Nicky Ryan seminar in Los Angeles this Sunday

Nicky Ryan seminar in Los Angeles this Sunday: Nicky Ryan will show our fans in LA the intricacies of our approach to the game this Sunday at one of our favorite LA gyms @dynamixmma on 6/3 at 3:30pm. Not only will he show the essential squad approach to the game, but his personal approach to it. All my students are innovators and researchers. All have their own specialty moves that they developed independently and which figure prominently in their game. This independence is the most exciting thing for a coach to witness and to see it in such a young man is truly remarkable. If you are within distance of Santa Monica on Sunday - Check our this amazing young athlete and teacher and see for yourself the knowledge and skill that I am lucky enough to witness daily. As always - a big hello to our West Coast followers

Coaching memories

Coaching memories: Georges St-Pierre vs Josh Koscheck 2 - One good move begets another: A theme that I often push upon my students is that of DEVELOPING AT LEAST ONE STRONG MOVE THAT PEOPLE KNOW AND FEAR YOU FOR. In truth - IT DOES NOT EVEN MATTER IF YOU ACTUALLY SCORE WITH THAT PARTICULAR MOVE - YOUR OPPONENTS DEFENSIVE OVER REACTIONS TO THE MERE THREAT OF IT WILL OPEN MANY OTHER ATTACKING OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU CAN EASILY EXPLOIT. A very fine example of This occurred when Georges St-Pierre took on the very tough wrestler Josh Kosheck for the second time. The first match was hard fought, but Mr St-Pierre dominated with his takedowns - shocking given that Mr Koscheck was a two time NCAA champion and three time finalist. When we did the Ultimate Fighter show, Mr Koscheck made it clear that he would not be taken down this next time. When the second time came, Mr St-Pierre took him down in the opening seconds with one of the fastest double leg entries I ever saw. Mr Koscheck did a good job of recovering back up to his feet - but the damage was done - he now had to focus all his defensive skills into stopping that dangerous double. Mr St-Pierre immediately took notice of this - and went to phase two. He was always a lead hand dominant striker - strong jab and left hook - much less so a rear hand striker, that was never his strength. He began to mirror his level change to a fast and powerful rising jab to that of his double leg. From Mr Koscheck’s perspective it was nearly impossible to tell whether any given level change signaled either a double leg or a rising jab. Immediately the jab starting scoring. One was so powerful it broke Mr Koscheck’s orbital bone and caused a gruesome eye injury that essentially sealed the outcome in the first round. To his credit, Mr Koscheck showed the heart of a lion and stayed the course, getting back up every time he was taken down, but the lesson is clear - THE THREAT OF ONE BIG WEAPON WILL ALWAYS FACILITATE THE USE OF ANOTHER. Take this lesson from this great man and make it yours - PUT TIME AND ENERGY INTO DEVELOPING A POWERFUL ATTACK THAT INVOKES STRONG DEFENSIVE REACTIONS IN YOUR OPPONENTS AND BUILD AN ARSENAL AROUND IT

Taking notes

Taking notes: I am a big believer in the notion that to a large degree, jiu jitsu is a knowledge game. Of course knowledge is not the whole story. Until KNOWLEDGE is translated into SKILL it is of little practical value to the athlete (though it can still be of great value to the coach). Like any knowledge based enterprise, there is a lot of memorizing and, unfortunately, a lot of forgetting! As such I believe it is of great value to many people (not all people - some learn in very different ways) to keep notes on their progress. At the end of every day I make sure I write down in some form the main things I learned that day. I don’t suggest writing vast amounts (you wouldn’t guess that given my lengthy instagram posts would you!? ) - just the NEW elements that you believe have potential for the future. I believe that JUST THE SHEER ACT OF WRITING AIDS RETENTION. In addition to helping retention, IT HELPS ORDER YOUR THOUGHTS INTO MORE COHERENT STRUCTURES THAT WILL HELP YOU WORK THEM INTO YOUR DEVELOPMENT. Thus even if you never peruse those notes again - they will have helped you. I remember once coming across an old journal of mine from 2002 and seeing an entry on an “interesting concept that may be of considerable value for further research and wider applications” - it was the notion of double trouble applied to ashi garami based leg locks - how ironic that this would go on years later to be of such value to my students. Let the time, orderliness and discipline of note taking work for you - just as you did in school - it can help you take the lessons of today into your improvements of tomorrow.

Respectful Memorial Day to all

Isolating limbs

Isolating limbs: In an MMA or fighting context, what makes the dominant pins of jiu jitsu such as the mounted position dangerous IS YOUR ABILITY TO DO DAMAGE WITH STRIKES. All this changes in a grappling match however, where strikes are not allowed. The single most important ability you can develop to make yourself dangerous from a dominant position in a grappling context, is THE ABILITY TO ISOLATE AND CONTROL A LIMB. An isolated limb can be controlled and broken (or in the case of the neck - strangled (the neck is the fifth limb in grappling)). I always encourage my athletes to go the extra distance when they get to a dominant position - DON’T BE SATISFIED WITH THE PIN ITSELF - GO THE EXTRA DISTANCE AND FIGHT TO ISOLATE A LIMB. The day you start doing that you will begin SUBMITTING people from dominant positions rather than merely HOLDING them. Here, Gordon Ryan does a fine job of pinning down Ralek Gracie’s right arm from a variation of the mounted position, thus isolating one arm from the other allowing complete isolation and control of the head and left arm in ways that lead directly to a variety of submission holds.

When the day is done

When the day is done: The re-filming of the instructional video BACK ATTACKS: ENTER THE SYSTEM is done - two long days of filming covering all the main features that my brilliant students have had so much success with over the years. Now it’s back on the train to NYC and get ready for teaching tomorrow. There is a sense in which our day is never really done - it’s just preparation for tomorrow. The important thing is always to keep a sense of progression, so that the lessons of today make us wake up tomorrow a person better skilled to deal with whatever challenges the new day should bring.

Great day of filming back attack system in Boston

Great day of filming back attack system in Boston: I returned to Boston today to reshoot the BACK ATTACKS: ENTER THE SYSTEM video instructional (another part of the ENTER THE SYSTEM series detailing the systems based approach to jiu jitsu that I teach to my students). The original filming suffered from the same audio issues as the original leg lock video so there was only one thing to do - start over again and do it right. Filming at Bernardo Faria’s academy in Boston all day today - just finished day one at 10pm and begin day two tomorrow at 8am. Can’t wait to show our approach to finishing from the back and change the game! Wishing you all the best from Boston and a happy Memorial weekend to all of you!

Georges St-Pierre on Joe Rogan experience

Georges St-Pierre on Joe Rogan experience: For those of you who have not heard, my student Georges St-Pierre @georgesstpierre appeared on the world’s biggest podcast - The Joe Rogan experience @joerogan yesterday. Mr St-Pierre is usually very guarded during interviews, but Mr Rogan did an amazing job through his informal chat based method of getting this amazing athlete and human being to open up and tell his story in his own words to a greater degree than anyone has ever done in the past. All these years I have known what an incredible person, martial arts athlete and innovator Mr St-Pierre was - now you will see it too in this remarkable interview! Hats off to Mr Rogan for accomplishing what no one else could in showing the humor, interests and methods of this truly great MMA athlete. In less than six hours it already passed a million views. If you have time this weekend - check it out - it’s both a fascinating and funny expose of a great man; but also A STUDY OF THE MIND AMD MINDSET THAT MADE HIM GREAT, and thus of great value to all of you as you work towards your own goals and dreams - check it out!

Just got a sample clip of the new and improved LEG LOCKS

Just got a sample clip of the new and improved LEG LOCKS: ENTER THE SYSTEM instructional video. This time they got it right with perfect sound quality and camera work and initial reviews have been significantly higher than any other in company history. In addition I added quite a lot of new material and presented at a faster pace to give the video a leaner and faster look with same overall length. Complete editing is estimated to be around two weeks. Anyone who bought will get it for free ( and keep access to the original Darth Vader/Bane voice version as well) and anyone buying now or in the future will also get both (though I suspect most will focus on the way more audio friendly second version ). I’m happy and proud to offer a video that has the best content now matched with excellent production value - link to buy is in the bio of my instagram if you are interested. Now I will do the same with Back Attack system (hopefully this weekend though I did have some relapse with my perennial body issues this week - hoping I’m good enough to go this weekend). Hope you all enjoy good sound quality and overall production/presentation improvements!

Closed wedges

Closed wedges: The essential feature all of jiu jitsu is control that leads to submission - this is the foundation of my approach to the game. Any deviations from that mindset are abhorrent to me and my students. The most fundamental form of control is that over movement - AND THE MECHANICAL BASIS OF IMPEDING MOVEMENT IN JIU JITSU IS THE WEDGE. The human body can be positioned as a SET OF WEDGES around another body to restrict movement and make possible the control required for submissions. Our favorite form of wedges are double sided reinforced wedges. That is, wedges positioned on both sides of the limb or torso we are trying to control and where something locks the wedges in position. Usually BODYWEIGHT is the thing that locks wedges in place - That’s is how most conventional pins work - but ashi garami does not involve bodyweight since you are usually sitting on the floor when you apply it - so we need another method. That method is CLOSED WEDGES where ONE OF OUR LIMBS LOCKS OUR OTHER LIMB IN PLACE SO THAT THE WEDGES ARE REINFORCED BY YOUR OTHER ARM OR LEG AND NOT EASY FOR A RESISTING OPPONENT TO DISLODGE AND GET AROUND OR OVER. In the case of leg locking in particular we greatly favor locking our legs around an opponent’s leg either with crossed feet or triangled legs. Most of our favorite finishing positions have this feature. The highest ranked in our leg locking hierarchy are those variations within the cross ashi garami featuring triangled legs - we call these variations “inside sankaku” (inside triangle). Here, talented junior, Drew Hooper, takes a brilliant win last weekend at Rise Invitational 4 in Manhattan. Notice the extremely solid connection he has achieved with the use of this inside sankaku variation and how it immobilized even a tough, competitive opponent in a way that gives him very few defensive options. This is exactly the kind of leg and hip control you should be looking for as you make your progress in the leg game.