Gi

How to Break a Tight Sleeve Grip on Your Gi

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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...]

The Training and Competition Strategies of Bernardo Faria

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  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...]

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...]

The Miyao Brothers’ 5 Step BJJ Competition Strategy

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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...]

3 Fixes for Sore Fingers in BJJ

BJJ Finger Pain Tips

So I got a question the other day from someone looking for advice about the pain and inflammation they have in their fingers from training BJJ. I sent them back a super-quick email response with 3 suggestions, but now want to elaborate on my suggestions in hopes that this info will be useful to someone else too... BJJ Finger Pain Solution 1 90% of the time BJJ finger pain is caused from … [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...]

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...]

Finger Pain in BJJ and What to Do About It

Hand and finger pain in BJJ

"My Fingers Hurt..." I get a lot of emails, tweets and messages from BJJ practitioners about fingers hurting all the time. For example, I asked a question about BJJ hand pain on Twitter got a ton of responses (click here to see them on Twitter), including a disconcerting number of white belts who had this problem. So it's a real problem, and not only for people who've been doing the sport a … [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...]

Podcast EP28: How Bernardo Faria Won Double Gold at the BJJ Mundials

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In this in-depth interview I talk with Bernardo Faria, the 99kg BJJ fighter who recently took gold in not only his own weight class but also in the absolute division of the 2015 BJJ Mundials. Some of the highlights of my talk with Bernardo Faria included... His mindset going into big tournaments How he developed and refined his highly individual BJJ gameplan What he's learned training … [Read more...]

How to Counter the Cross Lapel Grip from Closed Guard

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Your opponent sneaking his hand deep on your lapel is always a bad situation. Once he has this grip on you from his closed guard he can use it to break your posture forward, which kills your ability to pass the guard and is very tiring to fight against... ...or he can use it to attack you with cross-collar chokes (which have ended a LOT of matches)... ...or he uses your frantic reactions … [Read more...]

Spider Guard Masterclass is Now Live

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After almost 6 months of planning, filming and editing Spider Guard Masterclass is now ready for release! I'm biased of course, but I think that this is an absolutely amazing project. It's an A to Z reference guide for the Spider Guard, which is arguably the most dominant form of open guard in modern BJJ. Checking out this instructional is also risk free: if you don't absolutely love it, … [Read more...]

A High Percentage Triangle Choke Attack from Half Guard

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Some people are under the mistaken impression that you can only defend or sweep from the Half Guard.  But it's a big mistake to ignore the powerful submission attacks that present themselves from that position! One of the most powerful, most effective, and most popular attacks from the Half Guard is the Triangle Choke.  You see this in high level competition all the time, both with and without … [Read more...]

How NOT to Get Triangle Choked While Passing the Guard

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The very first guard pass I learned was the stacking guard pass (also known as the smashing guard pass or sometimes the 'over under' pass). Initially I was doing this pass all wrong, and I can't even begin to count how many times I got triangle choked trying it. But eventually I learned a few tweaks that made it much harder for my opponents to apply the triangle choke, and now it's one of my … [Read more...]

How to Do the Head and Arm Choke (aka ‘Kata Gatame’)

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The Head and Arm choke is a super-powerful submission that works with and without the gi, with and without strikes, in BJJ, Judo, Submission Grappling and Judo. It's ended a lot of matches and even put a few people to sleep. The Head and Arm choke comes from Judo (where it's known as Kata Gatame) and if you grapple then it's a technique that you need to know! … [Read more...]

Takedowns for People Who Don’t Do Takedowns…

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At it’s core BJJ is an incredibly effective way of fighting on the ground. But the sad truth is that grapplerts who haven’t trained in Judo or wrestling can often have a lot of problems getting the fight to the ground. In fact the only plan many BJJ practitioners have for getting a match to the ground is to pull guard, end of story. … [Read more...]

Podcast EP21: The Evolution of BJJ (Plus Some Crazy Stories) with Scott Nelson

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We've just released the latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast! This time I talk to Scott Nelson from On The Mat.  Scott is a North American jiu-jitsu pioneer who was one of the very first guys to travel to Brazil to train in the motherland of the art. He was also one of the first guys to run a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu website (I remember visiting it back in the dial-up modem … [Read more...]

The Biggest Gi Choke Mistake (And How to Fix It)

Gi Choke Grips

How a single 'quick fix' can triple the power of your gi choke attacks Gi chokes are a fundamental and effective strategy in BJJ. Maybe the two best known gi choke are the cross collar choke from guard and the cross collar choke from mount.  We'll explore that choke in more detail below, but rest assured that it has been used to submit world class competitors at the highest levels of competition. … [Read more...]

The Best Way to Tie Your Belt

How to tie your BJJ or Judo Belt

It's funny: in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu both people start a match looking so neat and tidy in their designer gi's. But less than a minute later it's usually a complete yard-sale: the lapels have come undone, the gi is pulled over someone's head, and the loose belt is wrapped around someone's ankles. Well, here's a 4 minute breakdown on how to tie your BJJ or Judo belt so it stays in place and hardly … [Read more...]

Lapeloplatas, Feet on Lapel Spider Guards, & Other Gi BJJ Tricks

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My friend Ostap Manastyrski and I recently shot a video about the evolving trend in the competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world that involves playing with the lapels of your opponent. People are now doing spider guard on the lapels, attacking with omoplata-style movements against the lapels, and developing all kinds of new gi-based tricks and strategies to manipulate and off balance their … [Read more...]