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


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...]

The 3 Steps of Berimbolo


Sometimes the best way to really understand something is to teach it. When it comes to jiu-jitsu, breaking a technique down into steps (not too many, not too few) and finding the best way to convey the underlying principles often helps clarify things in your mind. I've been doing a lot of this with the berimbolo sweep recently. … [Read more...]

Question: My Mind Goes Blank During Sparring…

Mind going blank during training

------------------------------ QUESTION ------------------------------ Hi Stephan, First of all, I want to thank you for creating your instructional apps and having these frequent tips/newsletters.   They have really helped me to get started in BJJ.  Even though I have been signed up to receive your emails for a while now I have only just begun my training.   … [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...]

A Easy Way to Stay Out of Trouble in the Guard


Posture, posture, posture... Everyone talks about posture as THE solution to staying out of trouble in the guard. Every guard pass ever taught starts out with, "First, make posture in the guard." But the trouble is that your opponent knows this too. If you're in his closed guard, and if posture is good for you, then posture is bad for him. So guess what? He'll work like crazy to disrupt, destroy, … [Read more...]

6 Steps for an Effective Sleeve Choke

Sleeve Choke

I know, I know, I KNOW! I go on and on about how tapping out is no big deal, and how you can get injured if you let ego get in the way, and how everybody gets caught from time to time… But there I was, leaping all over the place to escape a submission, becoming increasingly desperate as the noose tightened around my neck, just because the whole thing seemed so cheesy. … [Read more...]

How to Attack Super-Defensive Opponents

Kimura from Guard

It's a fact: big guys don't like losing to smaller guys. That's why sometimes, when a bigger guy realizes he's not going to be able to actually win a match, he changes gears and uses all his strength and size for only one thing... … [Read more...]

Advanced Omoplata Armlock Finish

omoplata finish

Jiu-jitsu is so cool! As you might know, the omoplata armlock is one of my very favorite techniques. But even after 10 years of studying this position, I'm still learning new stuff about it... Today I want to share a variation of the omoplata that I learned this summer working with Brandon Mullins. Of course this finish works great on larger people, but even though I'm 6'2' and 215 lbs I'm … [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...]