Competition

Blood, Sweat and… Sparta!!!

Leonidas-wolf

This may sound a bit weird coming from a guy who runs a grappling site, but I want you to ask yourself a question: why on earth are you spending hours and hours rolling around on the ground with men wearing spandex and/or pajamas? Really… I mean it’s not the easiest of activities.  And it’s sweaty and sometimes it’s even painful… Obviously there are self defense benefits to training, but if … [Read more...]

Training BJJ, Kicked out of Karate, Meeting Rick Flair, and the Movie ‘Logan’ with Masters World Champion James ‘300’ Foster

BJJ Black Belt Masters World Champion James '300' Foster

I think you'll like this Grapplearts Radio Podcast episode!   In it I talk to 280 lb BJJ Masters World Champion James '300' Foster who was fresh back from a pre Pan-Ams California training trip. Some of the things we talk about include... Getting kicked our of Karate after starting BJJ, The process of finding the correct mix of training that works best for you, Cutting weight in … [Read more...]

The Key to Getting Better and Tougher

stairs-from-white-to-black-belt

  BJJ makes you tougher because it’s a difficult activity that challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally. At first, when you’re getting slaughtered by a 2 stripe white belt, escaping from mount seems impossible. Yet a few years later, fighting your way out of the bottom of mount, passing the guard, and finishing with an armbar is just another day at the office. Over time … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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 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...]

BJJ Competition Mindset Tips

Tips for competition mindset

Here's a video that I shot with Rob Biernacki and one of his visiting students in response to a question I'd received from an email newsletter subscriber about competing at your very best in BJJ tournaments. You can watch the video below or scroll down to see the main points that we covered... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0HTOI9qKkk I get a lot of questions asking for tips, tricks and … [Read more...]

Getting in Shape for a BJJ Tournament, FAST!

How to get in shape fast for a BJJ tournament

So I got this letter from a reader asking about how to get into shape for a BJJ tournament as fast as possible... --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Stephan,   I've just read your article on Tapering and Peaking for MMA and BJJ Competition and found it to be very informative and I have a question that relates to the topic.   I have a grappling … [Read more...]

Should You Compete in BJJ Tournaments?

Do you need to compete to get your BJJ black belt?

I often get asked whether competition is essential to BJJ, and if you need to have competed to get promoted to black belt. (If you prefer to watch or listen to me talk about this this topic then just scroll to the bottom of this blog post and look for the video called "Do you need to compete to get your black belt"). The quick answers are: no, you don't necessarily need to compete.  And no, … [Read more...]

Kurt Osiander Interview – the Barbarian of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Kurt Osiander BJJ Interview

I've just released the latest podcast (episode 35), featuring an interview with Mr Kurt Osiander. Kurt is an old-school BJJ black belt under Ralph Gracie.  He's known for his no BS communication style, his informative Youtube instructional videos, and his swearing (this interview is definitely not for the ears of little children or the overly sensitive). The topics we cover include... … [Read more...]

Passing the Guard like Leandro Lo

Leandro Lo Guard Passing

If you’re passing the guard then the very first thing you need to worry about is avoiding getting swept or submitted.  After all, it’s pretty hard to use your killer guard passing techniques if your opponent hits a sweep on you and takes you to the bottom right away… That’s why in our recent instructional on passing the guard the first thing Rob Biernacki and I teach is how NOT to get swept or … [Read more...]

10 Habits of Successful BJJ Competitors

competition bjj

by Jeff Meszaros, photo copyright James Sizemore For people who want to win at grappling tournaments, there's a ton of material available regarding what to do once a match has begun. But what should someone do on tournament day before their fights begin? What do the top BJJ players do to help themselves to perform at their very best? Here are a few ideas to consider... Have a "Competition … [Read more...]

IBJJF Rules for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competition

IBJJF Rules Summary

If you want to know how to compete in BJJ it's absolutely critical to know the rules.   If you're planning on competing then you're likely going to spend hundreds of hours on the mat training getting ready.  Blood, sweat and tears will be spent in preparation. Wouldn't it suck to spend all that time, stress and energy getting ready to compete and then not be allowed to compete because you've … [Read more...]

Who’s Who in EBI 6?

ebi6

by Jeff Meszaros Brazilian jiu jitsu has always been an art for creative people who like to experiment and find newways to reach their goals, whether it's new ways to make an opponent tap, or brand new events to promote the sport. And Eddie Bravo is certainly one creative guy. Known for his innovative system of 10th Planet jiu-jitsu, he has branched out again to start his own tournament. His … [Read more...]

17 IBJJF BJJ Competition Rules to Remember

Defending the triangle at an IBJJF BJJ Competition

by Jeff Meszaros There are a lot of things to consider when you sign up to compete in a tournament. You need to make weight, you need to be physically fit enough to win, and you need to have fairly sharp technique. At least, sharper than everyone else. That’s the idea, anyway. But you also have to understand the rules. Otherwise, you may get penalized or even disqualified for doing something … [Read more...]

Podcast EP 34: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Principles with Rob Biernacki (plus Ninjas, Insane Martial Arts Instructors and Martial Arts Cults)

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu principles with Rob Biernacki

The latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast is out.  In it I talk with Rob Biernacki, a friend, BJJ black belt, and contributor to Grapplearts (see the videos and articles he's been involved with here). Rob is known for his analytical style of teaching BJJ.  He doesn't focus on being a 'technique collector, but rather specialises in sharing the underlying principles and concepts that … [Read more...]

Podcast EP33: Leglocks with Eddie ‘Wolverine’ Cummings

Leglocks with Eddie Cummings

In this episode of Grapplearts Radio I quiz Eddie Cummings - one of the very best leglock artists active on the competition scene today - about every detail of his leglock game, including : Why the heel hook is one of the most efficient submissions for self defense How to train leglocks safely How a world class grappling competitor spends his days Dead ends and rabbit holes that … [Read more...]

Don’t Build Your BJJ Game on White Belt Techniques.

Whitebelt BJJ techniques

Certain BJJ techniques are 'white belt' moves.  Which means they might be effective against white belts (and sometimes blue belts) but then stop working once you move up to opponents of a higher skill level. Basically you can pull off just about anything on a newbie.  They make rookie mistakes because they're, well, rookies.  Whitebelts don't instinctively know how to move to prevent, defend or … [Read more...]