Hope you enjoy this guest post by Brian McLaughlin, a BJJ black belt, boxer, and mixed martial artist who runs Precision MMA in the Hudson Valley area of New York.
"Metamoris was the first submission-only BJJ tournament featuring the top grapplers from today. The event has a lot of people talking about the different philosophies surrounding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and where the sport is headed, in part because of how it highlighted the different paradigms and approaches that BJJ artists take when all eyes are on them.
Ryron Gracie made it his mission to stay out of danger and avoid getting caught. He did a masterful job of evading danger, but in the process did not engage in the typical battles within the war. He did not defend the pass or fight the mount, but rather acquiesced to the inferior position so long as he was prepared to thwart an attack. His movements were seemingly always reactive and rarely first initiated. Some called this the “playful approach” – however, in my estimation, being playful assumes taking chances and experimenting with different positions. The two most “playful” competitors were definitely Jeff Glover and Ciao Terra. Flowing into exotic guards and exposing themselves to attack in the hopes of pulling a rabbit out of the hat. Ryron’s approach from an offensive standpoint took very few chances and instead used efficiency as a weapon waiting to capitalize on a mistake that Galvao ultimately never made.
Position Before Submission
Although the only path to victory under the Metamoris rules set was submission, a few grapplers took a position-minded approach. Andre Galvao focused his attention on strong passing and knee on belly and mount transitions. Ultimately this was the path to a draw rather than submission. One might speculate that Galvao was accustomed to opponents fighting the position which in turn put them in a position to be submitted.
Seek and Destroy
The element that made Metamoris a success was the grapplers that truly made achieving the submission their only concern. Kron Gracie, Rafael Lovato and Xande Ribeiro all went for broke. Lovato stated that he wanted to simply push the pace for every second of the 20 minutes. Kron showed this same mentality, never losing sight of his goal even when the clock was against him. Xande may not have been successful with his submission attempts, but he never stopped pursuing the finish and made this (much like Buchecha) one of the most crowd pleasing jiu-Jitsu displays.
Metamoris was a bold step not simply in the rules set, but also in the marketing and professionalism of the production (aside from the considerable delay at the onset). This is truly what is necessary for Jiu-jitsu artists to flourish as professional athletes. The question on most people’s mind is, what’s next? Will this continue as an outlet to showcase the world’s best submission fighters? Will we see Marcelo Garcia, Pablo Popovitch, The Mendes brothers and other BJJ aces of the world step into this arena?
What are the chances that Metamoris does away with time limits entirely and makes the event a true submission-only affair?
Regardless of the next step, Metamoris was good for the art and a step towards having a true professional submission league."
Brian McLaughlin is a black belt under Rob Kahn (a Royce Gracie Black Belt) and is considered one of the top instructors in the Hudson Valley. He holds competition wins over Ryan Hall, Wilson Reis, and Enrico Coco, among many others. His new website Learn to Grapple seeks to bring black-belt instruction to the masses, for free. Stay in touch with Facebook and Twitter!