Denis Kang

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 do the Heel Hook (and How to Train it Safely)

How to do the heel hook

The heel hook is one of the most devastating leglocks you can apply! Instead of attacking the big muscles of the leg (like the quads, hamstrings, or glutes) the heel hook targets the small ligaments of the knee and the ankle. This means that you can really screw up someone's leg if you apply it in anger. The heel hook is banned in most clubs and illegal in almost all gi tournaments.  But … [Read more...]

What’s the Right Stance for MMA?

Stances and Footwork in MMA

In MMA you see fighters using a variety of stances.  Some crouch, some stand upright, some look like wrestlers, others look like kick boxers.  And sometimes you see stances straight out of Karate, Capoeira, and Kung Fu... Given all these options how can fighters choose what'll work best for them?  Or, in simple terms, what's the best stance for MMA? Of course the answer is never so simple. … [Read more...]

How to do the Reverse Butterfly Sweep

How to do the reverse butterfly sweep

I talk a lot about the butterfly guard around here; it's one of my very favourite guard positions.  It's powerful, it's mobile, and it's fun. There's no doubt that the workhorse of the butterfly guard is the 'basic' butterfly sweep.  It's a tool that newcomers to jiu-jitsu can learn quickly, but is still being used by the top BJJ competitors on the planet. Now there's a move called the … [Read more...]

How To Do The Lapel-Based Brabo Choke in the Gi

Brabo choke inside the half guard with the lapel of your opponent

From our very first day on the mat we're taught to pass the guard before attacking with a submission. Pass... Establish position... And only then try to submit! So when a technique like the gi-based Brabo choke comes along it seems very counterinintuitive. Because in it you stay in his half guard, you don't try to pass, and you still attack with a choke. Every rule - including the primacy … [Read more...]

The 2 Easiest Takedowns for No Gi Submission Grappling and MMA

2 simplest no gi takedowns

Just because you didn't wrestle in High School or do 10 years of Judo doesn't mean that you always need to pull guard! In this 5 minute Youtube video Denis Kang and I riff about the the simplest, easiest takedowns for No Gi. Denis is a BJJ black belt and has fought in Japanese Pride, the UFC, and ADCC, so his credentials are impeccable. And me? I just like to find the easiest ways to do … [Read more...]

The Simplest Mount Escape for MMA and BJJ?


In BJJ the Mount is one of the very worst positions you can be in.  And if punches are flying in either an MMA or a self defense context then things are much, much worse. The truth is that if you find yourself mounted in a fight then you screwed up a long time ago.  Your opponent is either more lucky or more skillful than you. That being said, if you have good mount escape techniques it IS … [Read more...]

Passing the Guard in MMA


by Denis Kang and Stephan Kesting Originally published in Grappling Magazine, October 2005 Denis Kang knows all about passing the guard in mixed martial arts competition. He has fought in Japan and throughout North America, and has passed the guards of many good fighters, including Minoru Suzuki, Keith Rockel and Stephan Potvin. He knows that passing the guard is one of the hardest things to … [Read more...]

Get Up, Stand Up!


Why getting off the ground is a critical skills in grappling! (originally published in Black Belt Magazine) When mixed martial arts competition exploded in North America, martial artists quickly learned that most fights end up on the ground. And for years the prevailing wisdom was that groundfighting was inevitable, and if a fight went to the ground it would most likely stay there. … [Read more...]

Podcast EP3: Erik Paulson; an MMA Master Coach Shares His Secrets


Erik Paulson is an MMA Master Coach.  He's trained tons of fighters competing at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts.  And he held the Shooto light-heavyweight title in Japan for 5 years. He's also my friend and a mentor. Recently I asked my newsletter readers if there was something in particular you wanted to ask Erik.  (Hey, if you were signed up for the FREE Grappling Tips newsletter … [Read more...]

Breaking down the Ankle Lock

Ankle Lock

Originally published in Grappling Magazine (August 2005 issue) The ankle lock has a long and varied history. This technique was used by many of the traditional Ju-jutsu schools in medieval Japan, North American Catch Wrestling as well as in pre-World War 2 Judo. Then it fell onto hard times. Judo banned the ankle lock. Catch Wrestling faded in prominence. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu never actually … [Read more...]