first in 13 out of 14 winning matches
  • Submitted his opponent in 50% of wins
  • Highest sweep total in any study ever conducted* (“23”; *15 matches or less) – 1.53 sweeps per match average
  • His average match length was 7 minutes and 48 seconds
  • 71% of his submissions were chokes from the back
  • Had a 23/7 “sweep/pass ratio”

Abstract: All matches observed of Braulio Estima, used in this small sample occurred at IBJJF events, inside his weight division, and in the years 2011-2014. 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 charts). Matches were selected at random based on freely available matches. 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.

The Breakdown: There may not currently be a more controversial figure in competition jiu jitsu than, Braulio Estima. The multi-time world champion recently tested positive for DMAA, a banned substance; according to the World Anti-Doping Association, and has since been catapulted to the center of many discussions regarding jiu jitsu competition reform. It’s appropriate that someone like Estima is embroiled in this type of controversy; as he should be well recognized as one of today’s most accomplished competitors. Known for stunning technique and a sporty showmanship, Estima has a style that is completely his own.

While Estima’s style is unique, you will ultimately see some patterns in his game just like most of our other subjects. The primary difference in this is the variation in which he executes specific techniques. We recorded more positional variation in Estima than in any past studies of other competitors.

Estima had a 93% win percentage in our sample. Additionally, he scored first in 13 of 14 of those wins. He also recorded a high-mark for total sweeps among studies we have conducted of 15 matches or less (23 total). That’s an average of 1.53 sweeps per match. The highest we’ve ever recorded. You see this occurrence a lot with Braulio because he pushes the action. He’ll take an unstable sweep, come to the top position to capitalize – and with noting to take advantage of – ultimately concede the bottom position again to try his hand again.

There is a lot of spider guard and X-guard sprinkled into Estima’s notorious guard game. Approximately 60% of his sweeps and attacks came from a spider or X-guard variation. And while there are a lot of moving parts to Braulio’s bottom game, his top game is slightly less complex; something we’ve seen often among top competitors. Braulio prefers a heavy and compact style of passing; favoring a knee over or double-unders style of pass nearly 71% of the time. He recorded a measly 7 passes in the sample; however it’s important to note that Braulio beautifully uses the guard pass as an immediate transition to his opponents back. It’s common to see him use a double-unders pass to secure his opponents back.

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Top Competitor Braulio Estima
Successes Spider Guard, Back Chokes
Avoided… Standing Passes, The Mount
Top Technique 1 X-Guard Sweep
Top Technique 2 Back Take from Guard Pass
Number of Matches Observed 15
Submits Opponent 7
Wins by Points 7
Minutes of footage watched 118 minutes (avg. length = 7:48)
Scores First 13
Total Wins 14
Total Loses 1
Sweeps (Position)
De la Riva Sweeps 2
Spider Sweeps 9
Closed Guard 1
Half-Guard 3
50/50 2
X-Guard 5
Sit-up Guard 1
Sweeps (Type)
Ankle Pick sweep 1
Deep Half 1
X-Guard (or single X) style sweep 7
Tomanagi 5
Hook sweeps 1
Trips/Offbalancing 3
Sit-up and overtake opponent 2
Berimbolo 1
Collar Drag/Arm Drag 2
Total Sweeps 23
Passes (Position)
On Knees 3
Half-Guard 3
Standing 1
Passes (Type)
leg drag 1
knee over 3
leg-weave pass 2
Under the legs pass pass 1
Total Passes 7
Taking the Back
half guard (top) 3
from passing the guard 3
guard 1
Total Back-Takes 7
Submissions (Position)
Back 5
 Spider 2
Submissions (Type)
choke from back 5
leg lock 1
triangle 1
Total Subs 7

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