The technical standup is an absolutely essential movement in BJJ. It's used to get back to your feet in self defense and MMA, but also for finishing guard sweeps, defending against guard sweeps, guard retention, and a thousand other applications. Brandon 'Wolverine' Mullins, a BJJ black belt world champion, breaks the technical standup into four different variations... The Full Technical … [Read more...]
3 Open Guard Options vs. Standing Opponents
If you don't have a gameplan from the open guard then this position can quickly become a confusing and ineffective tangle of arms and legs . And open guard chaos gets much, much worse when you don't have a good grip on your opponent. Even a single solid grip on your opponent's arm, neck, foot, heel or gi allows you to control his posture, limit his movement, and set up your own attacks. … [Read more...]
A Revelation That’s Helped Me ‘Win’ More than 10 Street Fights
Today's video (and podcast episode) is story about the first time I 'won' a street fight by realising that the other guy - an older, shabbily dressed, homeless man - was almost certainly mentally ill. A good street fight is one that you walk away from or de-escalate, because even if you KO the other guy you could still lose (as I discussed in my Death After the Knockout article. Be … [Read more...]
Top 10 Throws and Takedowns for BJJ
I'll go ahead and say it: every practitioner should have at least a couple of throws and takedowns for BJJ. Yes, it's true that pulling guard is an option in sport BJJ competition, but ultimately this is a martial art, which means we have to at least occasionally consider the self defense aspects of what we're doing. Are you going to pull guard in a streetfight? Not bloody likely. In this … [Read more...]
My Path from Kung Fu to Jiu-Jitsu (Podcast)
On today's episode I'm interviewed by Randy Brown on his podcast about my journey through Kung Fu and how I found jiu-jitsu. Lots of nuggets about training safely and effectively in this one! Follow Randy on Youtube, Instagram or check out his website. Tweet me @StephanKesting, check out my Instagram: @Stephan_Kesting, and get on my email newsletter - I use it to put out a TON of good … [Read more...]
12 Concepts, Principles and Ideas To Stop Your Opponent from Passing Your Guard
Here's a really detailed, super comprehensive video on the 12 most important concepts and ideas that'll make your guard much harder to pass. It's the best thing you'll watch today. Seriously. Using these 12 concepts you'll immediately accomplish a couple of important things... You'll start frustrating the hell out of your opponents, which is always good. You'll gain much more … [Read more...]
How Many Coaches Do You Need To Be Serious About Martial Arts?
The days of learning from just one instructor if you're a serious martial artist or MMA competitor are over. Nowadays you need at least four different coaches... A jiu-jitsu coach A striking coach A wrestling coach A conditioning coach I go into more detail on this topic, including for whom this applies and for whom it doesn't, in the following video and audio podcast episode … [Read more...]
BJJ Self Defense Rant
In this podcast episode I answer a question received on an Instagram Live Q&A about a boxing beating jiu-jitsu in a real streetfight. (Follow me on Instagram @stephan_kesting and maybe a future podcast episode will be devoted to something you asked about!) The question I dive into today is, "What are the the odds that a boxer would beat a BJJ practitioner if all other things - size, … [Read more...]
Defending and Escaping When Someone is On Your Back!
Having someone on your back in rear mount is an absolutely terrible situation. It doesn't matter if you're doing BJJ, no gi submission grappling, MMA, or are in a self defense situation. When someone is behind you with the hooks in and his arms locked in the seatbelt position then you're really very close to getting choked into a drooling mess. There's a reason that being caught in rear … [Read more...]
How to Win Lethwei World Championships,
Today's we're talking about training a fighter to become a world champion in an incredibly intense full contact martial known as Lethwei. Lethwei is from Burma and looks a bit like Muay Thai with a few crazy additions... First of all, in addition to punches, kicks, elbows, and knees they also allow headbutts... If a fighter gets knocked out their cornermen have two minutes tor resuscitate them … [Read more...]
Will Grappling Dummy Drills Really Help Your BJJ?
I often get emails from people wanting to know whether drilling with a grappling dummy will help their jiu-jitsu. Dummies are expensive items, and people want to make sure the investment will be worth it. The short answer is no. WATCH AND/OR LISTEN TO MY RANT ON THIS TOPIC Here's a video and podcast with my views on the subject, or if you prefer to read on you can scroll down the page a … [Read more...]
Bow and Arrow Chokes in the Street, with Adam Nadow
Jiu-jitsu black belt Adam Nadow was recently attacked in the street and used his training to defend himself and control his attacker until the police arrived. The video of this confrontation later went viral in the BJJ and self defense community. But what's not as commonly known is that he then involved himself in trying to rehabilitate his attacker, going so far as to provide him with food and … [Read more...]
Podcast Episode 181: Why is Sparring So Hard? (Audio + Video)
Ritchie Yip is the brains behind The Precision Kickboxing Masterclass, and in this episode he and I sat down to discuss the path to kickboxing mastery. Too many beginners feel great when they're hitting the pads only to have everything fall apart the very first time they spar. Sparring can be a completely different beast from just drilling technique, and the transition can be incredibly … [Read more...]
Brand New Instructional – The Precision Kickboxing Masterclass
What's a grappler like me doing getting involved with a project like The Precision Kickboxing Masterclass that officially launched today? Totally valid question... First of all I trained in Muay Thai, Jun Fan JKD, and Kajukenbo for years. And dabbled in Savate, Capoeira and Boxing. I like to think that I was pretty good at striking back in the day. One of the things I learned is that … [Read more...]
Grappling and the 5 Ranges of Fighting
I've said many times that BJJ is a fantastic sport and fitness activity, but that at it's core it's a martial art. And it being a martial art means that you have be able to use it to defend yourself. Now it's pretty hard to beat BJJ and submission grappling as a martial art at close range. The ability to move up the positional hierarchy, getting to more and more dominant position, is a HUGE … [Read more...]
The 3 Steps to a Takedown
Many grapplers lack even a basic knowledge of takedowns, and this is a HUGE mistake. As far as I'm concerned if you're a submission grappler or a jiu-jitsu player who pulls guard in every competition then you need to have at least a few ways to get the fight to the ground from the feet. In having takedowns is just part of being a well rounded grappler, but it's also for self defense: you'll … [Read more...]
BJJ Self Defense for Girls
I believe that every girl should have some basic self defense training. Yes, defeating a larger, stronger, male aggressor is a high bar to clear for a smaller girl, but it's not impossible - I've seen lots of trained women choke out bigger guys on the mat. The key word here is 'trained'. As in having spent many hours on the mat training, drilling and sparring. Now there are lots of self … [Read more...]
Podcast: Exposing Martial Arts Frauds with McDojolife!
Rob from McDojoLife has been relentless in his attempts to expose martial arts frauds, exposing everyone from from chi-based knockout masters to ninjas who practise bending joints in the direction they are designed to bend. Honestly some of the videos he's shared with people over the years have been hilarious for all the wrong reasons! (Scroll down for some of my favourite videos!) In … [Read more...]
Do Dirty Fighting Moves Work in Grappling?
Have you run into that guy who thinks he can eye gouge his way out of your mount, groin punch his way past your guard, and bite your ribs from side control? Well, today's video is for him! Now it's true that on the street you may need to pull hair, gouge the eyes, kick the groin, grab the throat. Then, if all that doesn't work then you'll need to start fighting dirty ;) But a martial … [Read more...]
How to Defend and Escape the Rear Naked Choke
In the video above and in the article below we're going to talk about how to defend and escape the Rear Naked Choke. There's a reason that the Rear Naked Choke (or RNC) has finished so many matches in MMA, BJJ and submission grappling: it's a very powerful and super-difficult to escape submission! This effectiveness is the main reason that we've devoted so much time to this choke on Grapplearts … [Read more...]