The Mental Aspect

What to do when you’ve just had a really crappy BJJ class…

When you've had a really crappy BJJ class

  Have you ever have an absolutely terrible BJJ class? One of those days where your regular training partners - the guys and girls you're normally neck and neck with - basically had their way with you? Maybe even junior belts passed your guard, took your back, swept you repeatedly, dominated you positionally, and tapped you out again and again? This can be difficult to deal with; … [Read more...]

Blood, Sweat and… Sparta!!!

Leonidas-wolf

This may sound a bit weird coming from a guy who runs a grappling site, but I want you to ask yourself a question: why on earth are you spending hours and hours rolling around on the ground with men wearing spandex and/or pajamas? Really… I mean it’s not the easiest of activities.  And it’s sweaty and sometimes it’s even painful… Obviously there are self defense benefits to training, but if … [Read more...]

The Key to Getting Better and Tougher

stairs-from-white-to-black-belt

  BJJ makes you tougher because it’s a difficult activity that challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally. At first, when you’re getting slaughtered by a 2 stripe white belt, escaping from mount seems impossible. Yet a few years later, fighting your way out of the bottom of mount, passing the guard, and finishing with an armbar is just another day at the office. Over time … [Read more...]

The Training and Competition Strategies of Bernardo Faria

5-x-world-champion

  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...]

Grapplearts Radio Podcast Episode 40: Stephan Kesting and Ritchie Yip

  In the 40th episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast Ritchie and I start with a discussion of Darth Vader's lightsabre technique in Rogue One and then go deeply into the topic of paralysis by analysis in jiu-jitsu, teaching technique, the best way to train to get good fast, and many other fun topics. We finish up by talking about areas that we've focussed on in our own training this … [Read more...]

‘Twas the Day and the Night Before Christmas…

Winter Deathmarch 2016

So about a year ago a semi-annual tradition got started... The way it works is that every 6 months the toughest woman I know and I do a one day, 30 mile hike through the mountains with a TON of elevation gain and loss.  It's up and up and up and then down and down and down... We call it the 'Deathmarch' and it's a ton of fun. Here's a video I put together using photos and snapchat videos … [Read more...]

Grapplearts Radio Podcast Episode 039: BJJ, Adversity, and Stopping Your Mind From Going Blank

Grapplearts BJJ Podcast

  I've just released the latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast!  In this episode I'm flying solo and addressing two main topics... How and why BJJ training helps prepare you for ANY adversity that you might encounter in life, and What to do when your mind goes completely blank when you're sparring, rolling or competing. To listen to this podcast you can... Click … [Read more...]

What To Do When Your Mind Goes Blank While Sparring or Competing

What to do when your mind goes blank

  Lots of grapplers run into the problem of their mind going blank when they're sparring or competing. In a class setting they might be able to bang out repetitions of techniques, demonstrate combos, and flow with the go like nobody's business, but as soon as they hit the mats to actually roll, well, all of a sudden they have absolutely no idea about what they should be doing. This … [Read more...]

How to Train When You Have No Time

How to train when you have no time

Whether you're working a full time job, a parent with a couple of kids, or a student juggling a crazy class schedule, almost everyone is really busy these days. And if you're also trying to squeeze regular training into that busy schedule, well, things can end up in the ludicrous zone pretty quickly... I'm no exception: of course I'm running Grapplearts, training in BJJ and trying not to … [Read more...]

BJJ Competition Mindset Tips

Tips for competition mindset

Here's a video that I shot with Rob Biernacki and one of his visiting students in response to a question I'd received from an email newsletter subscriber about competing at your very best in BJJ tournaments. You can watch the video below or scroll down to see the main points that we covered... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0HTOI9qKkk I get a lot of questions asking for tips, tricks and … [Read more...]

The Secret to Getting Your Black Belt

Getting Your Black Belt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWcbLgxANFo Pssst, want to become a BJJ black belt? The 'secret' is simple: just don’t quit! Of course, the devil is in the details, which is why this article is more than two lines long... I want to start with the fact that almost everybody can eventually become a black belt, so if you just keep training hard then you’ll probably make it. One my … [Read more...]

A Storm in the Mountains and Risk in BJJ

risk and reward in the outdoors and bjj

Today we're going to talk about assessing risk and reward in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but first let me tell you a story about what happened up on a mountain recently... Risk vs Reward in the Outdoors I arrived at the Black Mountain trailhead in the Mount Cypress area a few hours before dark, intending to squeeze in a 90 minute trail run to Eagle Bluffs and back.  In my pack was a light fleece coat, … [Read more...]

My Favourite Muhammad Ali Quote

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali passed away 2 days ago at age 74 after putting quite a dent into the universe. He was a great boxer.  The greatest of all time according to some (especially himself). And his conscientious objector status to the Vietnam War made him hugely unpopular at the time, and then an icon to an entire generation. When we remember Ali we often end up thinking about his quips, quotes, … [Read more...]

Pre-planning the Tap and Climbing Everest…

How climbing Mount Everest applies to BJJ

We'll get to the Mount Everest part later, but first let me tell you a story about the other day when I was sparring with a black belt training partner... My partner was using the spider guard, a position he's spent quite a bit of time developing in the last year.  I got sloppy for a second and he slammed on a triangle choke from the double biceps spider guard position (using a variation of … [Read more...]

47 Favourite Martial Arts and Inspiration Quotes

Martial Arts Quotes

I love pithy quotes: in just a few short words they can encapsulate an entire strategy, philosophy, or approach to life.  That's why more than 10 years ago I published a short article with some of my favourite grappling and martial arts quotes. Well, I've come across a lot more great quotes in the last decade! I typically share the new quotations I discover on my Twitter and/or Instagram … [Read more...]

Podcast EP 34: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Principles with Rob Biernacki (plus Ninjas, Insane Martial Arts Instructors and Martial Arts Cults)

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu principles with Rob Biernacki

The latest episode of the Grapplearts Radio Podcast is out.  In it I talk with Rob Biernacki, a friend, BJJ black belt, and contributor to Grapplearts (see the videos and articles he's been involved with here). Rob is known for his analytical style of teaching BJJ.  He doesn't focus on being a 'technique collector, but rather specialises in sharing the underlying principles and concepts that … [Read more...]

Podcast EP33: Leglocks with Eddie ‘Wolverine’ Cummings

Leglocks with Eddie Cummings

In this episode of Grapplearts Radio I quiz Eddie Cummings - one of the very best leglock artists active on the competition scene today - about every detail of his leglock game, including : Why the heel hook is one of the most efficient submissions for self defense How to train leglocks safely How a world class grappling competitor spends his days Dead ends and rabbit holes that … [Read more...]

The Two-Month BJJ Survival Blues

Why BJJ beginners have such a hard time for a few months...

It's very common for new grapplers to become discouraged at about the 2 or 3 month mark. In the beginning this person sort of expected to get his ass kicked, but now (after a few months of classes) he is still STILL getting his ass kicked. His grappling game largely consists of lying there pinned while frantically defending submission attempts. This style of purely defensive and purely … [Read more...]

A Big Guard Passing Tip Learned from Boxing

Passing the Guard

Today I'm going to share a tip which - if you actually use it - should make your guard passes twice as effective as they are right now. I learned this a long time ago from my friend and training partner Ritchie Yip. One day we were sparring, and unlike our previous sparring session he was absolutely demolishing my guard.  It was as if I had butter legs and he was wielding a red-hot samurai … [Read more...]

Podcast EP31: BJJ Sports Psychology with Gustavo Dantas

Gustavo Dantas Interview About BJJ Sports Psychology

It's one thing to lose in BJJ competition if your opponent really is better than you.  But it's quite another to be beaten by an opponent that you KNOW you're better than... to underperform... not to live up to your potential. It sucks! The most common reason for losing to someone with lesser jiu-jitsu skills is that you psyched yourself out and lost the match mentally.  You can be in top … [Read more...]