How to Defeat The Judo-Style Rolling Armbar

Travis Stevens and Jimmy Pedro on Defeating Ronda Rousey's Armbar

Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey is an armbar machine.  At UFC 168 she defeated Meisha Tate with her eighth armbar in eight MMA fights.  This armbar streak is an amazing achievement, and a lot of people (including a lot of people who don't actually train) have been asking me how to counter this attack. I was thinking about doing this but it turns out that someone beat me to it. … [Read more...]

How to Counter the Cross-Collar Grip

7- BM switching grip on lapel

When you're in your opponent's guard one of the most annoying things he can do is secure a really good cross-collar grip on you.  True, this grip doesn't have much utility for MMA or no-gi training (in fact being too reliant on it can create some really bad habits for when the gi comes off), but in BJJ the cross-collar grip is a serious problem. When your opponent snags a cross collar grip on you … [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...]

How to Maintain Rear Mount, Improve Guillotines, and Thwart ‘Combatives’ Experts

Gripping for Rear Mount

Rear mount seems like such a simple position: I mean, you're basically just piggybacking on your opponent, right? Well, success in jiu-jitsu usually means doing simple, fundamental things with a high degree of sophistication and attention to detail. And rear mount is no different - switch your grip by a couple of inches, have your hand open instead of closed, do the wrong thing for even a … [Read more...]

The Highest Percentage Sidemount Escape in BJJ?

Granby Roll vs Sidemount

Sidemount is arguably the pinning position you're going to run into most often in BJJ.  Most guard passes lead into sidemount, and from sidemount you can get to almost every other position (it's kind of like the Grand Central Station of BJJ pinning)! So it's not surprising that there are a ton of different sidemount escapes involving shrimping, bridging, spinning, reguarding, etc. … [Read more...]

How to Defend and Escape the Rear Naked Choke

Rear Naked Choke

There's a reason that the Rear Naked Choke (or RNC) has finished so many matches in MMA, BJJ and submission grappling: it's a very powerful and super-difficult to escape submission! This effectiveness is the main reason that we've devoted so much time to this choke on Grapplearts - (click here to see the RNC archives). … [Read more...]

Tap Out Less Often! The ‘Submission Defense’ App for Android…

submission defense blog

After a ton of planning and working with video editors and Android app programers, I'm thrilled to announce that Submission Defense - the latest Grapplearts app for the Android platform - is finally ready!! This app was designed with one single-minded purpose: to help you tap out much less often. … [Read more...]

How to Defend and Escape the Kimura from Side Control

Defending the Kimura

Defending and escaping the Kimura when you're on the bottom of side control is always difficult.  There are several different reason for this... First of all, the figure four grip used in the Kimura is very powerful control.  It's a natural handle that your opponent can use to manipulate your entire body, both in gi or no gi. And once your opponent has secured this grip it's a real pain to get … [Read more...]

My 2 Best Triangle Choke Escapes

Triangle Armbar 4

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's tip about escaping the armbar from guard. Today I want to continue exploring how to get out of submissions and share my two best triangle choke escapes with you. I've experimented with lots of different triangle escapes. Unfortunately I've found that many commonly-taught techniques … [Read more...]

How to Defend and Escape the Armbar from Guard

Armbar from Closed Guard Defense

If you've been grappling for any length of time then you know that anytime you're in the closed guard you've got to watch out for the armbar from guard. It's one of the most common and highest percentage submissions in all of BJJ, submission grappling and MMA. So if we're going to be running into a technique like the armbar from guard this frequently then we HAVE to have some good answers for … [Read more...]

BJJ Training Strategies

Breaking down the concept of gameplans

Having the right assortment of techniques is pretty darn important in BJJ. But having the right training strategies is even more important... By 'training strategies' I'm talking about the big picture. Like knowing which techniques to use, when to use them, and how to correctly train those techniques in the first place. … [Read more...]

Defending Stupid Big Guy Attacks (and the Honor of Jiu-Jitsu)

Defending a big guy attack

It's amazing what some big guys will do when they get frustrated. In fact, sometimes they'll try stuff so stupid that it'll take you completely by surprise! Now, many BJJ instructors never bother to teach you what to do against these 'stupid attacks.' … [Read more...]

Posture Under Side Mount

Posture under side mount

Recently we discussed the concept of ‘posture’ and how it applies when you’re pinned underneath someone. A few people have contacted me since then, asking for specific examples of posture while pinned. Let’s start with with just one pinning position: here are the three most common postures used to defend submissions and set up escapes while pinned in sidemount. … [Read more...]