Well everyone I recently got my hands on Sergio “Babu” Gasparelli’s 12 part series “Babu BJJ Mastermind Series” and as soon as I looked at the cover I was pumped. They had a testimonial on it from Rashad Evans saying “Babu is a beast”. I was instantly excited. If Rashad, one of the best fighters alive, recommends it then it must be quality stuff. This is honestly the best DVD series I have ever reviewed. The content in the DVDs and how it was covered is unbelievable.
He takes all the small fundamental things that we take for granted and tweaks them to make them even that much better. These small changes open up so many new opportunities that our opponent will give us that it is mind blowing. He then branches off into advanced techniques that are simple and easy to learn and are also high percentage. They work for both Gi, No Gi, and he goes into techniques designed around MMA. Seeing how he is the BJJ coach at Brazilian Top Team and former coach at Academia Black House MMA I would expect nothing less than excellence, and that’s what he brings to this series. This review will cover the first 6 DVD’s in the series and I will cover the other 6 in another article.
The first DVD in the series is all about hunting for submissions of the arms. Most attacks in this DVD come from the full guard. The arm attacks from other positions will be covered in other DVDs later on in the series. He introduces us to many new concepts in this DVD that will be used throughout the course. For example he harps on having perfect positions with perfect pressure. This doesn’t just go into how we hold our self in consolidated positions but also how we use our body when going for sweeps and submissions. He starts with the basic armbar from guard and then goes on to show us different chains we can set up based off of how our opponent reacts. My favorite chains were the armbar to the omoplata and the armbar to the triangle choke, all very fundamental submissions that he adds a new flair too.
For the first part of this DVD it covers Gi based collar chokes from positions like full guard. He shows different chokes like the cross collar choke and all the different defenses that are common and how to use them to transition to other chokes. His submission chains are all high percentage and are a huge theme in the series. His side control attacks move away from just the Gi and can also be used in No Gi and MMA. Two of my favorite submissions he shows are the armbar from side control and the arm triangle choke. His level of detail and his own flair on how he sets up and positions himself will improve your game no matter what belt level you are.
The third DVD is all about passing the guard and guard passing defense. Babu prefers standing guard passes and he shows his highest percentage passes and how to shut down and break anyone’s guard once you are standing just by using simple anatomy, leverage, and gravity. I particularly like his standing knee cut pass and how he goes into the details of how to prevent scrambles once you stand and when you are doing the pass. He also goes into depth about what to do if there is a scramble and the best way to still pass the guard. He also goes into the defense of the same passes he showed earlier in the DVD and the best ways to sweep to take top position.
I cannot stress how much I love this DVD. If you are in a dominate position and you are stuffing all of your opponents attempts at escape odds are you are going to win. For the first part he covers the different ways to maintain the full mount against multiple different escapes. He also covers positions like back mount ,knee on belly, and some sick submission fakes to continue to stay on top. My favorite technique covered is when he spins behind to the back when your opponent turns up in bottom side control to get their underhook. This sets you up for all sorts of things like rocking chair back takes and Armbars.
If you love side control then this is the DVD for you! There are not many courses that have an entire DVD centered around side control and when they do it is often watered down and not of the greatest quality. He covers the basic fundamental submissions such as the Americana and he also dives into depth into more advanced set ups such as the short and tight Kimura. I also like how he covers some submissions from north south and covers why north south can tactically improve your side control game immensely.
No Gi is fast, full of scrambles, and gritty techniques from wrestling. In order to succeed in the No Gi division you need to have one leg up over the competition and Babu gives you his top No Gi techniques (including ground-and-pound grappling like in this clip). Some of the slickest chokes and No Gi submission chains I have ever seen are on this DVD. He also dives into the world of MMA in this video and covers how to submit an opponent who is on top of you and trying to hit you. He has coached some of MMA’s top fighters, including Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Frank Mir, Lyoto Machida, etc, so we all know that his set ups are very effective even at the highest level of competition.
If you haven’t checked out this course or picked it up then you are missing out! There are not many times when a product of the caliber comes along. Stay tuned for the second part of my review on this course!
Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
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