I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Rafael Lovato Jr’s “Seal the Deal” high-percentage submissions course. After an interview with Lovato himself, I dug into the course and was able to put together an early review before the full release. Here’s some of my thoughts! Get an inside look at the course for yourself at the link above or read below to get my thoughts on the program. I included some highlights from Lovato’s own matches so you can see him in action.
A special thanks to Rafael for the interview, and I hope you guys enjoy the insights.
Contents: 3 DVDs (Covers Side Control, Mount, and the Back)
Gi or No Gi: Gi
Athlete: Rafael Lovato Jr.
Producer: BJJ World Champion
The “Kimura Series” and “Brabo Series” are HUGE areas of focus in the course itself. People interested in getting 30 different moves from side control may be disappointed, but when I talked to Lovato – we explained that basically he’s teaching the way he attacks from this position – it’s really a teaching of HIS exact game, more than just a buffet of moves. For me, that’s a more than fair trade-off, and just like the Pressure Passing Course, most people that get in on this one are likely to be interested in HIS game moreso than just another few moves.
The details on the Kimura are super-deep, and Rafael insists on hammering home the point that it’s not a “strong guy move.” With an emphasis on leverage, grip breaks and some crafty setups – this is one of the coolest things about the DVD set – especially for all of us who were watching his match versus Kayron Gracie at Metamoris.
You can check out the course itself by visiting his main site – and if I’m not mistaken he’s still giving away Freebie sample videos of the course (Click Here to Check Out “Seal the Deal”).
The “Pressure Passing System” course had a lot to do with something I’m still HORRIBLE at – and that’s passing guard directly to the mount. Good thing Lovato’s not horrible at it – and a lot of the gi chokes from here will probably quench the “Roger Gracie-Style” thirst for simple, strait-to-the-point submissions. Pressure, force mistake, pressure, force mistake, capitalize.
There were a few Ezekiel details that were SICK as well as variations of mounted gi chokes that I hadn’t seen before. Armbar stuff is thrown in there as well – much of the time being linked to earlier threats with the gi, fitting in with Rafael’s “chaining” instruction method.
Back mount is my favorite of all positions for attack. Lovato is arguably known for more mount and side control stuff, but his details from here are cool as well. Those of you who are fans of gi chokes will be all over this section probably just as much as the mount section, but I liked the back mount setups most overall. Getting to the back in the first place is a skill that I feel is only getting more and more important, and some of the gripping sequences and ways of using the gi to help setup the back take and setup the choke in transition.
Overall my favorite part of the course was the infamous Rafael Lovato Jr Kimura attacks, the back attack stuff (that’s just my bias, might not be yours, I’m all about back takes), and the style of instruction which is entirely about “chains” and if-then scenarios (countering counters).
When I interviewed Lovato about his teaching style, he explained that the same method of “connecting the dots” that he taught in Pressure Passing is what he aimed to drive home with this course as well. Apparently, when he teaches in the gym it’s the only way he likes to teach, anyway. I can see the value in an “all over the place” course as well, but I happened to like the emphasis on tightly packed bunches of moves that Lovato actually hits in competition.
Again, a big thanks to Lovato for the interview with me about his philosophy of finishing. If you want to get in on the course itself – check it out here online at:
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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