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…)
This article and video are about how to train and continue to make progress in BJJ when you’re dealing with an arm injury.
Now I hope that you go through your entire BJJ career without ever suffering a single injury. But this is a contact sport, and therefore you’re probably going to get a little banged up from time to time. (more…)
Passing the guard of a skilled opponent is one of the hardest things to do in BJJ.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at high level BJJ and submission grappling competition like the Mundials or ADCC. (more…)
I was recently asked the following question:
“Hi Stephan, My biggest problem on the mats right now is people turtling and going to their to knees when I’m about to pass their guard. Once they’re in turtle they either roll back to guard or stand up and all the hard work I did to pass their guard is for nothing. (more…)
Passing the guard in a technical manner during no gi training can often be very frustrating, especially for people coming from a gi-based background. To the uninitiated it just seems that things move too fast… That there aren’t any good handles to control your opponent… (more…)
BJJ and submission grappling are in a continual state of evolution. New techniques, tactics and strategies emerge, or are rediscovered, or are brought into the art all the time.
The backstep guard pass is one such modern technique. You won’t see this guard pass in old-school BJJ (more…)
In the last 5 years the Deep Half Guard position has taken the BJJ and submission grappling world by storm. And every serious grappler now needs to know how to neutralize and pass the Deep Half Guard.
This position is a variation of the half guard. If someone manages to get settled into this position underneath you then they’re right under your center of gravity, can compromise your balance, and very likely be able sweep you or take your back with a wide variety of techniques. (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…)
There’s this one impressive, fancy-pants guard pass that I’ve seen in competition many times. It makes everybody go ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’, but despite its dramatic nature it’s undeniably effective and has won a LOT of matches at the highest levels of competition.
I tried to imitate this technique, of course, but it was always a complete disaster. I never managed to figure out exactly what these high-level guys were doing. (more…)
It’s my very favorite quote from the movie ‘The Avengers’ which I saw last night:
Captain America: We need a plan of attack!
Iron man: I have a plan… Attack!! (more…)
I was recently watching an out-of-print instructional DVD by a friend of mine and had one of those really great ‘aha’ moments.
It was a tweak that I can use to make my closed guard much, much harder to pass. And also much more powerful when it comes to setting up attacks and sweeps. (more…)
Getting a handle, or a grip, on your opponent in MMA is not always easy. Here Denis uses an unusual grip both to control his opponent and remove one of his potential weapons from the equation. (more…)
by Denis Kang and Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Grappling Magazine, October 2005
Denis Kang knows all about passing the guard in mixed martial arts competition. He has fought in Japan and throughout North America, and has passed the guards of many good fighters, including Minoru Suzuki, Keith Rockel and Stephan Potvin. He knows that passing the guard is one of the hardest things to do in a fight (more…)
Marcus Soares and Denis Kang demonstrate a Half Guard Pass and a Cervical Choke. (more…)
by Vitor “Shaolin” Riberio
Passing the guard and taking an opponent’s back in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match is a huge advantage. Here Shaolin shows you one way to do it: (more…)
by Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro
The half guard in BJJ is a position that has evolved a lot. Originally it was considered to be a bad position, only one step short of having your guard passed altogether. Now it is the favorite sweeping position of many BJJ practitioners. (more…)
Andreh Anderson demonstrates a technique where your opponent will think he’s passing your guard, but this only sets him up for a sneaky lapel choke. (more…)
Here’s a combination that takes you from an arm bar attempt to a powerful guard sweep from the closed guard, demonstrated by BJJ black belt Andreh Anderson. (more…)
Andreh Anderson demonstrates a very useful sweep you can use when your opponent is trying to pass your closed guard with the gi. (more…)
This is a very effective way to end a match quickly. (more…)
This is a powerful guard pass often seen at the highest levels of no-gi competition that leads straight into a devastating submission. (more…)