[First published in 2010. Scroll down for plain text]
This month the GRACIEMAG radar blipped at an interesting point on the Jiu-Jitsu map. The spot of red light flashed on João Ferreira Street, in São Carlos, São Paulo state, the address of Sports Winner Academy, where Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” Maciel donned
a gi for the first time. “Cobrinha” taught capoeira and was
drawn to the gentle art there. He transferred to São Paulo already a brown belt and teacher. In his place entered another
future world champion, Michael Langhi. When Michael some
time on also took off for the big town, his brother Michel took
his post at sports winner, solidifying João Ferreira Street’s
reputation as being the “breeding grounds of champions.”
enthused about this succession of aces, we set off for São
Carlos to take a closer look at the Jiu-Jitsu sprouting up around
those parts. There we found Michael, who was back in town
for two weeks of rest. He received us graciously and drew
up a training program for our pages. He opted to expound on
several stages in the progression of a match, from the beginning, on foot, to the submission. control over every moment
in a bout is perhaps the greatest virtue of Michael Langhi,
voted the most consistent athlete of 2009 by GRACIEMAG
To start the job off, Langhi (with the help of his brother,
Michel) demonstrates three pre-training warm-up exercises.
Leap-frog – with the training partner leaning forward,
put your hands on his back and leap to the other side.
Then, turn and crawl through the teammate’s legs. Repeat
Spider-guard – with your training partner, play spider guard and extend one leg after the other, pushing your partner
to the sides. Repeat 20 times.
Guard defense – with the training partner standing, hug
one of his legs. Roll to the other side with your back to the mat
until back in initial position. Repeat 20 times
On the second day, Langhi shows how to take an opponent to the ground.
Pull to guard 1 – grab hold of the opponent’s lapel
and the sleeve opposite it. Lie back-down and put your foot
on the adversary’s crotch on the side you are holding the
lapel to keep him from gluing to you. Put the other foot on
his bicep and achieve control in the spider guard.
Guard pull 2 – in this case, the adversary sinks a
grip on your lapel first. Using both hands, break the opponent’s grip and pull his hand diagonally towards the
ground. Meanwhile, grab hold of the adversary’s belt and
lie on your back, putting your foot on your opponent’s hip
to create space.
Safe takedown – grab the lapel and pull your opponent to your body, while shooting in to throw the opponent
off balance. Take the opponent down and land pressed
against him, already preparing to pass.
Langhi dedicates the day to three of his favorite
Spider-guard sweep – with the opponent in your spider guard, tip him to the side until forcing him to lie with his back
to the ground. Land mounted atop him.
Trapped arm sweep – again in the spider-guard, turn to one of
the sides and trap the opponent’s arm with one of your legs. Then put both
feet on the opponent’s hips and hoist him up until you throw him over
your head. Follow through with the movement and land in the mount.
Sweep going for the back – from the spider-guard, wrap
up one of the opponent’s legs and stretch his arms out with your
feet on his biceps until you have made enough room to pass
between the adversary’s legs. On the other side, release one of
the grips and grab one of the opponent’s pant legs to pull him
to you, sinking your hooks straight in from his back.
Langhi shows three attacks from the guard.
Arm – grab hold of the sleeves and position your feet
between the opponent’s arms. Open up the adversary’s defenses with a foot on the bicep. release the grip on one of
the sleeves and trap the opponent’s arm, at the same time
bringing your legs together to sink the armbar
Omoplata – grab hold of the sleeves with your legs
within. Pull one of the adversary’s arms while extending your leg forward. Then raise the leg and wrap up the
adversary’s arm. Spin 180 degrees and cross your legs to
trap the arm. Raise your body up and apply pressure on
the shoulder joint.
Triangle – repeat the initial arm attack movement.
raise your legs, crossing them around the neck and
trapped arm. Pull the opponent’s head down to increase
Langhi plays guard, but knows how to pass.
Spider-guard pass – grab hold of the opponent’s pants
and stack him. Trap him with your knees on his hip, move your
grip on one of the legs to the other, with one hand on the leg
and the other extending the arm. Push your opponent’s legs to
the side and land passing over the outstretched arm.
Half-guard pass with neck attack – in the half-guard,
grab the lapel and pull it to you. Pass the outer hand hold to
the inner hand, press your chin against the outer hand putting pressure on the neck and spin. Besides passing, you
Pass with knee pressure – in the opponent’s guard, break
his grip on your sleeve and hold his arm to the mat. Change your
grip from the lapel to the adversary’s thigh. Release the hold on
the arm and grab the lapel, while raising your hips to open room,
to free the leg in the half-guard until you have made it to the side.
To finish, Langhi offers three submissions from his arsenal.
Forearm choke – on the adversary’s back, fall to the
side on which your arm is over his arm. When the opponent tries to escape over your hook, trap his legs and get
on top, preventing the escape. From behind the head, grab
your own sleeve and wrap your arm around the adversary’s
neck, lying back to apply pressure.
Kimura – after passing guard, wrap up one of the adversary’s arms grabbing your own lapel. Spin 180 degrees
and pull the trapped arm downwards. Release the hold on
the lapel to create the leverage for the kimura. Pull the opponent’s arm upwards and squeeze out the lock.
Choke from the back – with your hooks already in,
open the opponent’s lapel and grab high up on it. Then
grab the opponent’s leg and fall back, pulling the lapel and
putting your leg over the adversary’s hips, to squeeze out