I know I’ve been lucky, but most of my martial arts instructors have encouraged questions.
For example, my BJJ coach, Marcus Soares, is known for his killer conditioning sessions (‘warmups,’ he calls them…).
But right after putting his class through hell he always starts the technical part of class by asking, “Are there any questions.” He then takes time to answer each and every question, regardless of whether it applies to BJJ, MMA or self defense. (more…)
Let’s say that you want to add a new technique – any technique – to your game.
With new techniques there’s always a ton of trial and error, struggle and effort, discouragement and tough times before it starts working reliably for you.
But here’s the thing: no matter what area of jiu-jitsu or submission grappling you’re working on, I guarantee you that there’s someone out there who has already spent years working on that exact technique. (more…)
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Grappling Magazine, August 2001 (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…)
In my early days of martial arts training I ran into quite a few teachers who were so full of themselves that students asking questions was almost unheard of.
At first I thought that this was normal. I thought that maybe things would change after I’d paid my dues for 10 or 20 years… (more…)
Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro is a four time World BJJ Champion. In MMA he held the welterweight title in Japanese Shooto. And he has the Cage Rage lightweight championship belt proudly mounted on the wall too… (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…)
==> A QUESTION <==
“Do you think there’s much benefit to video taping myself in sparring sessions and then watching them later to try and pin point bad/good techniques, or stuff I need to work on? (more…)
Game Theory; How I Learned to Teach BJJ to Kids,
A Guest article by John Connors and Jon Grayzel
Some people think that they can only learn from World Champions. And then, when they finally study with a competition legend, they’re often disappointed that he won’t (or can’t) teach them very much. (more…)
The first time I saw the Reverse Mount I was at an Erik Paulson seminar. My reaction was something like “yeah, right….”
I honestly thought that Erik had run out of high percentage things to teach and was now just making stuff up. (more…)
Here’s a question I received recently:
Q: “I’m 56 years old and in pretty good health except for a few old injuries. My question is whether it is it too late for me to start training in grappling without wrecking my body too badly? (I’m not interested in competition).” (more…)
I’m a believer in taking private lessons with instructors, especially those that you don’t get to train with on a regular basis. And I’ve taken my share of privates; some were great, but others were real stinkers. (more…)
Here’s how the book Ninja, Clan of Death got me started on my martial arts journey. And how a crayon-written black mail note failed to get me into Judo class. And which teachers have been my biggest influences. And how I finally transitioned into the grappling arts. (more…)
I like going to seminars, but I find it frustrating when I can’t remember everything that the instructor taught. The way I think of it, the seminar costs a certain amount of money and the instructor covered a certain number of techniques. (more…)
I don’t remember too much from my first BJJ tournament other than that the place was packed, that there were lots of huge guys strutting around like they owned the place, and that I was nervous as hell. (more…)
Like many of you, last Saturday night I sat transfixed, watching Brock Lesnar maul Heath Herring at UFC 87. (more…)
Grappling is problem solving, and part of improving in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is maintaining enough awareness during sparring to figure out precisely what your problems are.
Let me explain… (more…)
Oleg Taktarov was one of the early pioneers in the UFC. Coming from a sambo background he had a very distinctive skill set.
And nobody had more heart!!
I’m delighted that Oleg recently stepped back into the cage and defeated Mark Kerr with a kneebar, which has always been one of Oleg’s signature moves. Oleg was very influential on my leglock game development (more…)