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  1. #11

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    First Ben I gotta say I always love your posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Eddy View Post
    I agree with EBI>adcc if entertainment for the broadest group of people is your goal. .
    For what goals do you think ADCC > EBI rules?

    I'm also really intrigued by your idea that the results we see are driven by the evolution of the art, rather than the rule-set. Obviously the rule-set has a great deal to do with how fights play out, but you've observed that the results for a given rule-set change dramatically over time.

    So with that in mind, how do you predict things will change in EBI tournaments as more elite level players join and people start to evolve into that rule-set?

    this leads them to point towards recent rule changes in those rule sets as the culprit. I think it has more to do with how the game has evolved
    This makes a lot of sense to me. But I also think it's a combination of the art itself evolving, as well as people evolving to a specific rule-set. Over time they break the rules down into a fine science. In the old days guys just went after it at ADCC. Fuck the rules, those were just guidelines, you go out there and try to choke the other guy, those are the rules. Now-a-days there are very specific strategies for different rule sets. Often times that does not involve grappling at all.

    Would you agree that rule-specific strategies may be partly behind what people see as unexciting outcomes, outcomes that do not involve much actual grappling?
    Last edited by Craig Murray; 12-22-2015 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Murray View Post
    First Ben I gotta say I always love your posts.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Murray View Post
    For what goals do you think ADCC > EBI rules?
    Like I said, if the goal is entertainment for the broadest group of people. Basically, I believe the EBI ruleset has a chance to attract a larger audience than ADCC. I think it's important to distinguish the fact you specifically want what's exciting for the largest audience, rather than just arguing over what is objectively "exciting". I personally can enjoy the matches at no-gi worlds or adcc, but that's because I understand the games at play and have an appreciation for watching how the practitioners strategies work or don't work under the game they have agreed to play. Others might not because they have a different idea of exciting. Arguing however what will attract the largest audience is much more specific and we can have a discussion around that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Murray View Post
    I'm also really intrigued by your idea that the results we see are driven by the evolution of the art, rather than the rule-set. Obviously the rule-set has a great deal to do with how fights play out, but you've observed that the results for a given rule-set change dramatically over time.
    Yea it's a does the culture drive the music or does the music drive the culture type of question. The answer is it's of course both. I just think the evolution of the game doesn't get much credit and everyone talks about the ruleset and the rule changes. Those rules are changing for a reason. The reason for example with ADCC with the guard pull penalty is it's been shown that the first to pull guard in the finals is the one who wins. The power of the guard has evolved faster than other positions and so we have this guard pulling battle happening in competitions now. The rulesets are reacting to this more than creating it in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Murray View Post
    So with that in mind, how do you predict things will change in EBI tournaments as more elite level players join and people start to evolve into that rule-set?
    Well it would be hard to predict the evolution still to come, but I can talk to how it might end up if we stay along the same line we are currently on. Currently the guard is getting more and more dangerous as well as more and more unpassable. If we don't have some change with the evolution of people's abilities to pass guards, than what we are going to start seeing is a lot of guard pulling. This will then lead to double guard pulls, which will then lead to both guys staying in guard and going for legs.

    That's really you're only option. If your opponent has an unpassable guard and he sits down, what are your options? You can pull guard and hope he comes up on top of you. You can let him sweep so he is on top. But what if he is a leg lock player? Well then he has 0 reason to ever come up on top of you in the match. So if you pull guard with him he will just start sucking your legs in. Your only option at this point is to either play that game with him or sit up and try to pass his unpassable guard.

    So if we don't get better at passing people's guards and guard keep improving like they are, we are going to continue along this line where both competitors want to be the one playing guard. Leg lock players will continue to succeed in this environment because their game is good whether the guy is playing guard or attempting to pass.

    Now for EBI specifically, lets say you have a DJ jackson type vs Eddie Cummings. These types of matches are most likely just going to lead to over time rounds. And maybe in overtime DJ wins. So this could keep DJ types from evolving their game to work against leg lock players (by figuring out how to pass or being forced to play their game and join in as a leg lock player themselves).

    I think short term, when we get elite level guys in the mix, they will go to overtime. The reason is because at this point in the evolution of JJ, the elite level guys can't pass each others guards. They are also very wise to the leg lock game and know how to prevent getting pulled into it. We've seen Eddie and Garry in formats where heel hooks are allowed and they are unable to pull elite level guys into their game.

    I think long term we are looking at more Eddie Cummings types. People will more and more realize that is the best strategy for the format (as long as it stands that guards are unpassable). However, because of the overtime, we could also see that there are people who do not go with a leg lock game but rather are just very good at finishing people in the overtime rounds and there regulation time gameplay is a cautious Tanquinho or DJ jackson type game.

    Think of it from this stand point.

    Leg lock player > any other guard game
    Guard passing specialist > Leg lock player

    "Guard passing specialist" just doesn't seem to exist right now. So leg locks are king. In point formats, this is less so because I can win with another guard game as long as I'm first to pull guard, or TD points or almost pass advantages. In sub only, it doesn't matter who pulls first and there's obviously no points. This is something I'm personally thinking a lot about as someone who has a guard based game. There's 0 answer I could have for a leg lock player in a sub only format. I would have to stand up and try to pass, which is unlikely against an elite level opponent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Murray View Post
    This makes a lot of sense to me. But I also think it's a combination of the art itself evolving, as well as people evolving to a specific rule-set. Over time they break the rules down into a fine science. In the old days guys just went after it at ADCC. Fuck the rules, those were just guidelines, you go out there and try to choke the other guy, those are the rules. Now-a-days there are very specific strategies for different rule sets. Often times that does not involve grappling at all.

    Would you agree that rule-specific strategies may be partly behind what people see as unexciting outcomes, outcomes that do not involve much actual grappling?
    Yea, for the broad viewer, they want to get that feeling that the "best man" won. They don't want to come away with the idea that the person who won did so just by gaming a ruleset. Of course there will always be some level of gaming. You just hope that your rule can get out of the way as much as they can.
    Last edited by Ben Eddy; 12-22-2015 at 09:56 PM.
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  3. #13
    Ben Eddy is right about the guard. Post 2007 ADCC and beyond was when you saw the level of guard play really start to keep rising and rising.

    In no-gi too it's difficult to cleanly pass the guard and hold it for a few seconds. it can be done, but it's more difficult than without the gi. I feel really confident saying that some of the best guard players like Rafa Mendes or Joao Miyao will probably never get their guards passed in no-gi.

    Watch Rafa, and elite passer, trying to pass Joao Miyao for 15 mins. At the time I remember being very surprised he wasn't able to do it. He comes close a couple of times bit never seals the deal


  4. #14

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    The rule set determines the behavior of the competitors to a great degree. Points tournaments promote an attitude of 'position before submission' which is a valid, foundational tenet of BJJ. EBI rules encourage an attitude of 'submission in transition' which I would say is a level above 'position before submission'. Because the competitors in EBI don't have to worry about losing by points they are more free to go for the submission whether from a control position or in transition.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Mallory View Post
    The rule set determines the behavior of the competitors to a great degree. Points tournaments promote an attitude of 'position before submission' which is a valid, foundational tenet of BJJ. EBI rules encourage an attitude of 'submission in transition' which I would say is a level above 'position before submission'. Because the competitors in EBI don't have to worry about losing by points they are more free to go for the submission whether from a control position or in transition.
    One thing I like that seems to be permeating the sport across the board is that position before submission is starting to extend to forms of control and grips like the kimura for example. If you have a kimura grip, even if you aren't past someone's guard or on their back, you have the positional dominance. Shifting in thinking like that is game changing.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nall View Post
    Ben Eddy is right about the guard. Post 2007 ADCC and beyond was when you saw the level of guard play really start to keep rising and rising.

    In no-gi too it's difficult to cleanly pass the guard and hold it for a few seconds. it can be done, but it's more difficult than without the gi. I feel really confident saying that some of the best guard players like Rafa Mendes or Joao Miyao will probably never get their guards passed in no-gi.

    Watch Rafa, and elite passer, trying to pass Joao Miyao for 15 mins. At the time I remember being very surprised he wasn't able to do it. He comes close a couple of times bit never seals the deal

    Yea, this is a perfect example. This is a pretty crucial development. Competitors at this top level who have run into this problem are very aware of it. The rest who are commentating about the sport, why it's become "boring", why the rule changes etc. have not really noticed it I think. They blame rulesets and other reasons.

    What do you do when guards are unpassable? How does the game start to change? How do competitors change their competition strategies? This is having the biggest effect on what we are seeing in competitions I believe.

    If the problem of how to pass guard is not solved, we are going to continue seeing a lot more footsie battles. It's just the natural progression of both players wanting to be in guard and then both looking for a game that works when both competitors have pulled guard.

    Miyao lost in EBI because of the overtime rounds. He has an unpassable guard. This is practically the only way he could be beaten. This will be the same for other elite players who are brought in. So we will see more matches going to overtime and more people specializing in winning during those rounds. We will also see more Eddie cummings types because that's the only style game that still ways to win when going against an opponent with an unpassable guard.
    Last edited by Ben Eddy; 12-23-2015 at 04:28 PM.
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  7. #17
    ADCC lost its way with the final match rule changes, the last 2 ADCCs have been ruined because of it

    I like EBI, but the overtime format is to gimmicky for my tastes, teleporting to the back for overtime rounds just loses me and also gives less skilled guys a chance to win when they would never get in that position to begin with

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Eddy View Post
    Yea, this is a perfect example. This is a pretty crucial development. Competitors at this top level who have run into this problem are very aware of it. The rest who are commentating about the sport, why it's become "boring", why the rule changes etc. have not really noticed it I think. They blame rulesets and other reasons. What do you do when guards are unpassable? How does the game start to change? How do competitors change their competition strategies? This is having the biggest effect on what we are seeing in competitions I believe.
    Respectfully I have to disagree. 'Unpassable' guards are not new to BJJ. There have always been people on the elite level with upassable guards. Rickson Gracie, Nino Shembri, BJ Penn, Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro, Margarida and many more from the past. I have seen a lot of old footage of Rickson, Jean Jaques, Rigan, Walid and others from that gerneration compete and the difference was they were not competing for points (advantages had not been invented yet) they were going for the submission. In my humble opinion it was during Royler's generation that people began to game the point system and strategy based on the rules took over.

    The strategy of scoring points, then stalling and only going for the submission when there is no danger of losing position is the reason why IBJJF has become 'boring' to a great degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Eddy View Post
    Miyao lost in EBI because of the overtime rounds. He has an unpassable guard. This is practically the only way he could be beaten. This will be the same for other elite players who are brought in. So we will see more matches going to overtime and more people specializing in winning during those rounds. We will also see more Eddie cummings types because that's the only style game that still ways to win when going against an opponent with an unpassable guard.
    Once again I have to respectfully disagree. Miyao didn't lose because of the overtime rounds. He lost because he could not submit his opponent. Miyao was hunting for the submission hard core in all of his matches but couldn't get the sub. His game has developed more to score points with positional control than it has to get the submission in transition or once he has positional control.

    As far as the leg lock game is concerned I think the reason it is a growing part of the game is because more people in BJJ are growing in their knowledge of leg lock control positions. Traditionally leg locks were looked down on in BJJ and as a result peoples understanding of the control positions and transitions was low.

    I think another reason the leg lock game is growing is simple anatomy. The leg is a lot harder to 'hide' (protect) than an arm or neck. There is more access to the leg. Add to this an unpassable guard and you are left with the leg as a target.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidrob View Post
    ADCC lost its way with the final match rule changes, the last 2 ADCCs have been ruined because of it

    I like EBI, but the overtime format is to gimmicky for my tastes, teleporting to the back for overtime rounds just loses me and also gives less skilled guys a chance to win when they would never get in that position to begin with
    I hear you. I don't know the statistics but very few matches actually go to overtime rounds and I can only remember a couple ending without a submission.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Mallory View Post
    Respectfully I have to disagree. 'Unpassable' guards are not new to BJJ. There have always been people on the elite level with upassable guards. Rickson Gracie, Nino Shembri, BJ Penn, Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro, Margarida and many more from the past. I have seen a lot of old footage of Rickson, Jean Jaques, Rigan, Walid and others from that gerneration compete and the difference was they were not competing for points (advantages had not been invented yet) they were going for the submission. In my humble opinion it was during Royler's generation that people began to game the point system and strategy based on the rules took over.
    I think it's pretty debatable if the people you have pointed out had "unpassable guards" or not, but that debate actually doesn't matter. What you are not taking into account is the key factor here is that those practitioners didn't run into other competitors who also had unpassable guards. That's the problem. There are quite a few people today with unpassable guards. When two of these people go against each other, what do you expect is going to happen? No matter what ruleset they decide to compete against each other under, it does not matter, neither will be able to progress to a position where they can submit the other one.

    Now we do sometimes see back takes in scrambles, and we can see subs from guard. But generally when two people at an elite level today meet, nothing happens because nothing can happen. Neither is unable to make progression.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Mallory View Post
    The strategy of scoring points, then stalling and only going for the submission when there is no danger of losing position is the reason why IBJJF has become 'boring' to a great degree.
    And why did people start doing this in your mind vs not doing it back then? JJ practicioners of today just have no morals? They only care about "winning"? This is just a short sighted view of what has happened to competition JJ.

    Try and run your mind through the idea that you are an elite level grappler and you have the NoGi worlds coming up. You are creating your strategy for how you plan to win. You know the last two times you competed, you spent 10 mins trying everything you could to pass Miyao's guard and were unsuccessful at even getting an advantage for an almost pass. How are you going to change your game from knowing this? You're just not going to change your game? Because you "respect the sport"? Does it even matter if you take this stance? From the viewers stand point, no matter what it will be a boring match. It will either be a boring event of one JJ practitioner spending 10 mins making 0 progress trying to pass the guard or it will be 10 mins of two competitors constantly looking at the scoreboard playing a strategic game of double guard pulls and advantages.

    This is the reality of the skill levels current elite level JJ guys are at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Mallory View Post
    Once again I have to respectfully disagree. Miyao didn't lose because of the overtime rounds. He lost because he could not submit his opponent. Miyao was hunting for the submission hard core in all of his matches but couldn't get the sub. His game has developed more to score points with positional control than it has to get the submission in transition or once he has positional control.

    As far as the leg lock game is concerned I think the reason it is a growing part of the game is because more people in BJJ are growing in their knowledge of leg lock control positions. Traditionally leg locks were looked down on in BJJ and as a result peoples understanding of the control positions and transitions was low.

    I think another reason the leg lock game is growing is simple anatomy. The leg is a lot harder to 'hide' (protect) than an arm or neck. There is more access to the leg. Add to this an unpassable guard and you are left with the leg as a target.
    Not sure how you're rationalizing this argument. It's not really an argument of whether or not he lost because of the EBI overtime rounds.. It's just a fact. He went to overtime and lost during those rounds. His opponent also tried to find subs, could not, but still won. I'm not saying I don't like that. I enjoyed watching it.
    Last edited by Ben Eddy; 12-23-2015 at 06:40 PM.
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