Lucas Leite is a multi-time world champion with first place finishes at the Gi, Nogi, and Grapplers Quest world championships. Leite started training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu when he was 12 years old under Ryan Gracie. He earned his black belt under Leo Vieira in 2006.
Lucas is noted for having a dynamic half guard game utilizing a twisting knee-hip pressure that is difficult to stop. He says he likes to attack through half guard because it is effective in both gi and no gi competition. Though a natural lightweight, Leite mostly competes at heavyweight or absolute because he often practices with heavier training partners at his gym. Leite moved from Brazil to California in 2007 and opened his own jiu-jitsu academy, where he currently teaches full-time. Leite’s students include UFC fighter Jessica Penne. He is a member of Checkmat BJJ Academy. Leite won the Pan American Championships in the under 94 kg division in 2015 althought is technically a middleweight (80 kgs or 180 lbs).
The reason he likes the bigger guys is that they are slower, and he is better able to get into his position. And once he’s there it doesn’t matter how big they are.
Who are some of these larger opponents that Lucas has beaten?
Xande Riberio – 7x World Champion
Tim Spriggs – Physical Freak Heavyweight
Roberto “Tussa” Alencar – Multiple Time Heavyweight World No Gi Champ
Kron Gracie (not bigger but he’s a killer)– Legendary ADCC Champion
Lucas Leite isn’t a big guy. He’s about 5’9, 180 lbs when he competes. He isn’t very muscular. But his opponents are…
Lucas has developed a half guard that is so powerful that it works against anyone. Once he gets his grips and gets into position he is unstoppable. It doesn’t matter how big or strong a guy is, he is going to sweep them.
WHY DOES IT WORK?
It is all about leverage. He gets himself so tight on his half guard that sweeping is easy. One of his favorite sweeps is called the, ‘Carry the baby,’ sweep – it involves carrying your bigger opponent like a baby, even if he is 100 lbs bigger! It works and it is easier to master than you would ever believe.
WILL IT WORK FOR YOU?
It certainly will if you are willing to follow the directions. You don’t need strength or speed – you just need a willingness to follow directions. If you are someone who wants to always rely on their strength or athletic ability – it probably won’t work too well. In order for this system to work we need someone who will both study and follow the steps and be willing to try it in the gym and not give up if it doesn’t work the first time. But, rest assured that it works.
Also Leite constantly trains with heavier opponents so that makes his game tighter for competition.
When asked what his secret to fighting bigger and heavier opponents was, Leite answered:
In my case, the secret to fight bigger and heavier opponents is the fact that I’ve always had bigger and heavier training partners , since the time I was training in Brazil , with Robert (Drysdale) Galvao (Andre) and Marcel . Here in the States I train with Joao Assis , Buchecha ,Yuri Simoes ,Jack , and because some of them have more than 100 kilos , I do not feel the size/weight difference so much when I am fighting a 94 kilos opponent .
Lucas Leite shows a sweep when someone postures up strong during a half guard sweep.
If you want to learn some of Lucas Leite’s best techniques that have been proven in competition, check out his DVD set, the Coyote Half Guard. Lucas divulges all of his best sweeps in the DVD and you can learn how to play Half Guard just like him. Lucas has won the worlds at black belt in the gi and has won the nogi worlds 3x.