Clark Gracie Shares Some Rear Naked Choke Tips

I recently did a podcast interview with Clark Gracie at a friend’s house.  After the interview we were talking about the rear naked choke and I realised two things: A) my friend had mats, and B) I had a camera in the car.

This was a great opportunity to pick his mind some more, so we quickly set up shop and Clark shared some really great tips about setting up and amplifying the power of the rear naked choke,  (or ‘Mata leão’ in Portugese). (more…)

The 3 Steps of Berimbolo

Sometimes the best way to really understand something is to teach it. When it comes to jiu-jitsu, breaking a technique down into steps (not too many, not too few) and finding the best way to convey the underlying principles often helps clarify things in your mind.

I’ve been doing a lot of this with the berimbolo sweep recently. (more…)

What Do White Belts Need to Learn in Their 1st Year of BJJ?

by guest author Mark Mullen

I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro doing a little training in BJJ. While here I have met a number of white belts at the Connection Rio BJJ hostel. Sitting around the pool or over acai after training, inevitably the topic of conversation turns to BJJ and the struggles of the white belts trying to find their way in the art suave.

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A Reverse de la Riva Guard Tutorial

The de la Riva guard is an open guard position in which you entangle one of your opponent’s legs with your own leg.  It was popularised years ago by Ricardo de la Riva, and has since become a staple of gi and no gi jiu-jitsu.

But a related position, the Reverse de la Riva guard, is still a mystery to many grapplers… (more…)

At the bottom of this post is a Youtube video I just created to show the easiest way to do the Berimbolo.

Now if you’re a Berimbolo aficionado then you’ve probably already scrolled down. But maybe you’re on the fence about this move. Or maybe you don’t even know what it is and why you should care about it.

Well, give me a minute to put it into context for you… (more…)

How to Maintain Rear Mount, Improve Guillotines, and Thwart 'Combatives' Experts

Rear mount seems like such a simple position: I mean, you’re basically just piggybacking on your opponent, right?

Well, success in jiu-jitsu usually means doing simple, fundamental things with a high degree of sophistication and attention to detail. And rear mount is no different – switch your grip by a couple of inches, have your hand open instead of closed, do the wrong thing for even a moment and the whole thing goes straight to hell! (more…)

How to Stop Your Opponent from Turtling During Your Guard Pass

I was recently asked the following question:

“Hi Stephan, My biggest problem on the mats right now is people turtling and going to their to knees when I’m about to pass their guard. Once they’re in turtle they either roll back to guard or stand up and all the hard work I did to pass their guard is for nothing. (more…)

Hidden Techniques for Maintaining Rear Mount

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:

  1. Get your hooks in,
  2. Submit your opponent.

Oh, if only life were so simple!

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Taking an opponent’s back is a fundamental attack from half guard, but once your opponent has been caught in it a few times he will start blocking your back climb. Most typically he will wrap your arm with an overbook, also known as a ‘whizzer.’

Here’s one way of my favorite ways to counter his counter and come out on top and behind your opponent.
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When you’re attacking with the Rear NakedChoke (aka the RNC) you’ve got to have answers for when your opponent buries his chin in his own chest to hide his neck.

Here’s a simple trick that Erik Paulson recently showed to me to get your opponent to lift his chin so you can sink the Rear Naked Choke properly. (more…)