The Single Leg X Guard – A Surprising Way to Pull Guard…

Pulling single leg x guard

Should you pull guard in competition?  And if you decide to pull guard, then how do you do it correctly? In a certain sense, I am uniquely unqualified to answer these questions... You see, much of my BJJ comes from 8th degree black belt Marcus Soares, and Marcus is very much from the old-school Carlson Gracie way of doing things. … [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...]

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...]

The Secret Subversive Power of BJJ

Pyramid copy

by Valerie Worthington, Emily Kwok, and Lola Newsom Groundswell Grappling Concepts We have a hypothesis about some women who grapple. We may be projecting, but our wholly unscientific data collection and analysis supports it. Namely, Brazilian jiu jitsu affords women who are looking for such things a mechanism for subversion. … [Read more...]

A Girl’s Guide to Grappling What You Need to Know Before You Start Rolling


Although the sport and art of grappling is currently mostly a male activity, many female readers have commented on how important it is for women to learn to grapple (see Why Should Women Grapple?). In this article Liz Bader, an active mixed martial art competitor and instructor, explains what women should be aware of before they step onto the mat for the first time. … [Read more...]

Tips for Female Grapplers

Tips for female grapplers

- when a (small) girl meets a (big) boy - by Krista Scott-Dixon Stephan's note: this article grew out of a conversation I had with Krista Scott-Dixon on Facebook about the special challenges faced by women (and smaller grapplers) when they spar bigger, stronger opponents. There are other good articles addressing this topic on already (here, here, here, and here), but … [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...]

Podcast EP7: Sarah Kaufman, Top Female MMA Fighter, Reveals All!


Sarah Kaufman is one of the top fighters in women's MMA. And she is officially amazing! Here's an in-depth interview and podcast with Sarah. I grilled her pretty hard (I hate interviews where you don't actually learn anything about the fighter or about the way they train). But the information she gave out went way, way beyond what I was expecting.  She revealed: •    how a top level … [Read more...]

Podcast EP5: A Woman’s Jiu-Jitsu Journey from White Belt to Black Belt

Emily Kwok Triptych

In this feature interview I talk with Emily Kwok who is a very smart, very talented jiu-jitsu practitioner. She's been involved in the woman's competition circuit for a long time, having competed both with and without the gi, and in MMA overseas. Her ability as a teacher of jiu-jitsu - to both men and women - is proved every time she steps on the mats at her BJJ Academy in Princeton, … [Read more...]