Grappling Techniques

Four de la Riva Guard Grips You Need to Know

basic de la riva leg position

  The de la Riva guard is very powerful and effective form of guard, often used in modern BJJ.  It can be an intimidatingly complex position though, with a large number of grips, variations, sweeps, attacks and other techniques available for you to use. The point of today's article is to simplify the de la Riva guard for you.  The way we're going to do that is by breaking it down on the … [Read more...]

How to do the Over-Under Guard Pass in No Gi

Bernardo Faria shows the over-under pass in no gi

Can you do the over-under guard pass in no gi? That's a good question, and there's nobody better to answer this question than my friend Bernardo Faria, a multiple time BJJ world champion known for his crushing over-under guard pass. As the name implies, the over-under involves getting one of your arms over  his legs and your other  arm under his legs.  In the gi you would typically grasp his … [Read more...]

Top 10 Wrestling Moves for BJJ

wrestling moves for bjj

by Jeff Meszaros In many ways, wrestling and Brazilian jiu jitsu are total opposites. The core concepts of the two sports run against each other, and what's a great idea in one art is often a terrible idea in the other. In wrestling, you do anything you can to avoid having your back put on the mat. But in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, people will often fall to their backs immediately to "pull guard" … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

A Strategy for Getting 15 Points in a BJJ Tournament Fast

BJJ tournament point system

The ultimate goal of BJJ competition is to tap your opponent out, not to win by points.  That being said, the point system is still a very important part of the game and you have to understand how to use it! Here's why... First of all, the point system in BJJ tournaments generally reflects what would work in a real fight. For example, its better to be on top than on bottom in a fight, … [Read more...]

How to Pass Mission Control in the Rubber Guard and Lockdown Half Guard

How to pass rubber guard and the lockdown

The popular no gi grappling system 10th planet jiu-jitsu has many unique positions and strategies. Their closed rubber guard system, which emphasises and requires quite a bit of flexibility, starts with a position called 'Mission Control'. In Mission Control you get one foot on your opponent's hip and hook your leg behind his neck to keep his posture broken.  From here there are numerous … [Read more...]

New Release: The BJJ Formula on DVD!

BJJ Formula 4 DVD Set

I wasn't sure I was going to do it, but the demand was overwhelming and so now it's finally out!!! The BJJ Formula 4 DVD set came from the Rob Biernacki BJJ Formula series of apps; they cover the same information.  These apps got a great reception and a TON of 5 star reviews in the iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App stores. I had thought that this might be the first series I would … [Read more...]

Guard Pass Prevention in BJJ

Guard Pass Prevention Techniques and Concepts

Maintaining your guard and defending the guard pass are incredibly critical skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is the guard that allows a smaller opponent to control and defeat a bigger attacker.  And the guard allows you survive when you're on the bottom - if you're underneath your opponent in any other position then basically you're losing. Preventing the guard pass doesn't necessarily … [Read more...]

How To Find the High Percentage BJJ Techniques You Can Rely On

high percentage guard retention

As a young martial artist I once debated whether a certain Kung Fu striking technique could actually work in a real fight. To prove my point I mentioned that a bouncer I knew had successfully used that technique on a drunk in the bar the other night The guy I was arguing with shut me down with a devastatingly simple rebuttal, “Yeah Stephan, that doesn't prove anything, because ANYTHING will … [Read more...]

Leg Lasso Spider Guard Pass

How to pass leg lasso spider guard with Rob Biernacki

If you've ever been caught in the leg lasso position by someone with a good spider guard then you'll know exactly how a fly feels when it gets caught in the web of a big, old, nasty spider... Basically, in a correctly executed leg lasso spider guard you're in deep trouble! Your arms are both trapped so you won't be able to make effective grips.  Because of the tremendous leverage of the … [Read more...]

Napoleon and How To Be Ready for Anything in BJJ

Napoleon and how to prepare for anything in BJJ

Napoleon Bonaparte may have been a megalomaniac who left millions dead in his wake, but if you read about his battles and military campaigns there is no doubt that he was a strategic and tactical genius. (Well, maybe he wasn't a genius when he invaded Russia in 1812, but before that he was damn near unstoppable...) He fought over sixty battles in his lifetime, during which he was … [Read more...]

Movements and Transitions from Knee on Belly

Knee on Belly Movements and Transitions

When I first learned the knee on belly position I was told that you should use it for two reasons... Get two points in a tournment, and/or Put so much weight on your opponent and making him so uncomfortable that he would open up his defences and give you the chance to armbar or choke him. Now points and pressure are still totally valid uses of the knee mount.  For example, I think using … [Read more...]

A Simple Tweak to Develop a Powerful Bridge in BJJ

A high, powerful BJJ Bridge

The bridge is one of the most important movements in all of BJJ. It is one of the three critical pin escape movements and can be used to escape almost every bad position. For example, the classic (and highly effective) 'Upa' mount escape would not exist without bridging your hips high up to ceiling before turning your body and getting out of the mount. And my favourite way of escaping … [Read more...]

A 4 x World Champion Teaches the Omoplata from Closed Guard

omoplata from the closed guard by Bernardo Faria

In this video my friend (and 4 x world champion) Bernardo Faria takes you through the old school omoplata armlock from the closed guard. I have seen Bernardo tap out everybody, from white belt to black belt, using ONLY the omoplata armlock at one of his seminars. It was incredible.  So needless to say he's really bloody good with the omoplata and a great person to study for this attack! As … [Read more...]

A Powerful Choke from Knee on Belly

knee on belly choke

Knee on belly (also known as Kneemount) is a super-dominant position in jiu-jitsu. If you're using this position correctly then you're driving down into your opponent with all your weight, making it hard for him to breathe, and forcing him to give you openings for submissions (click here to read 3 Ways to Get a Really Heavy Kneemount on Grapplearts). Most typically the guy on the bottom of … [Read more...]

How to Make Your Chokes Tighter

BJJ Choke Mechanics

Psst, wanna tap out more people with chokes, including that super-tough guy with the giant neck? Success in choking is all about the details and getting the underlying mechanics correct. Yes, you can get chokes to work with bad technique - people do it all the time.  But it's difficult, wastes a lot of energy, and isn't very high percentage. But on the other hand as soon as you get the … [Read more...]

Base, Posture and Structure, the 3 Most Important Concepts in BJJ

Base, posture and structure - the 3 most critical bjj concepts

The idea that overall body alignment in BJJ can be broken down into 3 components (base, posture and structure) was introduced to me by Rob Biernacki. And I have found these 3 concepts to have hugely practical applications on the mat. There is power in definitions and distinctions because it allows you to clarify your thinking and problem solving processes. So let's take a look at base, … [Read more...]