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.
To find those training methods, tweaks and techniques takes research, which is made much easier by the internet!
In the spirit of sharing some of the new BJJ techniques and body hacks that I’m personally exploring right now, here’s what’s on my reading list this weekend…
A Comparison of Kettlebell Styles: I’ve played around with kettle bells a bit, and found that they’re a very useful tool. For example, the basic kettlebell swing gives you many of the benefits of Olympic lifting with a much lower risk of injury. But there’s so much conflicting and contradictory advice about how to do even the most basic Kettlebell movements that it’s hard to know what correct technique looks like. The article linked to above helps explain the different schools of thought behind KB swings and snatches.
The Berimbolo Sweep in BJJ: At 6’2″ and 215 lbs I don’t really have the classic body type for all that crazy-upside-down-spinning-inverted-guard stuff. That being said it’s hard to ignore the effectiveness of Berimbolo sweep (a crazy-upside-down-spinning-inverted-guard move) in sport BJJ.
I’ve practiced it only a few times and haven’t swept anyone with it yet in sparring. But doing some reps of the Berimbolo gave me the confidence to start using a similar-but-different inverting spinning move to stop my training partners from passing my guard. Maybe it IS possible to teach an old dog new tricks…
Keenan Cornelius Sneak Previews: Keenan and his team just keep on giving away more previews from their upcoming DVD set. Earlier this week I learned a really cool omoplata finish from them that I hadn’t seen before. They ask for your email address, but I was happy to give it because I figured a) it was a good way to find out about new preview clips and b), if I didn’t like what they sent me, I would just click on the unsubscribe link which is on every email. Anyway, I’m very interested to see what techniques they release next…
Cardio for 3 Minutes a Week??!? Some research from McMaster University suggests that just a few minutes of all-out exercise give you the same benefits as spending hours on the stair master or treadmill. I’m dubious, but I’m going to test it on myself. I’ll do a month of these 30 second intervals and then see how I perform on my gold standard cardio workout (a horrendous 40 to 60 minute climb up Grouse Mountain on the North Shore of Vancouver). Other than getting shot off a treadmill or going into cardiac arrest what’s the worst that can happen?
This is a rather rambling post; in the words of Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
First, and most importantly, I really hope that you had a great Christmas (or alternate celebration of your choice). And that you got to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
Next, congratulations on surviving the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse! (more…)
An old training partner sent me a short email yesterday. Here’s what it said:
Cardiovascular training can be a confusing topic and there are many different and divergent views on the subject. Different reputable sources inform us that you don’t need to do cardio (more…)
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Ultimate Athlete, March 2003
The hard time for the training is already passed” – Rickson Gracie in Choke, before the 1995 Japan Vale Tudo Fighting Championship (more…)
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Ultimate Athlete, June 2003
|“Proper planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance” - the 7 “P’s” of the British SAS (more…)|
In the not-so-distant past weight training was discouraged for martial artists. “It will make you slow”, “it will make you muscle-bound”, and “all you need is technique” were common opinions from the ‘experts’. (more…)
Maybe you travel a lot. Maybe you live in a really small town. Maybe the club you used to train at closed down. Maybe it’s just too far to go to train regularly. In any case, training partners or good training environments are sometimes hard to find. So what do you do? (more…)
by Guest Author, Mark Mullen (BJJ Brown Belt, Judo Brown Belt)
I’ve been grappling for many years, and here’s a situation that comes up all the time…
I often spar younger, heavier, beginners. At the end of the round they’re usually fighting for breath, arms trembling from fatigue. (more…)
The Ryan Hall interview is ready, and it might be my best interrogation ever!
With more than 200 tournaments, countless superfights, and solid performances in the Mundials and ADCC Ryan is one of North America’s most successful and prolific grapplers. (more…)
About 10 years ago I was talking to a pioneer of early MMA. This fighter trained all the time, even between fights.
But whenever he had a fight coming up he’d go absolutely mental and grind himself down into an exhausted mess. (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…)
I recently sat down and figured out which of my articles I got the most feedback from. Here’s another article that I’ve received a LOT of feedback on. Back in 2004 I was asked a very interesting question about grappling endurance by someone I’ll call ‘Fred.’
Here was the problem in a nutshell… (more…)
I found this short Youtube video and voice-over really inspiring and wanted to pass it on.
It has nothing to do with martial arts.
But in a way it has EVERYTHING to do with martial arts! Plus the sports-specific training footage is pretty cool too, and might give you some good ideas for your own conditioning!! (more…)
I just interviewed Tony Blauer. He’s the head of Blauer Tactical Systems which specializes in close quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military and professional self-defense instructors. (more…)
Sarah Kaufman is one of the top fighters in women’s MMA.
And she is officially amazing!
Here’s an in-depth interview and podcast with Sarah. (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…)
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…)
——————- A Question ——————-
I’ve recently started learning BJJ with some friends at their garage. I am by far the slowest student. We’re following a DVD series with very clear & thorough breakdowns of techniques. (more…)