Techniques: Wrestling for MMA and BJJ – Turtle Guard Reversals and Escapes

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Turtle Guard is generally thought of as a defensive position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, however when practiced it can prove difficult to submit a turtling opponent that knows all of his/her options.  Turtling opponents can escape, sweep, and even submit careless opponents.  Turtle Guard can be used an alternative to shrimping and replacing guard.  Turtle Guard is very similar to “Referee’s Position” in Folkstyle Wrestling, so many wrestlers develop a strong turtle guard when transitioning to BJJ.  It also allows the wrestler to defend without laying on your back.  The following instructional videos provide several options from turtle guard that will be familiar an useful for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners or Wrestlers.

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Professor Brian Ruscio earns his First Degree Promotion on his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio
IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio
IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio

Professor Brian Ruscio recently met all requirements and earned his First Degree and Stripe on his BJJ Black Belt.  On average it takes 10 years to earn a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  For some it takes much longer, and others it takes less.  Brian Ruscio earned his Black Belt 7 years after starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  He credits his mat awareness, balance, base, and understanding of fundamental positions he learned from USA Wrestling since an early age for his quick understanding and improvement in the sport of BJJ.  It helped him understand what to look for when his instructors were demonstrating the techniques.  It didn’t take him long to recognize that a fight didn’t end when someone was on their back, and unlike wrestling, the match keeps going.  He fell in love with the sport and the ability to be even more creative with his techniques and strategy.  BJJ goes beyond Wrestling in that aspect and quickly became a passion for him.

Professor Brian Ruscio earned his Black Belt in September of 2012 at Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu, from Marcio Simas.  He was even awarded special recognition from Marcio Simas.  Professor Brian Ruscio is an International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and United States Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (USBJJF) recognized Black Belt.

According to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Guidelines, once a person achieves the rank of Black Belt they must do the following to earn their first degree:

  • Athlete must have a Black Belt awarded by a 2nd degree Black Belt certified by the IBJJF
  • Contribute to the Art/Sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for at least 3 years after Graduation, examples are competing, teaching, and refereeing.
  • Maintain CPR Certification
  • Maintain Affiliation with the IBJJF
  • Keep up to date on the rules set forth by the Federation by attending the most recent Rules Seminar.
  • Must pass a Background Check

What’s Next?

Professor Ruscio now has his sights set on his second degree.  To him this will be the most important because at 2nd degree Black Belt he will have the ability to promote his students to Black Belt.  As a student of Professor Ruscio at Grappling Mastery students will have their BJJ Belt recognized by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation!  Abiding by the Federation Guidelines is an important part of maintaining the integrity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a martial art and representing your academy as a legitimate place to train.  It also allows students to compete at some of the most prestigious BJJ tournaments.

The following are the Ranks of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:

  • Black Belt (read how to get your Black Belt in BJJ)
  • First Degree Black Belt (3 years as Black Belt and req. above)
  • Second Degree Black Belt (3 years as First Degree)
  • Third Degree Black Belt (3 years as Second Degree)
  • Fourth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Third Degree)
  • Fifth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Fourth Degree)
  • Sixth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Fifth Degree)
  • Seventh Degree Red & Black Coral Belt (MASTER) (7 years as Sixth Degree)
  • Eighth Degree Red & White Coral Belt (MASTER) (7 years as Red & Black Coral)
  • Ninth Degree Red Belt (GRAND MASTER) (10 years as Red & White Coral)
  • Tenth Degree Red Belt (This Belt was reserved for the Founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Carlos Gracie Sr., Gastão Gracie, George Gracie, Oswaldo Gracie, and Hélio Gracie)

Is your Instructor a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt according to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation?

 

How to become a “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt

What entitles someone to be called “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Becoming a “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a long and rewarding journey. We have outlined the Guidelines to becoming a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) here.  But what is required to earn the coveted title of “Master” in BJJ?

First let’s answer a few common questions about Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:

  1. Why is there a patch or bar on the belt? The bar is the place that the degrees are to be placed.  You may be aware of this already since most colored BJJ Belts and sometimes White BJJ Belts have a Black Patch/Bar for stripe placement.
  2. Why do some Black Belts have a White Patch/Bar and some Black Belts have a Red Patch/Bar?  The White Patch or Bar on a Black Belt signifies the Black Belt is a student or fighter.  The Red Patch or Bar signifies that the Black Belt is an Instructor.
  3. What are those white stripes that “frame” the red bar, and why do some instructors have the white framing stripes while some don’t?  The White Stripes that “frame” the Red Bar or Patch on a Black Belt signify that the Instructor or Professor owns the BJJ Academy or School.
  4. What do I call the Black Belts in my BJJ Academy?  This differs depending on the school and sometimes the individual.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a modern martial art and in some ways less traditional than others.  Formal greetings are always appropriate. Sir is usually a safe bet.  It’s best to err on the side of respect.  If the Black Belt says… “just call me…. ‘preferred salutation'”, then you can go with that.
  5. How should I address my teacher?  “Professor“.  Unless they qualify for the title of “Master“, then you should call them “Professor, Firstname/Lastname” (depending on their preference).  There are exceptions, as noted in IBJJF Guidelines Article 6.3 below.  It basically states that IF THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BLACK BELTS IN THE REGION, that they may approve certain purple and brown belts to sign as Instructors.  Therefore, they should be referred to as “Instructor, Firstname/Lastname” (depending on their preference).
  6. When can a Professor promote his first Black Belt?  According to IBJJF Guidelines Article 6.2 below, an athlete can only be promoted to Black Belt by an Instructor with at least a 2nd Degree Black Belt. (We outline how to achieve 2nd Degree Black Belt later.  Essentially they must be a Black Belt and teaching for at least 6 years.)

ARTICLE 6 – PROFESSORS AND INSTRUCTORS
6.1 The membership form of an athlete graded in belts of gray, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and brown must be signed by
an IBJJF affiliated black belt.

6.2 The graduation of an athlete to black belt can only be signed by a black belt instructor that promoted them and must have at
least 2 degrees certified by IBJJF.

6.3 In countries or regions where there are not enough black belts for the development of the sport, IBJJF will accept purple belt and brown belt athletes to sign as instructors. Once the minimum number is reached, the use of instructor status will be suspended.

6.31 Brown belt instructors can only graduate athletes to purple belt and purple belt instructors can only graduate athletes to blue belt.

Important Note: Belt Promotions are to be given by IBJJF Certified Instructors & Professors Only!

So how does one become a “MASTER” or “GRANDMASTER?

To be called a Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must achieve the “Coral Belt”.  The Coral Belt is a Rank awarded by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) when you achieve the 7th degree as a Black Belt.  Carlos Gracie Jr. is an example of a BJJ Master.  Below you will find a link to a List of Masters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

How do you earn stripes or degrees as a Black Belt?  Once you are a Black Belt, your Professor no longer awards degrees or stripes.  You must continue to learn and contribute to the sport by attending classes, teaching, competing, or refereeing.  Subsequent ranks are awarded by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  Each degree is awarded by applying to the IBJJF after the respective amount of years below:

  1. The 1st Degree is awarded after 3 years of receiving the Black Belt
  2. The 2nd Degree is awarded 3 years after receiving the 1st Degree. If an instructor, they are now granted the ability to promote others to Black Belt.
  3. The 3rd Degree is awarded 3 years after receiving the 2nd Degree
  4. The 4th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 3rd Degree
  5. The 5th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 4th Degree
  6. The 6th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 5th Degree
  7. The 7th Degree is awarded 7 years after receiving the 6th Degree and the Black Belt is switched to a Red and Black (aka Coral) Belt and earns the BJJ Practitioner the Title, “Master”
  8. The 8th Degree is awarded 7 years after receiving the Coral Belt and the Red and Black Belt is exchanged for a Red and White Belt. This rank is also titled, “Master”
  9. The 9th Degree is awarded 10 years after receiving the 8th Degree and the Title, “Grand Master” is achieved and the Red and White Belt is exchanged for a Red Belt.
  10. The 10th Degree is a rank that is currently reserved only to the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Gracie brothers: Carlos Sr., Oswaldo, George, Gaston, and Helio Gracie

To be called “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must contribute to the sport of BJJ for 31 years as a Black Belt, achieve Coral Belt and adhere to the IBJJF Guidelines.

To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt
To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt

To be called “Grand Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must contribute to the sport of BJJ for 48 years as a Black Belt, achieve Red Belt and adhere to the IBJJF Guidelines.

To earn the title of Grand Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red Belt
To earn the title of Grand Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red Belt

Is there a list of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grand Masters?  We’ve compiled a list here we’ve gathered from various reputable sources:

Here is a List of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Red Belt Grand Masters and Coral Belt Masters:

Here is a list of BJJ Black Belt Athletes, Fighters, and Professors

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Subscribe to the Grappling Community below!

Photo Gallery of our Grand Opening in Mount Dora!

Grappling Mastery Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA hosted a Self Defense Seminar, Ginastica Natural Class, and a Zumba Fitness Class at our Grand Opening of our New BJJ Academy in Mount Dora on US HWY 441 near Loch Leven.

Enjoy the photo gallery below!

It’s not too late! You can still enjoy Grappling Mastery BJJ & MMA Academy for 30 Days Free!  For more great pictures and videos subscribe to the Grappling Community below!

Police Officer vs. BJJ Black Belt

It was a friendly challenge but it was in a gym full of spectators.  Officer Blake isn’t just any Police Officer, he trains Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai with Grappling Mastery.  You can ask any of his training partners, he’s a tough opponent!

In this video you will see: a shoulder lock from the back using the legs!

To learn more Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and No Gi Grappling techniques and videos subscribe below or Join Grappling Mastery for 30 Days FREE!!

Brian Ruscio awarded Special Recognition from 6th Degree BJJ Master Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu in Orlando

Professor Brian Ruscio was recently awarded special recognition from 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt, Master Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu in Orlando, Florida.  Marcio is a pioneer in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu bring the Gentle Art to Florida over 20 years ago in 1993.  Since then he has built and produced dozens of Black Belts that have gone on to win World and Pan-American Jiu Jitsu Tournaments, UFC, and other Pro and Amateur MMA Events.  Both Marcio, who is a IBJJF Pan Champion and his partner Gutty Muggiati, a World Masters and Mundial Champion have personally trained Brian Ruscio for the last decade.

Brian Ruscio recently won the NAGA Pan-American Championship at the Expert Level.

Learn more about Brian Ruscio and Grappling Mastery’s Gracie Barra lineage.

Here are some pictures from the Gracie Barra Event, more will be coming soon from our Professional Photographer.

To learn from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Black Belt in the Mount Dora, Eustis, Tavares, or Leesburg area visit Grappling Mastery and take 30 Days of Free Jiu Jitsu Classes from Brian Ruscio!!

Undefeated, Brian Ruscio claims Championship at 2014 NAGA Pan-American

Brian Ruscio claims NAGA Pan Am No Gi Expert Masters

Grappling Mastery Professor, Brian Ruscio recently put it all on the line at the 2014 NAGA Pan-American Championships to showcase his skills and set an example for the team.  It was a great time overall and the competition was tough.  Whispers about his opponents like, “I’ve never seen that guy taken down before!”, and “That guy rarely loses!” are some of the comments heard during and after his matches.  To that he only stated, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know that.”

Brian says:  “I don’t really pay attention to who my opponents are going to be.  If I see them in a match that day, I may think of a hypothetical strategy, but my only real plan is to go in there and have fun.  I only plan to find a way to grapple my way and get them to play my game.  I don’t get myself excited by all the hype around someone’s name and I never underestimate anybody.  Anybody can be beaten by anybody else.  For me it’s not about winning or losing, only doing my best and gaining something of value from my opponent that will help me improve myself.”

Below are the Semi Finals and Finals Matches from the NAGA Pan-American No GI Expert Masters Championships vs. American MMA Fighter, William Swift and Brazilian MMA Fighter, Wanderley Camilo.

Brian Ruscio defeats Brazilian MMA Fighter Wanderley Camilo (BTT) for the NAGA No GI Expert Championship
Brian Ruscio defeats Brazilian MMA Fighter, Wanderley Camilo (Brazilian Top Team) for the NAGA No GI Expert Championship

More Pics of Grappling Mastery at 2014 NAGA Pan-American

To learn more from Brian Ruscio, try out Grappling Mastery for 30 Days FREE!

Gracie Barra Orlando’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

Gracie Barra Orlando 20th Year Anniversary
Gracie Barra Orlando 20th Year Anniversary
Professor Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra Orlando, 6th Degree Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr.
Professor Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra Orlando, 6th Degree Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr.

Professor Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra in Orlando, Florida has personally invited Professor Brian Ruscio and the Grappling Mastery Team to attend his 20th Anniversary of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Central Florida.

Marcio Simas has been Brian Ruscio’s mentor since he began learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu many years ago.  It will be an honor to attend this event as Marcio will be awarding Brian Ruscio all his other Black Belts since 1994 special recognition!  Many have moved and hopefully most will be attending in person.

More about Grappling Mastery’s Gracie Barra Lineage The event will be Saturday, December 20th 2014 from 12-4 pm at Bill Frederick Park and cost $10 per person.  Kids 10 and under are free.

View Pictures of the Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu 20 Year Celebration

Side Suplay (Suplex) Defense to Headlock

The Belly to Side Suplay (aka Suplex) is a wrestling throw that serves as a spectacular counter to a Head & Arm Throw or Headlock.  This throw requires practice with a wrestler’s bridge but once drilled to perfection you can easily lift and throw bigger opponents over your head.  With a perfect arch you can achieve a “Grand Amplitude” giving you 5 points in Greco and Freestyle Wrestling Competition.  This is NOT considered a Slam in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as it is a natural arc, with no changes in the direction of the throw!  There is also no spiking motion.  In the video below we’ve slowed down the motion so you can see the details of the throw.  As this demonstration was for training purposes, Coach Ruscio opted to take our opponent to his back instead of over the back of his neck and head to save our training partner possible injury.  Notice the smiles afterward 😉

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For more Awesome Throws and Wrestling Techniques to add to your Grappling and BJJ, come check out Grappling Mastery in Lake County Florida for 30 Days Free, minutes from Mount Dora, Eustis, Tavares, Leesburg, and Apopka!