An article by Mark Mullen
Most students of Brazilian jiu-jitsu are aware that the origins of modern day BJJ came from Japanese judoka Mitsuyo Maeda who was one of the earliest of Jigoro Kano’s members at the Kodokan.
Since those early days, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has evolved significantly and now Olympic style judo and sport BJJ have diverged into their own sports.
The rules governing IBJJF competition differ from those of Olympic judo requiring different strategies by the competitors and consequently a different emphasis on techniques. (more…)
The Head and Arm choke is a super-powerful submission that works with and without the gi, with and without strikes, in BJJ, Judo, Submission Grappling and Judo.
It’s ended a lot of matches and even put a few people to sleep.
The Head and Arm choke comes from Judo (where it’s known as Kata Gatame) and if you grapple then it’s a technique that you need to know! (more…)
How a single ‘quick fix’ can triple the power of your gi choke attacks
Gi chokes are a fundamental and effective strategy in BJJ. Maybe the two best known gi choke are the cross collar choke from guard and the cross collar choke from mount. We’ll explore that choke in more detail below, but rest assured that it has been used to submit world class competitors at the highest levels of competition. (more…)
There’s a good reason that the extremely effective throw Kani Basami has been banned in all Judo and most BJJ competitions: it’s super dangerous!
Kani Basami has inflicted severe lower body injuries in dojos and competitions all over the world. I myself used it extensively until I was sparring with a wrestler, misjudged the distances, and landed on his ankle severely twisting it. He was out of commission for months recovering from that injury. (more…)
Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey is an armbar machine. At UFC 168 she defeated Meisha Tate with her eighth armbar in eight MMA fights. This armbar streak is an amazing achievement, and a lot of people (including a lot of people who don’t actually train) have been asking me how to counter this attack.
I was thinking about doing this but it turns out that someone beat me to it. (more…)
Last week I published my contentious, ‘Does MMA Make You Stupid‘ article. Since then there have been a few more developments on the concussion controversy, so I figured it was worth sharing the updates so as to keep you in the loop.
UPDATE 1: STEPHAN KESTING ON THE NHB NEWS PODCAST
Over the weekend I was contacted by Eddie Goldman, the Godfather of MMA, from the NHB News website and podcast. (more…)
Takedowns can seem difficult, tricky and confusing. Especially if you’re not gifted with a surplus of fast-twitch muscle and innately awesome timing.
But my friend and BJJ world champion Emily Kwok has a concept that makes the whole takedowns game a LOT easier. (more…)
Over the years a lot of readers have had their photos of grappling action appear on the Grapplearts Featured Photo page. Some photos were taken by professional photographers, but the majority were taken by amateurs, sometimes even just snapped on on iPhone at the local tournament or open mat.
People love these photos, which is why we’ve recently been cross-posting them on the Grapplearts Facebook page as well…
Kesa Gatame is one of the most under-utilized positions in BJJ. Jiu-jitsu people tend to ignore this position but generations of judo players and wrestlers have proved that Kesa Gatame IS a powerful and effective way to pin someone. And – even worse for someone caught in it – Kesa Gatame is also a great entry into some very effective armlocks, leglocks, neck cranks and diaphragm chokes. (more…)
I might not be 100% correct with the actual wording, but I’ll always remember this fantastic quote from Karate legend Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace which I read in Black Belt magazine many years ago. It went something like this:
A reader writes: Hi Stephan, I’ve been doing BJJ for about 6 months and am wondering if you have any advice about what to do when you’re starting on the knees?
I find that most wrestling-style takedowns are very difficult to do from the knees, especially because my opponents are really good at sprawling. (more…)
You can listen to, read, or download this interview in several different ways…
- Hit play in the middle of the audio player 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…)
Every grappler needs to have a basic understanding of takedowns. You don’t want to be so uni-dimensional that you have no idea how to take somebody down.
But the problem is that not every takedown you learn from Judo or wrestling will work on someone a lot bigger and stronger than you. (more…)
Judo has a lot to offer to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. And vice versa. Judo places more emphasis on throwing, of course, and BJJ is more ground-oriented, but Judo groundwork (known as ‘newaza‘) isn’t entirely dissimilar to BJJ groundwork. (more…)
A Guest Article by Mark Mullen
The majority of most BJJ’ers training time is spent attending structured classes at their academy. And most academies divide their structured classes into 3 portions: (more…)
An Interview with Daniel McCormick,
2008 US National Judo Championship Winner, 2009 Judo Olympian
Stephan’s note: This is the transcript of an audio interview I did with Daniel McCormick. You can either read the interview below or listen/download the audio by doing one of the following: (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…)
One of the most neglected areas of BJJ training is takedowns. Which is a shame, for a couple of reasons… (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.
The common headlock is often overlooked in BJJ – it’s just not considered to be a very technical pinning position.
But not training your headlock escapes is a HUGE mistake! (more…)
A lot of people thought that Toby Imada’s triangle choke was the best MMA submission of 2009. And they may be right – it was a stunning display of quick thinking and ‘sticktoitness’ on Toby’s part. (more…)
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…)
The first time I saw someone choked unconscious it scared the crap out of me. And it was made worse by the fact that it was a friend of mine…
It was many years ago at a local tournament. My friend was winning his match but got caught in a sneaky gi choke. (more…)