Exclusive | Eddie Bravo Talks The New Sport, "Combat Jiu Jitsu" | MMA NEWS
By James Emerson:
May 20th, 2012 the Nokia Center Downtown Los Angeles; The U of MMA had their first Championship bout in addition to their first Combat Jiu Jitsu match. Combat Jiu Jitsu is the newest form of competition grappling that allows punches. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with the visionary of Combat Jiu Jitsu, Eddie Bravo, as he pulled up to the event.
How did you get started with Combat Jiu-Jistu?
You know, it was just an idea, I just thought that theres so many good Jiu Jitsu guys out there, so many that won’t do MMA because they don’t want to learn kick boxing. So we never really get to see what their Jiu Jitsu looks like when there are punches. A lot of great Jiu Jitsu players don’t need to learn kickboxing… they don’t need to do MMA. (With CJJ) you don’t have to learn kick boxing, Just punching on the ground, no elbows…if you look at it from the MMA world, looking down, it looks real tame MMA, but if you look at it from the Jiu Jitsu world it looks like extreme grappling. Could you imagine watching Abi Dubai and dudes are punching the ground? How cool would that be?
Did you just take that idea to Turi Altavilla from U of MMA to get the idea going?
Yeah definitely, Turi knows I am a busy mother f***** and he works with the commission guys, knows them well, and is connected with the commission. I told him about it, and said if he could make it happen and put it together maybe we could piggy-back some Combat Jiu Jitsu matches on one of the amateur show. Open up an amateur MMA show with 3 CJJ matches. Like just to open it up, but a few guys got hurt so it ended up being just one match. Cool thing is, the rapper from my band Smoke Serpent, Erick Cruz is the first guy ever to do Combat Jiu Jitsu. He was supposed to do an amateur MMA fight but his opponent backed out at the last minute. He was stuck without an amateur MMA fight, so we said “let’s get him on Combat Jiu Jitsu” and he was down.
Will you be cornering for him?
No I am just going to be kind of executive producing the Combat Jiu Jitsu event.
The rules are said to be similar to those from the ADCC, what are the differences in the rules?
Well, it is considered an amateur sport so really on the ground once one person hits the ground you can start punching. So a guy could be on his back with his legs up and if the other guy is standing that guy can throw a superman punch because his opponent is down. As long as one dude is on the ground you can start punching. Standing it is just wrestling, but it’s amateur MMA rules on the ground so there are no elbows on the ground. Just punches to the head and there are no Heel-hooks, because they don’t allow heel-hooks in amateur mma. I really really pushed for it man I really wanted heel-hooks bad. But you know, I really wanted One-Ten minute round but all they would give me is Three-Three Minute rounds. It is not exactly what I would have wanted it but we just wanted to get CJJ accepted and rolling then go back and tweak it some… I am not a big fan of the three-three minute rounds but they (the commission) wanted three-two minute rounds like in regular amateur MMA and I was like ‘No way! Two minutes?! That’s nothing..That’s nothing..’ so we said ‘Three, what about Three?’ I wanted one-ten minute round or two-five minutes rounds. But they (the commission) said “No, five minute rounds are considered pro “. We didn’t get a lot of shit we wanted and again, no heelhooks or toe holds…thats not what I want, I want all of that shit….but at least you can punch! You can do straight ankle locks, knee bars, and calf cranks but you can’t heelhook.
Did CJJ come across any other issues while applying for sanctioning?
No that was pretty much it, again from the MMA world it looks like super tame ass MMA… But to the commission we just really pushed it as….we just focused on the super safeness of it all. Again from the MMA stand point it is super tame MMA. But from a Jiu-Jistu stand point it is extreme…it’s extreme grappling.
Because punches are allowed, what are the glove requirements?
Same glove, so basically they are amateur MMA fighters that can’t strike standing. Not only did I think that this sport would be perfect for these jiu jitsu match masters that don’t want to learn any striking. I thought it was perfect for them, they don’t have to do MMA… they could do this. This would be like the ultimate form of grappling you know what I mean? The ultimate form….or the weakest form of MMA (laughes), you can look at it either way. It is also great for people preparing for MMA because grappling in Combat Jiu Jitsu will prepare you for a MMA career way better than like a regular grappling tournament, that’s scientific…..that’s for sure. So you can look at it that way, its better….way better to prepare you for a MMA career than regular grappling alone. You can look at it two ways- the guys that don’t want to do MMA but want to put you on the ground and see how their jiu jitsu looks in a real fight or they don’t want to learn kickboxing, they don’t care about that. Or guys that want to do MMA but they just haven’t got to the kickboxing part yet. They might have been training combat jiu jitsu since they were like eight you know? That is going to help them way more transitioning into MMA. I think there was a big hole between grappling and MMA -that is a giant hole and that giant hole is Combat Jiu Jitsu. Obviously real MMA is the best, obviously …UFC fights, that’s the best shit of course. Im just saying this (CJJ) is something different. Its not as good as MMA…but it’s better than grappling (laughs)… Ultimately I do not want the fights in a cage, it doesn’t look good in a cage. It will looks like shitty MMA in a cage, it would look amazing on Abu Dubai mats, like open mats wrestling mats. Now you’re watching Marcello go at it and he’s punching on the ground?! Come on, that’s super extreme Abu Dubai, nogi extreme!
Do you have any predictions for this first CJJ event?
I don’t know man, I hope for a good turn out…Turi Altavilla, I love working with him he an old friend of mine, Ive known him for 12 years. I used to work with him back at King of the Cage, way back in the day… we would dress up in suits! (laughs) I hope everything is beautiful, again this is to get Combat Jiu Jitsu rolling we want to make a really big show and I think there is a market for it. I think it would be the ultimate form of grappling…
He (the fighter) will know how to clinch, he is going to know how to stay out of trouble, he is going to know how to tie you up, he is going to have a really good clinch. You know, that is what it is all about, filling that hole. Literally, that’s what life is all about….(laughs).