At a seminar I attended, martial arts legend Dan Inosanto once distinguished between
- the techniques used in a martial art, and
- the training methods used to develop those techniques.
These are different things! (more…)
The X Guard is a really powerful open guard position that creates a whole world of trouble for your opponents. Here’s an excerpt from my DVD “13 Techniques You Can Use On The Mat Today” which takes you through the most important points of the X Guard… (more…)
Today I want to talk about a very useful tool for intermediate and advanced-level grapplers.
The idea is to create study blocks where you focus on a single topic. During this time you basically take one aspect of grappling, and beat it to death with a large stick! (more…)
I first truly realized how powerful drills can be about 15 years ago.
At that time I was I was teaching a self defense class. One of my students was of average size and strength with severely below-average punching power. (more…)
Coming back to training after a layoff is a tricky thing. There is a real danger that you jump back into full intensity training and re-injure yourself right off the bat (especially if you’ve been gone for a while and/or are coming back from an injury). (more…)
I think that grappling drills can serve an important function. Not everybody agrees with me about this: some people think that movement repetition outside the context of a resisting opponent is ‘dead’ training and a waste of time and energy. (more…)
Everybody says that that hip movement is the most important thing in BJJ…
“Boca” Oliveira, a de la Riva black belt, recently told me: “the hips are 90% of jiu-jitsu, and position is the other 10%”. (more…)
A grapplearts reader writes:
Q: How can I still train if I have an injured hand, wrist, arm or shoulder?
A: Being injured is super-frustrating when you want to train. But there are things you can do to keep your skills sharp even if you’ve got an upper body injury… (more…)
Someone once defined insanity as “continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results“. This applies to grappling as well as the rest of life, and it is very true when you are in the half guard position. (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…)
There are two fundamental ways to escape from most pinning positions: escapes based on ‘shrimping’ style hip movement, and escapes based on bridging.
One common mistake I see among beginners is that they hold the bridge position for far too long. (more…)
Today’s topic is a slightly unusual control position for footlocks. Control positions are methods of positioning your legs while you are attempting a leglock. The purpose of a control position is to control your opponent’s legs and body while you set up and execute your leglock. (more…)
When solo grappling drills are used properly they can improve a grappler’s coordination, endurance, strength and speed. They can be used as part of a warmup session or to specifically improve aspects of your grappling game. (more…)
As some of you might know, I’ve released a video on drills for submission grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (subtle marketting alert!). This has led to some interesting online and offline conversations with people on the topic of drills, which in turn has inspired me to write on the topic of drilling. (more…)
In this last installment on fine-tuning your sparring time I would like to talk about starting your sparring sessions from bad positions. Starting out in a bad position is a good way to rapidly improve your pin escapes and submission counters. It is also a great way to challenge yourself, particularly when sparring lighter or less experienced people. (more…)
A good way to get more out of your sparring sessions is to limit the techniques you can use.
As has been pointed out many times in many different disciplines, creativity thrives on limitation, because it forces you to think outside the box to achieve your goal. (more…)
Sometimes it’s good to just go and roll, with no plans, no goals and see what happens. You will make faster progress, however, if you have a plan for most, if not all, your sparring sessions. (more…)
The more complex a motor skill is, the more repetition is required to make it instinctive, smooth and efficient. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate what I mean. (more…)
It is a long path from first learning a technique and mastering it so that it is instinctive and effective. Erik Paulson has a great method to master techniques: it’s called TRIG. It’s his key to developing skill with a given technique, be it a submission, a pin escape or a guard sweep (more…)