From the days when the Gracies reigned in the UFC, and years before that in vale tudo, the roots of MMA are visibly embedded in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, especially in no-gi BJJ. And with the growing popularity of MMA comes an increasing demand for no-gi BJJ. Today, more and more traditional BJJ enthusiasts have started to adapt no-gi grappling into their BJJ training. In fact, the greatest BJJ world champions believe that training both no-gi and in the gi are essential in becoming a complete grappler.
Nobody is more familiar with no-gi grappling than Eddie Bravo. In 2003, Eddie Bravo did the unthinkable and submitted the legendary Royler Gracie at the ADCC World Championships while he was still a brown belt. Up to this point, nobody had ever submitted Royler Gracie at a tournament. This win led Bravo to start 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. With its unique MMA and no-gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu system, 10th Planet is heralded today for being at the cutting edge of no-gi grappling.
Luckily, for the students of Evolve MMA, they’ll soon have the best of both traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. With the addition of “Slick” Rick Marshall, Evolve MMA becomes the only martial arts academy in the world with BJJ black belts from Renzo Gracie, Checkmat, and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Systems. Rick Marshall is a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu black belt and one of its most senior practitioners and respected figures.
Today, Evolve Daily speaks to Rick Marshall about his upcoming move to Singapore and his plans for Asia’s biggest no-gi grappling program at Evolve MMA:
1) What is the difference between 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu was designed to focus on ground fighting without the kimono or gi. Where other systems put a lot of emphasis on the gi and grabbing cloth for control, a 10th planet practitioner will focus on clinching and overhooks.
The system works really well for MMA practitioners, as most – if not all – rulesets state that a fighter is not allowed to grab the other fighter’s shorts, shirts and gloves.
2) What is your opinion on the grappling scene in Asia so far?
There are a lot of great Jiu Jitsu names that originate from Asia. Masakazu Imanari and Shinya Aoki are household names in the U.S. grappling scene. I know there are good Jiu Jitsu practitioners and grapplers in every country, and I’m definitely eager to catch up with everyone on the mats.
3) What are the greatest lessons Eddie Bravo’s ever taught you? How have they impacted your grappling career/life?
Eddie has taught me to keep an open mind in grappling. There’s never one right way to perform a technique, but a way that’s right for you. This has helped me in my grappling career because I am always listening, experimenting, and learning. And in this way, I view everyone, from white belt to black, as my teacher.
4) What are you looking forward to the most as part of the Evolve instructor team?
I’m looking forward to working with everyone- the students, the fighters, the coaches. I believe that, as a team, we can make a huge impact in the entire region.
5) How would you describe your teaching style?
I was a math tutor in high school and college. Math was a subject I liked and found easy to do. Knowing that friends of mine weren’t understanding the subject, I felt I could help them learn it in a different way. It was a game for me to get others to be able to break down a big problem into a series of small steps in order to realize the solution.
I feel that, because of my prior experience as a math tutor, teaching Jiu Jitsu comes naturally- same game, different subject. I know not to walk away from students when they are having a difficult time learning a technique.
Jiu Jitsu is about progression. By breaking down a Jiu Jitsu system into smaller steps, we can all practice kaizen. Constant progression for sure.
6) What are some of the exciting things our students could look forward to in your no-gi grappling program?
Jiu Jitsu is fun. All the cool systems with weird names are fun to learn. My students will learn concepts. They will learn, not just how to execute a technique, but why they are doing it. Ultimately, the students are going to have fun learning how to be lethal ground fighters.
There’s no doubt that the students of Evolve MMA are looking forward to this exciting new addition to an already extensive array of martial arts programs. With the partnership of the Evolve MMA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, Evolve MMA is truly a dream come true for any grappler.