Many matches are won or lost in the struggle to pass the guard.
In fact passing the guard of a skilled player may be the single hardest thing to do in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
It’s not uncommon for a high-level competitor to spend 8 or 9 minutes of a 10 minute match fighting like crazy trying to pass the guard. (more…)
There’s a good reason that the extremely effective throw Kani Basami has been banned in all Judo and most BJJ competitions: it’s super dangerous!
Kani Basami has inflicted severe lower body injuries in dojos and competitions all over the world. I myself used it extensively until I was sparring with a wrestler, misjudged the distances, and landed on his ankle severely twisting it. He was out of commission for months recovering from that injury. (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.
Takedowns can seem difficult, tricky and confusing. Especially if you’re not gifted with a surplus of fast-twitch muscle and innately awesome timing.
But my friend and BJJ world champion Emily Kwok has a concept that makes the whole takedowns game a LOT easier. (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…
If you have any exposure to standup grappling then you know the power of a standing underhook. It allows you to dominate your opponent, move him around, and set up lots of throws, takedowns and other moves. (more…)
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…)
Every grappler needs to have a basic understanding of takedowns. You don’t want to be so uni-dimensional that you have no idea how to take somebody down.
But the problem is that not every takedown you learn from Judo or wrestling will work on someone a lot bigger and stronger than you. (more…)
Judo has a lot to offer to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. And vice versa. Judo places more emphasis on throwing, of course, and BJJ is more ground-oriented, but Judo groundwork (known as ‘newaza‘) isn’t entirely dissimilar to BJJ groundwork. (more…)
A Guest Article by Mark Mullen
The majority of most BJJ’ers training time is spent attending structured classes at their academy. And most academies divide their structured classes into 3 portions: (more…)
The first time someone showed me the standing Kimura attack I was pretty skeptical…
I was like, “yeah, that would never work, not in a million years!” (more…)
There’s no getting around it, all contact sports are inherently dangerous. And it’s hard to have more contact in a sport than in MMA.
Now it’s true that MMA might not be the most dangerous contact sport – that dubious title could arguably go to boxing or pro football – but in the past few years there have still been been some very, very serious injuries in MMA related to takedowns… (more…)
In MMA a sharp striker can sometimes counter a determined grappler. But to do this they have to know how to mix their striking with standup wrestling, like in this technique! (more…)
Photos and explanation that show the transition from Blocked Thai Kick to a takedown and neck crank.
Closing the gap in MMA can be the most dangerous part of the fight. Sometimes throwing fake strikes allows you to get in close enough to take your opponent down… (more…)
If you try a sloppy takedown in MMA you could end up paying a hefty price. Here’s how your takedown gone wrong might go down… (more…)
A lot of MMA fights have been won by someone shooting a double leg takedown just as their opponent throws a big right cross… (more…)
An Interview with Daniel McCormick,
2008 US National Judo Championship Winner, 2009 Judo Olympian
Stephan’s note: This is the transcript of an audio interview I did with Daniel McCormick. You can either read the interview below or listen/download the audio by doing one of the following: (more…)
One of the most neglected areas of BJJ training is takedowns. Which is a shame, for a couple of reasons… (more…)
In these photos Marc Laimon shows some of the techniques he used to defeat Ryron Gracie at Grappler’s Quest in Las Vegas, November 6th, 2004.
I respect most grappling arts, not just BJJ. Freestyle and collegiate wrestling, in particular, have a lot to offer to submission grapplers and BJJ practitioners. Obviously we can get a lot of good throws and takedowns from wrestling, but we can also ‘steal’ some very powerful moves on the ground as well. (more…)
I recently had the opportunity to meet up with my friend and professional fighter Denis Kang. I wanted to pick his brain about some MMA techniques. He shared a lot of stuff, and because I had a video camera with me I can now pass that information on to you. (more…)
Leglocks have been around for a long time, but modern grapplers use them in slightly different contexts than classical grapplers. Here’s how a submission grappler might link a takedown and a match-ending ankle-lock…