In today’s world of Jiu-Jitsu, Eddie Bravo is somewhat of an enigma. He began studying martial arts in the same way as others, watching UFC competitions. He was indeed born of the very same BJJ beginnings. He earned his black belt from studying with legendary Jean Jacques Machado, but Bravo was different. Something troubled him, something about Jiu-Jitsu troubled Eddie. He was totally immersed into the burgeoning world of MMA, where he began to see the classic study of Jiu-Jitsu as being problematic.
It caused those who practiced it to rely too much on “handles” and on being able to control one’s opponent using their Gi or clothes. Aside this niggling problem that Bravo had, he also found faults with the accepted modes of instruction for BJJ. He said that it didn’t effectively address possibilities of punches within scenarios of self-defense as well as the reality of punches thrown inside the MMA cage.
Eddie Bravo had a notion of a more clinch-based style of BJJ. He began to explore this notion, and went on to win at the ADCC trials held in North America, within his weight class. That was the time he had a match that would eventually change his life and the world of Jiu-Jitsu forever. It was against one of the biggest name of Jiu-Jitsu, and someone who practiced an extremely different system of BJJ, to which Bravo wasn’t used to. Bravo used a system that were both creative and innovative, while his opponent used no-frills methods that were commonly seen across the globe at the time.
Eddie Bravo: A Tap Heard Around the Globe
At the stage where Eddie Bravo won the ADCC trials, 2002, he was still an unknown fighter to the BJJ world. At this point of his career, Bravo would face one of the best and the most successful competitor in grappling that BJJ has ever known. This competitor was Royler Gracie, and up to this point, he remained unbeaten.
The match of Bravo and Gracie was nothing short of amazing. Following this, he got defeated by Leo Vieira and returned home. After this defeat, ironically, his career went skyrocket! On returning to his home academy, Eddie received his black belt from Jean Jacques Machado, his instructor. It wouldn’t be long now until he opens his first Tenth Planet BJJ Academy.
What is Tenth Planet Jiu-Jitsu?
To understand the concept of Tenth Planet Jiu-Jitsu, and to watch thoughts on its genesis and style.
Twelve years after his fight against Royler Gracie at ADCC, their paths eventually crossed but this time the meeting place is at Metamoris 3, where Royler was 48 and Bravo, 43. They put on a memorable match for their fans. Scenes echoed from their last fight, Royler found himself trapped once again within Eddie’s lockdown and half guard. This can be seen as a true testament to both systems of Jiu-Jitsu and their principles. The Gracie style works on no-frills, that of the new Tenth Planet Jiu-Jitus on bespoke and more innovative techniques. The legendary match was seen trading back and forth between the two marital arts fighters of both their techniques and styles.
Bravo vs. Gracie II
If you are interested in gaining more in-depth understandings to Bravo’s twister submission, please don’t hesitate to check out this Fanatics article on this BJJ twister. The video shows you how Bravo uses his twister submission in a way that explains more clearly than written words can.
Rickson and the Rubber Guard
In the last video and after spending some hours on “Joe Rogan Podcast”, Bravo and his legendary guest speaker, Rickson Gracie spent some more minutes to discuss their techniques further, allowing us to have a really good insight. From this discussion, one of the most interesting takeaways is that we have Rickson’s point of view about Bravo that we didn’t expect. He states that at a point when everyone seemed to be against Eddie, after creating a system of BJJ that turned its back on tradition, and after being one of its most important luminaries, Royler Gracie, he says that he never really saw Bravo like that at all. He saw him in an entirely different light.
He went on to say, in his opinion, this moment of history in BJJ was one of the most important ever. This was a point in time, after many years of bad blood and controversy, when Bravo would finally earn respect from one of BJJ’s leading figures. Controversy is never far away from any martial arts, or indeed in any sports. Many sports figures make it to where they are today, maybe because they caused some controversy along the way.
EBI and Beyond
2014 marked a very important year for BJJ history. It was the year for a re-match between Royler and Bravo, but this is not all. 2014 also marked the start of something great. This important year in the history of BJJ would mark the start of Bravo’s grappling tournaments. Presented as a series, it would quickly gain the name “The Eddie Bravo Invitational”. Well-established now and at the present day, it is nearing its twelfth iteration. Bravo has always been well known for being an innovator. The style that Eddie developed over the years is one that attempts to address the inherently problematic nature of all combat sports.
The results of these styles that have been developed by Eddie are immensely popular. So much of that, they have helped along the line to shape and launch many careers. His styles have helped the careers of some of the best grapplers known today. To mention just one or two big names let’s take Gordon Ryan and Eddie Cummings. These are two very important names that wouldn’t be where they are today without the help of Eddie Bravo.
You may hate or you may love Eddie Bravo. One thing is for sure, Eddie has changed and impacted the landscape of Jiu-Jitsu. What’s more, he will no doubt continue to go on to mold it for many years if not decades to come.