"It's Science" Videos

It's Science: Gianni Grippo

Full Article In The Next Issue Of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine


Notable Study Stats:
• 100% of passes were of a leg drag variety
• No sweeps or passes occurred from half-guard
• Won 80% of his matches
• Submitted his opponent in 50% of wins
• Scored first in every match he won
• His average match length was 8 minutes
• 75% of sweeps came from De La Riva or Reverse De La Riva

Abstract: All matches observed of Gianni Grippo, used in this small sample, occurred at IBJJF events, inside his weight division, and in the years 2012-2014. 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 online – selected using a random generator from 20 total total IBJJF matches that occurred in in the study timeline. 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: Gianni Grippo is the youngest competitor we have ever studied. In fact, he has been a black belt competitor for only 1 year so far. It’s a credit to his diligence as a competitor that there is actually a large enough sample to conduct a breakdown. With that in mind, Gianni already displays the characteristic we tend to see in all of our top-competitor breakdowns. Grippo has an incredibly defined tournament strategy and gameplan. This leads to a high winning percentage (80%), and a strong submission percentage (50%).

Gianni is well known for his De La Riva and reverse De La Riva guard game. It’s easy to see why this happens to be the case. This is the foundation that Grippo’s primary strategy is built around. 75% of all of his sweeps that we recorded occurred from DLR or RDLR guard, and he uses these sweeps and attacks to setup his passing and submission techniques. In fact, you could argue that the broadest approach Grippo takes is from the guard. In our study Grippo used 4 different sweeping positions and 4 different sweep-types to attack his opponent from the bottom. As the game further unfolds, Grippo becomes more and more defined in his approach. The only type of pass we recorded Gianni executing in the study was a leg drag pass. What’s more, this leg drag passing strategy led to two separate roads to the back. These roads included a back take from the pass it self, or a back take from an attempted escape once he was able to establish side-control.

Grippo’s submission game was even more defined. The only submission we recorded during the study were chokes from the back. It becomes clear upon reflection that Gianni Grippo has become an expert in walking each of his opponents into a very familiar fate. He has one of the most defined strategies of any competitor we’ve studied; and it all starts from the DLR or RDLR guard.

Taking everything into account, it is obvious that Grippo’s end-game involves the back, and he reverse engineers it from his strongest and most diversified position, open guard. The only downside to having such a defined game is that it paints a very clear picture to opponents as to what your comfort zone is. However, Gianni has seemed to understand this. Recently, in a post on his brand new blog,, ….

Read the rest of this article in the next issue of Jiu Jitsu Style

grippo stat sheet


"It's Science" Videos Live Technique and Perspective Videos

The Open Guard Ecosystem For Jiu Jitsu

It is often said that the guard is the secret to jiu jitsu. Well, often secrets are hard to keep. In the case of the open guard, many of the techniques have extrapolated out over time into incredibly complex systems due to the collective improvement of jiu jitsu over the same span. So where does it end? What has the open guard become, and how should someone navigate it in light of these new evolutions?
Imagine every jiu jitsu player as a unique jungle. Each jungle has it’s own climate, flora and fauna, and treacherous ends. The open guard has evolved well beyond a set of specific techniques, and is now a lot like the jungle. It is a full-fledged ecosystem consisting of a blend of multiple singular positions. We are all built differently; however, certain elements of the open guard are present in all of us. It is up to each guard player to build their jungle accordingly.
The key is making sure that your ecosystem does not lack a critical component for life. For example, you may have trees, beasts, and a warm climate, but if you don’t have fresh water nothing will survive.  Open guard is a lot like this. If you have developed a strong understanding of spider guard and lasso guard, yet lack competency in de la riva and x-guard you may find your ecosystem insufficient at times. Although it is not required that you be perfect at all forms of open guard, it is necessary to understand the basic components of all positions so that your system can fully-develop.
In fact, the key is not to fully-develop every open guard position; rather it’s most important to understand how to properly return to the positions you are most comfortable with. For example 80% of your open guard may consist of setting up single leg x-guard; however, it may be necessary to use spider guard to set it up, or use de la riva to defend against certain passes. Without this extra 20% your tailor made guard may have difficulty gaining momentum. So what are these key positions to understand (these are the bases – obviously there are a lot variations)?

  • Spider Guard
  • Lasso Guard
  • X-Guard
  • De La Riva Guard
  • Reverse De La Riva
  • Sleeve and Collar Control Guard
  • Situp Guard

The best open guard players typically select one or two of these guards and build close to 80-90% of their open guard game around those specific positions. However, as mentioned above without a full understanding of each position there will likely be some form of deficiency. So which is right for you? What should you build your open guard ecosystem around? Let’s start with a few examples that may help you.

Players with a strong Spider guard ecosystem base:

Michael Langhi

Players with a strong Lasso guard ecosystem base:

Keenan Cornelius

Players with a strong X-Guard  ecosystem base:

Marcelo Garcia (duh)

Players with a strong De La Riva guard  ecosystem base:

Rafael Mendes

Players with a strong Reverse De La Riva guard  ecosystem base:

Caio Terra

Players with a strong Collar and Sleeve guard  ecosystem base:

Kron Gracie

Players with a strong Situp guard  ecosystem base:

Ruben “Conbrinha” Charles

… But as mentioned above, the ecosystem is continuing to evolve. New guard players like Leandro Lo are forcing the community to re-evaluate some of these open guard positions.

Leandro Lo

BishopBjj News

World Jiu Jitsu Championship 2013 Review (Behind The Scenes)

Check out this awesome 15 minute review and look behind the scenes of the 2013 World Jiu Jitsu Championship.