Stephan’s Note: Michael Jen is a BJJ Black Belt based in Northern California. He’s contributed a LOT to the art via his videos, seminars and forum posts, so I was glad to get his input on improving your BJJ skills (and it turns out that it’s all YOUR responsibility). (more…)
An Article by Mark Mullen
As I lay gasping on the cold pavement of the Trans Canada Highway, the 18 wheeler that had just plowed me over belching diesel exhaust into my face, my life essence slipping into the next plain of existence, my last thoughts were “Shit!! I never made it to Rio de Janeiro!” (more…)
These are some important aspects to focus on and remember when it comes to being on the bottom in half guard
- Don’t just hold on. (more…)
by Guest Author, Mark Mullen (BJJ Brown Belt, Judo Brown Belt)
I’ve been grappling for many years, and here’s a situation that comes up all the time…
I often spar younger, heavier, beginners. At the end of the round they’re usually fighting for breath, arms trembling from fatigue. (more…)
John Hackleman on MMA Training at the Pit, Love of the Island and the Underestimation of Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts
by Bryanna Fissori (with the help of Stephan Kesting & the Grapplearts Readership) (more…)
An Interview with Daniel McCormick,
2008 US National Judo Championship Winner, 2009 Judo Olympian
Stephan’s note: This is the transcript of an audio interview I did with Daniel McCormick. You can either read the interview below or listen/download the audio by doing one of the following: (more…)
My name is Ormond Morford and my friends thought I was crazy to try jiu-jitsu at my age… Too old, too fat and too inflexible. This is a young man’s game and walking through the dojo door that first day, I thought maybe I was a little nuts too. (more…)
Back when I started grappling, there weren’t very many people teaching BJJ. Seminars were important: if you didn’t live in the Los Angeles area then a grappling seminar might be the only you that you could pick up some BJJ…
Things have really changed.
Sometimes you just gotta have faith…
In the video below I’ll share an armlock with you that I’d been shown multiple times early in my BJJ career. And I always thought it was hogwash; (more…)
In grappling, sometimes a submission can be more than just a submission.
Let me explain…
There is no shortage of different submission attacks from the bottom position. (more…)
Let’s talk about an advanced concept that top submission artists use all the time.
But first, let’s set the stage by talking about the limited number of common positions in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. (more…)
Q: Hi, Stephan,
I believe it was Erik Paulson who said that older grapplers should focus on gi based grappling compared to no-gi since it was a slower and less explosive game. (more…)
The triangle choke is one of the signature submissions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Just about everyone takes a stab at perfecting it during their grappling career. But you can run into problems with the triangle choke if your legs are short. Just like the reader below… (more…)
How many times has someone almost gotten past your guard…
…You’re just about pinned; it’s just a matter of time…
…So you mentally relax, concede the position and prepare for the battle to get out of sidemount using your pin escape techniques. (more…)
Many of the most powerful guard sweeps rely on your hips being underneath your opponent’s center of gravity.
This makes him very unstable – think of the difference between
1. standing on the floor beside one of those stability balls, and
2. trying to stand on top of that same stability ball. (more…)
In my early days of martial arts training I ran into quite a few teachers who were so full of themselves that students asking questions was almost unheard of.
At first I thought that this was normal. I thought that maybe things would change after I’d paid my dues for 10 or 20 years… (more…)
A reader writes: Hi Stephan,
Thank you for the newsletters! I started training BJJ and MMA about 5 months ago – it’s been life changing for me. (more…)
Life just isn’t fair!!
BJJ is the art of leverage, but there are techniques in the grappling repertoire that require you to be at least as strong as your opponent. (more…)
To get really good at grappling – black belt level, say – takes something like 10 years of concerted training.
That’s a long time!
And the fact that it takes this long is both a good thing and a bad thing… (more…)
Are there any submissions out there that you just can’t finish? You can set it up, lock it on, and strain for all you’re worth, but your opponent just won’t tap out?
It happens all the time. In fact, I’m not immune either. (more…)
I’ve trained on a lot of different types of mat in my day: wrestling mats, foam core mats, puzzle mats, and rock hard old school Judo straw tatami, just to name a few. (more…)
Recently I was discussing MMA fighter Ben Henderson’s ability to slip out of submissions. And that turned into a general discussion about countering, escaping, and slipping out of submission attacks. (more…)