The Most Dangerous Throw in Judo & BJJ

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…)

3 Ways to Close the Distance in a Streetfight

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.

Sometimes in a street confrontation you should run away, sometimes you should look for improvised weapons, sometimes you should punch and kick, and sometimes your best option is to grapple. (more…)

A Surprising Way to Pull Guard...

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…

You see, much of my BJJ comes from 8th degree black belt Marcus Soares, and Marcus is very much from the old-school Carlson Gracie way of doing things. (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…)

Best Takedown vs. Larger Opponents?

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…)

How Not to Break Your Neck Doing Takedowns

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…)

Countering the Double Leg with a Sitout & Switch

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…)