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…)
Life is a balancing act, and most of us have multiple priorities. We have to juggle BJJ with work, family life, relaxation time, etc. A couple of days away from training never killed anybody. In fact, we’re usually refreshed and eager to get back at ‘er when we return! (more…)
One of the most neglected areas of BJJ training is takedowns. Which is a shame, for a couple of reasons… (more…)
How many guard passes do you think a four time world champion and an 18 year veteran of BJJ uses?
If you can put up with rough guerrilla-style audio in the video below (it was shot at the last minute) then Vitor Shaolin’s answer might surprise you… (more…)
There’s nothing quite like watching a smaller, lighter, weaker person use their technique to defeat a bigger, heavier, stronger opponent.
And when it comes to tapping out bigger, stronger, heavier opponents there’s nobody quite like Marcelo Garcia. (more…)
Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro is a four time World BJJ Champion. In MMA he held the welterweight title in Japanese Shooto. And he has the Cage Rage lightweight championship belt proudly mounted on the wall too… (more…)
I just got in from an awesome training session, but before I head out and enjoy the sun for a couple of hours I’ve just got to share this with you. You see, a couple of days ago I heard a great quote that’s been rattling around in my brain ever since because it’s totally applicable to BJJ, MMA and submission grappling. (more…)
Today I’m not going to talk about a technique per se. Instead I’m going to share a cool training method with you. (Training methods are the ways in which you practice, hone and internalize the techniques you’re learning. (more…)
I shot a new video about a concept that makes it so much harder for someone to pass your guard. Figuring this one out was was a major “aha!” moment for me.
And it works in the closed guard AND the open guard, both with the gi AND without the gi.
Want to learn how to master a technique? Of course you do!
There’s a really cool concept called “The Four Stages of Learning” that’ll help you understand how people learn skills, concepts and techniques. (more…)
This may sound a bit weird coming from a guy who runs a grappling site, but I want you to ask yourself a question: why on earth are you spending hours and hours rolling around on the ground with men wearing spandex and/or pajamas? (more…)
As you improve as a grappler you’ll go through phases of adding new techniques and strategies to your game. These are exciting times, but the sad truth is that you’re usually gonna get worse before you get better. (more…)
It’s easy to train an activity when you’re calm, relaxed and not tired. But being able to execute those same movements correctly when you’re fatigued and gasping for breath is something entirely different. (more…)
Physical attributes are really important for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling (a point further discussed in this article about physical attributes and BJJ).
Being able to feel your opponent’s intent and react to it even before he moves (like when he’s trying to bridge his way out of your mount) requires sensitivity. (more…)