A Fancy-Pants Z Guard Pass that Never Worked Until…

How to Pass the Z Guard

There's this one impressive, fancy-pants guard pass that I've seen in competition many times. It makes everybody go 'oooh' and 'aaaah', but despite its dramatic nature it's undeniably effective and has won a LOT of matches at the highest levels of competition. I tried to imitate this technique, of course, but it was always a complete disaster. I never managed to figure out exactly what these … [Read more...]

Best Takedown vs. Larger Opponents?

favorite takedown vs big guy 1

Every grappler needs to have a basic understanding of takedowns.  You don't want to be so uni-dimensional that you have no idea how to take somebody down. But the problem is that not every takedown you learn from Judo or wrestling will work on someone a lot bigger and stronger than you. … [Read more...]

Stabilizing and Attacking Larger Opponents from Sidemount

Attacking from the Sidemount

Many battles are lost by not sufficiently stabilizing sidemount, and/or choosing the wrong attacks to use from that otherwise dominant position. Let's say that you've done everything right and cut through the guard of a bigger stronger opponent. … [Read more...]

Advanced Triangle Choke Details

Advanced Triangle Finish

Today's tip is about the details of the Triangle Choke, one of the very highest percentage submissions at every level of competition. Have you ever noticed how some people can catch EVERYBODY in their signature submission, again and again? Once they've got their setup position it's pretty much a done deal (this applies whether that signature submission is an armbar, a triangle choke, a kneebar, … [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...]

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 workingwith Brandon Mullins. Of course this finish works great on larger people, but even though I'm 6'2' and 215 lbs I'm gonna … [Read more...]

Podcast EP12: BJJ Competition and Training Strategies with Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins

Brandon vs Stephan

In this interview 2 x World No Gi Champion Brandon 'Wolverine' Mullins shares his best competition and training advice.  The questions come from my newsletter readership, who I polled to see if they had any questions for Brandon, especially about training, competing or holding their own against bigger opponents. Boy, did they ever! We then sifted and sorted hundreds of emails to pick out the … [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

Screen Shot 2012-05-14 at 3.44.25 PM

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...]

How to Defeat the Bigger Stronger Opponent NOW AVAILABLE

5-DVD-Mockup-cropped

It's here! The How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent DVD set is in stock, and ready to ship right now. Emily Kwok and I have been crafting this 5 DVD set for a long time, and it's one of the best instructional sets I have ever seen. … [Read more...]

How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent

Emily Kwok Triptych

Today is a very exciting day! For the past few months I've been working like crazy to get my new DVD series finished.  In these videos I'm collaborating with my friend, and former teammate, Emily Kwok. She's one of the best known competitive grapplers out there! For a lot of different reasons. … [Read more...]