What is an ‘advanced’ guard sweep?
Well, sometimes it’s a technique that requires such ridiculous levels of strength, flexibility, or explosiveness that it’s completely out of reach of 99% of recreational BJJ players. (more…)
There’s this one impressive, fancy-pants guard pass that I’ve seen in competition many times. It makes everybody go ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’, but despite its dramatic nature it’s undeniably effective and has won a LOT of matches at the highest levels of competition.
I tried to imitate this technique, of course, but it was always a complete disaster. I never managed to figure out exactly what these high-level guys were doing. (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…)
Many battles are lost by not sufficiently stabilizing sidemount, and/or choosing the wrong attacks to use from that otherwise dominant position.
Let’s say that you’ve done everything right and cut through the guard of a bigger stronger opponent. (more…)
Having the right assortment of techniques is pretty darn important in BJJ. But having the right training strategies is even more important…
By ‘training strategies’ I’m talking about the big picture. Like knowing which techniques to use, when to use them, and how to correctly train those techniques in the first place. (more…)
Today’s tip is about the details of the Triangle Choke, one of the very highest percentage submissions at every level of competition.
Have you ever noticed how some people can catch EVERYBODY in their signature submission, again and again? Once they’ve got their setup position it’s pretty much a done deal (this applies whether that signature submission is an armbar, a triangle choke, a kneebar, or an upside-down, inside-out Jehosophat choke).
It’s amazing what some big guys will do when they get frustrated. In fact, sometimes they’ll try stuff so stupid that it’ll take you completely by surprise!
Now, many BJJ instructors never bother to teach you what to do against these ‘stupid attacks.’ (more…)
It’s a fact: big guys don’t like losing to smaller guys.
That’s why sometimes, when a bigger guy realizes he’s not going to be able to actually win a match, he changes gears and uses all his strength and size for only one thing… (more…)
Jiu-jitsu is so cool! As you might know, the omoplata armlock is one of my very favorite techniques. But even after 10 years of studying this position, I’m still learning new stuff about it…
Today I want to share a variation of the omoplata that I learned this summer working with Brandon Mullins. Of course this finish works great on larger people, but even though I’m 6’2′ and 215 lbs I’m gonna ‘hijack’ it and use it in my own game as well. (more…)
The first time I ever saw the triangle choke in action was in 1994, during the last match of UFC 4.
Royce Gracie had just squared off against Dan Severn, a seemingly unstoppable wrestler with a huge weight advantage. I remember thinking, ‘There’s just no possible way that Royce is gonna win this one.’ (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…)
Recently I managed to catch up with Vinicius ‘Draculino’ Magalhães and pick his brain about the ongoing evolution of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Draculino started training in Rio in the 1980′s, back in the days when many of the big names in BJJ were just young kids with blue and purple belts around their waists. (more…)
What? Abandon the Mount? The position you’ve worked so hard to achieve?!? Let me explain…
BJJ is a position-based art. The positional system of BJJ is the central organizing theme of my ‘Roadmap for BJJ’ book (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…)
The omoplata is one of my very favorite submissions. But there are a lot of ways to screw it up. Here’s how to make sure it works for you. (more…)
Here’s a video in which Emily Kwok uses me as a dummy to teach the fundamentals of the Seated Guard and also one of my very favorite sweeps: the ‘Idiot Sweep.’
(I call it that because it’s so simple and so effective that when you catch your opponent with it, he feels like – well – an idiot.) (more…)
The X Guard is one of my very favorite ‘go to’ positions. If I can get there in a match then I’m suddenly a very happy camper…
In fact, this position is so dominant that you should be able to sweep your opponent at least 80% of the time when you get him jacked up into the X Guard. (more…)
It’s my very favorite quote from the movie ‘The Avengers’ which I saw last night:
Captain America: We need a plan of attack!
Iron man: I have a plan… Attack!! (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…)
Whether you want to or not, you ARE going to end up in the half guard!
Some people simply use the half guard as a last resort when their guard is being passed. Their opponent is blasting around their guard, so without even thinking about it they lash out with their legs and trap one of his legs between their own. (more…)
I was recently watching an out-of-print instructional DVD by a friend of mine and had one of those really great ‘aha’ moments.
It was a tweak that I can use to make my closed guard much, much harder to pass. And also much more powerful when it comes to setting up attacks and sweeps. (more…)
A reader writes…
Q: Hi Stephan, I’ve got a question for you if you don’t mind me asking. I often struggle when it comes to rolling with big guys. I weigh roughly 52 kilos and the guys at the gym obviously weigh a lot more than me. (more…)
There’s nothing worse than having an opponent counter your armbar attempt by locking his hands together and using grip and bicep strength to stop you from extending the arm. Especially if he’s big, strong, and determined to not let tap him out! (more…)
The Kimura armlock is one of the highest percentage submissions from the half guard, but to apply it you have to know how to get your opponent to release his grip on his pants, shorts or thigh.
Here’s how to break his grip and finish the Kimura! This Jedi mind trick can actually be used for other submissions like the armbar and different leglocks as well.
Taking an opponent’s back is a fundamental attack from half guard, but once your opponent has been caught in it a few times he will start blocking your back climb. Most typically he will wrap your arm with an overbook, also known as a ‘whizzer.’
Here’s one way of my favorite ways to counter his counter and come out on top and behind your opponent.