A lot of people think that Spider Guard is only applicable to BJJ with the gi. They’re kinda right, but they’re also mostly wrong.
You see, it’s more complicated than “no gi equals no Spider Guard…”
First of all, if you get good at something as intricate and technical as Spider Guard then it develops your sensitivity, leg dexterity, coordination, strategic and tactical thinking like crazy. It’s the ultimate attribute development tool for the guard. (more…)
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…)
First do this… Then move your hand here… Then adjust your body this way… Then finish by doing this other thing.
It can be a lot to remember, but it’s always easier to remember all the steps and adjustments if you understand WHY you’re doing them.
When I first learned about the Kimura armlock attack I got lots of contradictory, conflicting advice about applying this submission. This was most notable when it came to the grip for the Kimura: some people told me that I absolutely had to control my opponent’s wrist with all 5 fingers together, but other people said it was OK to grab with your fingers on the opposite side of the wrist from your thumb.
In BJJ it’s often what you don’t see coming that kills you. Which is why it’s important to have a couple of surprise attacks in your arsenal.
Today’s video is from the Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu instructional set that I did with BJJ world champion Brandon Mullins. It’s a rolling entry from Judo that takes you directly into one of the most powerful chokes in the entire jiu-jitsu repertoire: the Bow and Arrow choke. It’s an example of the borders between Judo and jiu-jitsu becoming very fuzzy… (more…)
In BJJ it’s what you don’t know that hurts you. If you get caught in a position that you don’t have an answer to, that you don’t understand, then life on the mat just got exponentially more difficult.
This problem is most pronounced for the guard. It can be really difficult to keep up with the changing technology. One year it’s the X Guard, taking the world by storm, then it’s the 50/50 guard, and then it’s the worm guard…
You don’t necessarily need to add each of these new guard positions to your own personal repertoire, but you DO need to know how to shut them down. You need good answers for each of these positions. (more…)
This is one of my very favourite attacks from Sidemount. It works in a BJJ context (i.e. with the gi), in submission grappling, and even in MMA.
It’s a very powerful attack, but the best thing about is that if it doesn’t work then you don’t typically lose position. You stay on top and can easily switch to a followup attack. (more…)
Just the other day I shared four counters to a pesky deep cross-collar grip from closed guard.
Well, the cross-collar grip isn’t the only way your opponent might try to destroy your posture…
There’s another posture-breaking grip that can be just as bad, and unlike the cross-collar this one can be used in BJJ, MMA and submission grappling. Gi and no gi. (more…)
Your opponent sneaking his hand deep on your lapel is always a bad situation.
Once he has this grip on you from his closed guard he can use it to break your posture forward, which kills your ability to pass the guard and is very tiring to fight against…
…or he can use it to attack you with cross-collar chokes (which have ended a LOT of matches)…
…or he uses your frantic reactions the threat of the grip to set up any number of armlocks, sweeps and other attacks. (more…)
If you’re new to the martial arts then you might not get the humour of this, but believe me, there are many jackasses out there with their own versions of this information. The difference is that their tongues aren’t firmly planted in the side of their cheeks.
Anyway, this particular technique was far too deadly to put into Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu – putting such information into the wrong hands would be completely irresponsible.
So we put it onto Youtube instead… (more…)
If you grapple then you have to use the omoplata. After all, it’s one of the ‘big five’ attacks from the guard (armbar, kimura, triangle, guillotine and omoplata).
Much of the time the omoplata ends up functioning as a sweep – your opponent rolls out of it to escape, you follow him, and get to the top. That’s not a problem – you’re now on top after all – but wouldn’t it have been nice to get the submission instead?
Let me introduce you to a variation of the omoplata called ‘The Rack’. (more…)
This is the easiest move in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
It’s a move that you can learn today and use tomorrow (especially if you’ve been drilling your triangle choke details that we covered in another recent blog post).
Hint: it’s from the Double Biceps Spider Guard.
Check out the video below – Elliott reminds me of a trapdoor spider exploding out of it’s lair when he slams it on. Then give the move a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! (more…)
Today’s video clip is about a rarely-discussed but absolutely essential aspect of the Spider Guard.
It’s the secret sauce of the Spider Guard. And it comes down to pressure…
Pressure is one of those things that can be hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But there’s no mistaking pressure when you feel it! (more…)
Some techniques just require a bit more tweaking than others…
For example, when I was a whitebelt the armbar was fairly easy to learn. The triangle choke, on the other hand, was relatively easy to apply, but hard to finish, (which was very frustrating).
It took a lot of experimentation, coaching and adjusting before I was able to successfully choke out even cooperating, non-resisting partners with the triangle. (more…)
I often hear from people distraught about some area of their jiu-jitsu lagging behind.
It might be their sweeps from the closed guard, their submissions from side mount, their escapes from rear mount, or their butterfly guard passes, but in that that one specific area they’re just not as good at as they should be.
Here’s the thing though: there will ALWAYS be areas where you are lagging behind! (more…)
When BJJ world champion Brandon Mullins and I started talking about doing a second instructional set, he was adamant about including a section focusing on the advanced applications of fundamental movements.
I was initially dubious. I didn’t think that most people would be interested in this. But the more we talked about it, and especially when he started showing me what he wanted to cover, I became a convert.
You see, there are movements people already know and use, but they just don’t know how to use them to their full potential. (more…)
Some people are under the mistaken impression that you can only defend or sweep from the Half Guard. But it’s a big mistake to ignore the powerful submission attacks that present themselves from that position!
One of the most powerful, most effective, and most popular attacks from the Half Guard is the Triangle Choke. You see this in high level competition all the time, both with and without the gi.
But you can’t just slap the triangle choke on from Half Guard without any preparation. You have to set it up first.
Jiu-jitsu doesn’t always need to be complicated. In fact, sometimes the best solution is also the simplest, most direct solution.
Consider a situation where your opponent is in your guard but is refusing to engage you in any meaningful way. Maybe he’s ahead on points and is trying to coast for the rest of the match, or maybe he just wants the satisfaction of being able to say that you didn’t catch him in anything.
Anyway, in this situation he’s sitting back on his heels and defensively gripfighting like crazy any time you try to lay hands on him. (more…)
This is one of the sneakiest, slickest submission attacks I have ever seen.
The first time I saw this technique was when BJJ world champion Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins used it at the IBJJF European Championships in 2013.
At first I just didn’t understand what I had seen. One minute his opponent was in the X Guard, and the next he was tapping out from a super-tight triangle choke. I had to watch it a bunch of times to even begin to figure out what had happened. (more…)
It’s called ‘rolling’ for a reason: if you’re doing BJJ then you’re going to be somersaulting all over the place. And there are three types of rolls that you encounter all the time on the mats:
- The forward roll,
- The backwards roll
- The side roll
In the video below BJJ world champion Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins shows how you can use the third movement – the side roll – to defend against a very common and otherwise difficult-to-deal-with style of guard pass. (more…)
Speed kills! When it comes to blowing through your opponent’s defenses there’s nothing like being just a little bit faster than him. That way you’re always a step or two ahead, and he never has the chance to catch up.
But how exactly do you do this?
Well, have you ever heard of something called Hick’s Law? It’s an idea that comes from academic research, and has been applied to areas as diverse as computer interface design and analysing online dating. But it’s also super-relevant to jiu-jitsu! (more…)
Getting picked up and slammed when you’ve got your opponent in the closed guard is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you in grappling.
It’s definitely a legitimate technique for big and strong guys to use. And in MMA and self defense slamming an opponent is one of the best ways to open the guard, or to escape a tight triangle choke.
Getting power-bombed and then and having your opponent’s weight land on you always hurts. Especially if your opponent is bigger than you are, which is usually the case if he can lift you up. (more…)
When it comes to passing the guard you basically have two options: pass with speed, or pass with pressure.
Speed-based guard passes typically rely on creating some distance between you and your opponent, getting some kind of control on his feet or legs, and then blasting your way past your legs with some quickly manoeuvring. The ‘Toreando’ pass and its variations would be classic examples of speed-based passing.
In pressure-based passing you incrementally gain control over more and more of your opponent’s body until you slowly edge your way past his guard. (more…)
The very first guard pass I learned was the stacking guard pass (also known as the smashing guard pass or sometimes the ‘over under’ pass).
Initially I was doing this pass all wrong, and I can’t even begin to count how many times I got triangle choked trying it. But eventually I learned a few tweaks that made it much harder for my opponents to apply the triangle choke, and now it’s one of my bread and butter guard passes. (more…)
One of single biggest errors you can make when you’re practising a martial art is to assume that everybody else practices that same martial art.
Let me explain that…
Boxers spend 99.9% of their time learning how to fight other boxers. Wrestlers train to attack with, and defend against, wrestling techniques. (more…)
Today we’re going to look at and learn about one of the most fundamental movements in all of BJJ. It’s the “technical standup,” and make sure that you’re doing it correctly.
The technical standup is used ALL the time in BJJ, submission grappling and MMA.
This exact move can get you out of trouble in scrambles, prevent guard passes, and finish sweeps for you, but first and foremost the technical standup allows you to get back to your feet in a real fight without getting your teeth knocked out… (more…)