By now, I’m sure most—if not all—of you have heard the name Justin Rader. An elite level grappler, Rader is a Rafael Lovato Jr. black belt, with plenty of accolades to his name (multi-time world champion, Brazilian national absolute champion, ADCC medalist, and the list goes on and on).
A two-time World NoGi Champ, Grapplers Quest Pro Champ, American NoGi Champ, Pan American Champ, and World Bronze Medalist among other countless accolades, Justin Rader has established himself as one of the top grapplers in his weight class.
Known for his high level guard passing, Rader recently decided to take his talents to the masses by delivering an AWESOME video series based around his success in the NoGi game for everyone to enjoy.
Having the pleasure of being able to get a sneak peak at this series, I can say that Rader delivers and then some! This set will surely prove beneficial for not only the beginners out there, but even you seasoned vets can probably learn a thing-or-two from Justin in this series.
Before you can excel as a skilled grappler on the mat, you must first know how to get the match to where you want it so you can display your skills. Knowing how important this is, Justin dedicates the beginning of his series to Stance and various Takedowns.
While it may seem elementary to some, this part of the series can’t be overlooked as it sets up everything you wish to do during a match. Similar to the jab in boxing, without these simple basics, your entire game is flawed.
Stressing the importance of the stance, such as having your power leg forward and keeping good posture, Justin also goes into detail about the double leg takedown, the single leg and the Hi-C shot.
Even if you feel like you know plenty about takedowns, just keep in mind that Justin breaks down closed to THIRTY DIFFERENT SCENARIOS for takedowns! That’s a whole lot!
Any good grappler knows that being able to dictate the direction of a match is vital, however, as the old adage in sport goes; “The best offense is an even better defense!” With that in mind, Rader not only gives us offense, he also highlights some important defensive strategies one should keep in mind in order to win.
One approach that Justin does a wonderful job of highlighting is the snap down technique. Knowing how important it is to control the posture of your opponent, the snap down is a vital tool every defensive minded grappler should have.
Not only does he do a fantastic job of showing us some basic snap down setups, but Justin also shares some more advanced techniques such as the snap down to cross-ankle pick, snap down to double leg finish, to even a snap down with underhooks. He truly doesn’t skimp on the details!
Justin knows that every grappler should ALWAYS have one certain defensive tactic in check at all times, and that’s the sprawl. Rader takes time to shed some insight on the sprawl, and how purposeful it really is.
And as one would assume, this leads into the segment on setting up the front headlock from a sprawl and how you can transfer into various submissions such as the guillotine, anaconda choke or the d’arce.
Now that we’re world class grapplers when it comes to our initial approach and defensive skills, it’s about time we get to work on the ground! And for those of you wondering if Rader maybe ran himself a little ragged with the already CRAZY amount of content…guess again!
In the guard passing segment alone, Justin highlights 24 different passes! Yes, TWENTY FOUR! With a strong emphasis on his patented bullfight technique, Rader breaks down how you can not only get the pass, but eventually score a nice submission finish as well.
With a few weave pass techniques sprinkled in, Justin also delivers a homerun when he breaksdown a pretty advanced technique for most; the rollover guillotine pass.
If you were one of those folks who may have been turned off a bit with the heavy emphasis of stance and sprawling earlier on, chances are that you’re seeing things pick up a bit by now.
The feather-in-the-cap of this already outstanding series is the final segment that Justin has for us, and that’s how to open and approach the guard. While it may seem basic, the open guard can pose many issues for grapplers of all skill levels out there, so to have someone like Justin take time to analyze it and break it down can only help everyone that watches this!
You may be thinking about your early days of training and how you learned how to pass guard on day one on the mat, but this stuff is far more advanced. Chances are you learned how to deal with it in closed guard; Justin approaches it in a totally different manner.
What’s great about this entire series is the way Rader goes about teaching it. He doesn’t throw out crazy terms of drag it out, he discusses the do’s and don’ts, and in a clear, precise manner that anyone can learn from.
Once you reach the end of this set, you quickly realize just how smoothly these segments flow, and how they all work hand-in-hand with one another. It’s clear that when Justin planned this, he didn’t just sit back and throw stuff at the wall to see what would stick. This is strategically planned out, and is a very practical course that, from segment-to-segment, has a purpose and doesn’t cut any corners. Grab your own copy of “Hybrid Success Formula” here.
A fountain of knowledge, Rader easily delivered a must-have for all you grappling junkies out there looking to get better. It doesn’t matter your skill level, this is one of the collection and will no doubt make you a better grappler than you previously were.
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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