I was passing through the downtown core of a major North American city a few years ago. I had 40 minutes to kill, so I went for a walk and quickly came across a martial arts club I had heard about but never set foot in. So into the club I went, to check it out and introduce myself.
I was immediately struck by two contrasting impressions…
The first thing I noticed were the inspirational posters and sayings painted all over the walls. (more…)
Incorporating a new move into your sparring and competition repertoire can be tricky. Too many people go and and try their nifty new technique on everybody right away, hoping that it will work at least some of the time. But this may not actually be the best way to do it.
In fact, this scattershot method, and not having a concrete plan for rolling out new moves, can even be counterproductive… (more…)
A reader writes: Hi Stephan, I’ve been doing BJJ for about 6 months and am wondering if you have any advice about what to do when you’re starting on the knees?
I find that most wrestling-style takedowns are very difficult to do from the knees, especially because my opponents are really good at sprawling. (more…)
Smaller opponents can become big nuisances, especially if they have legitimate skills.
You would think that the very fact that you’re bigger than your opponent means you should be able to go full-Conan on them every time…
Mongol General: “Conan! What is best in life?”
Conan: “To crush your enemies, see them driffen before you, and to hear the lamentation of their vimmen.” (more…)
by Brendan Hufford
When you’re teaching, regardless of whether it’s BJJ or calculus, there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ approach. In fact, any experienced teacher knows that different teaching methods are required to get through to different students. (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…)
Marcelo Garcia is maybe the very best person in the world at attacking the turtle position.
But before I tell you how I know this first hand, I should point out that as you get better you’ll run into the turtle position more often. (more…)
It’s January and all the gyms are packed with newly-inspired fitness junkies. But you can’t always get to a gym, and sometimes the weather makes it tough to go for a run. The beauty of bodyweight, however, means that you can work out almost anywhere. (more…)
Erik Paulson is an MMA Master Coach. He’s trained tons of fighters competing at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts. And he held the Shooto light-heavyweight title in Japan for 5 years.
He’s also my friend and a mentor. (more…)
I got some good feedback on the last post (Advice for a Frustrated, Clumsy and Uncoordinated Grappler) and want to share a couple of tidbits with you today.
Here’s what one anonymous Australian BJJ student in his thirties had to say (more…)
Game Theory; How I Learned to Teach BJJ to Kids,
A Guest article by John Connors and Jon Grayzel
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…)
If you’re thinking about starting BJJ classes in the New Year, then I want to give you another head’s up about my new BeginningBJJ eBook and eCourse. About 2000 people signed up in the past two weeks for these free materials (which is a pretty overwhelming response)! (more…)
A few days ago, in class, it was time to spar. I walked over to an older white belt, new to the club, who was standing by himself at the edge of the mat. I introduced myself and asked if he wanted to do some rolling. (more…)
Forget the work-life balance! Let’s talk about something much more important: the balance between mat time and conditioning.
I bring this up because one of the questions I get asked most frequently is about how to structure one’s training and conditioning for maximum benefit (more…)
I have added a couple of new articles written by, and for, female grapplers. The first is a compilation of different reasons women might want to study grappling, and the second is guide for women stepping onto the mat for the first time. (more…)
Every couple of weeks I get an email from a reader asking if there are any good BJJ, MMA or submission grappling schools close to where they live.
Unfortunately I rarely have specific advice for them, because there are just too many good schools out there. (more…)
A reader writes:
Q: “I would like to hear you address grappling with no formal teacher or school. What are the benefits/downsides to this? What should we be careful to avoid? This is the situation I am in now, I get to practice with some good guys but have actually never had formal training. ” (more…)
In my recent sparring sessions with the gi I’ve been having great success with a technique I learned on the internet. Actually to be a little more precise, I learned a critical detail about a technique I already knew on the internet, and this has made all the difference to successfully applying this technique. (more…)
Over the last couple of months I have written about various pieces of training gear, ranging from wrestling shoes to mouthguards. Looking over these tips I realized I had left out the single most important, completely indispensable training gear of all: your partner! (more…)
Normally in this newsletter I try to help you tap other people out, or at the very least make it more difficult for others to tap you out. This week’s advice will result in you getting tapped out MORE often, not less, but you’ll be a better grappler because of it. (more…)