The man of the hour, Mikey Musumeci has a brand new instructional out. At the moment, I guess people will run headfirst into anything that Mikey has to offer. they wouldn’t be wrong, as he is most definitely one of the best grapplers actively competing at the moment. Moreover, he is a true BJJ nerd, one that is as eloquent with his words when teaching as he is versatile with his techniques when he is competing. “Foundations Of Guard Attacks” is the latest Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD that promises to help change your guard. Will it?
Read on to learn our take on it.
The name pretty much says everything here. One of the best lighter-weight fighters of modern JiuJitsu discloses secrets about attacking with your back to the ground. The instructional is Gi-based and offers Musumeci’s competitive attacking gameplan from closed and open guards.
What you get is 6 volumes of closed guard, spider guard, collar and sleeve, and De la Riva guard attacks. The way Musumeci organizes and presents the material is different from most guard instructional, and he will help you make connections between different guard-based attacks. in the words, he delivers on the promise he suggests in the title of this instructional.
Given that he just beat Masakazu Imanari via submission, Musumeci is not somebody who needs a lot of introduction. He represents half of the Musumeci duo, with his sister Tammy completing the sibling grappling super force.
Born in New Jersey in 1996, Mikey got his black belt under Gilbert “Durinho” Burns and Jonatas “Tagarela” Gurgel. He began training at the age of 4. His family moved a lot so he trained all over the US, meeting up with the Mendes Brothers in the process, which helped define his style a lot. In the meantime he worked with Caio Terra, Heth Pedigo, and Emyr Bussade, to name a few. He got his black belt in 2015 at the age of 18.
To date, he has 4 world titles in the Gi and 1 in No-Gi. Musumeci also has 1 Pans title, 1 European title, 1 American national title, and Abu Dhabi World Pro and Grand Slam titles. He was also a multiple-time world champion at almost all-colored belts.
The guard is one of those subjects in BJJ that will always be open for learning and interpretation. That said, most people do not make the distinction between the defensive and offensive aspects of the guard. In reality, those are two sides of the same coin, but just like a coin, you can’t see them both at the same time. In other words, you need to focus on each of them separately, and then aim to consolidate them into a well-rounded guard game.
This Mikey Musumeci BJ jDVD focus on the offensive aspects of the guard. “Foundations Of Guard Attacks” goes over a bunch of ways to achieve the two most desirable outcomes from guard positions – sweeps and submissions. It also covers transitions to better-controlling positions like the back. OF course, there are plenty of Berimbol and baby bolo transitional options as well. After all, they are the hallmark of Mikey’s game, aren’t they?
This instructional is a good fit for everyone but only if you manage your expectations to fit reality. If you are a white belt looking to Berimbolo to the back and sneak triangles from everywhere, somebody needs to revoke your access to BJJ fanatics. That said if you’re hoping to understand how a guard works, especially in terms of attacking then “Foundations Of Guard” will fit your needs perfectly.
Simply put, the chapters and volumes covering stuff like the closed guard and collar and sleeve guard are so fundamental that everybody can understand them and everybody can use them, white to black belt.
The De la Riva and Spider Guard sections are intended for purple belts and above. There’s lots of movement there that is just not accessible (in a meaningful way) to most people that have been training for less than 5 years.
The “Foundations Of Guard Attacks” Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD instructional consists of 6 volumes. Each of them lasts in the range of 40-45 minutes, bringing the whole running time of the instructional to around 4 and a half hours, which is lots of material.
The DVD is yet another in a long line of instructional from the BJJ fanatics production. That means that the sound and video quality are HD, and there are multiple angles to all fo the key aspects of every technique. Moreover, the instructional is available both as a digital download and in a DVDD format.
Mikey Musumeci starts off by looking at some of the most foundational aspects of playing guard. HE first explains what you can expect from the instructional.
The entire first volume is about understanding the guard. Musumeci talks about where the guard is, how to control it and what the goals are when playing guard. he also talks about grips, holding them, setting them up, and everything there is to teach about the collar and sleeve grips.
The key concepts of the entire system outlined in this Mikey Musumeci BJJ instructional are midway through the first volume. They refer to the two bases (of the top person) and the three boxes of attacks (for the bottom person). These feature heavily throughout all other volumes, so skipping this volume when you’re trying to learn from this particular instructional is a bad idea.
Further in this part, Mikey covers some sweeps, starting with the double ankle sweep and exploring a few variations of the fundamental tripod sweep as well.
Part two keeps going with sweeps, building on the momentum from the first volume. In it, Musumeci focuses on chaining sweeps, adding the Tomo Nage to the tripod and double ankle to create a very cool trilemma attack.
Not far behind the sweeps are submissions, coming in the form o the very foundational triangle, Omoplata, and armbar. Mikey explains how they work, where the entries are, and how to use the submission box system to set them up and chain them together. He truly keeps to the Foundations Of Guard storyline but goes deep into advanced detail on all the foundational stuff he demonstrates.
This part ends with some drills Mikey likes to do in order to settle into the sweep and submission chains.
Up until this point in the instructional everyone can find something useful. Starting from volume three, only advanced grapplers can follow Mikey, and even most of them might find it difficult at times.
The opening few chapters of this instructional cover the spider guard. Once again, after a short introduction of how all the previously outlined concepts apply to the spider guard, Mikey starts connecting the foundational dots. He once again focuses on the Tomoe Nage, double ankle sweep, triangle, and Omoplata.
Towards the end, he switches his attention to the transitions from the spider to the De la Riva guard. however, Instead of looking only into full transitions in between the guards, Musumeci teaches hybrid attacks in the form of sweeps from the “De la Spider” guard.
While you might have thought the De la Riva guard is next, this Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD is not done with the spide guard just yet. In this volume, he shares come very innovative variations of the guard and setups that lead to his favorite attacks.
For example, he covers the spider stomp setup into sweeps as well as playing seated spider variations to set up triangles. he also goes over some scenarios (i.e. opponents kneeling or going into half kneeling positions) and even a side spider position.
A few collar grips from the spider guard help Musumeci connect the spider guard to the collar and sleeve guard, creating yet another chain between those two and the De la Riva.
In the penultimate part of the “FOundations Of Guard Attacks,” DVD Mikey Musumeci goes into back takes, connecting them to his box attacks concept. He uses the collar and sleeve guard to blend together back attacks and Omoplata/triangle combinations. Moreover, he shares key little details that are crucial to the success of all said attacks.
The second portion of the fifth volume is dedicated to the collar and sleeve guard, and direct attacks that stem from it via the base and box systems. At the end of the fifth part, Musumeci re-introduces the De la Riva again.
Yup, it took as long as getting through to the sixth and final volume of this Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD to see some bolos. Still, it was more than worth it, in my opinion, even if you are one of those fidget-spinning bolo addicts.
Collar and elbow De la Riva Tomo Nages kick off this volume, paving the way to a new approach to the traditional collar and ankle De la Riva. There is lots of work on angles in this part of the DVD, most notably in terms of switching from front to side sweeps and vice versa. A few belt grip sweeps round this final volume off, but not before Mikey provides answers to most of the common submission defenses/counters the top person might try.
How We Grade The “Foundations Of Guard” Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD Instructional
Considering this Mikey Musumeci BJJ instructional DVD’s technical aspects and quality of content, we come to an overall score for this instructional that I’ll deliberate in short below.
Technical Quality: 10/10
AS per usual, the standard set by BJJ Fanatics is displayed perfectly in this instructional. Multiple volumes of high-quality material, recorded and organized in an optimal fashion. Mikey is a native English speaker and a very eloquent teacher, so following his thought throughout the instructional is easy.
Quality of Content: 8/10
The content is going to provide everyone with answers in terms of how to attack from guard. Given the length and the wide application of the material (in terms of people with different levels of understanding of BJJ), the only drawbacks are that this is a highly Gi specific instructional, and that, as is the case with most DVDs put together by high-level competitors, it only outlines one aspect of Mikey’s personal game, which is most definitely not going to be a great fit for everyone.
This is a very fair overall grade of a DVD that I know most Gi-loving, Berimobolo-addicted grapplers will consider being a 10+. That is precisely why it cannot be a 10/10.
The “Foundations Of Guard Attacks” Mikey Musumeci BJJ DVD does help cast light on something that is being missed by most in the BJJ community – the big separation between defensive and offensive guards. This instructional will help everyone improve aspects of their guard game but will be particularly useful to the lighter weight, Gi purple, and above competitors that love to play modern guards.