Today, at the gym, a young grappler asked me a question he’d obviously been wondering about for a long time.”How long did it take until you had grappling all figured out?” (more…)
Back in my early teens, when I was infatuated with Kung Fu, I read a book purporting to describe about 50 supernatural abilities that Kung Fu masters could develop. Skills like levitation, or making your body impervious to weapons, or killing people with a poke of your fingertips… (more…)
A few weeks ago I went to a training session with the goal of working on and experimenting with the so-called “Sao Paulo Guard Pass.” My plan for sparring this day was to start in my partner’s closed guard, and then only use this one guard pass. (more…)
A bunch of people have recently emailed me, basically asking if I’m still alive. I haven’t been sending out my normal volume of grappling tips and beginner lessons recently, and they want to know why! (more…)
I used to think that if I just learned enough ways to pass the guard, mastered enough submissions, memorized enough pin escapes, pick up enough guard sweeps, received enough tactics and just had enough techniques at my fingertips, then… someday… I would master the art of grappling.
Grappling is usually a refined and elegant martial art. But you can’t always use sophistication and leverage to get what you want…
Let’s look at question that was recently forwarded to me, and see why sometimes you need to go lowbrow! (more…)
The first time I saw someone choked unconscious it scared the crap out of me. And it was made worse by the fact that it was a friend of mine…
It was many years ago at a local tournament. My friend was winning his match but got caught in a sneaky gi choke. (more…)
A few days ago, while traveling, I made my way down to Dartmouth’s Fitplus gym. That’s where I participated in a BJJ class taught by 6th degree Carlson Gracie black belt, Alexandre Penao. (more…)
I’m on the road this week, and tonight, on the eve of UFC 99, I find myself in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
I’m excited about tonight’s UFC for number of reasons. First of all the card itself looks great. (more…)
Some people look at grappling as a giant grab-bag of techniques. They may learn hundreds of techniques, but there’s no rhyme, reason or organizing framework to guide what they learn or work on next. (more…)
Heres’s a really cool resource for you, something that I’ve received a TON of positive feedback on. It’s a free, downloadable book that breaks down the many different variations of the Guard position with detailed descriptions and lots of pretty pictures! And you can grab it super easily, for free… (more…)
One of the best, and worst, things about grappling is that the feedback is quick, direct and brutally honest.
Take ANY technique – be it an armbar, a guard pass or a pin escape – it’s easy to find out if you’re doing it right: (more…)
“Box a fighter, and fight a boxer.”
This old saying isn’t only limited to boxing – you can use the very same principle in grappling, jiu-jitsu and MMA.In a competition, or a ‘serious’ match you DON’T want to play the other guy’s game. His game is what he’s good at. (more…)
One of the things I talk about in my Beginning BJJ online Course is the importance of not telegraphing your moves, particularly your explosive escapes, by holding your breath.
Today I want to talk about a very useful tool for intermediate and advanced-level grapplers.
The idea is to create study blocks where you focus on a single topic. During this time you basically take one aspect of grappling, and beat it to death with a large stick! (more…)
At my recent seminar on Unorthodox Positions I thought that I would be doing all the teaching, and that the students would be doing all the learning. Well I was wrong…
One of the things I taught was a cool entry into the north-south choke from the offside kesa gatame position. (more…)
Kesa Gatame (what the guy in the white gi is using in the photo above) is the Judo name for a position that is also known as the Scarf Hold or the Head and Arm pin. (more…)
I’ve said before are six major positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu:
1. Guard (including closed, open and half guard)
4. Full mount,
5. Rear mount,
6. Turtle. (more…)
I first truly realized how powerful drills can be about 15 years ago.
At that time I was I was teaching a self defense class. One of my students was of average size and strength with severely below-average punching power. (more…)
One of the tenets of JKD is that one should keep an open mind with regard to other styles. After all, “absorb what is useful, reject what is useless” is a classic Bruce Lee quote.
In general, I find that most BJJ practitioners are relatively open minded when it comes to learning from other styles. (more…)
Well here we are, roughly 5 weeks after New Year’s Eve and resolution-making season. Have you made progress on your goals? If not, then here is a harsh but great quote by Merlin Mann on getting your ass in gear: (more…)
I’m a believer in taking private lessons with instructors, especially those that you don’t get to train with on a regular basis. And I’ve taken my share of privates; some were great, but others were real stinkers. (more…)