Author Archives: Stephan Kesting
I recently noticed that my grappling and jiu-jitsu channel on Youtube had passed 10 million total views! I’m stoked about this, and I think it’s a big landmark for an independently operated business. Thanks to every single reader who helped out by liking, subscribing and commenting on the videos; every little bit helps! (more…)
Posture in the butterfly guard is incredibly important. With the butterfly guard (as with any guard position) good posture is the key to defending the guard pass, attacking with submissions, and/or sweeping your opponent.
But maintaining good posture is easier said than done,
Many smaller grapplers avoid the mount position because they feel it’s too easy for a larger opponent to simply throw them off or roll them to the bottom. It usually takes a TON of work to get to the mount, and it really sucks when some big doofus simply sits up and rolls you to the bottom where you have to start all over again! (more…)
Takedowns can seem difficult, tricky and confusing. Especially if you’re not gifted with a surplus of fast-twitch muscle and innately awesome timing.
But my friend and BJJ world champion Emily Kwok has a concept that makes the whole takedowns game a LOT easier. (more…)
This is a great interview with BJJ competition legend Rafael Lovato Jr. You can listen to, read, or download this interview in several different ways…
- Play the audio-only Youtube video at the bottom of this list, and/or
- Right click on this link and select ‘save as’ to download this mp3 file to your computer, and/or
- Subscribe to the Grapplearts Podcast in iTunes (RECOMMENDED, because this allows you to also listen to previous interviews and podcasts), and/or
- Read the transcript below. (more…)
Part of the problem with leglocks is that there are tons of variations. And too many options create confusion, increase your decision-making time, and lead to paralysis by analysis, so it really helps to have someone set you straight and narrow down your choices.
But for some reason certain leglock aficionados love to collect endless leglock variations.
Rear mount seems like such a simple position: I mean, you’re basically just piggybacking on your opponent, right?
Well, success in jiu-jitsu usually means doing simple, fundamental things with a high degree of sophistication and attention to detail. And rear mount is no different – switch your grip by a couple of inches, have your hand open instead of closed, do the wrong thing for even a moment and the whole thing goes straight to hell! (more…)
This is an interview with one of my most influential teachers – 9th degree Kajukenbo Karate black belt Philip Gelinas. Philip is also a high-ranking instructor in several different Filipino martial art systems, a BJJ brown belt, an instructor in Combat Submission Wrestling, and was recently inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. (more…)
Serious training requires focus and intent when you’re on the mat. Those precious few hours of training every week deserve your complete attention so you can get good faster; life is too short for half-ass mediocrity. (more…)
Sidemount is arguably the pinning position you’re going to run into most often in BJJ. Most guard passes lead into sidemount, and from sidemount you can get to almost every other position (it’s kind of like the Grand Central Station of BJJ pinning)!
So it’s not surprising that there are a ton of different sidemount escapes involving shrimping, bridging, spinning, reguarding, etc. (more…)
Stephan’s note: today I interview Burton Richardson who has spent decades researching the training methods that make martial arts techniques practical, reliable, and functional. His approach is very applicable to street self defence, but is equally valid for anyone wanting to compete. (more…)
Over the years a lot of readers have had their photos of grappling action appear on the Grapplearts Featured Photo page. Some photos were taken by professional photographers, but the majority were taken by amateurs, sometimes even just snapped on on iPhone at the local tournament or open mat.
People love these photos, which is why we’ve recently been cross-posting them on the Grapplearts Facebook page as well…
There’s a reason that the Rear Naked Choke (or RNC) has finished so many matches in MMA, BJJ and submission grappling: it’s a very powerful and super-difficult to escape submission! This effectiveness is the main reason that we’ve devoted so much time to this choke on Grapplearts – (click here to see the RNC archives). (more…)
Some people might not be the greatest grapplers but are still notoriously hard to submit. Obviously technique is important, but there’s more to slipping out of submission than just knowing the escape techniques. (more…)
After a ton of planning and working with video editors and Android app programers, I’m thrilled to announce that Submission Defense – the latest Grapplearts app for the Android platform – is finally ready!!
This app was designed with one single-minded purpose: to help you tap out much less often. (more…)
When it comes to supplements for BJJ, or any other sport for that matter, almost everybody giving you advice is lying to you. Or at the very least, deluded by wishful thinking…
And just to alienate even more people, by the term ‘supplements’ I’m including most vitamins, minerals, ergogenic aids, pre-workout drinks, post-workout shakes, homeopathic medicine, herbal concoctions, chinese medicine, and all the other products offered by the supplement-industrial complex. (more…)
Drilling is critical to skill development in BJJ in general, which is why we talk about it so often in this blog (click here to see some past articles about drilling).
Drilling and technique repetition become even more important if you’re dealing with a position like the butterfly guard. (more…)
I always say that this jiu-jitsu stuff is a marathon, not a sprint.
Partially this is because it takes time to remodel your body so that it can do the things you want it to do. It’s also because you need to find and incorporate hundreds of little tricks, tweaks and techniques that work with your body and your ever-evolving style on the mats. (more…)
The fifty-fifty guard is a strange creature. In it you and your opponent face each other in the exact same position with your legs intertwined.
On the one hand there’s no doubt that it’s a really powerful sweeping position for whoever’s on bottom.
But on the other hand it has a reputation as a really horrible way to stall. (more…)
Grinding away on your inner thighs is the favourite (and often only) closed guard breaking strategy of meathead grapplers everywhere.
I don’t know who originally came up with this bush league, Dim Mak wanna be, pressure point bull**** strategy, but for some reason you run into ‘grinders’ at almost every club.
Like most pain compliance techniques the elbow grind is something that works semi-OK in sparring, but almost never works in competition (more…)
I just watched a really cool documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi (available on Netflix, iTunes, etc.). This 2011 film paints a fascinating portrait of Jiro Ono, an 85 year old master chef who’s been making sushi for 75 years.
Jiro – the protagonist – is a single-minded perfectionist workaholic who hates national holidays because they keep him away from his obsession, which is working on creating the perfect sushi experience for his customers. (more…)
Today I’m going to share two of my favourite (and very powerful) X guard sweeps with you. Plus I’ll show you how put them together so that it looks like you have amazing timing without actually having to increase your reaction speed one iota.
Let’s first talk about what makes two techniques work well together in general. (more…)
I know, I know, I KNOW!
I go on and on about how tapping out is no big deal, and how you can get injured if you let ego get in the way, and how everybody gets caught from time to time…
But there I was, leaping all over the place to escape a submission, becoming increasingly desperate as the noose tightened around my neck, just because the whole thing seemed so cheesy. (more…)