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…)
In recent years the X Guard has become one of the bread and butter positions in the open guard repertoire. It’s an incredibly powerful position, both in gi and no gi grappling (click here for an intro to the X Guard).
There are a ton of great techniques, sweeps, and drills that revolve around the X guard, but today I want to share a new drill with you that I recently learned from Clark Gracie in the basement of a friend’s house. (more…)
I recently did a podcast interview with Clark Gracie at a friend’s house. After the interview we were talking about the rear naked choke and I realised two things: A) my friend had mats, and B) I had a camera in the car.
This was a great opportunity to pick his mind some more, so we quickly set up shop and Clark shared some really great tips about setting up and amplifying the power of the rear naked choke, (or ‘Mata leão’ in Portugese). (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…)
Sometimes the best way to really understand something is to teach it. When it comes to jiu-jitsu, breaking a technique down into steps (not too many, not too few) and finding the best way to convey the underlying principles often helps clarify things in your mind.
I’ve been doing a lot of this with the berimbolo sweep recently. (more…)
The de la Riva guard is an open guard position in which you entangle one of your opponent’s legs with your own leg. It was popularised years ago by Ricardo de la Riva, and has since become a staple of gi and no gi jiu-jitsu.
But a related position, the Reverse de la Riva guard, is still a mystery to many grapplers… (more…)
At the bottom of this post is a Youtube video I just created to show the easiest way to do the Berimbolo.
Now if you’re a Berimbolo aficionado then you’ve probably already scrolled down. But maybe you’re on the fence about this move. Or maybe you don’t even know what it is and why you should care about it.
Well, give me a minute to put it into context for you… (more…)
Here’s a 12 minute tutorial I just put out breaking down two really cool variations of the Omoplata armlock which is one of my all-time favourite techniques.
The first variation is called the ‘Marceloplata’ – it’s named after superstar grappler Marcelo Garcia who popularised this technique. The Marceloplata is a great option to use when you’ve almost finalised a regular Omoplata but your opponent has managed to stall your attack by locking down one of your legs.
When you’re in your opponent’s guard one of the most annoying things he can do is secure a really good cross-collar grip on you. True, this grip doesn’t have much utility for MMA or no-gi training (in fact being too reliant on it can create some really bad habits for when the gi comes off), but in BJJ the cross-collar grip is a serious problem.
When your opponent snags a cross collar grip on you it’s important to deal with it immediately! First of all, against someone who is a collar choke expert, a single deep grip on your lapel puts you into extreme danger… (more…)
Posture, posture, posture… Everyone talks about posture as THE solution to staying out of trouble in the guard. Every guard pass ever taught starts out with, “First, make posture in the guard.”
But the trouble is that your opponent knows this too. If you’re in his closed guard, and if posture is good for you, then posture is bad for him. So guess what? He’ll work like crazy to disrupt, destroy, and break down your posture whenever he’s got you in the closed guard.
Posture in the butterfly guard is incredibly important. With the butterfly guard (as with any guard position) good posture is the key to defending the guard pass, attacking with submissions, and/or sweeping your opponent.
But maintaining good posture is easier said than done,
Many smaller grapplers avoid the mount position because they feel it’s too easy for a larger opponent to simply throw them off or roll them to the bottom. It usually takes a TON of work to get to the mount, and it really sucks when some big doofus simply sits up and rolls you to the bottom where you have to start all over again! (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…)
Part of the problem with leglocks is that there are tons of variations. And too many options create confusion, increase your decision-making time, and lead to paralysis by analysis, so it really helps to have someone set you straight and narrow down your choices.
But for some reason certain leglock aficionados love to collect endless leglock variations.
Rear mount seems like such a simple position: I mean, you’re basically just piggybacking on your opponent, right?
Well, success in jiu-jitsu usually means doing simple, fundamental things with a high degree of sophistication and attention to detail. And rear mount is no different – switch your grip by a couple of inches, have your hand open instead of closed, do the wrong thing for even a moment and the whole thing goes straight to hell! (more…)
Sidemount is arguably the pinning position you’re going to run into most often in BJJ. Most guard passes lead into sidemount, and from sidemount you can get to almost every other position (it’s kind of like the Grand Central Station of BJJ pinning)!
So it’s not surprising that there are a ton of different sidemount escapes involving shrimping, bridging, spinning, reguarding, etc. (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…)
Some people might not be the greatest grapplers but are still notoriously hard to submit. Obviously technique is important, but there’s more to slipping out of submission than just knowing the escape techniques. (more…)
After a ton of planning and working with video editors and Android app programers, I’m thrilled to announce that Submission Defense – the latest Grapplearts app for the Android platform – is finally ready!!
This app was designed with one single-minded purpose: to help you tap out much less often. (more…)
Drilling is critical to skill development in BJJ in general, which is why we talk about it so often in this blog (click here to see some past articles about drilling).
Drilling and technique repetition become even more important if you’re dealing with a position like the butterfly guard. (more…)
I always say that this jiu-jitsu stuff is a marathon, not a sprint.
Partially this is because it takes time to remodel your body so that it can do the things you want it to do. It’s also because you need to find and incorporate hundreds of little tricks, tweaks and techniques that work with your body and your ever-evolving style on the mats. (more…)
The fifty-fifty guard is a strange creature. In it you and your opponent face each other in the exact same position with your legs intertwined.
On the one hand there’s no doubt that it’s a really powerful sweeping position for whoever’s on bottom.
But on the other hand it has a reputation as a really horrible way to stall. (more…)
Grinding away on your inner thighs is the favourite (and often only) closed guard breaking strategy of meathead grapplers everywhere.
I don’t know who originally came up with this bush league, Dim Mak wanna be, pressure point bull**** strategy, but for some reason you run into ‘grinders’ at almost every club.
Like most pain compliance techniques the elbow grind is something that works semi-OK in sparring, but almost never works in competition (more…)