After The Ultimate Fighter, Sotiropoulos used his found connections to travel the states and train at some of the best U.S. schools. He spent time at Serra Jiu Jitsu, Xtreme Couture and finally 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, a style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu founded by Eddie Bravo, an ADCC World Champion and the first American to make a Gracie tap out in a jiu jitsu match.
Bravo’s style is purely no gi and focuses heavily on using flexibility and unorthodox positions to off-balance even the most experienced grapplers. The corner stones of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is the "rubber guard" and "twister side control."
The rubber guard is something that is often misunderstood by fans and used very well by Sotiropoulos. Controlling posture is the most important aspect of playing guard in grappling or MMA: it gives better control, opens up more sweeps and submissions and stops punches to the face. In traditional jiu jitsu the grips on the gi make posture control much easier; in no gi, controlling posture in the guard is far more difficult.
With the rubber guard, the bottom player uses an hook on his own leg to break down his opponent’s posture. Now this is often confused with a regular high guard where the fighter grabs his own shin. There are key differences, the biggest is that in the rubber guard, the guard player goes under his own leg and hooks it with his ankle.
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