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…)
I’ve trained on a lot of different types of mat in my day: wrestling mats, foam core mats, puzzle mats, and rock hard old school Judo straw tatami, just to name a few. (more…)
How many guard passes do you think a four time world champion and an 18 year veteran of BJJ uses?
If you can put up with rough guerrilla-style audio in the video below (it was shot at the last minute) then Vitor Shaolin’s answer might surprise you… (more…)
Normally I advise against flashy techniques. Generally speaking it’s rock solid basics and non-fancy fundamentals that win sparring sessions, tournament matches and MMA fights.
But I have to make an exception for this technique… (more…)
There’s nothing quite like watching a smaller, lighter, weaker person use their technique to defeat a bigger, heavier, stronger opponent.
And when it comes to tapping out bigger, stronger, heavier opponents there’s nobody quite like Marcelo Garcia. (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.
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 last time I hung out with Denis Kang we shot a series of short videos on MMA techniques.
It’s rare to get an MMA fighter who wants to show you all his best techniques, but Denis is an awesome teacher as well as a great fighter. (more…)
In the past few years I’ve made some big changes to my omoplata armlock attacks. The omoplata has always been one of my bread and butter moves, but these racent changes have doubled my success rate, especially when going against bigger and/or skilled opponents. (more…)
I’ve recently featured a fair bit of content from various guest authors. And that’s a good thing, because different perspectives are critical to your improvement; after all, no single person can show you everything you need to know about grappling. (more…)
I respect most grappling arts, not just BJJ. Freestyle and collegiate wrestling, in particular, have a lot to offer to submission grapplers and BJJ practitioners. Obviously we can get a lot of good throws and takedowns from wrestling, but we can also ‘steal’ some very powerful moves on the ground as well. (more…)
A few weeks ago I went to a training session with the goal of working on and experimenting with the so-called “Sao Paulo Guard Pass.” My plan for sparring this day was to start in my partner’s closed guard, and then only use this one guard pass. (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…)
Ricardo de la Riva is an incredibly nice and humble man, but don’t let that fool you – this man is a BJJ legend. (I mean, how many people have a popular guard position named after them?) (more…)
Recently I had the pleasure of training with Oscar Daniotti, a black belt under Ricardo de la Riva. And Oscar showed me some really cool stuff! (more…)
Many Brazilian jiu-jitsu guard passes can be adapted for use in mixed martial arts. Here the cross knee slide guard pass is used to achieve side mount control. (more…)
This guard pass requires commitment and some athleticism, but is quick and can take an opponent by surprise. (more…)
The cartwheel guard pass is most often seen in the Japanese lightweight MMA divisions, but it can also be used in Submission Wrestling and BJJ. Here’s how to do it correctly… (more…)
Tricks, Concepts, Techniques and Drills to Prevent Opponents from Passing Your Guard
In December, 2008, I sent out a Grappling Tip Email with a tip about not letting your opponent control your hips (see the first tip below). I then asked readers to share their own top tips for preventing or blocking the guard pass.
Below is a selection of reader contributions on the topic of making your guard ‘unpassable.’ I find it the diversity of suggestions very interesting, and I’m sure that you’re going to learn a lot about developing a better guard.interesting that the (more…)
Today my BJJ sparring was a battle for survival.
Maybe you think it’s because I sparred with a bunch of high-level black belts… Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I was barely holding my own against blue belts with only a couple of years experience. And they were all lighter than me. (more…)