Overwhelming and passing a good guard player - the half guard route

Overwhelming and passing a good guard player - the half guard route: When you have a dangerous guard player underneath you, there are few better routes than getting chest to chest, with an intimidating cross face and flattening him out with either an underhook or hip walking so that he is left with little offense. The beauty of half guard passing is that it reverses the normal order of events in guard passing. In most guard passes you pass the hips first and control the head last. In half guard passing the first target is usually the head and then you pass the hips by extracting your leg. As such it is qualitatively different from regular methods of guard passing. You must make it a separate study and delve deeply into it. Almost all of the great guard passers had strong half guard passing as a big part of their repertoire - make it part of yours too!

Gordon Ryan learns the art of tactics

Gordon Ryan learns the art of tactics: Every Sunday (before this whole Coronavirus thing kicked in) Gordon and the squad come in to do a private class. We discuss a topic and get to practicing/sparring. One day Gordon was asking questions about match tactics. Usually he doesn’t bother with tactics at all - he just goes out on stage with the intention of controlling and submitting his opponent come what may - but as you can see - Mr Ryan may well be a true young master of control and submission - but he is a straight up white belt when it comes to devious tactics!!

The quality of your connection will be the criteria by which the worth of your submission holds will be judged

The quality of your connection will be the criteria by which the worth of your submission holds will be judged: Most of the time whilst grappling it’s a good idea to keep a soft and pliable body that you don’t exhaust yourself and so that you can move efficiently and not give away your intentions to an opponent. That changes however, when you lock yourself into a submission hold. Now you want a tight body with strong isometric tension that will lock your body to your opponents and stay in place long enough to get the win. Look how Garry Tonon locks himself to his opponents hip with a tight figure four lock that will not be shaken loose easily. This will enable him to stay in place despite the most acrobatic defensive maneuvers, hip to hip, where he should be for a good heel hook finish. Learn to distinguish between your need for pliability when moving for position and your need for tension when preventing movement and aiming for submission - only then will you be able to make position and submission skills work in harmony rather than against each other.

Great victory for Craig Jones

Great victory for Craig Jones! Aussie grappling super star and champion Craig Jones took on the great Vinny Magalhaes, former ADCC champion, last night in Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground Event. Mr Sonnen has done a great job of keeping the event running during the Coronavirus epidemic by staying inside government regulations - events are played without a crowd and with special restrictions on the numbers and interpersonal contact of people inside the venue etc etc. In the end regardless of the situation it’s always two athletes and a referee inside the cage and when the action started Craig Jones went straight into his powerful leg attacks. Mr Magalhaes has a well deserved reputation for tremendous resistance to submission holds in general and leg locks in particular. Previously squad members Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan had gotten close but not the breakthrough. This time we worked on a particular strategy based around hip positioning and Mr Jones brilliantly worked it to get a severe break. Mr Magalhaes showed his usual unflappable composure but after two very strong inside heel hook attacks it was apparent that there was a spiral fracture of the fibula - that’s an injury that is rarely seen with heel hooks as usually the soft tissue of the knees and ankles gives way first. Mr Jones is as much a gentleman on the mat as he is off - he realized what had happened and backed off. It was agreed by all that the match could not continue even though Vinny had never actually tapped. There is only so much that flexibility and stoicism can do in the face of a determined application of good breaking mechanics so the match was over. Mr Jones was always a real stand out, but has shown tremendous improvements over the past twelve months. He went through a very difficult training camp for this event due to the many restrictions and limitations in currently in place that put very precise limits on who he can train with and how often and under what conditions - but he went through it all and on to a brilliant performance on the stage. Hope you all enjoyed the show!

The back is the perfect marriage of position and submission

The back is the perfect marriage of position and submission: Normally we think of position and submission as differentiated. One comes before the other. Most players tend to be either a positional player or a submission player. The back is the position that lets you be both at the same time. Not only is it the strongest position in the sport - no other position creates such a massive difference between your attacking potential from there and that of your opponent. You have access to the most high percentage attacks in the sport plus devastating strikes if this were a fight, whilst your opponent has almost nothing. At the same time, no other submission comes close to rivaling the principle submission from this position - the rear strangle. Thus the back represents the intersection of the two main elements of Jiu Jitsu - position and submission. Make it your lifetime study to get there and finish from there - the day you make positive progress in this direction you will see the results

Train your mind to see and identify the next steps

Train your mind to see and identify the next steps: People talk to me about SPEED in combat sports all the time. Don’t get me wrong - physical speed is a wonderful attribute to have and is extremely valuable in combat sports - but let me tell you this - THE MOST IMPORTANT SPEED IS YOUR SPEED OF SOUND DECISION MAKING. If you can make good decisions faster than your opponent you will appear faster than an opponent who is physically faster than you. Most actions begin with a decision. If you are making decisions faster than the other fellow you will have the advantage of a head start that can make up for slower physical actions. Of course the decisions themselves have to be good ones - idiotic decisions made quickly don’t help - but as they say, even a decent decision made in a timely fashion is better than a great decision made too late. When you watch people spar, don’t just watch for entertainment - watch to learn the mental skill of second by second decision making. Try to figure what they ought to be doing to each other as the action unfolds. You can do the same thing watching competition footage of athletes. This kind of mental training has direct ramifications for your physical game and will make you a better physical athlete next time you are sparring.

Rear triangle (ushiro sankaku)

Don’t use triangles because of short legs? Rear triangle (ushiro sankaku) FTW! The triangle has many variations. Unfortunately in Jiu Jitsu most students only really make use of one of the variations - the front triangle - usually performed from guard position. There is no question that the front triangle has proven to be the most applicable and effective in Jiu jitsu competition, but many students tell me it they they are simply too short legged to get the move to work for them in sparring. While there are some ways to maximize your effectiveness with short legs, it is nonetheless quite clear that short legs can be a problem for front triangles. If you want to make use of the incredible power of triangles but feel your leg length is an issue - START USING REAR TRIANGLES. Rear triangles, due to the changes in position and angle, are much easier for short legged athletes to use on broad shouldered opponents than front triangles. Once you start scoring regularly with rear triangles perhaps your confidence will rise and you’ll be more willing to try again with front triangles You never know! Here, Nicky Ryan locks on a flawless rear triangle and shows its incredible power as a restraining hold, arm lock potential and a strangle - it’s an amazing weapon for everyone - including short legged athletes (like me )

If the most important battle of the position is the hand fight - learn to trap and immobilize hand and victory is yours

If the most important battle of the position is the hand fight - learn to trap and immobilize hand and victory is yours: So much of our sport involves gripping and grabbing - learning negate and opponents grips is a huge part of the game. Even better are situations where you can trap an arm/hand entirely and take it out of the fight completely - it’s hard to hand fight when you can’t move your hands! Here, Gordon Ryan goes into his signature hand trapping sequences from rear mount, ruining his opponents ability to use his hands as a barrier to strangulation - once this is achieved the chances of a successful application of the strangle go up tremendously. The hands may not be the strongest part of the human body, but they are the means by which typically begin connection to an opponent and perform most of our tasks - learn to negate or remove an opponents ability to use them whilst retaining your own ability to use your own hands and you will be a very difficult person to defend against

Pathways to the back - the elbow

Pathways to the back - the elbow: The back is king of positions in grappling. You score maximum points for getting there and you are in a position to attack with the most high percentage finishing methods in the game whilst your opponent has virtually no effective attacking options. There are many pathways to the back - it is the duty of Jiu Jitsu students to study and master them all - but the best one all round and the method you should start with is the ELBOW. If you can get past the elbow - the back is yours for the taking. There are many ways to beat the elbow - you can drag it, duck it, slide by it - they all work well. Here, Gordon Ryan uses an arm drag to beat the elbow in an attempt to take himself from in front of his opponent to a situation where he can get behind him and where everything is easier. When you are in front of a tough opponent, don’t just look at his elbows - see them for what they - A GATEWAY TO THE BEST POSITION IN THE SPORT! Once you make that perceptual change then you can start changing your position to one where you can win!

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BJJ fanatics is launching a big sale starting today through next week! All my instructional videos 30% off! Increase your knowledge so that when we all get back to the mats you can translate that knowledge into skill - and get a lot more wins on the mat under your belt!