Dave Camarillo’s Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent book for BJJ players who want to incorporate judo throwing techniques into their game. The beginning may appear overly basic to experienced judo players, but the introductory section is followed by detailed explanations of how judo techniques can be adapted to be effective in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Whether your foundation is in judo or BJJ, this book will make you better.
Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu (Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss, Victory Belt Publishing, 2006) starts with the story of Dave Camarillo’s martial arts background. As a writer, I’m a sucker for a good story and I wholeheartedly enjoyed Dave’s account of his transition from Olympic judo hopeful to protege of the enigmatic Ralph Gracie, a man described by John Perretti (Gene LeBell black belt, kickboxing champ, former UFC matchmaker, founder of Extreme Fighting, and the person who introduced rounds, gloves, and weight classes to North American MMA) as the “hardest to deal with” fighter he’s ever met. [Crazy fact: back in the 1990s, if you were one of Ralph’s blue belts he might call on you at any time to defend the school against anyone who wanted to challenge the effectiveness of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.]
Dave Camarillo is best known for his coaching prowess with high-level MMA fighters like Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Paul Buentello, Mike Swick, and Cole Escovedo and has received enthusiastic accolades from fighters like BJ Penn and Rickson Gracie.
But down to the meat. My introduction to grappling was through judo, so I identified right away with Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu, which teaches you how to use judo techniques to throw your opponent, maintain control on the ground, and transition quickly into a submission (which really is nothing entirely new – as we know about the common roots of judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu). The book is broken into three sections:
- Incorporating Judo and Jiu-Jitsu
- From Throws to Submissions
- Flying attacks
For an example of how the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu approach looks, check out this video of Dan and Dave Camarillo scrapping it out in 2002.
Part 1: Incorporating Judo and Jiu-Jitsu
A. Breakfalls & rolls
Judo players will know this stuff inside out, but if you’re coming from Brazilian jiu-jitsu and have no judo or wrestling experience this might be the most important section you ever read. The forward rolling breakfall teaches you how to get thrown head over heels at high speed without separating your shoulder, shattering your collarbone, or caving in your skull. It could save your life since it works just as well if you find yourself being hit by a car while riding a bike, ejected from a skateboard at high speed, or if things go awry while running down a hill – I can attest to all of these through personal experience.
B. Grip fighting
A detailed overview of how to grip effectively for throws, how to break your opponent’s grips, and how to neutralize your opponent’s advantage if they manage to get a superior grip. Again, judo players will skim this but it may be completely new to a BJJ player.
Here we get into the fun stuff. This section starts by explaining the correct footwork for forward judo throws like seoinage, ogoshi, uchimata, or haraigoshi before going into detailed breakdowns of:
- Seoi nage – Classic shoulder throw, with hip positioning adjusted to avoid giving your back
- Koshi guruma – Like the head and arm throw in wrestling
- Tai otoshi – Strong, effective forward throw
- Osoto gari – Outside leg trip (this one can put your opponent through the floor)
- Ouchi gari – Inside leg trip
- Kouchi gari – Inside foot sweep that is excellent for developing timing
- Ouchi gari to uchimata – Inside leg trip as an entry to the donkey kick / leg fork throw
- Okuri ashi harai – Sideways sliding double foot sweep.
- Switch foot sweep – Uchimata entry into foot sweep from behind
D. Impact control position
Now that you’ve used your newly developed judo techniques to throw your opponent to the mat, it’s important to keep them there so that you can start utilizing your Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission skills. One of Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu’s important developments is Dave Camarillo’s approach to “impact control position”. For each of the throws outlined above, Camarillo explains how to maintain control by gripping the arm and collar, wedging your knee into the ribs, putting your knee/shin across the thigh, etc. Using a judo throw and landing in the impact control position often puts you in the perfect position to transition directly into a submission.
E. Meshing Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques
When watching judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu matches, the difference between the two sports is apparent right away. Judo players tend to fight from an upright posture, while BJJers tend to fight from more of a bent-over wrestling-style stance. This section shows how to use judo gripping to your advantage when facing off against Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters and covers stand-up techniques including:
- Overhook grip to harai goshi (swinging hip) throw
- Ashi barai (foot sweep / knee wheel), including a variation leading to pick-up
- Tani otoshi (valley drop) side sacrifice throw
- Blocking wrestling shots
- Keeping balance when your opponent snags a single leg (then countering w/ uchi mata throw)
- Single leg to crab scissor takedown
- Uchi mata throw on an opponent who drops to their knees
- Using the foot sweep to take down an opponent who stands up with you on their back
Part 2: From Judo Throws to BJJ Submissions
Now Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu’s impact control position really starts to shine. We start with concepts, armbar movement drills, and a detailed breakdown of how to finish an armlock (covering smooth transition from impact control position, elbow control, and defeating counters). A few of the techniques:
- Four armlock entries from impact control position
- Impact control to baseball bat choke
- Kouchigari to armlock and spinning armlock
- Armlock from half guard
- Foot sweep to armlock
- High and low fireman’s carry (kataguruma) to armlock
- Tomoenage (Captain Kirk throw) to armlock
A few other conceptual items:
- Controlling an opponent if they over-rotate after a throw and land on their side or stomach
- Blocking the guard pull
- Anti-judo – Camarillo’s term for attacking the turtle position
Part 3: Flying Attacks
Dave Camarillo and Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu have become synonymous with flying submissions so in a way this is the crown jewel of the book. Flying attacks have been criticized by many as dangerous, overly flashy, and unrealistic, which is more xenophobia than anything since they’ve been used to win Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, grappling, and judo matches at high levels.
Camarillo walks through proper flying submission entries, emphasizing the all-important use of the leg across the shoulder and back of the neck to break your opponent’s posture. Flying submission techniques covered:
- Flying triangle to armlock
- Elbow control and shoulder grip to fast flying armbar
- Flying triangle
- Flying triangle to omoplata as a defense to a single-leg takedown
- Step-over flying omoplata
- Flying omoplata to triangle to armlock
- Flying omoplata to rolling bow-and-arrow choke
- Hip climb to rolling reverse triangle
- Flying armlock as defense to tight wizzer grip
- Arm drag to back to rolling bow-and-arrow choke
The section ends with a few examples of how an opponent’s judo throw defense can be used an entry for flying armlocks and how to overcome the most common defenses to flying attacks.
Dave Camarillo’s Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu will help almost any student of the grappling arts – judo, submission grappling, BJJ, sambo, etc. I particularly like Carmarillo’s systematic approach and his strong emphasis on maintaining control. The concept of the impact control position is not new, but Camarillo’s attention to detail is very helpful. It’s also important to note that while finishing many of his armlocks and chokes, Camarillo closes his opponent’s escape routes by also controlling an ankle or leg. Grip, throw, control, submit.
Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
By Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss
Victory Belt Publishing, 2006
ISBN 13: 978-0-9777315-8-9
ISBN 10: 0-9777315-8-8
Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Amazon.com