A reader writes: Hi Stephan, I’ve been doing BJJ for about 6 months and am wondering if you have any advice about what to do when you’re starting on the knees?
I find that most wrestling-style takedowns are very difficult to do from the knees, especially because my opponents are really good at sprawling. (more…)
An article by Jeff ‘Wombat’ Meszaros
When Yogi Berra said, “half of this game is ninety percent mental”, he was talking about hitting a ball with a stick and running around an empty field. He wasn’t talking about rolling around with some sweaty dude who’s trying to tear your arms off. (more…)
Although the sport and art of grappling is currently mostly a male activity, many female readers have commented on how important it is for women to learn to grapple (see Why Should Women Grapple?). In this article Liz Bader, an active mixed martial art competitor and instructor, explains what women should be aware of before they step onto the mat for the first time. (more…)
by Guest Author, Mark Mullen (BJJ Brown Belt, Judo Brown Belt)
I’ve been grappling for many years, and here’s a situation that comes up all the time…
I often spar younger, heavier, beginners. At the end of the round they’re usually fighting for breath, arms trembling from fatigue. (more…)
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…)
I’ve trained on a lot of different types of mat in my day: wrestling mats, foam core mats, puzzle mats, and rock hard old school Judo straw tatami, just to name a few. (more…)
Sarah Kaufman is one of the top fighters in women’s MMA.
And she is officially amazing!
Here’s an in-depth interview and podcast with Sarah. (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…)
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…)
It’s easy to train an activity when you’re calm, relaxed and not tired. But being able to execute those same movements correctly when you’re fatigued and gasping for breath is something entirely different. (more…)
Physical attributes are really important for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling (a point further discussed in this article about physical attributes and BJJ).
Being able to feel your opponent’s intent and react to it even before he moves (like when he’s trying to bridge his way out of your mount) requires sensitivity. (more…)
Friendly rivalries on the mat often turbocharge your grappling progress.
Recently I was corresponding with a BJJ player who kept on getting caught in the same leglock by a fellow student with a Sambo background. (more…)
Today, at the gym, a young grappler asked me a question he’d obviously been wondering about for a long time.”How long did it take until you had grappling all figured out?” (more…)
Back in my early teens, when I was infatuated with Kung Fu, I read a book purporting to describe about 50 supernatural abilities that Kung Fu masters could develop. Skills like levitation, or making your body impervious to weapons, or killing people with a poke of your fingertips… (more…)
A few weeks ago I went to a training session with the goal of working on and experimenting with the so-called “Sao Paulo Guard Pass.” My plan for sparring this day was to start in my partner’s closed guard, and then only use this one guard pass. (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…)
One of the things I talk about in my Beginning BJJ online Course is the importance of not telegraphing your moves, particularly your explosive escapes, by holding your breath.
Today my BJJ sparring was a battle for survival.
Maybe you think it’s because I sparred with a bunch of high-level black belts… Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I was barely holding my own against blue belts with only a couple of years experience. And they were all lighter than me. (more…)
I remember seeing a small magic show at a local library when I was about 10 years old. At the time I thought that the magician had a pretty good act, but I had no idea that I was also about to learn a valuable jiu-jitsu lesson. (more…)
In previous newsletters we’ve discussed what a grappling arms race is, and how in that situation you can use video self analysis to get an advantage over your training partners.
Today I want to briefly touch on one of MY secret weapons in the everlasting arms race in the dojo. That method is focused partner training. (more…)
In the last newsletter we talked about what an arms race is, and how it can drive BJJ technique to higher levels. I also promised I would reveal a couple of secrets used by my training partners and I in our continuous struggles to get even the slightest advantage over the other person. (more…)
Is there someone at your club that you are always battling against? One week you kick his butt, and the following week it’s payback time? Back and forth, week after week? If you do, then consider yourself lucky. (more…)