Dan Faggella is a No-Gi Gold Medal Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized Expert in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world. He has produced over a dozen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD Instructional Videos & Books – and his FREE “Bigger They Are, Harder They Fall” DVD & Training Guide can be found online at: http://www.microbjj.com
There’s a certain feeling you get when you push play on a BJJ match. It’s a poetic experience when the two men engage in the human game of chess. The fluidity of the moves are outstanding and the transitions are unique and thrilling.
However, some matches aren’t always as engaging and even. There are plenty of times when a match pops up on my screen and it’s just a one sided affair right from the get go. From the posture to the general body movements, you can tell when a grappler is out of it.
Especially when they’re going against Guilherme Mendes.
Like An Animal In The Wild
In this particular match I watched between Guilherme Mendes at the Campeontao Brasileiro de Jiu Jitsu in 2009, this was a perfect way to describe the approach in which Mendes utilized. The folks at Bishop BJJ describe his style as “intent,” on the top and on the bottom. You can see their Youtube breakdown here.
Right away, the two men anticipated a takedown and were ready for the other one to strike. Without even making any kind of gesture that he was going for the takedown, all Mendes had to do was slowly move forward, just waiting for his opponents first mistake.
It didn’t take long, as Mendes stalked his opponent right out of the ring. Not noticing his location, the opponent backed right out of the ring. After a brief reset from the ref, Mendes began prowling forward; plodding slowly.
Again, his opponent quickly backed right out of the grappling area and went out of bounds again. Clearly, the psychological advantage was heavily in Mendes’ favor. The fact he was able to back his opponent right out of the competition zone without doing anything but slowly step forward speaks to just how lether—and respected—Mendes is in the grappling world.
Pouncing On His Pray
Similar to the lion in the open plains, Mendes is able to pounce on his opponents in the blink of an eye. Not only is this a fantastic trait in it’s own right, once you couple it with his predator-like tenacity, it becomes an even more vicious.
Keeping his opponent on the move, not allowing them to settle for a moment, Mendes is able to setup his own attack and dictate where the match goes. Clearly this plays right into his hand, as it increases the chance he will walk away with the victory in the match.
With his relentless approach, heavy top game and killer instinct, it’s easy to see why Gulherme Mendes is one of the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players in the entire world today (he’s featured as one of BJJ’s top 7 best guard passers on the Science of Skill blog). All of his strong points and assets all work in cohesion with one another, making his game truly well rounded.
When you have his skills and menacing ability, the skill is the limit for any BJJ player!