Anyone in my age group will understand how it came to be that the first martial art I fell in love was ninjutsu.
Ninjas were everywhere those days, and what could be better than sneaking around wearing black, throwing smoke bombs, and building booby traps?
Of course I too was determined to become a ninja, but first I needed the gear. I asked, begged, pleaded my parents to be given the tools of the trade (black outfit, sword, split toed sandals, all that good stuff), but unfortunately my mind control techniques weren’t up to snuff and I received no help from them.
For some reason my long suffering parents had their doubts that throwing stars and poisoned blow darts were good toys for their rambunctious 8 year old son. Plus any ninja clans operating in the Greater Toronto Area were too well hidden for me to find them, especially since I was still almost a decade shy of testing for my driver’s license.
So my dreams of living a life in the shadows were crushed at an early age (more…)
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…)
The armbar from guard is one of those bread-and-butter techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A signature move, if you will.
Unfortunately it can also be difficult for some people execute the mechanics of the armbar from the guard correctly. It’s easy to get confused with all that gripping, shifting, adjusting and swivelling, and then completely botch the whole technique.
But I’ve found a way to make the armbar from the bottom a whole lot easier to teach.
I recently interviewed my friend, training partner, black belt, and school owner Ritchie Yip. The main theme of our discussion was the art and science of teaching martial arts, including how to teach students with different learning styles and experience levels. Not every student learns the same way, and a good teacher knows how to adapt his material and curriculum to help students of all learning styles.
It’s sad that instructors (and aspiring instructors) often don’t know this stuff. They’d have happier students, better students, and bigger schools if they did. (more…)
by Brendan Hufford
When you’re teaching, regardless of whether it’s BJJ or calculus, there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ approach. In fact, any experienced teacher knows that different teaching methods are required to get through to different students. (more…)
by guest author Krista Scott-Dixon
I am often asked two questions by well-meaning male instructors:
- How do I get more women to join my school?
- And once they join, how do I keep them? (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…)
I just got in from an awesome training session, but before I head out and enjoy the sun for a couple of hours I’ve just got to share this with you. You see, a couple of days ago I heard a great quote that’s been rattling around in my brain ever since because it’s totally applicable to BJJ, MMA and submission grappling. (more…)
——————- A Question ——————-
I’ve recently started learning BJJ with some friends at their garage. I am by far the slowest student. We’re following a DVD series with very clear & thorough breakdowns of techniques. (more…)
Want to learn how to master a technique? Of course you do!
There’s a really cool concept called “The Four Stages of Learning” that’ll help you understand how people learn skills, concepts and techniques. (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
At a seminar I attended, martial arts legend Dan Inosanto once distinguished between
- the techniques used in a martial art, and
- the training methods used to develop those techniques.
These are different things! (more…)
The X Guard is a really powerful open guard position that creates a whole world of trouble for your opponents. Here’s an excerpt from my DVD “13 Techniques You Can Use On The Mat Today” which takes you through the most important points of the X Guard… (more…)
Some people look at grappling as a giant grab-bag of techniques. They may learn hundreds of techniques, but there’s no rhyme, reason or organizing framework to guide what they learn or work on next. (more…)
One of the best, and worst, things about grappling is that the feedback is quick, direct and brutally honest.
Take ANY technique – be it an armbar, a guard pass or a pin escape – it’s easy to find out if you’re doing it right: (more…)
At my recent seminar on Unorthodox Positions I thought that I would be doing all the teaching, and that the students would be doing all the learning. Well I was wrong…
One of the things I taught was a cool entry into the north-south choke from the offside kesa gatame position. (more…)
A reader writes:
Q: “How does one best utilize instructional video tapes and what are the best out there.”
A: Let me preface my answer by saying that as someone who spends a lot of time producing and selling instructional grappling DVDs I am not exactly a neutral party! (more…)