A lot of people think that Spider Guard is only applicable to BJJ with the gi. They’re kinda right, but they’re also mostly wrong.
You see, it’s more complicated than “no gi equals no Spider Guard…”
First of all, if you get good at something as intricate and technical as Spider Guard then it develops your sensitivity, leg dexterity, coordination, strategic and tactical thinking like crazy. It’s the ultimate attribute development tool for the guard. (more…)
Today’s video clip is about a rarely-discussed but absolutely essential aspect of the Spider Guard.
It’s the secret sauce of the Spider Guard. And it comes down to pressure…
Pressure is one of those things that can be hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But there’s no mistaking pressure when you feel it! (more…)
This butterfly guard pass doesn’t require athleticism, speed or killer grips; instead this guard pass is all about the timing.
To have great timing you either need to have super-fast reflexes to react to your opponent, OR you have to ‘train’ your opponent to give you a certain energy so you can anticipate it and have your response already waiting for him. (more…)
Too often people forget about the bread-and-butter strategies that have been effective for decades and get seduced by the latest shiny technique.
Maybe there’s not a better example of something that has stood the test of time like the closed guard.
The closed guard has been controlling and submitting opponents with the gi, in no gi submission grappling, in MMA and self defense for a very long time. (more…)
There’s a strong argument to be made for knowing how to pass the guard both standing up AND kneeling down. This keeps your opponent guessing and allows you to change your game up and avoid his strengths.
What I’m going to give you today is a free sample of my Black Belt Grappling Concepts Course that’ll show you how to shut down one of the most common problems you’ll encounter when you’re using standing guard passes… (more…)
This is a very interesting field report by my first BJJ training partner (and now BJJ black belt) Mark Mullen, who just came back from a trip to Brazil – Stephan Kesting.
I recently spent 2 months in Rio de Janeiro, shortly after graduating to black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In addition to enjoying the beaches, acai and famous sights of Rio I was looking to get on the mat and learn some jiu-jitsu to bring back to the students in my home academy in Canada. (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…)
In the spring of 2009 I asked my readers to send in video tips to help BJJ beginners. The idea was to augment and complement the work I’m doing with the BeginningBJJ.com site. (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…)
*** A Sports Psychology Question from a Reader ***
I was listening to your interview with Ryan Hall and I was wondering about which Sports Psychology Books you had read or would recommend. (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…)
Today is a very exciting day! For the past few months I’ve been working like crazy to get my new DVD series finished. In these videos I’m collaborating with my friend, and former teammate, Emily Kwok.
She’s one of the best known competitive grapplers out there! For a lot of different reasons. (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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
You’re walking down the street, someone bumps you, words are exchanged, you get pushed to the ground, and now some big gorilla is trying to knock your teeth down your throat. No matter how focused you are on the sportive aspects of grappling you’ve still GOTTA know how to defend strikes on the ground!!! (more…)
The rules of flow sparring are very simple:
- you have to keep moving, and
- you can’t use strength.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is my very best instructional product; after all, it took an entire year of all-out work to create. (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.