The History of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu
10th Planet Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a competitive fighting style that allows one to win through submission-grappling alone. Adapted from traditional Brazilian jiu jitsu, the style permits grappling without Gi. In other words, I don’t have to wear any special uniform to practice it. I can simply wear a short and a t-shirt and begin the training.
How it Started
When Eddie Bravo was in his mid-twenties, he fell in love with Brazilian jiu jitsu after watching Royce Gracie dominate the Utimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with it. At the time, he was already a martial arts specialist, having practiced karate and wrestling in high school. However, he wanted to learn jiu jitsu because he liked how efficient it was at taking down opponents.
Bravo decided to practice jiu jitsu under the tutelage of Jean Jacques Machado, a nephew to Royce Gracie. During his time at the dojo, Bravo finessed his grappling and tackling. He became an aggressive competitor and one of Machado’s best students.
In 1998, Bravo attained a blue belt in jiu jitsu. Around this time, he had developed a unique spinal lock submission hold or twister. The technique forces the opponent to submit due to pain caused by abnormal twisting of their spine.
In 1999, Bravo climbed the ranks and earned a purple belt in jiu jitsu. In the same year, he began perfecting one of his signature moves – the rubber guard. The rubber guard allows me to control the opponent with one arm and one leg during a grapple, then use the other limbs to make them submit or hit the trapped head.
He would remain under the tutelage of Machado, until 2003, when he got his first big break. Bravo competed in the Abu-Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) championship, where he took down some noteworthy opponents and managed to reach the semi-finals. The highlight of the competition was his match-up against Royler Gracie in the quarters. Using the triangle choke, Bravo became the first American to make Gracie submit. When Bravo returned to Los Angeles after the tournament, Machado awarded him the black belt for his performance.
Since Bravo was still getting praise for defeating Gracie and everybody wanted to learn his techniques, he decided to open the first 10th planet jiu jitsu after renting a small gym in west Hollywood. Interestingly, on opening night, 17 people showed up eager to learn the Bravo ways.
At the time, practitioners of jiu jitsu had to wear a Gi during training and combat. Bravo wanted his school to be different and teach something new. He realized that most fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions only wore shorts. As a result, he decided to teach jiu jitsu without Gi. He developed a combat style that utilizes under hooks, collar ties, over hooks, and other direct body contact grips to control the opponent and make them submit.
Due to the unique technique modifications, 10th planet jiu jitsu became popular with MMA fighters who found it more manageable than traditional Brazilian jiu jitsu. Currently, there are more than 100 10th planet jiu jitsus around the world, with the headquarters based in Los Angeles. Bravo developed a complete curriculum for the no Gi jiu jitsu, which all 10th planet dojos use.
In addition, the school teaches three of Bravo’s famous techniques: the triangle lock, twister, and the rubber guard. There are different modifications for each move, and one learns them through continuous training. When it comes to ranking, 10th planet uses colored rashguards instead of traditional belts to denote seniority.
Although Bravo retired from active jiu jitsu combat, he still holds live online training sessions that last for not more than 2 hours every month on his website. 10th planet students benefit from these sessions and other training books written by Bravo, which are available at those centers.
Students also get the chance to participate in championships and hone their skills. In 2014, Bravo started a competition called Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) to promote the principles of 10th planet jiu jitsu. The competition has gained so much popularity that it is now part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
I have great respect for Bravo because he revolutionized a fighting technique and made it practical for competition purposes. He went even further and opened a school, calling it 10th planet jiu jitsu, which has a unique curriculum and training system. The story shows how passion and determination can make a sport better.