The Xande and Lovato Jr. Show

Xande Ribeiro and Rafael Lovato Jr. Discuss the Guard


Alexander “Xande” Ribeiro is one of the best Jiu Jitsu competitors and instructors around right now. I think most people know more about his brother Saulo due to the elder Ribeiro’s competition record, excellent book and DVDs. However, Xande is an accomplished competitor as well, having multiple ADCC titles, World championships, Pan-Am championships and MMA wins. Xande is also proving himself to be an awesome instructor – his new DVD set is one of the best comprehensive instructional packages I’ve ever seen.

One of Saulo and Xande’s team-mates and students is Oklahoma’s Rafael Lovato Jr. He is also a highly decorated competitor and coach – he’s won the Worlds in gi and no-gi, the Pan-Ams several times as well as many other titles. His students are also excelling at the highest levels, including featherweight Justin Rader who is also a no-gi World champion.

All of these accomplishments tell you that when these two men discuss Jiu Jitsu, you should probably stop what you’re doing and listen. In the video at the top of this post, the pair discuss the techniques from guard, specifically with the hand in the collar. This is a position I use a lot, but I found the omoplata set-up preferable to the one that I tend to use from the de la Riva with the sleeve and collar grip. Rafael is known for his great omoplata so when he’s discussing how he sets it up, it’s worth taking note.

Xande then shows a nice choke using the second hand coming inside instead of over the top, which is fairly easy to block. My coach, Adam, also likes this variation when he does a collar choke, and although I still use the hand on top I like the logic of this variation. I also like how Xande explains how his first grip also acts as a frame to prevent the pass.


The next video is one I’ve watched several times and picked up many pointers each time. Xande and Lovato Jr. explain their unique variations of taking the back from a guard pass. In competition, many people will begin to turtle to avoid giving up points for the guard pass. The turtle position can be used effectively to attack your opponent or get back to guard. However, you do expose your back for a moment. When your opponent’s back is exposed, no matter how brief, you need to have practiced capitalizing on this opening quickly to get on the back and finish.


Xande Ribeiro and Rafael Lovato Jr. Discuss Taking the Back


Xande shows a smash pass with a single underhook, while Lovato Jr. shows a faster bullfighter variation. Both result in the opponent turning away, which allows a swift transition to the back. Different body-types and mentalities will gravitate to each variation preferentially. I like them both. Watch closely as the two discuss the finer details of positioning for the choke. Rafael drops a great detail about positioning yourself on your elbow rather than your shoulder, which prevents your opponent from isolating your arm to defend the choke.


Xande Ribeiro – Back Attack from Half-Guard


Lastly, here’s Xande showing another back take from quarter guard- which he calls half-mount. He uses pressure to keep the opponent on his side and set up solid grips to transition to the back. This technique is a fundamental part of our Jiu Jitsu curriculum, so it’s great to learn a few details from the champion. This video is from his new DVD, which is awesome. You should totally pick it up.

We’re really looking forward to having Rafael Lovato Jr. at Dynamic MMA to teach a few classes in June. If these videos are any indication we’re going to learn a lot of these great details and more.

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