The Cyborg Guard Collection – Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu Review

21 01 2011

The Cyborg Guard Collection – Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu Review


Producer: World Martial Arts

Retail: $124.95 (BudoVideos.com)

Format: 3 volumes on 2-Discs DVD

Video instructionals, much like printed material, did not really start clicking with me tell about a year and a half ago.  Now, I love watching video materials. They are an amazing form of media to compliment your training and learning. The Cyborg Guard Collection was actually one of the first DVD sets that I picked up. I had heard about it from a friend who sent me the YouTube teasers to watch. After getting through them, I immediately got online and placed my order. A week later, I was glued to my T.V. every second that I could spare, learning some great new techniques at the hands of Cyborg.

The Organization

The series is broken up into three volumes on two DVDs. The first DVD contains Volume 1: The Closed Guard while the second DVD contains Volume 2: The Tornado Guard and Volume 3: The Half and Deep Half Guard. Cyborg does a very good job on splitting up the different guard systems and then showing a great deal of techniques form each one. Overall, the organization of the whole series is very well done. Each technique in each section flows to the next which is something that is a must to have a great instructional series. Following are descriptions and overviews of each of the three volumes.

Volume 1: The Closed Guard

The first volume of the series is completely dedicated to the closed guard. Cyborg has many different ways of utilizing the classic position, some of which you may not be familiar with as they are not common practice. He utilizes several positions that are common transitional positions between submissions as actual attacking positions. He actually goes to these “transitional” positions and creates a guard-like system around them. Most of his details are excellent. The details are what make or break the majority of these techniques from the closed guard. Also, something that should be taken in to consideration is that even though these are closed guard based, the techniques do start to progressively get more and more advanced. Personally, after watching the closed guard volume, I did know many of the techniques. However, I knew most of them as transitions and not as actual guard positions.

There are only a few small discrepancies that I found throughout the volume. The first is that in a general sense, most of the positions that Cyborg uses I feel require quite a bit of strength. Cyborg is a larger man himself, therefore this is not to be unexpected. Some positions require one to crush down an opponents back or neck with ones legs. A smaller person would find trouble doing this against a larger opponent. The other major issue is when Cyborg rotates his hips out to the side in the closed guard, he places one foot on the mat and uses that to pull his hips out. I disagree with this detail as putting ones foot on the ground inside the closed guard gives your opponent an ample opportunity to pass. Other than these two issues, the closed guard volume is a great addition to anyones instructional collection. Overall, the volume is great and is filled with a vast number of great details from the closed guard position as well as positions that are not common and can open your eyes to a great new arsenal to add to your jiu-jitsu game. Bellow is the YouTube trailer from the closed guard volume along with a list of all the techniques that it contains.

1. Shoulder Guard 1
2. Shoulder Guard 2
3. Shoulder Guard Triangle
4. Shoulder Guard Omoplata Sweep
5. Shoulder Guard Omoplata
6. Legs on Back Guard 1
7. Legs On Back Guard 2
8. Legs On Back Sweep to Armbar
9. Legs On Back Shoulder Lock
10. Legs On Back to Armbar 1
11. Legs On Back to Armbar 2
12. Sweep to Knee Bar
13. Double Sleeve Control
14. Double Sleeve Triangle
15. Double Sleeve Omoplata
16. Double Sleeve Reverse Triangle
17. Double Sleeve Sweep
18. Double Sleeve Wrist Lock
19. Shoulder Trap Armbar
20. Shoulder Trap Omoplata
21. Standing Counter 1
22. Standing Counter 2
23. Standing Counter 3

Volume 2: The Tornado Guard

The second volume, The Tornado Guard, is the reason I bought the series in the first place. I had previously witnessed some of Cyborg’s competition matches where he utilized this position and was completely blown away by what I was seeing. Though I do not believe Cyborg invented the tornado guard position, I do feel he has utilized it and really developed it into a very powerful system. Starting off, I want to make this disclaimer about the tornado guard and inverted guard for that matter: it takes work to get used to the position! I picked the series up when I was a purple belt and it took me several months of constant drilling going inverted to be able to be comfortable and able to go inverted to utilize the tornado guard. Now, that may have just been me, but for the most part with my experience, it takes people a little while to get the hang of it. Cyborg does provide several drills in the volume to help provide ways for you to get better aquainted with the inverted portion of the tornado guard. All of these drills are essential to reaching the point of being able to apply and use the tornado guard and I highly recomend watching and drilling them first before starting to work the actual position as you will just get frustrated with it very quickly.

Starting off, Cyborg walks you through the basics of the tornado guard position. He shows you several sweeps from the position and what you can accomplish from it. Then he goes on to explain the details that make the position possible. I really liked the fact that he took two sections and actually dedicated them to the details of the position. The detail sections makes it very easy to understand the dynamics of what you are trying to accomplish with the tornado guard. After the details, Cyborg walks you through the basic sweeps and attacks from the tornado guard. The great thing about the system, is every attack builds off of and from the basic sweep. It is a very powerful and applicable system that one can use should you be willing to drill it consistently in order to get comfortable in the inverted position.

One of Cyborgs tendencies throughout the whole series is to say “Ok guys, now pay attention…”. He uses this repeatedly and it is very prominent in the tornado guard volume. However, one portion does stick out in my mind as being very comical. In the introduction section, he states “OK guys, now pay attention… I am going to go upside down”. Then, he goes inverted and once inverted he says “OK guys, now I am upside down!” Probably one of the most comical parts of the series. A funny side story is that I actually got a chance to train with Cyborg at a seminar and while he was explaining the tornado position, he used this same series of words and I couldn’t help but smirk.

The only issue I have with this volume is that to be honest, only about half of it is actual tornado guard. One major reason to this is that everything is built off of the basic sweep. I think that all of the different situations are covered, but I just wish that there was more to offer from the position. The other portions of the volume are a few half guard things and some techniques are duplicated. The triangle attack one and two are essentially the same technique but with a few different details.  Overall, the tornado guard volume is the bread and butter of the series. Cyborg explains each technique and position in such fine detail that any one can learn the system. Much as before, the YouTube trailer is included below as well as the list of techniques the volume has to offer.

1. Tornado Introduction
2. Tornado Details 1
3. Tornado Details 1
4. Basic Tornado Sweep
5. Tornado to Triangle 1
6. Tornado to Triangle 2
7. Tornado to Back
8. Tornado to Omoplata
9. Block Counter Sweep
10. Grip Switch Sweep
11. Half-Guard Armbar 1
12. Half-Guard Armbar 2
13. Half-Guard to Triangle
14. Pin Escape Sweep 1
15. Pin Escape Sweep 2
16. Pin Escape Sweep 3
17. Pin Escape to Tornado
18. Pin Escape Lapel Sweep
19. Drill Introduction
20. Drill 1
21. Drill 2
22. Drill 3
23. Drill 4
24. Drill 5
25. Drill 6

Volume 3: Half / Deep Half Guard

The third and final volume in the series is dedicated to the half guard and the deep half guard. Cyborg does an amazing job of starting off each portion with a theory section. Each one of these I found to be very informative as to the theory behind each position. Though I will say that I knew the theory behind each position prior to watching them, anyone who is unfamiliar with these forms of guard or doesn’t completely understand their principles will greatly benefit from these sections.

The first half of the volume pertains to the classic half guard and contains some great sweeps. Cyborg discusses a small series of moves from a position he calls the “Dental Cloth”. I had used this same position before myself but Cyborg does a great job of ironing out all of the details from establishing the dental cloth position to finishing with a sweep or taking the back. He then goes into a really good series of different sweeps to do as counter attacks to different passes to the half guard. The counter attacks are one of the most important parts of the entire series. Cyborg provides you with awesome details that will open a whole new world up to your jiu-jitsu game.

The second half of the volume pertains to the deep half guard. As I may have mentioned before, the deep half guard is one of my favorite positions. Cyborg does a great job of explaining, in detail, the theory behind the position and what options are available to you. He explains several sweep options from the deep half that are all very well explained. Finally, he finishes up the volume with some drills that are excellent for helping to perfect one’s half guard. One of the best attributes of all of the volumes is Cyborg’s drills that he offers. The drills are essential for perfecting each of the positions he covers. The only issues with the half and deep half volume are the same as the ones with the first: some of the moves seem to me to be moves that may take some strength to get great results. Cyborg is a large man himself and therefore, again, it is to be expected. Overall, however, the half and deep half guard volume is a great addition to the series. Though I picked up the series for the tornado guard volume, the half guard and deep half guard volume was a very nice surprise. As with the previous volumes, the YouTube trailer as well as the list of techniques is provided below.

1. Half Guard Theory
2. Dental Cloth Position
3. Dental Cloth Sweep 1
4. Dental Cloth to Back
5. Wizard Counter Sweep
6. Pass Counter Sweep 1
7. Pass Counter Sweep 2
8. Pass Counter Sweep 3
9. Pass Counter Takedown
10. Pendulum Sweep
11. Deep Half Theory
12. Deep Half Sweep 1
13. Deep Half Sweep 2
14. Deep Half Sweep 3
15. Deep Half Sweep 4
16. Deep Half Sweep 5
17. Deep Half to Back
18. Deep Half Lapel Sweep
19. Half Guard Drills

Overall

The Cyborg Guard Collection is an amazing instructional series. Though I do have a few issues with the series, these can and are easily overlooked by the great quality of technique and detail that Cyborg provides. The greatest thing about the entire series is, however, not in the techniques and details that Cyborg shows, but in how he presents them. Cyborg is a great instructor; one of the best that I have ever had the opportunity to train with myself. He shows this great quality in his instructional series and it is what makes the series such a great learning tool. You can tell from watching it and listening to him explain the finer details of each position that he has worked out that he truly loves what he is doing and that is sharing his knowledge with others. Overall, if I had to put a number on this series, it would be 4.5 out 5 stars. Coupled with Cyborg’s excellent instruction, the tornado guard volume alone makes the series worth the buy. The closed guard and half and deep half guard volumes are simply icing on the cake. This series is a must have for anyone wanting to have a very dynamic and all around great guard.

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