The de la Riva guard has exploded in popularity in recent years. Since it was popularised by Ricardo de la Riva there have always been sweeps and submission available from this position but the ascent of the berimbolo (a spinning-and-upside-down method of taking the back) has made it even more popular among the BJJ competition crowd.
So even if you never ever plan to use this style guard yourself you need to have some answers to it, because you WILL run into it. (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…)
Man, nobody else fights like Masakazu Imanari. Such a distinctive (and scary) style…
Imanari is a man on a mission: if there’s a leg in the room somewhere then he’s going to find it and tear it off. Every moment of every fight he’s looking to wrap up that leg: it doesn’t matter if you’re punching, kicking, clinching or on the ground.
Even the former UFC fighter (and infamous heel hooker) Rousimar Palhares doesn’t turn himself upside down and launch himself towards his opponent while looking for a heel hook. (more…)
After a ton of planning and working with video editors and Android app programers, I’m thrilled to announce that Submission Defense – the latest Grapplearts app for the Android platform – is finally ready!!
This app was designed with one single-minded purpose: to help you tap out much less often. (more…)
Some leglocks are simple, straight-ahead, super-effective submissions that should be in every grappler’s arsenal.
Other leglock attacks, by contrast, are super-complicated multi-step techniques. And once you actually manoeuvre everybody into place you’re left with something that resembles an octopus orgy: arms, legs, and other body parts tangled together in a giant Gordian knot. (more…)
A four step instructional article on transitioning from guard to the omoplata and then into an unexpected footlock when your opponent attempts to counter the omoplata. (more…)
Closing the gap in MMA can be the most dangerous part of the fight. Sometimes throwing fake strikes allows you to get in close enough to take your opponent down… (more…)
The kneebar is one of my favorite submissions. But I studied it for years before it became a ‘go to’ move.
Some of my major leglocking influences includede Erik Paulson, Oleg Taktarov and Marcus Soares. Each of these teachers contributed important pieces of the puzzle. (more…)
Q: Hello Stephan,
I’m a big fan of your website – I’ve been following it since 2009. I compete in BJJ and No-Gi submission wrestling.
I’ve also been training MMA with hopes of having my first amateur fight within the year. (more…)
The Ryan Hall interview is ready, and it might be my best interrogation ever!
With more than 200 tournaments, countless superfights, and solid performances in the Mundials and ADCC Ryan is one of North America’s most successful and prolific grapplers. (more…)
Are there any submissions out there that you just can’t finish? You can set it up, lock it on, and strain for all you’re worth, but your opponent just won’t tap out?
It happens all the time. In fact, I’m not immune either. (more…)
Recently I was discussing MMA fighter Ben Henderson’s ability to slip out of submissions. And that turned into a general discussion about countering, escaping, and slipping out of submission attacks. (more…)
I consider the kneebar to be the king of leg submissions: you are attacking one of the largest joints in the body and demonstrating mastery over your opponent. Unlike heelhooks and toeholds, which often have to be applied gently in training to avoid injury, a successful kneebar leaves no doubt or debate as to its effectiveness. The kneebar is a fairly safe submission when applied properly, but is also a potentially devastating lock.
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…)
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…)
Originally published in Grappling Magazine (August 2005 issue)
The ankle lock has a long and varied history. This technique was used by many of the traditional Ju-jutsu schools in medieval Japan, North American Catch Wrestling as well as in pre-World War 2 Judo.
Then it fell onto hard times. Judo banned the ankle lock. Catch Wrestling faded in prominence. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu never actually banned ankle locks completely, but using them was considered crass and low class.
In the early days of BJJ in North America, if you used a footlock at a Jiu-jitsu tournament you were likely to get boo-ed by the audience!
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…
Check out this video, which shows the very first time I stumbled across the ‘logsplitter’ position. it was a complete fluke, but it still won me the match and a silver medal.
Then read on to find out what happened AFTER that competition… (more…)
“Box a fighter, and fight a boxer.”
This old saying isn’t only limited to boxing – you can use the very same principle in grappling, jiu-jitsu and MMA.In a competition, or a ‘serious’ match you DON’T want to play the other guy’s game. His game is what he’s good at. (more…)
The first time I saw the Reverse Mount I was at an Erik Paulson seminar. My reaction was something like “yeah, right….”
I honestly thought that Erik had run out of high percentage things to teach and was now just making stuff up. (more…)
Back when I was mostly training in Judo I heard that there were some traditional dojos in Japan where tapping out to a choke was frowned upon – even in club sparring sessions you were supposed to fight the choke right to the bitter end (more…)