Justin Rader

Justin Rader is a black belt under Rafael Lovato Jr. and  has won worlds in both gi and nogi divisions. Recently he placed 3rd in the 2013 ADCC tournament defeating Joao Miyao in the consolation finals with his aggressive style. Justin wrestled in highschool but not college as after graduation he chose to  focus  primarily on jiu jitsu. Check out wrestlejitsu’s highlight of Justin “Vader” Rader based on his most frequently implemented techniques:

Similar to other wrestlers we’ve featured here at wrestlejitsu, Justin’s constant forward pressure has afforded him great success with an extremely simple game. His takedown game is similar to AJ’s and Rustam’s but his initiation differs greatly. Justin almost always fakes or elevates his opponents arm with his left hand and initiates a dropstep landing on his right knee and reaching through the legs with his right arm while planting his face in the ribcage and rotating his body inward. This is important in jiu jitsu as the head on the outside can result in one being guillotined. Then he either elevates the leg or runs the pipe. Many times this initiation alone is sufficient to cause his opponent to sit guard immediately thus negating the takedown and opportunity for associated point gain. Initiating the takedown from a distance also circumvents the most common problem for a wrestler in a gi match – dealing with gi grips.

Sometimes Justin also goes for throws such as the lateral drop as seen in his match against Ryan Hall and japanese arm throw as seen at the Ultimate Absolute tournament.

His guard passing is also similar to what we’ve seen before in other wrestlers turned BJJ practitioners, but his finishes are unique. Justin uses double under passes but once his opponent turtles circles to the outside and sits into the truck/lockdown position. In wrestling this is simply referred to as leg riding. This often times open up back takes as well as his favorite submission. If he can manage to keep them distracted with his opponent’s back to the floor he can initiate a calf slicer. More recently, Rader also plays the knee forward position (showcased by Bishop BJJ) as showcased by Tanquinho in his defeat of Rafael Mendes. This position often leads to the x-pass or his flying guillotine.

Besides the knee slicer Justin often times attempts and sometimes finishes a diving guillotine when his opponent is seated in open guard. When the submission attempt fails he often passes the guard using every wrestler’s favorite technique: the scramble.

The scramble is such an integral part of Justin’s game there isn’t any real footage of playing from a bottom position to feature in his highlight reel. Later we will focus on getting out of position due to scrambling against jiu jitsu specialists. First however, wrestlejitsu’s next feature will focus on a previous wrestler who’s game is different than those featured thus far – one who’s game plan is almost entirely initiated from the bottom position: Dean Lister.

2 thoughts on “Justin Rader

  1. hey, nice blog.
    With bjj scout et al I feel I am getting spoiled for choice.
    I like the categorisation of techniques, although the video doesn’t go into the sort of depth/discussion that the post hints at – perhaps in the future?

    • Alex,

      Thanks man! I follow bjjscout as well! His focus is quite different than mine. I have often considered freeze framing videos and highlighting certain aspects of a technique but I find that when I watch those videos I have to pause and still desire more details as I usually read them on his blog and consult further instructionals. For now I’ll simply be highlighting the most frequently used techniques successful x-wrestlers turned bjj players utilize. I try to go into as much detail as I can in the written description simply in the interest of time. It seems BJJ scout has quite a bit of free time. As a family man, a college professor, and regular BJJ competitor I’m pushing the envelope already 🙂

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