Luta Livre seems to be the forgotten son of the grappling arts. Its “big brother” rival Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has had the tremendous success that we all know, and has changed the martial arts world since UFC1 while Luta Livre stayed in the shadows…Most grapplers don’t even know what Luta Livre really is or its history.
Luta Livre black belt Nicolas Renier is arguably the most accomplished No Gi Grappler in Europe, having been Fila World Grappling champion, and being the only European to participate in 6 ADCCs. He teaches in Paris, in his club called NRFight Club.
Here is what Niolas Renier has to say about Luta Livre and how it differs from No Gi Jiu-Jitsu:
Luta Livre is a combat sport in its own right, it has a history, its own techniques, an international federation with grades … It can be practiced in kimono pants or shorts with a rash guard. I find Luta Livre really effective, it goes straight to the goal which is to submit, we are not trying to adopt the set format from BJJ which is pass the guard, stabilize cross position, take the mount … We always try to surprise the opponent by going where he does not expect.
Nicolas made this interesting video showing the difference bteween Luat Livre and Jiu-Jitsu when it comes to escaping side control: