Stephan: I’m here today with my friend, Adam Singer, who runs The HardCore Gym in Athens, Georgia. He is probably best known for being Forrest Griffin’s MMA coach during the formative years of Forrest’s career. He’s also a jiu-jitsu black belt and has trained tons of fighters.
I’m really looking forward to picking his brain about MMA and jiu-jitsu and the relationship between these things. He’s an outspoken guy, so I’m sure we’ll have a good conversation. (more…)
This is a video from the archives that I shot with my friend and training partner at Infighting MMA in downtown Vancouver.
Infighting has since moved into a much nicer, larger facility, but the information in this video is still 100% valid. It’s all about the ‘dirty boxing’ techniques that are technically illegal in boxing but still end up deciding fights all the time. (more…)
I came across the video below and thought it was a poignant tribute to the arc of Sakuraba’s career in Pride. It combines Sakuraba’s beautiful grappling with the extreme violence of Japanese Pride, along with a melancholy undertone that reminded me of the movie ‘The Wrestler’ starring Mickey Rourke from a few years ago. (more…)
There’s a good reason that the extremely effective throw Kani Basami has been banned in all Judo and most BJJ competitions: it’s super dangerous!
Kani Basami has inflicted severe lower body injuries in dojos and competitions all over the world. I myself used it extensively until I was sparring with a wrestler, misjudged the distances, and landed on his ankle severely twisting it. He was out of commission for months recovering from that injury. (more…)
Man, nobody else fights like Masakazu Imanari. Such a distinctive (and scary) style…
Imanari is a man on a mission: if there’s a leg in the room somewhere then he’s going to find it and tear it off. Every moment of every fight he’s looking to wrap up that leg: it doesn’t matter if you’re punching, kicking, clinching or on the ground.
Even the former UFC fighter (and infamous heel hooker) Rousimar Palhares doesn’t turn himself upside down and launch himself towards his opponent while looking for a heel hook. (more…)
Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey is an armbar machine. At UFC 168 she defeated Meisha Tate with her eighth armbar in eight MMA fights. This armbar streak is an amazing achievement, and a lot of people (including a lot of people who don’t actually train) have been asking me how to counter this attack.
I was thinking about doing this but it turns out that someone beat me to it. (more…)
BJJ is a great fitness activity and a wonderful sport. But at it’s core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is still a martial art.
The word ‘martial’ is defined as “being related to fighting or war“. And that means you have to be ready throw down should the s**t hit the fan out there in the cold, cruel world.
I recently talked to John Perretti, the former matchmaker for both the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Extreme Fighting Championship.
In our fifty minute interview John and I discussed the early days of the sport, how he found and selected fighters, brain trauma in the combat sports, his disdain for the current state of the UFC, and much more.
MMA has been my guilty pleasure for a long time.
On the one hand, I’m a huge fan. I’ve been watching the UFC since its inauguration in 1993, and have enjoyed fights in Pride FC, Shooto, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and many other organisations. I have good friends who are professional fighters, and have helped them prepare for their fights. And I have nothing but respect for the skill, athleticism and mental toughness of the modern MMA fighter.
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…)
Kesa Gatame is one of the most under-utilized positions in BJJ. Jiu-jitsu people tend to ignore this position but generations of judo players and wrestlers have proved that Kesa Gatame IS a powerful and effective way to pin someone. And – even worse for someone caught in it – Kesa Gatame is also a great entry into some very effective armlocks, leglocks, neck cranks and diaphragm chokes. (more…)
In case you were hiding under a rock, Ronda Rousey fought Liz Carmouche last night at UFC 157. She both validated her UFC Women’s Bantamweight title, and made history by being in the first-ever women’s match in the the UFC.
And just in case you were under that aforementioned rock, despite a very spirited fight by Liz Carmouche, Ronda won the match with an armbar at 4:49 of the first round. (more…)
If you have any exposure to standup grappling then you know the power of a standing underhook. It allows you to dominate your opponent, move him around, and set up lots of throws, takedowns and other moves. (more…)
There’s no getting around it, all contact sports are inherently dangerous. And it’s hard to have more contact in a sport than in MMA.
Now it’s true that MMA might not be the most dangerous contact sport – that dubious title could arguably go to boxing or pro football – but in the past few years there have still been been some very, very serious injuries in MMA related to takedowns… (more…)
A while ago I had the honor of interviewing Ricardo Liborio. Liborio is a famous Carlson Gracie’s black belt who is known for his incredible depth of understanding of BJJ. He’s also the head coach at American Top Team, which is literally one of MMA’s most successful champion factories. (more…)
Getting a handle, or a grip, on your opponent in MMA is not always easy. Here Denis uses an unusual grip both to control his opponent and remove one of his potential weapons from the equation. (more…)
The open guard can be quite confusing. Basically any time your legs are not closed around the back of your opponent you are in a type of open guard. Butterfly guard, X guard, spider guard, sitting guard etc. etc. are all open guards. (more…)
In MMA a sharp striker can sometimes counter a determined grappler. But to do this they have to know how to mix their striking with standup wrestling, like in this technique! (more…)
Photos and explanation that show the transition from Blocked Thai Kick to a takedown and neck crank.
Closing the gap in MMA can be the most dangerous part of the fight. Sometimes throwing fake strikes allows you to get in close enough to take your opponent down… (more…)
If you try a sloppy takedown in MMA you could end up paying a hefty price. Here’s how your takedown gone wrong might go down… (more…)
A lot of MMA fights have been won by someone shooting a double leg takedown just as their opponent throws a big right cross… (more…)
OK, I have to admit that I’m exaggerating with the whole “never get guillotined again” title, but it’s almost true. If you incorporate principle that I’m about to share with into your grappling two things will happen:
- you’ll tap out to many, many fewer guillotine chokes (more…)
by Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Grappling Magazine, September 2003
Denis Kang debuted in Grappling Magazine after his Pancrase match against the very experienced Minoru Suzuki in Japan. (more…)
Mixed martial art (MMA) competition has come a long way from the early UFCs, where Karateka faced off against streetfighters, and Jiujitsu practitioners battled Kung Fu stylists. (more…)