Teacherless Training

A reader writes:

Q: “I would like to hear you address grappling with no formal teacher or school. What are the benefits/downsides to this? What should we be careful to avoid? This is the situation I am in now, I get to practice with some good guys but have actually never had formal training. (more…)

When I was a young man I was approached by a friend with an unusual proposition. Would I be interested, he asked, in training from 6 to 7 am? He was so busy with work and family obligations that he simply had no other open time slots in his schedule. (more…)

In my recent sparring sessions with the gi I’ve been having great success with a technique I learned on the internet. Actually to be a little more precise, I learned a critical detail about a technique I already knew on the internet, and this has made all the difference to successfully applying this technique. (more…)

Beware the Belt Chaser

When people start new activities they like the reassurance of being able to know how they are progressing in that activity. In the martial arts, including most grappling arts, this is typically done by awarding stripes, belts, and other measures of rank. (more…)

Sometimes when you’re grappling you might want to play ‘crush the bug’, totally immobilizing your opponent with your bodyweight and making it difficult for him to even breath. Obviously this is easier to do if you weigh 300 pounds, but most grapplers don’t position themselves properly to maximize the bodyweight they do have (more…)

A Terrible Thing

Oleg Taktarov once told me, more or less in these words, that “it is a terrible thing to be the best grappler at your school”. What he was getting at was that if you are always the king of the jungle in your sparring sessions then it is really hard to get better. (more…)

Recently my game has taken off. My guard passing has gotten a lot better, my escapes are more reliable, and I’ve been having success with some new submissions (and rediscovering some old ones). I’m pretty sure I know exactly why this has happened – increased training volume! (more…)