Stephan: I’m here today with my friend, Adam Singer, who runs The HardCore Gym in Athens, Georgia. He is probably best known for being Forrest Griffin’s MMA coach during the formative years of Forrest’s career. He’s also a jiu-jitsu black belt and has trained tons of fighters.
I’m really looking forward to picking his brain about MMA and jiu-jitsu and the relationship between these things. He’s an outspoken guy, so I’m sure we’ll have a good conversation. (more…)
The mount is one of the most dominant positions in grappling. The reason for this is mostly because of what could happen if you got mounted in the street.
An attacker in the mount (aka the ‘schoolyard bully’ position) can rain down powerful punches into your face with virtual impunity.
If you try to punch back from the bottom of mount then your strikes probably won’t even reach his head. (more…)
Performance under pressure is always tricky. In fact a lot of martial arts practitioners worry about whether they’d actually be able to execute their skills in super-stressful situations.
Of course competing at a tournament or performing at belt tests can be stressful. But the scariest high pressure situation of all is a self defence scenario where you and/or your family is being threatened.
If push were to come to shove and you actually had to defend yourself could you actually use your skills? Or are you worried that your mind might turn to mush in the heat of the moment… (more…)
Reverse lapeloplatas and inside-out upside-down berimbolos might be fun to train and effective for some guys in high level competition, but at its core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art. So once in a while we need to regroup, refocus, and give some thought to what parts of the art we would use in a real self defense situation. (more…)
BJJ is a great fitness activity and a wonderful sport. But at it’s core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is still a martial art.
The word ‘martial’ is defined as “being related to fighting or war“. And that means you have to be ready throw down should the s**t hit the fan out there in the cold, cruel world.
A lot of self proclaimed self defence experts will emphatically and categorically tell you to “never, ever go to the ground in a streetfight.” But no single strategy works in every situation, and anyone telling you to always do something, or never do something, is automatically wrong.
The truth is that you may well be forced to use your grappling skills in a self defense context. (more…)
I’ve just put the most important video I’ve ever shot onto Youtube: Jiu-Jitsu for the Zombie Apocalypse.
A lot of people will tell you that jiu-jitsu will be useless when the Zombie Apocalypse hits. But those people have an agenda: usually they’re trying to sell you flamethrowers, or have stocks in the big arms companies. (more…)
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…)
This is an interview with one of my most influential teachers – 9th degree Kajukenbo Karate black belt Philip Gelinas. Philip is also a high-ranking instructor in several different Filipino martial art systems, a BJJ brown belt, an instructor in Combat Submission Wrestling, and was recently inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. (more…)
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…)
This is a rather rambling post; in the words of Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
First, and most importantly, I really hope that you had a great Christmas (or alternate celebration of your choice). And that you got to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
Next, congratulations on surviving the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse! (more…)
Recently I managed to catch up with Vinicius ‘Draculino’ Magalhães and pick his brain about the ongoing evolution of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Draculino started training in Rio in the 1980′s, back in the days when many of the big names in BJJ were just young kids with blue and purple belts around their waists. (more…)
Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling students are male, and in most grappling schools females are the exception, not the rule. My foundation in the martial arts was self-defense oriented, not competition oriented. (more…)
Why getting off the ground is a critical skills in grappling!
(originally published in Black Belt Magazine)
When mixed martial arts competition exploded in North America, martial artists quickly learned that most fights end up on the ground. And for years the prevailing wisdom was that groundfighting was inevitable, and if a fight went to the ground it would most likely stay there. (more…)
I was recently asked “what are the most common mistakes that first-time competitors make?”
BJJ tournaments in general, and ESPECIALLY your first competition, are likely to be a little bit chaotic. (more…)
I just interviewed Tony Blauer. He’s the head of Blauer Tactical Systems which specializes in close quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military and professional self-defense instructors. (more…)
In this feature interview I talk with Emily Kwok who is a very smart, very talented jiu-jitsu practitioner.
She’s been involved in the woman’s competition circuit for a long time, having competed both with and without the gi, and in MMA overseas. (more…)
You’re walking down the street, someone bumps you, words are exchanged, you get pushed to the ground, and now some big gorilla is trying to knock your teeth down your throat. No matter how focused you are on the sportive aspects of grappling you’ve still GOTTA know how to defend strikes on the ground!!! (more…)
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…)
I’ve received lots of email recently, so today I thought I’d dip into the mailbag and share a few emails. I’ve also quickly jotted down some quick comments, and some links to a few relevant articles. (more…)
Once you get good at Brazilian jiu-jitsu the ground will be your happy place. Rolling around and hunting for submissions will feel as natural as walking!
But there’s a time and a place for everything… (more…)
Originally published by Stephan Kesting in Ultimate Grappling Magazine
Marc Laimon is one of the foremost grappling coaches for mixed martial arts fighters. Not only was he a coach for the hit Spike TV show “The Ultimate Fighter,” (more…)
Disclaimer: I’ve trained with some great teachers, getting tons of top-notch information from them. But my teachers are NOT AT ALL RESPONSIBLE for today’s video!
You see, I’ve just posted a video about the two absolute WORST techniques that I’ve ever seen in almost 30 years of martial arts training! (more…)