Americana– A shoulder lock applied from a top position involving catching an opponents arm in a right angle and bending it forward towards the head. Legend has it that the name either came in honor of wrestling coach Bob Anderson, who showed the move to Rolls Gracie, or it was a completely derogatory term named for the way flamboyant way Brazilians believed American’s waved goodbye.
Angle– When applied to opponent: You never want to be in front of your opponent, but you always want to keep your opponent in from of you. When applied to self: The tendency to keep your body at right angles in order to properly defend yourself or apply pressure to an opponent.
Armbar– Classic Jiu Jitsu attack which looks to isolate the arm and then hyper-extend the elbow joint. Contrary to popular belief this does not usually result in broken bones when applied, but is actually damaging to the tendons and ligaments first.
Brabo Choke– A variation of a front head and arm choke, where as the attacker’s arm is actually in the same side as the defender’s arm. Same as the Darce choke, although Gumby tends to refer to the gi variations as the Brabo choke. Legend has it the name came from Leo Viera, who used Brabo as his email address.
Break Falling– The technical way of falling in which the energy of the impact is dispersed throughout the body and the head is protected. Often accompanied by slapping the ground upon impact to further reduced the force absorbed by the body. An important part of Jiu Jitsu and absolutely critical in judo before any further techniques can be shown.
Carlos Gracie Sr. – Eldest of the five Gracie Brothers credited with the creation and widespread invention of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A direct student of Mitsuyo Maeda, Carlos was first to begin to teach Jiu Jitsu to his brothers and then Brazil. As he got older, took on more of a role as a mentor and a sort of guru as opposed to the day to day training which fell more to Helio Gracie.
Darce Choke– A variation of a front head and arm choke, where as the attacker’s arm is actually in the same side as the defender’s arm. Same as the Brabo choke, although Gumby tends to refer to the no gi variant as the Darce choke. Named for Joe D’Arce, Renzo Gracie black belt (who credits John Danaher with the invention), who was so successful with the move people started calling it after him.
Estima Lock– Variation of a straight foot lock that simultaneously twists the ankle in a sort of a toe hold. Popularized by the Estima brothers, Vitor and Braulio, it is still considered a legal hold by the IBJJF for lower belts.
Fifty/Fifty Guard– A guard variation where both opponent’s single legs are intertwined in such a way that it can be said that each is in the exact same position with no inherent advantages, thus the 50/50 moniker. Became very popular in the early 2010’s thanks to the Mendes Brothers, the trend might be subsiding a bit now.
Gogoplata– A variation of the Omoplata credited to Nino Schembri, where instead of going after the shoulder lock, a shin is brought underneath an opponent’s neck turning the move into a choke.
Gordo– Roberto “Gordo” Correa is sometimes known as the master of the half guard and is one of the most respected instructors in Jiu Jitsu. Gumby has particularly strong ties and a friendship to Gordo, as growing up Gumby’s instructor Ralph and Gordo were best friends, and Gordo’s first black belt Sandro “Batata” Santiago was the main instructor at Mountain View where Gumby trained at for many years.
Helio Gracie– Youngest of the five original Gracie brothers to popularize Jiu Jitsu throughout Brazil. Initially considered to be too weak to learn Jiu Jitsu, Helio is credited with many refinements of technique that emphasized leverage as opposed to brute strength and became the first family champion, fighting a number of highly publicized matches. Active in Jiu Jitsu throughout his entire life and living well into nineties, Gumby remarked upon meeting him “although much has been emphasized that he was the smallest of his brothers, nothing even in his advanced age belied any sort of weakness about him. He had a total presence even just sitting there.” Was noted that the cross collar choke was his favorite technique and Gumby always like to devote that portion of class in his honor.
IBJJF– International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federarion, which runs the largest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments in the world. As such, they have a standardized ruleset that has become the norm. Unless told otherwise, it is usually protocol to follow the IBJJF guidelines when sparring at the academy.
Kimura– A should lock applied by bending an opponent’s arm at a 90 degree angle from the front and pulling it behind their back. Named in honor of Masahiko Kimura, widely considered one of the greatest judoka of all time who broke Helio Gracie’s arm in a famous match with the move (Helio refused to tap, his brother Carlos through in the towel).
Mitsuyo Maeda– Also referred to as Conde Koma (Count Combat), Maeda was a Japanese Kodokan who took challenge matches around the world and eventually taught the Gracie Brothers Jiu Jitsu in exchange for some political favors their father granted them. Revered for his role in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Maeda was also instrumental in Japanese emigration to Brazil, and today Brazil has the highest population of Japanese people outside of Japan.
Nino Schembri- Antonio “Nino” Schembri (sometimes nicknamed Elvis) is considered one of the most dynamic competitors of the late 90’s early 2000’s and is one of Gumby’s personal Jiu Jitsu Heroes. Known for his creativity, use of his flexibility and his submission oriented game.
Omaplata- A shoulder lock initiated from the guard using the legs.
Posture– The alignment of the shoulders and hips, and the understanding of control of one’s center of gravity by virtue of their stance. Also, the number one thing Gumby claims to yell during tournaments.
Ralph Gracie- Gumby’s instructor and the man who awarded him all of his rankings in Jiu Jitsu. Ralph is known for a very basic approach to Jiu Jitsu which involves closed guard, pressure, and aggression. Gumby feels that Ralph’s style is very effective and somewhat brutal, and that while Jiu Jitsu is often times called the gentle art, Ralph tends to inflict as much punishment as possible in every one of his moves.
Reversal– Any move the involves the bottom player coming on top and the top player winding up on the bottom that does not involve the guard. Considered an escape rather than moving towards a dominant position, in most sport scoring scenarios this is not considered for points, but none the less is often a desirable move to accomplish.
Rickson Gracie– Third eldest son of Helio Gracie, and also the fourth of the Gracie Family Champions (Helio, Carlson, Rolls being the previous three). Rickson is considered by many to have the finest and most effective expression of Jiu Jitsu today. It is his understanding of the Fundamentals and the way he can intercept you at such a deep level which really sets him apart from anyone else.
Roleta– Roberto “Roleta” Magalhaes was a dominant Jiu Jitsu competitor of the 90’s and despite only working with him very briefly Gumby considers him to be a huge influence on his game. Known especially for his dynamic guard work, Roleta with his lanky build and engineering mind probably demonstrated the best use of leverage in competition ever and became famous for his “Helicopter Sweep”.
Simple Sweep (Also called a Scissor Sweep)- Basic (but sometimes difficult to learn) sweep involving pulling your opponent’s weight forward and then scissoring your legs together to reverse the position.
Strong Side– The Side (often the front) of an opponent which has greater possibility for defense. Example, when pushing an opponent’s legs to one side on a guard pass moving to the front side (towards the front of the legs) would be considered attacking the strong side.
Sweep– A movement or technique that must start from the guard in which the bottom player comes on top, while the top player is often put on their back. In a Sport Jiu Jitsu context, the move will score 2 points, but must be executed from the guard (otherwise the movement is known as a reversal and is not counted towards points.
Toreando Pass– Literally translates into “Bull Fighter Pass”, a Guard passing method which involves pushing the opponents legs to one side, while stepping around to the opposite side.
Triangle choke– is traditionally applied from the guard position and is best set up when an opponent has one arm and their head in between the legs and the other arm to the outside. Thus the trap is sprung and the guard player will apply pressure directly with the legs to one side of the neck, while forcing the inside arm of their opponent to other side of the neck thus causing a strangulation.
Upa– Escape from the mount by use of the bridge.
Weak Side– The side (often the back) of an opponent which cannot be defended as well. Example, when pushing an opponent’s legs to one side on a guard pass, moving to the opposite side (away from the legs) would be considered attacking the weak side.