Emily Kwok

How To Do the Bow and Arrow Choke

Emily bow and arrow choke

The Bow and Arrow Choke is one of the top ten most successful submissions in BJJ. And when you get to the upper ranks - purple, brown and black - where people really know how to prevent and counter many of the 'easy' submissions - the Bow and Arrow is one of the top three submissions in BJJ competition. My point is that if you do BJJ you've gotta know how to do the Bow and Arrow Choke! In … [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...]

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 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...]

The Single Leg X Guard – A Surprising Way to Pull Guard…

Pulling single leg x guard

Should you pull guard in competition?  And if you decide to pull guard, then how do you do it correctly? In a certain sense, I am uniquely unqualified to answer these questions... You see, much of my BJJ comes from 8th degree black belt Marcus Soares, and Marcus is very much from the old-school Carlson Gracie way of doing things. … [Read more...]

How to Defeat a Smaller Opponent

smaller opponent

Smaller opponents can become big nuisances, especially if they have legitimate skills. You would think that the very fact that you're bigger than your opponent means you should be able to go full-Conan on them every time... Mongol General: "Conan! What is best in life?" Conan: "To crush your enemies, see them driffen before you, and to hear the lamentation of their vimmen." … [Read more...]

The Secret Subversive Power of BJJ

Pyramid copy

by Valerie Worthington, Emily Kwok, and Lola Newsom Groundswell Grappling Concepts We have a hypothesis about some women who grapple. We may be projecting, but our wholly unscientific data collection and analysis supports it. Namely, Brazilian jiu jitsu affords women who are looking for such things a mechanism for subversion. … [Read more...]

The Seated Guard and the ‘Idiot Sweep’

Idiot Sweep from Butterfly Guard

Here's a video in which Emily Kwok uses me as a dummy to teach the fundamentals of the Seated Guard and also one of my very favorite sweeps: the 'Idiot Sweep.' (I call it that because it's so simple and so effective that when you catch your opponent with it, he feels like - well - an idiot.) … [Read more...]

Two Drills on Video to Improve your Guard Sweeps

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Many of the most powerful guard sweeps rely on your hips being underneath your opponent's center of gravity. This makes him very unstable - think of the difference between 1.    standing on the floor beside one of those stability balls, and 2.    trying to stand on top of that same stability ball. … [Read more...]