The Twister is a flashy and hellishly effective submission made famous by Eddie Bravo.
It’s now illegal in IBJJF competition, but it shows up sometimes in submission grappling and you’re even starting to see it in MMA!
If you catch your training partners in it – carefully and gently of course – then you get major bragging rights and some instant ‘mat cred.’ (more…)
Have you ever wondered what the most popular and powerful BJJ submissions in BJJ are? Here’s our list of the top 37 submissions taught in BJJ academies all over the world.
WARNING: not all of these techniques are legal in IBJJF competition, or allowed at all schools. But it’s still better to be familiar with these illegal techniques just in case someone tries to use them on you. And many of these illegal BJJ moves still have a ton of validity for MMA applications or self defense situations, so they are well worth learning! (more…)
Posture in the butterfly guard is incredibly important. With the butterfly guard (as with any guard position) good posture is the key to defending the guard pass, attacking with submissions, and/or sweeping your opponent.
But maintaining good posture is easier said than done,
Keenan Cornelius is a BJJ phenomenon. Known for his exciting guardwork and movement-oriented game, he won double gold medals in four of the biggest BJJ tournament in the world as a purple belt, which is a HUGE accomplishment. Here’s my recent interview with Keenan (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!
Passing the guard in a technical manner during no gi training can often be very frustrating, especially for people coming from a gi-based background. To the uninitiated it just seems that things move too fast… That there aren’t any good handles to control your opponent… (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:
BJJ and submission grappling are in a continual state of evolution. New techniques, tactics and strategies emerge, or are rediscovered, or are brought into the art all the time.
The backstep guard pass is one such modern technique. You won’t see this guard pass in old-school BJJ (more…)
In the last 5 years the Deep Half Guard position has taken the BJJ and submission grappling world by storm. And every serious grappler now needs to know how to neutralize and pass the Deep Half Guard.
This position is a variation of the half guard. If someone manages to get settled into this position underneath you then they’re right under your center of gravity, can compromise your balance, and very likely be able sweep you or take your back with a wide variety of techniques. (more…)
Here’s a clip of Emily Kwok teaching something really cool – how to set up the head and arm choke (also known as ‘kata gatame’) from mount, and then how to ratchet it on so tightly that your opponent has no choice but to tap out, no matter how big he is. (more…)
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…
In this sequence Eddie ‘Twister’ Bravo shows yet another one of his innovative rubber guard setups to lock on the triangle choke. (more…)
Here, with permission from Eddie ‘Twister’ Bravo, the man who submitted Royler Gracie with a triangle choke at Abu Dhabi 2003, is a step, by step breakdown of one of his rubberguard setups. (more…)
Photos and explanation that show the transition from Blocked Thai Kick to a takedown and neck crank.
The Brabo Choke can be a match-ending submission. And one of the best times to apply it is when you’re on top in the half guard.. (more…)
A Technique that Bridges the Gap between Sweep and Submission
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Grappling Magazine (more…)
Mixed martial art (MMA) competition has come a long way from the early UFCs, where Karateka faced off against streetfighters, and Jiujitsu practitioners battled Kung Fu stylists. (more…)
There are many similarities between the sport of Submission Grappling and the classical Japanese Ju-jutsu systems. Both arts emphasize grappling over striking. Both arts recognize the importance and efficiency of ground-fighting. (more…)
There are six major positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts and Submission Grappling. If you learn these positions you’ll be off to a great start, but you’ll also be a bit predictable…
The half guard can be a powerful attacking position so long as you stay on your side and maintain your mobility.
However if your opponent gets his grips, flattens you out and drives all his weight onto you it really sucks. (more…)
A reader writes: Hi Stephan,
Thank you for the newsletters! I started training BJJ and MMA about 5 months ago – it’s been life changing for me. (more…)
Knowing what your roots are may not translate to kicking butt more effectively on the mats right away, but it’s still important!
Submission grappling is basically a fusion of wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu… (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…)
Gi vs no-gi, I don’t think the debate will ever die.
I wrote about this topic first in 2004, arguing that most gi-based grapplers should do at least a little bit of no gi grappling, and visa versa. (more…)