Review of Grip Like A World Champion by Jimmy Pedro
In grappling, whether it is on your feet or on the ground, your first line of defense, as well as your first line of offense, is your grip. This is perhaps most true in the sport of Judo, if you cannot get good grips on your opponent’s gi, there is no way you can pull off a throw. Likewise, if you can stop your opponent from getting good grips on your gi, then you can stop him from throwing you. That is the basis of the “Grip Like A World Champion” DVD by Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist Jimmy Pedro. In the DVD, he covers the very basics of Judo grip-fighting, from the stance to the foot movements to the upper body work. Although he briefly covers other variations of gi grips such as the Russian-style over-the-back grip, he mainly focuses the grip-fighting curriculum in this DVD around getting the standard lapel and sleeve grip on your opponent and stopping him from doing the same. He shows you basic gripping strategies that are used against both right and left-handed opponents, and he breaks down the basic objectives that you need to achieve in order win the grip fight(such as stopping your opponent from getting his power hand on your gi, getting the inside collar grip against an opposite sided players, etc.). In addition, Jimmy Pedro shows a wide variety of techniques for stripping your opponent’s grips when he grabs your sleeve or your collar.
The DVD is only a little over 30 minutes long, but Jimmy Pedro covers a lot of stuff within that time. Which means you would probably need to press the “rewind” button a lot or watch the DVD multiple times to fully understand and learn the material. One good idea would be to invite your buddy over to your house and have both of you wear your gis and follow along with the video. The only minor complaint I have about the DVD is that Jimmy Pedro is a left-handed player, which means right handed people like myself would have to do everything the exact opposite of how he is doing it on screen. This slows down my ability to a retain the technique a little bit, but I guess it’s something I have to just deal with.
Although the importance for Judo practitioners to own this DVD is obvious as well as undeniable, it is great tool for practitioners of other grappling arts as well, especially Sambo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you are a BJJ competitor who want to improve his standup and incorporate some Judo into his game, then “Grip Like A World Champion” is a must have. Also the skills developed from practicing the gripping techniques shown in this DVD should easily cross over to your hand fighting and pummeling skills while wrestling without the gi. I personally believe that getting an depth understanding of gripping movements and developing good gripping skills bridges gap between gi and no-gi grappling. Although Jimmy Pedro only shows standing technique in this DVD, it shouldn’t be hard to see out how the principles of grip-fighting can also be applied to the ground game. Just look at Marcelo Garcia, who is an excellent grip-fighter from the butterfly guard. If you’re a Judo player, this DVD is an absolute must-have, if you are a BJJ player, it should give you a serious leg up your competition. Even if you don’t have throws, you can just still scare your opponent into pulling guard by outgripping them.