As anyone that has trained in submission grappling for an extended period of time knows, the game is constantly evolving in often unexpected areas.
In recent years we’ve seen developments such as Keenan Cornelius’ “Worm Guard“ or the more famous “Berimbolo“ sequences popularized by the Miyao Brothers. Both are examples of positions that create opportunities for multiple branching pathways that allow for improving position and catching your opponent off-guard. These techniques spread quickly within the grappling world (and obviously the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world in particular) due in part to novelty, but mostly due to the versatility they lend to any grappler’s arsenal. We’ve also seen a revival in leglocks, kneebars and footlocks largely due to competitors such as John Danaher’s protegé Garry Tonon or current UFC fighter Ryan Hall’s run on The Ultimate Fighter.
But today we have something different. Ricardo Liborio black belt and American Top Team BJJ coach Malachy Friedman has developed a series of items that focus primarily from defending the D’Arce choke (alternately known as the Brabo choke). The series isn’t just about escaping the submission, but getting to a superior position and landing in a situation that is advantageous to the defender to apply a submission as soon as possible.
The technique was initially made popular in Brazil by former Brazilian Top Team coach Milton Vieira, a contemporary of BJJ legends and BTT founders Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Liborio and Mario Sperry. It didn’t become famous until, through years of spreading around as it happens with many techniques, Renzo Gracie alum Joe D’Arce began to find success using the move in competition after learning it from John Danaher. Marc Laimon is the one credited with christening the attack as the D’Arce choke after witnessing D’Arce’s execution of the attack in competition, and the name has stuck ever since.
In this instructional, there’s a brief introduction to the application of the technique itself with an emphasis on the basic principles of the attack. From there, we branch out to simple escapes that spread out to positional shifts and sequences that end in submission attacks. The main elements consist of relieving pressure on the neck as expected, but all lessons extend beyond that to become offensive opportunities or positional control options.
Starting out with basic sit-outs, the techniques lead to the use of tripod escapes and other options to defend the D’Arce choke from it’s most basic form, starting from a front headlock. It doesn’t end there, as there are other options on defending from half-guard and even mount. There’s even an added bonus on escaping Anaconda chokes near the end that is an excellent addition.
Friedman has spent a lot of time developing his system after teaching some basic defense to the choke to his students and began to expand from there. He’s worked with notable talents like upcoming UFC title challenger Yoel Romero and others in American Top Team, and now operates his affiliate gym ATT Lowcountry in Charleston, S.C.
A preview is available below (link available if not visible here.):
Perhaps it may seem limited at first to some, since the series almost exclusively deals with defending one kind of technique. Yet after watching it and seeing exactly what is possible, it’s totally worth your time and money. Friedman has hit on something great here, as it applies mostly for no-gi and MMA grappling, but could still be used for gi training if necessary.
The D’Arce Killer is available via Digitsu.com either on DVD or available in streaming as well as downloadable formats here. It’s currently priced at $24.99 and available for mobile formats as detailed on the site.
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