A few days ago, in class, it was time to spar. I walked over to an older white belt, new to the club, who was standing by himself at the edge of the mat. I introduced myself and asked if he wanted to do some rolling. (more…)
One of the worst organized MMA shows I ever saw was a small local show, back in 1996. Before I talk about that particular show though, I have to set the stage: UFC 9 had just happened. (more…)
Acquiring new skill sets and polishing your existing skills is the very essence of training. When everything is working properly and you’re surfing up the learning curve it is an exhilarating process. (more…)
The stiff arm on the Heisman Trophy is an iconic posture in football, and it is used by players in every single game. In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, however, the stiff arm has a bit of a bad rap. (more…)
Quick: what’s the most important meal of the day?
If you said “breakfast” then you’re wrong, at least if you’re a hard-training combat athlete. According to Martin Rooney, author of ‘Training For Warriors, the Team Renzo Gracie Workout’, the two most important meals of the day are your pre and post-workout meals.
I recently had a great discussion with Dan and Caleb from TheFightwork’s Podcast about the role of leglocks in Brazilian jiu- jitsu. We discussed a lot of things leglock, including how to train them safely (more…)
Several years ago I found myself waiting for a Jean Jacques Machado seminar to start: I was sitting on the mat, watching people train, and chatting with a friend. Jean Jacques, the jiu-jitsu superstar, strolled over to us and told me something that I think about almost every time I train. (more…)
Several tips ago I gave some advice to a reader who had suffered a rather terrible string of orthopedic injuries while training in MMA . I also opened up the conversation to other readers of this newsletter and invited comments on several martial arts forums. (more…)
A reader writes:
Q: “I’m in my forties and and started MMA training a few years ago. Since then I have had many injuries including a shattered elbow, a torn knee, separations in both shoulders, and many, many more minor injuries. (more…)
Physical attributes are things like balance, neck strength, limb length, explosiveness, leg flexibility, and percent body fat. Your physical attributes are the foundation of what you can do with your body, and are influenced by genetics, training, age and injuries. (more…)
If you are a longtime reader of this newsletter you know that I think very highly of running as a conditioning method. Long runs, sprints, hill runs – as you can see from the following articles I think that they are all great. (more…)
I’ve received lots of feedback about a previous tip discussing how some methods of neck conditioning can be problematical for some people.
Grapplearts newsletter reader Kevin shared his favorite method of neck training with us: (more…)
Neck bridging is an exercise that is unique to the grappling arts. It is also controversial.
Broadly speaking, there are two main ways of bridging: the backwards neck bridge (belly to the sky) or a forwards neck bridge (where you are belly-down to the mat). (more…)
Today I want to write about a practice I don’t like and don’t endorse, but that is probably here to stay: cutting weight to get into a lower weight bracket for competition. (more…)
There’s one at almost every club. The guy who can’t lose. The guy who always goes 100%. The guy who applies every submission with speed and power. The guy who fights as if his life depends on it. (more…)
In the previous article we discussed some of the most dangerous submissions in grappling, and ended with the question of how one can train these submissions realistically…
The easy answer “slowly, gently, and with control”. But even with this advice people still get hurt, so obviously more explanation is required.
Not all submissions are created equal: some cause pain, some put you to sleep, and some do a lot of damage. Today I want to talk about the latter category, those submissions most likely to send you to the orthopedic surgeon. (more…)
Concussions are an ever-present possibility in grappling, especially if you do a lot of takedowns or striking. In fact I think it’s fair to say that everyone training in a combat sport for long enough will get hit on the head hard enough at some point to have some kind of concussion. (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…)
Most instructors, motivators and ‘experts’ will tell you to train, train, train. Today I am going to tell you the exact opposite: there are some days when you shouldn’t go within a hundred yards of a mat. The trick is figuring out which days those are. (more…)