First do this… Then move your hand here… Then adjust your body this way… Then finish by doing this other thing.
It can be a lot to remember, but it’s always easier to remember all the steps and adjustments if you understand WHY you’re doing them.
When I first learned about the Kimura armlock attack I got lots of contradictory, conflicting advice about applying this submission. This was most notable when it came to the grip for the Kimura: some people told me that I absolutely had to control my opponent’s wrist with all 5 fingers together, but other people said it was OK to grab with your fingers on the opposite side of the wrist from your thumb.
This is one of my very favourite attacks from Sidemount. It works in a BJJ context (i.e. with the gi), in submission grappling, and even in MMA.
It’s a very powerful attack, but the best thing about is that if it doesn’t work then you don’t typically lose position. You stay on top and can easily switch to a followup attack. (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…)
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.
Sidemount is arguably the pinning position you’re going to run into most often in BJJ. Most guard passes lead into sidemount, and from sidemount you can get to almost every other position (it’s kind of like the Grand Central Station of BJJ pinning)!
So it’s not surprising that there are a ton of different sidemount escapes involving shrimping, bridging, spinning, reguarding, etc. (more…)
Defending and escaping the Kimura when you’re on the bottom of side control is always difficult. There are several different reason for this…
First of all, the figure four grip used in the Kimura is very powerful control. It’s a natural handle that your opponent can use to manipulate your entire body, both in gi or no gi. And once your opponent has secured this grip it’s a real pain to get out of this submission. (more…)
Sometimes the best way to get better is simply to stop doing things wrong.
Over the years I’ve shot quite a few guerilla-style videos breaking down many of the most common mistakes that I see for different positions and submissions. (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:
Smaller opponents can become big nuisances, especially if they have legitimate skills.
You would think that the very fact that you’re bigger than your opponent means you should be able to go full-Conan on them every time…
Mongol General: “Conan! What is best in life?”
Conan: “To crush your enemies, see them driffen before you, and to hear the lamentation of their vimmen.” (more…)
Many battles are lost by not sufficiently stabilizing sidemount, and/or choosing the wrong attacks to use from that otherwise dominant position.
Let’s say that you’ve done everything right and cut through the guard of a bigger stronger opponent. (more…)
What? Abandon the Mount? The position you’ve worked so hard to achieve?!? Let me explain…
BJJ is a position-based art. The positional system of BJJ is the central organizing theme of my ‘Roadmap for BJJ’ book (more…)
A reader writes…
Q: Hi Stephan, I’ve got a question for you if you don’t mind me asking. I often struggle when it comes to rolling with big guys. I weigh roughly 52 kilos and the guys at the gym obviously weigh a lot more than me. (more…)
Recently we discussed the concept of ‘posture’ and how it applies when you’re pinned underneath someone. A few people have contacted me since then, asking for specific examples of posture while pinned.
Let’s start with with just one pinning position: here are the three most common postures used to defend submissions and set up escapes while pinned in sidemount. (more…)
Sometimes you just gotta have faith…
In the video below I’ll share an armlock with you that I’d been shown multiple times early in my BJJ career. And I always thought it was hogwash; (more…)
How many times has someone almost gotten past your guard…
…You’re just about pinned; it’s just a matter of time…
…So you mentally relax, concede the position and prepare for the battle to get out of sidemount using your pin escape techniques. (more…)
There’s nothing worse than weathering the storm in someone’s guard, fighting your way past their legs, finally getting to sidemount, making one tiny mistake and then – boom – you’re back in their guard. (more…)
We recently talked about some examples of good defensive posture when you’re on the bottom, achieving good posture when pinned under your opponent is the first, and often the most critical, step in the escape process. (more…)
Practitioners of submission grappling and BJJ quickly learn about the importance of posture in an opponent’s guard. If you have bad posture in the guard you will get swept and submitted all the time. (more…)
At first I thought that this particular question was going to be simple. Someone, let’s call him ‘Bob’, wrote me about extreme claustrophobia when trapped in a bad position:
“I am hoping that you can help me with problems of extreme claustrophobia while grappling. (more…)