ARCHIVE The FREE Roadmap for BJJ App!


Here's something brand new that I've been working on for a whole year.  It's available right now and I think you're really going to like it!! How would you like a top-to-bottom game plan for the closed guard position? What about a complete roadmap for the Open Guard? And while we’re at it, would a game plan for the modern Half Guard help you out? … [Read more...]

BJJ Self Defense Part 5: Defending the Low Tech (and Deadly) Headlock!


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. … [Read more...]

BJJ Self Defense Part 4: The Technical Standup


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 … [Read more...]

BJJ Self Defense Part 3: The Street Guard


If you've been reading my emails and training in grappling then, by this point, you're going to be quite familiar with the guard. In some ways it's the iconic BJJ position. But do you know WHY it's such an integral part of BJJ? Why do we focus on this position so much? And why would we ever want to be lying on our backs on the pavement in a streetfight? … [Read more...]

BJJ Self Defense Part 2: Escaping the Mount


The first time I ever saw the Mount position was during a schoolyard fight in grade one. One kid pushed the other kid to the ground, climbed on top, sat on his chest in the classic bully position, and then absolutely dominated the fight. He punched and slapped and taunted the other kid who was completely unable to do anything about it until the fight was broken up by the teachers. The kid on … [Read more...]

BJJ Self Defense Part 1: Proximity, Panic and Claustrophobia


This might be a bit controversial but BJJ IS A MARTIAL ART! That means it's a fighting method, used for stopping (and possibly hurting) people who are intent on doing you serious harm. Sure, it's also a fantastic sport, a fitness method, and a way to challenge yourself. I enjoy it for all those aspects too. But being able to take care of business in the street comes first. … [Read more...]

A Dirty Boxing Breakdown


This is a video from the archives that I shot with my friend and training partner at Infighting MMA in downtown Vancouver. Infighting has since moved into a much nicer, larger facility, but the information in this video is still 100% valid. It's all about the 'dirty boxing' techniques that are technically illegal in boxing but still end up deciding fights all the time. … [Read more...]

Takedowns for People Who Don’t Do Takedowns…


At it’s core BJJ is an incredibly effective way of fighting on the ground. But the sad truth is that grapplerts who haven’t trained in Judo or wrestling can often have a lot of problems getting the fight to the ground. In fact the only plan many BJJ practitioners have for getting a match to the ground is to pull guard, end of story. … [Read more...]

Self Defense, Competition, and Performing In High Pressure Situations

cloverleaf from Kajukenbo Crest 2

Performance under pressure is always tricky.  In fact a lot of martial arts practitioners worry about whether they'd actually be able to execute their skills in super-stressful situations. Of course competing at a tournament or performing at belt tests can be stressful.  But the scariest high pressure situation of all is a self defence scenario where you and/or your family is being … [Read more...]

3 Ways to Safely Control an Opponent on the Ground for Self Defense.

self defense pinning positions

Reverse lapeloplatas and inside-out upside-down berimbolos might be fun to train and effective for some guys in high level competition, but at its core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art. So once in a while we need to regroup, refocus, and give some thought to what parts of the art we would use in a real self defense situation. … [Read more...]

3 Ways to Close the Distance in a Streetfight

bridging the gap in a streetfight

BJJ is a great fitness activity and a wonderful sport. But at it's core Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is still a martial art. The word 'martial' is defined as "being related to fighting or war". And that means you have to be ready throw down should the s**t hit the fan out there in the cold, cruel world. Sometimes in a street confrontation you should run away, sometimes you should look for improvised … [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Grapple in a Streetfight

5 reasons to grapple in a streetfight

A lot of self proclaimed self defence experts will emphatically and categorically tell you to "never, ever go to the ground in a streetfight."  But no single strategy works in every situation, and anyone telling you to always do something, or never do something, is automatically wrong. The truth is that you may well be forced to use your grappling skills in a self defense context. … [Read more...]

The Most Important Concept for No Gi Takedowns

BS11-standing belly armbar

Takedowns can seem difficult, tricky and confusing. Especially if you're not gifted with a surplus of fast-twitch muscle and innately awesome timing. But my friend and BJJ world champion Emily Kwok has a concept that makes the whole takedowns game a LOT easier. … [Read more...]

3 Open Guard Options vs. Standing Opponents

Open Guard Sweeps No Gi

If you don't have a gameplan from the open guard then this position can quickly become a confusing and ineffective tangle of arms and legs . And open guard chaos gets much, much worse when you don't have a good grip on your opponent. … [Read more...]

How to Defend and Escape the Rear Naked Choke

Rear Naked Choke

There's a reason that the Rear Naked Choke (or RNC) has finished so many matches in MMA, BJJ and submission grappling: it's a very powerful and super-difficult to escape submission! This effectiveness is the main reason that we've devoted so much time to this choke on Grapplearts - (click here to see the RNC archives). … [Read more...]

20,000 lbs of snow and the true meaning of self defense…

cabin in the snow

This is a rather rambling post; in the words of Mark Twain, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." First, and most importantly, I really hope that you had a great Christmas (or alternate celebration of your choice).  And that you got to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Next, congratulations on surviving the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse!  … [Read more...]