I came across the video below and thought it was a poignant tribute to the arc of Sakuraba’s career in Pride. It combines Sakuraba’s beautiful grappling with the extreme violence of Japanese Pride, along with a melancholy undertone that reminded me of the movie ‘The Wrestler’ starring Mickey Rourke from a few years ago. (more…)
We’ve just released the latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast!
This time I talk to Scott Nelson from On The Mat. Scott is a North American jiu-jitsu pioneer who was one of the very first guys to travel to Brazil to train in the motherland of the art. He was also one of the first guys to run a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu website (I remember visiting it back in the dial-up modem days!)
Scott has had some pretty crazy adventures along the way, (more…)
Performance under pressure is always tricky. In fact a lot of martial arts practitioners worry about whether they’d actually be able to execute their skills in super-stressful situations.
Of course competing at a tournament or performing at belt tests can be stressful. But the scariest high pressure situation of all is a self defence scenario where you and/or your family is being threatened.
If push were to come to shove and you actually had to defend yourself could you actually use your skills? Or are you worried that your mind might turn to mush in the heat of the moment… (more…)
This is a great interview with 2013 Pan Am BJJ Champion Clark Gracie. He shares a ton of cool info. You can listen to, read, or download this interview in several different ways…
- Play the audio-only Youtube video at the bottom of this list, and/or
- Right click on this link and select ‘save as’ to download this mp3 file to your computer, and/or
- Subscribe to the Grapplearts Podcast in iTunes (RECOMMENDED, because this allows you to also listen to previous interviews and podcasts), and/or
- Read the transcript below. (more…)
Most of the time I restrain myself and keep the discussion in this blog focused on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, and MMA.
But sometimes I just have to go outside the reservation…
Like many people, I’m a huge fan of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History show. No matter what I’m involved in, whenever one of those exquisitely crafted podcasts comes out I drop everything and immerse myself in the Mongol conquests, or the origins of World War 1, or comparisons of Alexander the Great to Hitler. It’s amazing stuff.
A lot of self proclaimed self defence experts will emphatically and categorically tell you to “never, ever go to the ground in a streetfight.” But no single strategy works in every situation, and anyone telling you to always do something, or never do something, is automatically wrong.
The truth is that you may well be forced to use your grappling skills in a self defense context. (more…)
I recently talked to John Perretti, the former matchmaker for both the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Extreme Fighting Championship.
In our fifty minute interview John and I discussed the early days of the sport, how he found and selected fighters, brain trauma in the combat sports, his disdain for the current state of the UFC, and much more.
MMA has been my guilty pleasure for a long time.
On the one hand, I’m a huge fan. I’ve been watching the UFC since its inauguration in 1993, and have enjoyed fights in Pride FC, Shooto, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and many other organisations. I have good friends who are professional fighters, and have helped them prepare for their fights. And I have nothing but respect for the skill, athleticism and mental toughness of the modern MMA fighter.
Recently I managed to catch up with Vinicius ‘Draculino’ Magalhães and pick his brain about the ongoing evolution of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Draculino started training in Rio in the 1980′s, back in the days when many of the big names in BJJ were just young kids with blue and purple belts around their waists. (more…)
The first time someone showed me the standing Kimura attack I was pretty skeptical…
I was like, “yeah, that would never work, not in a million years!” (more…)
There are many similarities between the sport of Submission Grappling and the classical Japanese Ju-jutsu systems. Both arts emphasize grappling over striking. Both arts recognize the importance and efficiency of ground-fighting. (more…)
by John Will
Prior to his training in Brazil in the late 80’s, author and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, John Will, travelled to and trained in some of the most exotic places in Asia and the sub-continent.
Today I want to tell you a story about how I stumbled across a technique by fluke at a tournament, and how it became one of my bread and butter moves from Butterly Guard, X Guard and Half Guard. (more…)
By Don Whitefield and Stephan Kesting
We asked BJJ legend Ricardo de la Riva to show us the Five Most Imporant Techniques from the ‘de la Riva Guard! Here’s what he showed us, and we’ll go through each one of them! (more…)
Knowing what your roots are may not translate to kicking butt more effectively on the mats right away, but it’s still important!
Submission grappling is basically a fusion of wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu… (more…)
The Carlson Gracie Team in Brazil was one of the original powerhouses of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I recently had the opportunity to interview 7th degree Carlson Gracie black belt Marcus Soares, and he took me to Rio in the 70′s and 80′s on a narrated stroll through BJJ history. (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’ve received lots of email recently, so today I thought I’d dip into the mailbag and share a few emails. I’ve also quickly jotted down some quick comments, and some links to a few relevant articles. (more…)
Leglocks have been around for a long time, but modern grapplers use them in slightly different contexts than classical grapplers. Here’s how a submission grappler might link a takedown and a match-ending ankle-lock…
I’m a big fan of old Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Catch Wrestling books. I have lots and lots of martial arts books, but some of the real jewels of my library are the Judo and wrestling books published in the 1920′s to the 1960′s. (more…)