This is an article by longtime Grapplearts contributor and BJJ Black Belt Mark Mullen.
A question I always ask when I discuss jiu-jitsu with senior black belts is, “In developing your game is it better to develop your strengths, or to focus on weaknesses in order to correct them?”
The simplest form of this question is about developing your top game vs your bottom game in BJJ. (more…)
The X Guard is a hybrid open guard / half guard position, first popularized by Marcelo Garcia.
There are a million sweeps, finishes, and follow-ups from the X Guard. Everything from kneebars and omoplatas, to fancy upside-down backwards flipping sweeps, to techniques that take you directly to rear mount.
But I don’t suggest starting with any of these techniques… (more…)
The cartwheel guard pass is one of the most spectacular guard passes out there. But it’s not as difficult to do as you might think.
In the video below I show you an easy four step progression, including some drills you can do on your own, to incorporate this exciting move into your repertoire. (more…)
To condition or not to condition, that is the question…
Whether ’tis smarter for your body to strain under barbells and long distance runs, or ignore all that stuff and just focus on getting more mat time.
This is NOT an article about general fitness, or about achieving a goal in another sport. If you want to run a half-marathon for the challenge, the endorphins, or the sense of achievement then there’s no ambiguity about what you should do: tie up those running shoes and start jogging! (more…)
Here’s a 12 minute tutorial I just put out breaking down two really cool variations of the Omoplata armlock which is one of my all-time favourite techniques.
The first variation is called the ‘Marceloplata’ – it’s named after superstar grappler Marcelo Garcia who popularised this technique. The Marceloplata is a great option to use when you’ve almost finalised a regular Omoplata but your opponent has managed to stall your attack by locking down one of your legs.
Stephan’s note: today I interview Burton Richardson who has spent decades researching the training methods that make martial arts techniques practical, reliable, and functional. His approach is very applicable to street self defence, but is equally valid for anyone wanting to compete. (more…)
In case you were hiding under a rock, Ronda Rousey fought Liz Carmouche last night at UFC 157. She both validated her UFC Women’s Bantamweight title, and made history by being in the first-ever women’s match in the the UFC.
And just in case you were under that aforementioned rock, despite a very spirited fight by Liz Carmouche, Ronda won the match with an armbar at 4:49 of the first round. (more…)
When people teach the rear mount they often show you how to get your hooks in to achieve the rear mount, and then they teach you a couple of submissions from the back.
Their idealized flowchart has two steps:
- Get your hooks in,
- Submit your opponent.
Oh, if only life were so simple!
Should you pull guard in competition? And if you decide to pull guard, then how do you do it correctly?
In a certain sense, I am uniquely unqualified to answer these questions…
Let’s talk about an advanced concept that top submission artists use all the time.
But first, let’s set the stage by talking about the limited number of common positions in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. (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…)
Marcelo Garcia is maybe the very best person in the world at attacking the turtle position.
But before I tell you how I know this first hand, I should point out that as you get better you’ll run into the turtle position more often. (more…)
As you improve as a grappler you’ll go through phases of adding new techniques and strategies to your game. These are exciting times, but the sad truth is that you’re usually gonna get worse before you get better. (more…)
The rules of flow sparring are very simple:
- you have to keep moving, and
- you can’t use strength.
There are two basic games in grappling: the ‘mobility game’ and the ‘position game’.
The mobility game is based on speed and movement – transitions between positions, attacks and reversals are accomplished with speed. (more…)