It is not like anyone thought we could actually have some time to catch a breath and finish a Gordon Ryan DVD before the next one came out. Still, I doubt anyone would be complaining, particularly given the subject of the latest Gordon Ryan DVD that came out just yesterday. Doing the Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD review in such a short time was not easy, but it was a real pleasure to watch this particular instructional. This time around, we get what everyone has been asking for (apart from back attacks) – A Gordon Ryan Seated Guard instructional. So, sit back and enjoy the review.
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Gordon Ryan – Seated Guard
Gordon Ryan’s DVD series “Systematically Attacking…” just got its latest member with this Gordon Ryan Seated Guard DVD. Currently, that brings the total number of instructional Ryan has (excluding the strength DVD fiasco) to 6. With each one lasting around 10 hours, this is highly impressive, given that his very first one came out just over a year ago. Ryan has been busy sharing his secrets on back attacks, guard passing, turtle attacks, closed guard attacks, and now, a dedicated open guard DVD as well. And they’re all No-Gi masterpieces.
The Dreaded Danaher Death Squad Seated Guard
Open Guard is a very broad area of Jiu-Jitsu, perhaps the breadstuff all. There are so many open guard variations that tit would be impossible for someone to cover the principles for all, let alone all the techniques in an instructional. Or ten instructionals, for that matter. This is exactly why Ryan has a very specific focus in this Open Guard DVD: The Seated Guard.
Ever since Eddie Cummings started submitting people left and right form a seated guard position, people have been trying to figure out what the Danaher Death Squad member are doing. After Cummings, Tonon, and the Ryan bothers just kept mesmerizing people with motions form the seated open guard that were not really explored before. Of course, the mastermind behind it all, John Danaher is the man to blame for the systems, but nobody put what they learned from their Professor better than Gordon Ryan did.
Particularly in a No-Gi setting, there’s just no way to deal with the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard. He will sweep you, take the back, get a leg lock, or trick you into exposing the neck for front headlock attacks. It all looks like black magic when instead it is just a very thought out system that Ryan executes perfectly. So far, nobody has released an instructional tacking the subject of the DDS seated guard in such detail. As you’d expect it takes over 6 volumes in an 8 volume instructional for Ryan to go over the system.
The seated guard position is very powerful mostly because the mechanics that really help you keep a solid posture and dominate grips. However, Ryan takes it ten steps further, exploring mechanics form a different perspective, as well as introducing attacks and defensive concepts to the seated guard that we somehow couldn’t see before. One of the most entertaining subjects, and one of the best DVDs of 202 for sure!
Breaking The Rules With Gordon Ryan
If there’s one thing you can expect from the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard instructional, is that it’ll break the rules. In fact, there’s a chapter in there discussing just that – breaking rules. Gordon will take your seated guard, chew it, and spit out a completely different animal. It is not just about the level of knowledge and the experience Ryan has. Those two things are already well established, given that Ryan is the GOAT of Jiu-Jitsu without a doubt. However, “King” Ryan does not just execute what Danaher teaches him, but also modifies things and tries to take them further, at his own pace, of course.
In the Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD Ryan really breaks many of the “rules” of both open and seated guard that we have taken for granted throughout the years. From postural alignment, to grip fighting and entering into attacks that we thought weren’t possible form the seated guard, to teaching us how to think about the guard and look to further explore it ourselves, breaking even the rules he is sharing in this DVD. It is a real mind twister, and perhaps his best work to date.
Gordon Ryan Seated Guard Review: Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD
So, yet another Gordon Ryan DVD. Nothing that we haven’t seen before and yet, we’re all excited like little children when a new one pops up. It is pretty much the same as this one as well. Once again, the technical aspects of the instructional are without a glitch. Camera work is pristine, the sound is spot on, and with Natalia Santoro as Ryan’s Uke, everything flows together perfectly.
In terms of organization, this Gordon Ryan Seated Guard instructional has 8 volumes. That’s something we’ve come to expect from the Danaher Death Squad members, and I guess we’d be disappointed if they ever released a shorter BJJ DVD. That said, 6 of the volumes tackle the technical, tactical, and philosophical aspects of the seated guard. The remaining two are Gordon’s signature rolling DVDs, where he uses everything he demonstrates in live rolls and does commentary as they take place. The “Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD” is about to usher a new era of the seated guard into Jiu-Jitsu, mark my words.
1 – Intro & Mechanics
A short intro, as usual, opens up the first volume of the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard DVD. Some basic information on open guard philosophies, as well as those on the seated position, lay the foundation of what’s to come later on. In the first half of this volume, Ryan teaches things like goal setting form the seated guard, distance management, the main body positions to look for, as well as key drill that’ll help you understand and reinforce all these principles.
It doesn’t take long for leg locks to sneak their way into a Gordon Ryan DVD. The first technical aspect s here, refer to the DDS’s signature Ashi Garami entries form the seated guard position. Ryan takes care to explain entries against opponents’ standing in different stances, providing much-needed variety. He also shares several Kouschi entries band discusses grip placement, particularly the 2 on 1 and arm drags. A few shin-to-shin and follow-ups when Kouchi fails, conclude the first volume.
Favorite Chapter: The Importance Of Concave Shoulders
2 – Gripping For Attacks
Grips are a huge aspect of all of the Danaher Death Squad members’ instructionals. This Gordon Ryan Open Guard DVD is no different, and there’s a lot of emphasis on attaching yourself to your opponent particularly in this second volume. Here, Ryan shares not only gripping the hands, but also setting up collar ties, ankle picks, and all kinds of grips to allow you to be safe in the seated guard, and launch attacks at will.
Speaking of attacks, the Imanari Roll gets a place here, and Ryan finally explains his take on the famous leg lock entry. Furthermore, he goes over dealing with opponents that use a staggered stance, an aspect of the stead guard nobody really explored in-depth before. Tactics include forcing the opponent into a square stance or going for Ashi Garami entries or sweeps using grip placement.
The De Ashi Harai, a staple foot sweeps from Judo gets a lot of attention here. Ryan shares several modified versions that will allow you to sweep opponents with ease and apparent grace. A few back takes and even more Ashi Garami entries and transitions wrap things up in this part of the instructional.
Favorite Chapter: Entering Shin-To-Shin From Distance
3 – Dealing With Kneeling Opponents
A kneeling opponent has always been one of the things that have really presented a challenge for my seated guard. Especially those with a solid posture, that know how not to expose their neck for front headlocks. This part of the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard DVD really came in as a cherry on top of the cake for me.
Once again, the same principles apply before you even engage with an opponent: you need to have clear goals, manage distance, and grip in a meaningful and purposeful way. When an opponent is kneeling, the push-pull dynamic becomes very important, which is why Gordon spends time talking about this point. There’s also key information on how to attack both the lower and upper body, creating dilemmas and trilemmas.
The Sumi Gaeshi that Gordon uses so much gets a lot of attention here as the main weapon to help off-balance someone. Whether it is for a sweep, back take, headlock or Ashi Garami entry, the Sumi Gaehi opens up lots of doors from the seated guard. Actually this volume is the richest one with principles and tactics. The forehead on the mat rule is definitely one that you’\ll never forget once you see it. And don’t even get me started on the importance of sticky hooks, as those have made an appearance in almost all Danaher and Ryan DVDs so far.
Grip fighting, creating Kuzishi, and elevating opponents are how Ryan brings this portion of the instructional to an end.
Favorite Chapter: The Sad Truth
4 – Arm Drags And Russian Ties
As the title suggests, this is where you put all the grip fighting and placement into effect. To clear things up, Russian ties are just another way of referring to 2-on-1s, a grip configuration really favored by the DDS. Since grip placement is already covered, Gordon wastes no time and goes straight into sweeping options. A few basic and a few innovative and interesting sweeps (like the Hiza Guruma setup) follow, all from the 2-on-1 grip.
When it comes to the arm drag, the goal is pretty clear- get the back. That’s exactly what Ryan does to perfection, sharing a few sweeping options along the way to keep opponents guessing what is going to happen. There are even several ways of having fun with the over-under, as well as using the Kata Gatame (arm triangle) to get the back, create dilemmas and open up interesting attacks. This brings us exactly halfway through the Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD.
Favorite Chapter: Under Over Switch To Kata Gatame
5 – Attack Combinations
It suffices to say, this is where things start to get really interesting. Headlocks lead the way as Gordon starts with the pinch headlock as his “position zero”. Once again, options include sweeping, going to the Kata Gatame, or switching to the highly interesting shoulder crunch. The reason why the attacks work so well for Ryan in competition is that he attacks multidirectional with each one, instead of just in a linear fashion. It is also something he explains in this volume of the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard DVD.
Form a more tactical standpoint, Gordon explores the roles that the Russian tie and the double unders play when you’re in the seated position in open guard. He also shares a few sweeping combos from double unders. The chapters on countering the bodylock pass with the overhooks are probably some of the best in this entire instructional.
Collar ties their role, opening up guillotines, and looking into the Yoko Sumi Gaeshi is how Gordon concludes the fifth portion of his latest instructional.
Favorite Chapter: Countering Body Locks With Multidirectional Sumi Gaeshis
6 – Advanced Submissions
The last technical volume of the Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD by Gordon Ryan focuses on the different ways you can enter the other systems the DDS are known for using the seated guard. In other words, this volume will help you understand the loops in which DDS members put their opponents in, constantly leading them from one system to the other. Very often the seated guard is the link, and Ryan explains everything here to perfection.
Collar ties to triangles and armbars are a great example of it all. Getting to the legs when it all fails is exactly what we’re used to seeing Gordon do in elite-level competition. Now, you get to learn how he does what he does.
Once again, 2-on-1 Russians and arm drags make everything possible, while keeping you safe in the Seated Guard. There are lots of information on setting up leg locks, as well as a few words on Berimbolos in No-Gi. Ryan ends with a portion on guard retention and how to prevent just about any pass from the open guard seated position.
Favorite Chapter: Breaking The Rules
7 & 8 – Rolling & Commentary
The final two parts of the instructional contain rolls. They speak for themselves, really, as there’s not much to review there. Ryan takes Placido, Jack, Drew, Alex, and Shawn for a literal ride on the wild side in part 7, before going through all the rolls in-depth, commentating live as they happen in the final, eight-part of the Gordon Ryan Seated Guard: Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD.
Nothing surprising here, really. Just a masterpiece DVD instructional that’ll change the outline of the BJJ world forever. But we’ve all come to expect such things from Gordon Ryan. A Gordon Ryan Seated Guard instructional was simply the next logical step in his series. However, I do hope that this doesn’t conclude the Systematically Attacking From Open Guard DVD series, but we got to learn some other guards as well, like the X guards, for example. Oh, and by the way, we wish a very happy birthday to Gordon (just so happens to be today).
ON SALE HERE:
Gordon Ryan – Seated Guard