David “D’acre Vader” Porter is a Pedro Sauer black belt and instructor at Pedro Sauer’s Headquarters in Virginia. An active competitor, Dave is known for his unique style and high percentage “D’acre” or “Brabo” choke. He has recently teamed up with Lanky Fight Gear to make an instructional called “Bringing Back the Brabo”. The Jiu-Jitsu Times was able to sit down with Dave and talk about his Jiu-Jitsu journey and his take on the Brabo arm-in choke.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Dave how did you get started in BJJ?
David Porter: I got my butt kicked by a jiu-jitsu guy. In march of 2005 I had my pro MMA debut against a jiu-jitsu fighter and he beat me with an arm bar. I had been doing amateur MMA fights, Muay Thai fights, but my only grappling experience was wrestling and little bit of sambo. I felt that’s all I needed, and then this guy tuned me up and arm barred me in the first round. It kind of put everything into perspective, so I immediately started training BJJ.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What about the Brabo stuck with you?
David Porter: I knew it as a white belt, but it wasn’t until purple belt that I made it part of my arsenal. I was showing it in class one day and afterwards Master Sauer says to me “you did a pretty good job showing that move. Do you do it a lot?” And I said no, but I guess I should. So for the next four or five months I just kept practicing it. I looked at every position, looking at the catch, what finish worked best, whether the finish worked best on the top, bottom, or side. It just blossomed from there. Now it’s like 65 setups and I can get it from any position, top, bottom, or standing. It became my thing only because I made it my thing. Through thousands of reps, hundreds of hours of drilling, putting it to use in the academy, and then taking it in to tournaments.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What are people doing wrong or differently than you with the choke?
David Porter: When most people shoot it, their freedom of movement is the killer because they lock it down with what’s known as the “Japanese neck tie”. It’s tight, not going anywhere, and they are putting a lot of pressure, but you need to adjust your body to get the finish. To do that, they have to let those muscles relax and that’s when they lose their catch.
My catch kind of goes on loose and then I make adjustments with my body instead of my arms. So, in that respect, the people that are caught in my movement don’t really feel the same level of danger because the squeeze comes in the end. It’s like a slip knot on a rope. It’s not tight to start, but when it slides down, then you get that lock.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: So tell me about your DVD, “Bringing Back the Brabo.”
David Porter: It’s over 50 setups and I wanted to give new material that hadn’t already been covered in other DVD’s, or if it had, I wanted to show it in a new context. What makes me a little different isn’t just my catch and finish, but also how I am getting there. The two biggest things I hear when people tell me about their Brabo choke failures is that it becomes a neck crank or they just don’t have long enough arms. It all has to do with arm placement. I could teach the move to a T-Rex and make it gentle. When I filmed the DVD, my partner went through something like 600 chokes through take and retake. There is only one way his neck would survive 600 of those and that’s if they were really smooth chokes.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Any shout-outs?
David Porter: First and for most, Master Pedro Sauer. Second being John Robinson, owner of Lanky Fight Gear, my first and only sponsor. And lastly, my training partners within the whole entire association.