Every Martial Art Consists of These 3 Things…

The 3 Components of Every Martial Art

I'm primarily known as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but the reality is that I've trained in a lot of other martial arts too. These other martial arts include Combat Submission Wrestling, Kajukenbo Karate, Boxing, Wing Chun, Judo, Muay Thai, Hung Gar, Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Hsing I, Northern Shaolin, Maphalindo Silat, Capoeira, Tai Chi, Western Fencing, Freestyle Wrestling, Jun Fan/JKD, … [Read more...]

The 10 Second Choke Fix (or How to Tap Out More People)

fixing the triangle choke

  How many times has a sparring partner told you "Man, I was SO close to tapping" after you'd been squeezing their neck like crazy in a desperate attempt to choke them, but then decided that it wasn't working and gave up on the submission? Frustrating, isn't it? Or have you ever held a choke for so long that you completely burn out your grips and have to fight the rest of the match … [Read more...]

BJJ, Judo, MMA and Brazil – a Black Belt Podcast Chat with Jeff Meszaros

Jeff-Mezaros-Podcast

This is a fun conversation on my Grapplearts Radio Podcast about BJJ, Judo and MMA with Jeff Meszaros.  Jeff is one of the guys that I first started training in BJJ with 23 years ago.  The conversation goes off the rails a number of times, but here's some of what we covered... Self defense applications of BJJ Russian team MMA events Judo, BJJ and the early days of the Uncle Willy's … [Read more...]

How to Break a Tight Sleeve Grip on Your Gi

how-to-break-any-sleeve-grip

The single best thing you can do to stop your opponent from dominating you in grappling is to get rid of his grips on you. But against someone with strong hands and a powerful grip this can be tough to do. That's why I want to share a super-powerful way to break a sleeve grip with you.  It's illegal in Judo but still totally allowed in BJJ. I've seen small women use … [Read more...]

Staying Fit During a BJJ Training Layoff

Staying fit during a training layoff

BJJ is a marathon, not a sprint.  The average Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt takes at least 10 years of hard training, so if you miss a week of training here or there it's not going to make a difference in the long run. But in some scenarios you're not looking at just missing a week of  training.  Let's say that you've got a sick kid at home, or that you have to recover from a surgery, or that … [Read more...]

The Training and Competition Strategies of Bernardo Faria

5-x-world-champion

  Bernardo Faria is a 5 x BJJ World Champion (and a good friend) so I was very excited to sit down with him and have an in-depth conversation about his competition, training and conditioning routine. The full transcript, audio and video are below on this page, but here's a quick preview of some of the things talked about: Exactly what a world champion's day to day training regimen … [Read more...]

Self Defense, Weapons, BJJ, and Mexican Prisons…

Live Self Defense Q&A

  BJJ is a great sport but ultimately - and even more important - it's also a martial art.  And the core of every martial art has to be about combat; the fitness, discipline, camaraderie and fun is great, but they're all bonuses. It's fantastic to have an awesome spinning triangle from spider guard, but you ALSO need to understand how to use your art in the streets, which might … [Read more...]

My New, Favourite Butterfly Guard Pass (Step-by-Step)

favorite butterfly guard pass

Here's my new favourite guard pass! It uses opposite corner control (shoulder and knee) to rotate the body of your opponent plus a kick to disengage his hooks and prevent him from following you.  I call it the 'Kung Fu' or the 'Punch, Pull, Kick Pass'. I've been pulling this off consistently for a couple of months now, both against butterfly guard and also against some other forms of open … [Read more...]

Which New Techniques Can You Learn the Fastest?

Which new BJJ techniques can you learn the fastest?

Note: The content in this article was drawn from a Youtube video and an audio podcast (Episode 042 on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher) on the same topic.  Check those out if you prefer your information in video or audio form! After a friend of mine saw a cool Rafa Mendes highlight video I had posted my Facebook page he announced that he wanted to add a berimbolo attack to his game. (The … [Read more...]

How to Get Kicked Out of Your BJJ Club

How to get kicked out of your bjj club

by Jeff Meszaros So, you've been training at the same jiu-jitsu club for a while now and you've decided it's not for you. You've given it very careful consideration and concluded that it's time to move on to another club or quit altogether. But you don't want anyone to call you "a quitter" so instead of quitting, you've decided to take the high road and get kicked out. But how can you do … [Read more...]

Upcoming Facebook Live Q&A

Stephan Kesting on Facebook Live

The Next Grapplearts Facebook Live Broadcast Will Be On Monday, January 16th at 6 pm EST, 9 pm PST TOPIC: SELF DEFENSE What is Facebook Live?  Facebook live is when you get live streaming video on Facebook.  It usually shows up on your feed if you're on at just the right time, but it also shows up on the page that's broadcasting the video.  In this case it'll be on the Grapplearts Facebook … [Read more...]

Overtraining in the Martial Arts

Overtraining in the Martial Arts

How to Avoid Bringing Your Martial Arts Training to a Screeching Halt... Overtraining is a major problem for the serious martial artist, and especially for competitors who have to balance technical training sessions with sparring and additional conditioning, often in the course of a single day. All this hard training can result in the body breaking down faster than it can repair itself, which … [Read more...]

A Powerful Judo Pinning Trick You Can Use in BJJ

A Judo Pin for BJJ

  In Judo you win the match if you pin your opponent for 20 seconds, and so Judoka can have some pretty ferocious 'osaekomi' (Japanese for  pinning someone's back to the mat). To help them get to a pin and then hold down frantically struggling opponents Judo players have quite a few tricks up their sleeve. Today I want to talk about one of these moves that creates a handle on one of … [Read more...]

The Miyao Brothers’ 5 Step BJJ Competition Strategy

miyao-de-la-riva

by Jeff Meszaros Every now and then, someone comes along who takes a sport by storm and revolutionizes the game by playing it differently... The Gracies famously changed the world of martial arts by showing the importance of ground work. Wayne Gretzky changed hockey with his "go around the net" trick.  Mike Tyson dominated boxing by using a "peekaboo" style that hadn't been used like that … [Read more...]

Grapplearts Radio Podcast Episode 40: Stephan Kesting and Ritchie Yip

  In the 40th episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast Ritchie and I start with a discussion of Darth Vader's lightsabre technique in Rogue One and then go deeply into the topic of paralysis by analysis in jiu-jitsu, teaching technique, the best way to train to get good fast, and many other fun topics. We finish up by talking about areas that we've focussed on in our own training this … [Read more...]

Who Should You Mostly Be Sparring With To Improve The Fastest?

What level of sparring partner should you spend the majority of your time going against?

Who should you spend most of your time on the mats training with and sparring against? One of my martial arts mentors, Dan Inosanto, said it best; "You make your fastest progress when you're sparring people just a little bit better or a little bit worse than you." This makes a lot of sense. Imagine you're a new blue belt and you' only ever train with high level brown belts and black … [Read more...]

‘Twas the Day and the Night Before Christmas…

Winter Deathmarch 2016

So about a year ago a semi-annual tradition got started... The way it works is that every 6 months the toughest woman I know and I do a one day, 30 mile hike through the mountains with a TON of elevation gain and loss.  It's up and up and up and then down and down and down... We call it the 'Deathmarch' and it's a ton of fun. Here's a video I put together using photos and snapchat videos … [Read more...]

A Simple Drill to Shut Down Your Opponent’s Guard Pass

Drill for Guard Pass Prevention

  I don't usually have to spend a lot of time sitting around and dreaming up new crazy techniques to put onto my Youtube channel... Typically all I have to do is look back at the last couple of training sessions I've done and something obvious to talk about pops right out at me. In the case of today's video, I was working with a friend who was having trouble with his guard getting … [Read more...]

Grapplearts Radio Podcast Episode 039: BJJ, Adversity, and Stopping Your Mind From Going Blank

Grapplearts BJJ Podcast

  I've just released the latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast!  In this episode I'm flying solo and addressing two main topics... How and why BJJ training helps prepare you for ANY adversity that you might encounter in life, and What to do when your mind goes completely blank when you're sparring, rolling or competing. To listen to this podcast you can... Click … [Read more...]

What To Do When Your Mind Goes Blank While Sparring or Competing

What to do when your mind goes blank

  Lots of grapplers run into the problem of their mind going blank when they're sparring or competing. In a class setting they might be able to bang out repetitions of techniques, demonstrate combos, and flow with the go like nobody's business, but as soon as they hit the mats to actually roll, well, all of a sudden they have absolutely no idea about what they should be doing. This … [Read more...]

3 Fixes for Sore Fingers in BJJ

BJJ Finger Pain Tips

So I got a question the other day from someone looking for advice about the pain and inflammation they have in their fingers from training BJJ. I sent them back a super-quick email response with 3 suggestions, but now want to elaborate on my suggestions in hopes that this info will be useful to someone else too... BJJ Finger Pain Solution 1 90% of the time BJJ finger pain is caused from … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Developing BJJ Hip Movement Through Shrimping

10-ways-to-shrimp-image

  Everyone says that moving your hips is one of the keys to jiu-jitsu. And they’re absolutely right: the correct movement of the hips is critical not only for escaping bad positions, but also for applying submissions, sweeping your opponent, passing the guard and much more. Traditionally an exercise called ‘shrimping’ is often used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to develop hip movement. This … [Read more...]

BJJ Rib Injuries and How to Deal With Them

BJJ Rib Injuries

Let's talk about rib injuries in BJJ. This will probably only apply to a small percentage of people, but if you're one of those people then you might be about to get some important information. I'm being pretty general here and not differentiating between all the different ways you can bang up your ribcage: I'm including bruised ribs, broken ribs, damage to the sternum and damage at the … [Read more...]

Neck Harness Trials

Neck Harness quick video

A strong neck is essential for BJJ and grappling. Obviously a strong neck is simply harder to choke, but that’s not the end of the matter… A strong neck also helps you maintain good posture when standing and in the guard, and high level grapplers inevitably use the head as a fifth limb. (If you’ve ever had a skilled wrestler in your guard then you probably know what I’m talking about, … [Read more...]

Grappling Styles of Africa, South and North America

Grappling styles of Africa, South and North America

by Jeff Meszaros On our worldwide survey of different grappling systems started by doing the grappling tour of Asia, training and competing in every country along the way. We started with Japanese judo and ended with Turkish oil wrestling. Then, we covered indigenous grappling systems in Europe, going from Greek pankration to Icelandic glima. Then we moved on to the U.K, trying out the … [Read more...]