Gracie Fundamentals DVD Review: Turtle Mastery by Rayron Gracie

Gracie Fundamentals DVD Review: Turtle Mastery by Rayron Gracie
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cIt has been a while since I’ve seen a Gracie BJJ DVD instructional. The founding family seems to be lagging behind the rest of the BJJ world as Jiu-Jitsu skyrockets in popularity and they reap the financial benefits of decades of intricate marketing.

However, they still appear from time to time, just like Rayron Gracie did with another Gracie Fundamentals DVD, this time targeting the subject of turtle mastery. Most Gracie family members regurgitate the same information over and over again in their instructional, but it seems Rayron decided to break the mold and teach an updated version of how to attack the turtle. It is all in our detailed review below.

Key Takeaways

  • A Gi BJJ instructional with nearly 4 hours of footage on how to beat the turtle. 
  • Contains a volume of rolling commentary while Rayron focuses on the turtle.  
  • Front and Back turtle strategies and key takedown follow-ups. 
  • BJJ World Expert Rating: 7 out of 10.


Turtle Mastery Rayron Gracie DVD Review
Check out the Turtle Mastery Rayron Gracie DVD

The Most Annoying Position in BJJ

The turtle is one of the most boring positions to practice, but makes up for it in the security and defensive prowess it provides once you master it. In sports grappling, it is the ultimate defensive position to ensure you’re safe from any kind of attack while you’re on the ground.

Moreover, achieving turtle mastery means you can open up your shell whenever you decide and launch a myriad of different counterattacks straight from the position. This takes time to figure out, as your timing in switching from defense to offense has to be very precise. Even if you mess it up, though, the turtle is still accessible and remains a very potent safety net.

With the turtle turning into the quintessential defensive position, attacking it becomes a puzzle we must solve. So far, the latest turtle developments have caused a myriad of issues in terms of just taking the back when someone turtles up, which was the norm. There are ways to beat the turtle, but they don’t come easy as you’ll see in this Gracie Fundamentals DVD.

Rayron Gracie’s Legacy

Rayron Gracie is the latest black belt in the family, promoted by his cousin Kyra Gracie in 2023. He is a 4th generation Gracie family grappler who grew up with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, learning his trade from the likes of Renzo, Roger, Kyra, and Rolles Gracie. Quite the pedigree.

Given how young he is, both as a person and a black belt, Rayorn still has a lot of competition before him. He managed to win bronze at his first Worlds as a black belt in 2024 but has already won the competition at purple and brown, as well as the IBJJF Pans at blue and purple.

Overall, Rayron, who is the son of the late Ryan Gracie, moved to the US in 2015 to, like most of his family, pursue a career in BJJ. He started in Renzo’s gym, where he demonstrated he is dedicated to the sport and has boatloads of the family’s grappling talent.

He went on to dominate the juvenile divisions in all of the biggest tournaments in the world and followed by doing pretty much the same during his colored belts phase. Showing lots of promise as a black belt, Rayron might just be the next big thing to come out of the Gracie family.

Turtle Mastery Gracie Fundamentals DVD Full Review

The Turtle Mastery DVD is a solid resource to open up options on how to deal with the modern BJJ turtle, which is extremely powerful. Rayoren dedicates around 4 hours to covering the different ways in which you can attack the turtle from the back and front, as well as from standing and all top positions:

Rayron Gracie Turtle Mastery DVD
Free Rayron Gracie Turtle Mastery DVD Technique

Part 1 – Getting to the Turtle

Rayron Gracie kicks things off by looking at how you can get to your opponent to turtle up. The main idea here is to ensure you have optimal grips and position before they set the turtle up so that you can use it against them.

Rayrong covers a bunch of different ways to defeat the safety of the turtle, starting from bottom position entries and tying the turtle in with guard passes. He covers side control routes to turtle using ankle frames knee shield variations, and even butterfly hooks.

This Gracie Fundamentals DVD is with the Gi, as expected, but that’s as close as it gets to earlier Gracie instructions. Rayron showcases his evolution and open-minded approach as he shares some really effective turtle strategies in this DVD, that are applicable to modern Jiu-Jitsu.

Part 2 – Dogfight and Pass Prevention

Going forward, the Turtle Mastery DVD explores the intricate ways in which you can follow up on the turtle when it is used to fend off your guard passes. Rayron looks a lot into the Torreando pass, which always leaves room for the bottom person to turtle up, analyzing how this can help you get into a superior position.

A particularly eye-catching part of this volume is the several chapters addressing the dogfight position. The position is directly tied to stalling and causing trouble from the turtle and Gracie offers several different ways to turn the tables by using it.

Part 3 – Takedown & Front Turtle Attacks

The midpoint of this Gracie BJJ DVD covers a creative way to approach takedowns. Rayron takes the turtle a lot further than anyone I’ve seen, using it as the endpoint of his takedowns. His thinking is that if he can’t take an opponent down, he can at least force them to turtle up, which effectively moves the exchange to the ground.

What Rayron did was go through some of the most common takedowns, like the double leg, single leg, and collar drag, offering ways to force the opponent to turtle up as you attack with these takedowns. He even covers what I think is one of the best ways to utilize the body lock and get a mat return that opens up a host of different dangerous attacks.

This part of the instructional also covers how to deal with the front turtle, by utilizing proven methods such as the guillotine chokes and the threat of transitioning to the back turtle

Part 4 – Back Turtle Destruction

The fourth part of the Turtle Mastery DVD by Rayron Gracie addresses how to attack an opponent that has turtled up tightly and is repelling common attacks. He begins with retention concepts that ensure you keep the bottom person turtled and in place.

Rayron then goes into the different arm positions and how to get underhooks and leg hooks in, as well as how to operate went the opponent is actively trying to clear them. I particularly enjoyed the different directions of escape counters, that go past just rolling forward and offer sitting back and standing up as well.

Rayron rounds off this volume by offering a couple of chokes to beat the turtle, in the form of the one-hook choke and the clock choke.

Part 5 – Rolling Commentary

The final portion of the instructional contains rolling footage of Rayron putting his turtle attacks to use. He does a few rolls first, and then goes through them, narrating and breaking down what happened, how his thought process went, and how the entire system ties in together.

Forcing the Turtle Out of the Shell

Many people turn to the turtle as a hub of defensive opportunities in grappling, and the launching pad for multiple differnet escapes. The introduction of wrestling turtle principles into BJJ in the last few years has changed the landscape in favor of those playing the turtle.

I have not seen much instructional covering how to purposefully and effectively break down and attack the turtle in BJJ. This Gracie Fundamentals DVD, although leaving lots of questions unanswered, does offer some ideas and directions on how to solve this very annoying issue. 

Personally, I am looking at the source to learn how to beat the turtle, trying to implement wrestling tactics to combat the wrestling base that gives it the defensive power it has. Regardless of tactics, the endgame remains open, as attacking the turtle in BJJ is not as easy as it was 10 years ago.

That doesn’t mean to just give up and allow people to use it to defend everything. It just means we need a lot more work on the subject and this Rayron Gracie DVD provides some useful information on how to approach it.

Gracie Fundamentals DVD Review: Turtle Mastery by Rayron Gracie


Master the Turtle!

I’d say that to beat the turtle position you need to learn how to hold and defend it first, but that is the long way to Turtle Mastery. If you want a shortcut to defeating the turtle before it shapes up to become a defensive fortress, then the Turtle Mastery Gracie Fundamentals DVD by Rayron Gracie is one of the best resources to help you with your quest, especially with the Gi on. Definitely worth taking a look!

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