Female Grapplers

Dealing with Big, Strong Wrestlers in Your Guard

Teaching a class

I got the following question on Twitter where I hang out as @stephankesting. I think it's a question worth exploring because a lot of people find dealing with strong, large and aggressive wrestlers very difficult. Question: Hi Stephan, I’ve been training BJJ for a few years now, but I get frustrated when I roll with one particular bigger, stronger whitebelt coming from a wrestling … [Read more...]

Taking Responsibility for Your Own BJJ Training

bjj competition

A Guest Article by Kaeli Sweigard When you choose your actions, you choose your consequences. I used to work with “at risk” youth, and this was something I constantly re-iterated to them. They would break into cars, and then complain about having to go to court. I wanted them to really grasp the fact that they could make a different decision, and they would get different results. I wanted them … [Read more...]

5 IBJJF Competition Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make

competing-in-IBJJF-BJJ-competition

by Guest Author Joanna Trindade I'm a BJJ blue belt, and although I've competed in local tournaments before I recently had the opportunity to step it up a notch.  The plan was to compete at my first IBJJF tournament at the 2015 Chicago Summer Open. My teammate, coach and I drove the 1.5 hours from Milwaukee to Chicago at 6:30 in the morning. I wasn’t nervous for most of the drive except for … [Read more...]

Podcast EP27: Roxanne Modafferi about MMA Training, Continuing to Improve, Tryouts for The Ultimate Fighter, and More

Roxanne-Modaferri-TUF-MMA

In this podcast episode I talk with Roxanne Modafferi, MMA fighter and TUF standout, about The differences between MMA training in Japan and the USA, Continuing to improve after 12 years in the sport, Training tweaks that finally snapped a 6 fight losing streak, What tryouts forThe Ultimate Fighter were really like, And much more... You can read, listen to, or download the interview … [Read more...]

9 Rules for BJJ Self Defense

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I recently worked with a female friend to teach her a little bit about jiu-jitsu for self defense. Obviously I believe that jiu-jitsu is super important for self defense in general, but when it comes to women who want to defend themselves, well, it's completely indispensable.  We can argue all day about what percentage of real fights end up on the ground (like the Gracies I believe it's very … [Read more...]

New to Jiu Jitsu? You’ll need a lot of this…

Laurie Berenson BJJ Sparring

The following guest post is written by Laurie Berenson. She comes to BJJ from a background of training in Muay Thai. I really like her attitude so I invited her to put pen to paper and share her perspective with us. She is currently studying under black belts William Stevens and Casey Van Brookhoven at Stevens Martial Arts in New Jersey, USA. When Stephan Kesting asked if I’d consider … [Read more...]

The Android BJJ Apps Are Finally Here!

Android BJJ Apps

The next generation of instructional Android apps have finally arrived! As evidenced by the fact that I slept about 2 hours last night, and now I'm in front of my computer AGAIN, it's taken a TON of development and testing to get here... But today we're releasing the first Android app in the 'How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent' series with myself and black belt world champion Emily … [Read more...]

How to Maintain Good Posture in Butterfly Guard

Butterfly Guard Posture

Posture in the butterfly guard is incredibly important.  With the butterfly guard (as with any guard position) good posture is the key to defending the guard pass, attacking with submissions, and/or sweeping your opponent. But maintaining good posture is easier said than done, … [Read more...]

How to Stabilise Mount Against a Bigger, Stronger Opponent

How to Stabilize the Mount

Many smaller grapplers avoid the mount position because they feel it's too easy for a larger opponent to simply throw them off or roll them to the bottom. It usually takes a TON of work to get to the mount, and it really sucks when some big doofus simply sits up and rolls you to the bottom where you have to start all over again! … [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...]

The Most Powerful Kneebar

July 13 2013 Seminar at Team First Strike in Kelowna - Behind the armpit kneebar

Part of the problem with leglocks is that there are tons of  variations.  And too many options create confusion, increase your decision-making time, and lead to paralysis by analysis, so it really helps to have someone set you straight and narrow down your choices. But for some reason certain leglock aficionados love to collect endless leglock variations. … [Read more...]

Ronda Rousey and the Power of Gameplans

UFC Belt

In case you were hiding under a rock, Ronda Rousey fought Liz Carmouche last night at UFC 157. She both validated her UFC Women's Bantamweight title, and made history by being in the first-ever women's match in the the UFC. And just in case you were under that aforementioned rock, despite a very spirited fight by Liz Carmouche, Ronda won the match with an armbar at 4:49 of the first round. … [Read more...]

How to Salvage a Failed Butterfly Guard Sweep

Buttefly Guard Sweeps

The 'basic' butterfly guard sweep is one of the most strongest sweeps in grappling. That's why it shows up again and again at the highest levels of competition.  It's powerful, reliable, and works for a wide range of body types.  It works with and without the gi, on bigger people, smaller people, wrestlers, and judoka. This combination of power and versatility makes the butterfly guard sweep … [Read more...]

Hidden Techniques for Maintaining Rear Mount

rear mount legwork

When people teach the rear mount they often show you how to get your hooks in to achieve the rear mount, and then they teach you a couple of submissions from the back. Their idealized flowchart has two steps: Get your hooks in, Submit your opponent. Oh, if only life were so simple! … [Read more...]

No Gi Guard Passing Strategies vs. Bigger People

No Gi Guard Passing Strategies

Passing the guard in a technical manner during no gi training can often be very frustrating, especially for people coming from a gi-based background.  To the uninitiated it just seems that things move too fast... That there aren't any good handles to control your opponent... … [Read more...]

How to Set Up the X Guard

Butterfly Guard to X Guard

I love the X Guard.  It's such a high-percentage position. First of all, it can be applied from a huge number of open guard and half guard situations.  If you've ever watched an X Guard specialist you'll know that he needs just a tiny bit of room to insert those hooks and - BOOM - he's slithered into the X Guard. And once an opponent is caught in the X Guard he's going down!  In fact, by the … [Read more...]

Ambush Armbar from Modified Scarf Hold

armbar from modified scarf hold

I might not be 100% correct with the actual wording, but I'll always remember this fantastic quote from Karate legend Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace which I read in Black Belt magazine many years ago.  It went something like this: "There's always going to be someone bigger, stronger or faster than you, but there never has to be anyone sneakier than you!" … [Read more...]

How to Counter the Backstep Guard Pass

countering the backstep guard pass

BJJ and submission grappling are in a continual state of evolution.  New techniques, tactics and strategies emerge, or are rediscovered, or are brought into the art all the time. The backstep guard pass is one such modern technique.  You won't see this guard pass in old-school BJJ … [Read more...]

How to Pass Deep Half Guard

how to pass deep half guard

In the last 5 years the Deep Half Guard position has taken the BJJ and submission grappling world by storm.  And every serious grappler now needs to know how to neutralize and pass the Deep Half Guard. This position is a variation of the half guard.  If someone manages to get settled into this position underneath you then they're right under your center of gravity, can compromise your balance, … [Read more...]

How to set up and apply the head and arm choke

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Here's a clip of Emily Kwok teaching something really cool - how to set up the head and arm choke (also known as 'kata gatame') from mount, and then how to ratchet it on so tightly that your opponent has no choice but to tap out, no matter how big he is. … [Read more...]