Performance under pressure is always tricky. In fact a lot of martial arts practitioners worry about whether they’d actually be able to execute their skills in super-stressful situations.
Of course competing at a tournament or performing at belt tests can be stressful. But the scariest high pressure situation of all is a self defence scenario where you and/or your family is being threatened.
If push were to come to shove and you actually had to defend yourself could you actually use your skills? Or are you worried that your mind might turn to mush in the heat of the moment… (more…)
Reverse lapeloplatas and inside-out upside-down berimbolos might be fun to train and effective for some guys in high level competition, but at its core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art. So once in a while we need to regroup, refocus, and give some thought to what parts of the art we would use in a real self defense situation. (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.
A lot of self proclaimed self defence experts will emphatically and categorically tell you to “never, ever go to the ground in a streetfight.” But no single strategy works in every situation, and anyone telling you to always do something, or never do something, is automatically wrong.
The truth is that you may well be forced to use your grappling skills in a self defense context. (more…)
This might just be the coolest thing I have ever seen. A Kangaroo MMA match complete with kicks, clinching, takedowns and a bona fide chokeout for the submission of the night! (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…)
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…)
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…)
Here’s a short 1:30 minute video breakdown of me explaining the basics of the closed guard.
And just to keep things interesting I also throw in my single best tip about how to maintain the closed guard, shut down your opponent’s guard pass attempts and put you in a position to successfully launch your own attacks. (more…)
This is a rather rambling post; in the words of Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
First, and most importantly, I really hope that you had a great Christmas (or alternate celebration of your choice). And that you got to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
Next, congratulations on surviving the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse! (more…)
There are many similarities between the sport of Submission Grappling and the classical Japanese Ju-jutsu systems. Both arts emphasize grappling over striking. Both arts recognize the importance and efficiency of ground-fighting. (more…)
Why getting off the ground is a critical skills in grappling!
(originally published in Black Belt Magazine)
When mixed martial arts competition exploded in North America, martial artists quickly learned that most fights end up on the ground. And for years the prevailing wisdom was that groundfighting was inevitable, and if a fight went to the ground it would most likely stay there. (more…)
I was recently asked “what are the most common mistakes that first-time competitors make?”
BJJ tournaments in general, and ESPECIALLY your first competition, are likely to be a little bit chaotic. (more…)
You’re walking down the street, someone bumps you, words are exchanged, you get pushed to the ground, and now some big gorilla is trying to knock your teeth down your throat. No matter how focused you are on the sportive aspects of grappling you’ve still GOTTA know how to defend strikes on the ground!!! (more…)
The common headlock is often overlooked in BJJ – it’s just not considered to be a very technical pinning position.
But not training your headlock escapes is a HUGE mistake! (more…)
I’ve received lots of email recently, so today I thought I’d dip into the mailbag and share a few emails. I’ve also quickly jotted down some quick comments, and some links to a few relevant articles. (more…)
Once you get good at Brazilian jiu-jitsu the ground will be your happy place. Rolling around and hunting for submissions will feel as natural as walking!
But there’s a time and a place for everything… (more…)
The last time I hung out with Denis Kang we shot a series of short videos on MMA techniques.
It’s rare to get an MMA fighter who wants to show you all his best techniques, but Denis is an awesome teacher as well as a great fighter. (more…)
Here’s a short MMA video I recently shot with my friend Denis Kang. He’s a very knowledgeable fighter, and I wanted him to share some insights on the ground and pound aspect of MMA. (more…)
Disclaimer: I’ve trained with some great teachers, getting tons of top-notch information from them. But my teachers are NOT AT ALL RESPONSIBLE for today’s video!
You see, I’ve just posted a video about the two absolute WORST techniques that I’ve ever seen in almost 30 years of martial arts training! (more…)
Today’s goodie is a report written by my online friend John Will, discussing how to combine the deadly Muay Thai clinch position with the double leg takedown (arguably the highest percentage takedown in MMA). (more…)