When you mix Brazilian jiu-jitsu, rock music, humor, and conspiracies, what is the end result?
Eddie Bravo is a highly influential and controversial figure within the martial arts community. Founder of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and the EBI grappling competition, he is an accomplished American instructor in martial arts, an extremely technical fighter, a comedian, a podcaster, and a musician.
His claim to fame stems from his remarkable triumph against the legendary Royler Gracie at the ADCC Championship in 2003, wherein he skillfully deployed his unique rubber guard technique to overpower the iconic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu titan.
Eddie Bravo’s identity as a martial artist and the origins of his unique jiu-jitsu technique have yet to be explored. What impact has he had on MMA and grappling in general? And why is he so controversial among his fans and critics?
Eddie Bravo was born Edgar Cano in Santa Ana, California in 1970. He later changed his surname to Bravo, the name of his stepfather. Both of his biological parents are Mexican.
Growing up, Bravo took to music and started to play the drums and guitar. He formed several bands with aspirations of becoming a famous musician. He also developed an interest in athletics, playing football and joining his high school’s wrestling team.
In 1991, Bravo moved to Hollywood, where he looked to succeed in the music industry. He formed a band called Blackened Kill Symphony and got a gym membership to stay in shape. However, he only visited the gym twice and soon became interested in martial arts.
Introduction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
After watching Royce Gracie win the first UFC event in 1993, Bravo was amazed by the effectiveness of the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started taking karate classes and then joined a Jeet Kune Do academy, where he learned various aspects of striking and grappling.
In 1996, he began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jean Jacques Machado, one of the legendary Machado brothers who are cousins of the Gracie family. He quit Jeet Kune Do in 1998 to focus solely on jiu-jitsu.
He received his blue belt and started developing his own techniques, such as the twister, a spinal lock that he adapted from an old wrestling position.
Around 1999, Bravo earned his purple belt and began working on his variation of the open guard, which he later called the rubber guard. His idea was to control the opponent’s posture and prevent strikes from the bottom position, which he thought was more functional in mixed martial arts or No-Gi situations.
In 2003, Bravo entered the ADCC Championship, the most prestigious submission grappling tournament in the world, as a brown belt after winning the ADCC North American trials. He faced Gustavo Dantas in the first round and submitted him with a rear naked choke in what was considered an upset.
He then faced Royler Gracie in the quarter-finals, a four-time world champion and three-time ADCC champion.
Bravo traded comfortably top positions with Gracie throughout the match before deploying his advanced rubber guard and catching him in a triangle choke. The submission shocked the No-Gi world and made Bravo an instant star.
He then lost to Leo Vieira in the semi-finals, who was the eventual tournament champion. Eddie Bravo’s competitive work earned him his black belt from Jean Jacques Machado shortly after the event.
What Is The 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Style?
Eddie Bravo’s style of Jiu-Jitsu is different from the traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in many ways. Bravo decided to develop his own system of No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, which focuses on positions and submissions that are more effective in MMA or No-Gi situations and not reliant on Gi grips.
Being the creative genius he is, he also coined his own terminology for his fighting style as well as created notable techniques, such as the rubber guard, the twister, the lockdown, the electric chair, and many more.
The rubber guard is a way of controlling the opponent’s posture and preventing strikes from the bottom position. It involves using the legs and arms to trap the opponent’s head and arm, while creating angles and openings for attacks.
Rubber guard mastering is no easy task, as it has many moving parts and unique transitions, such as: mission control, the zombie, the new york, the chill dog, the invisible collar, the crackhead control, the jiu claw, the gogo clinch, the gogo plata, the omoplata, and others.
The twister is a spinal lock that can cause severe pain and damage to the neck and spine. It involves isolating the opponent’s head and arm from one side while hooking the opponent’s leg from the other side.
You can set the Twister up from various positions, such as the back mount, the side control, the half guard, the Twister side control (reverse Kesa Gatame), and others.
Lockdown Half Guard
The lockdown is a way of trapping the opponent’s leg and creating leverage for sweeps and submissions. It involves crossing one leg over the other and hooking the opponent’s leg with both feet. The lockdown can be used from various positions, such as the half guard, the butterfly guard, and others.
The electric chair is a sweep that can also transition into a groin stretch submission. It involves using the lockdown to elevate the opponent’s hips and then sliding under them to grab their far leg. The electric chair can be used to sweep the opponent to either side or to submit them by stretching their groin.
Eddie Bravo’s style of Jiu-Jitsu has some benefits and drawbacks. Some benefits are that it allows for more creativity, flexibility, and unpredictability in grappling compared to more traditional methods. It also gives an advantage to smaller and weaker practitioners who can use leverage and angles to overcome stronger opponents.
The drawbacks of his creative positions are that they can be difficult to learn and master, especially for beginners. It can also be risky to use against skilled opponents who can counter or escape from the unconventional positions.
Eddie Bravo’s style of BJJ has influenced MMA, grappling, and combat sports in general in many ways.
He has provided effective training and guidance to numerous MMA fighters, including but not limited to his black belts Alan Belcher, Matt Horwich, Vinny Magalhaes, Tony Ferguson, and Ben Saunders, who have all found success utilizing his techniques during MMA bouts.
In 2003, Bravo founded 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, a worldwide collaborative system of institutions and partners that educate his unique style of Jiu-Jitsu for a No-Gi situation. Eddie has produced many high-level grapplers who have competed and won in prestigious tournaments, such as Geo Martinez, Richie Martinez, Nathan Orchard, Grace Gundrum, and others.
Eddie Bravo Invitational
He also created the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) in 2014, a submission-only grappling competition that features some of the best competitors in the grappling world and uses a unique ruleset that encourages action and finishes. The EBI has become one of the most popular and respected events in the grappling scene, attracting fans and competitors alike.
Later in 2017, Bravo announced the transformation of the EBI into a combat Jiu-Jitsu promotion, moving it away from the format of submission grappling competitions.
Eddie Bravo is not without controversies and criticisms, both inside and outside the martial arts community. He has faced backlash from the BJJ traditionalists, who accuse him of disrespecting the art and its origins by changing the techniques and the names. He has had various conflicts and disputes with well-known names in the field of Jiu-Jitsu like Renzo Gracie, Royler Gracie, and a quite few other individuals, mostly from the Gracie clan.
His personal life is also amusing, to say the least. Bravo holds several contentious perspectives and beliefs encompassing different subjects including conspiracies, governance, faith, and wellness.
Bravo fervently advocates for a range of conspiracy theories, such as the belief that the earth has a flat surface, the moon landing was staged, and that 9/11 was orchestrated from within the country.
He holds a critical view towards conventional media, governmental institutions, and organized religion. He advocates for alternative medicine, cannabis legalization, veganism, and other lifestyle choices.
Bravo’s bold statements have caused controversy and debate among his fans and critics. He has been involved in heated discussions and debates with his friend and podcast host Joe Rogan, who often challenges his claims and arguments.
Many attack Bravo for his conspiracy theories and political views but he has also received praise and support from others who share his views or respect his freedom of expression.
The Legacy Of Eddie Bravo
He has inspired countless practitioners to follow their own path and explore their own creativity in grappling. He has also challenged the status quo and pushed the boundaries of what is possible in jiu-jitsu.
He has contributed to the evolution and innovation of jiu-jitsu techniques, especially for the No-Gi world and MMA. He has developed a system that is unique, effective, and adaptable to different scenarios and opponents.
He has also shared his knowledge and wisdom with his students and followers through his books, videos, podcasts, seminars, and online platforms.
Bravo’s efforts have created a global community of loyal fans and supporters who share his passion and vision for jiu-jitsu. He has also built an empire of schools and affiliates that teach his 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system around the world.
He has also changed the BJJ world forever by introducing his unique ruleset at the EBI, which many argue is the best in competitive grappling.
He has also influenced the culture and lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. He has combined his love for music, comedy, and conspiracy theories with his love for Jiu-Jitsu. He has also advocated for causes that he believes in, such as cannabis legalization, veganism, and alternative medicine.
Master Eddie Bravo is a pioneer who has revolutionized Jiu-Jitsu with his own style of No-Gi grappling. He is a leader who has created a movement and a community of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.
Eddie Bravo is a martial arts pioneer who has changed Jiu-Jitsu history with his own style of No-Gi grappling. He has achieved remarkable feats in his career, such as submitting Royler Gracie at the ADCC Championship, founding 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and the EBI, as well as training and coaching many MMA fighters and grapplers.
He is also a controversial figure who has stirred up debates and controversies with his views and opinions on various topics.
Let’s wrap up with a selection of his best quotes about Jiu-Jitsu: