Air time

Air time: Sweeps in Jiu jitsu all score the same amount regardless of amplitude. Indeed powerful sweeps often result in reduced control after the sweep and allow an opponent to scramble out to avoid conceding the score. Nonetheless there is something to be said for big sweeps - they have a disorienting effect that can sometimes lead into submission attempts after the sweep. In addition they create a definite sense of power that will send a message to opponent and create some fear/respect for the next sweep that may create over reactions that you can exploit. So even though most of the time control is more important than amplitude, every so often you can let fly and make an opponent fly the unfriendly skies

Don’t be satisfied with good when great is right there for the taking

Don’t be satisfied with good when great is right there for the taking: Getting into a dominant pin is a good thing but if you want to go the extra distance and progress from position to submission, then you must learn to isolate limbs away from the torso to set up submission entries. Don’t congratulate yourself when you get to your pin - immediately start the task of isolating an arm and head. It will make it tougher for him to escape and easier for you to finish. The earlier you start the task the better your chances of succeeding. Program yourself to WORK from the pin rather than REST from the pin, and you will be a finisher faster than you thought possible

The power of escape

The power of escape: When we think of powerful moves in Jiu jitsu you typically picture a slamming takedown or a bone crunching submission hold, or perhaps an immovable pin or unstoppable pass. We don’t typically think of escapes as demonstration of power - but they are - in a different way. Those typical power moves, hard takedowns, crushing submissions etc are all demonstrations of power over the opponents BODY. Escapes exert their power on an opponents MIND. Imagine working hard to take an opponent down, pass his hard and get to your favorite finishing position and then have an opponent repeatedly escape. Worse still, every time he escapes he immediately counterattacks and almost catches you as you are forced to flee and start all over again. Hard work is tough, but repeated hard work with no forward progress and no prospect of it finishing is hard for the mind to handle. That’s exactly what unstoppable escapes do to an opponents mind in a match. If you can send a clear message to an opponent that he has no means of controlling and finishing you - the longer that match goes the worse he will begin to feel inside. Every escape brings your confidence up and his down. In a long match where points are not a consideration this is a huge factor. There is no lonelier feeling than being fatigued and disheartened by repeated frustration of being close to victory but never able to secure in a match that goes until one of you quits and you now know you have no means of making the other guy quit because he can escape all your best positions without a problem. Here Garry Tonon launches into a strong kipping escape out of mount, about to be followed by a devastating heel hook follow up. There is a reason why he attacks so fearlessly and without abandon in his matches - because he fully believes in his ability to get out of any hold should his attack misfire in any way. The power of Escapes is thus not over the body but over your mind and your opponents mind - now THAT’S real power

Getting out of trouble - and putting the other guy into trouble

Getting out of trouble - and putting the other guy into trouble: If there is one skill in Jiu jitsu that NEVER goes out of style it would be getting out of bad position. I don’t care how talented an athlete is - we all make mistakes and at some time we all find ourselves fighting for survival out of pins. My approach to pin escapes is a little different from most. I train my students to work in two phases. First the escape itself - then to develop a sensitivity to when the danger is past and then AN IMMEDIATE AND AGGRESSIVE COUNTERATTACK THAT FEEDS OFF YOUR OPPONENTS DESIRE TO REGAIN THE PIN. This takes the humble art of defense into the devastating art of counterattack. Most athletes are satisfied with just getting. I teach to go the extra distance AND FINISH EVERY ESCAPE WITH SUBMISSION COUNTERATTACK WHENEVER POSSIBLE - and in MANY cases it is possible. Take this approach and you’ll soon find that your submission percentages double. Tomorrow I will release my NEW WAVE JIU JITSU escapes into counterattacks instructional video and showcase this attacking philosophy into your defense.

Getting pinned is bad - getting pinned AND getting your limbs extended out and away from your torso is even worse

Getting pinned is bad - getting pinned AND getting your limbs extended out and away from your torso is even worse: When most people get to a dominant pin they are so happy to score the points that they don’t take the next step and seek to isolate a limb by working it out and away from the torso. Never forget that the ultimate aim of grappling (not fighting) is to submit an opponent. A positional pin is a means to that end - only when you take the extra step of limb isolation will you bridge the gap between position and submission. Next time you get to a dominant pin, don’t be satisfied with the pin - go further and work the limb away from the torso - you will find immediately that you make the pin stronger and suddenly become far more threatening to your opponent. Best of all you will start submitting a lot more opponents

Going beyond pinning

Going beyond pinning: The basic theme of Jiu jitsu is of getting to dominant upper body pins to gain positional advantage. To actually SUBMIT someone however, you’ll need to do more than pin them - YOU WILL NEED TO ISOLATE A LIMB. Learning to isolate and control a limb from a dominant pin is the bridge between position and submission. Whenever you get to a pin in training don’t be satisfied with the points you’ve scored. Go further and isolate a limb - that is the only way you will be able to submit opponents.

Life isn’t fair - neither should be your Jiu jitsu

Life isn’t fair - neither should be your Jiu jitsu: Fair play is a wonderful thing but not in Jiu jitsu. Your whole game is to create an uneven playing field using mechanics and tactics that put your opponent at a disadvantage that makes your victory very likely. One of the best ways to begin doing this is to trap opponents arms. One of the quickest ways to render a human helpless is to pin his arms - that’s why the first thing police officers do with unruly suspects is handcuff them. It’s a simple way of making dangerous people harmless. So too when you do it it in Jiu jitsu. If you can trap an arm and pin it down you can render a strong opponent helpless. Our favorite time to do this is when you’re behind someone. It makes the task of strangulation so much easier. Don’t be satisfied with the rear mount - go further and trap an arm whenever possible (and if you know what your doing it usually is possible ). Defending your neck is difficult enough with two hands - with only one (the other one trapped) is VERY difficult indeed. Make a serious study of UNFAIRNESS and you will have advanced your understanding of the true nature of Jiu jitsu

Escapes - testing yourself

Escapes - testing yourself: Here is a moment when my students and I were teaching a seminar in Singapore. Much of what we went over was concerned with escapes from bad position. When it comes time to escape the mount no gi, I strongly favor the kipping escape. This is an escape that superficially looks like a push, but really it is based upon the kipping action of the legs (kipping is a movement of the legs designed to create momentum in a given direction - most commonly used when people want to cheat doing pull ups to make it easier to get up to the bar but also very useful when you want to make it easier to escape certain pins), along with misdirection of your opponents lines of resistance. All of my students excel at this move, in fact there were times early in their careers i had to tell them to stop using it so much because they were going into competitions and deliberately putting themselves in the bottom mount position so they could simply escape and heel hook unwitting opponents! Here Gordon Ryan demonstrates during the seminar. Note the ease of execution and the changes in direction as the move unfolds. In my upcoming NEW WAVE JIU JITSU - ESCAPES video I will cover this fascinating method and show its link to counter offense where you can escape directly into strong leg lock attacks so that you don’t only get out - you finish the opponent as you do so. When you get really good you can get fancy and perform the escape with one arm as Gordon Ryan does here 😜😜 All of my students training begins with defense. Having the confidence that comes from knowing that you can escape the worst positions and counter attack is worth its weight in gold.

How good are you at getting out of bad positions?

How good are you at getting out of bad positions? Whenever people ask me to diagnose their skill level one of the first things I observe is their skill at getting out of bad positions. Why? Because that will tell me not only how good they are DEFENSIVELY but also OFFENSIVELY. This might strike you as strange. How can defensive skill reflect your offensive skill? Simple - the more faith you have in your defense the more risks you will take with your offense. Your success will always be determined by the amount of risk you are willing to subject yourself to. As they say - NOTHING RISKED, NOTHING GAINED. If you won’t take the risk associated with offense you’ll never even begin an attack. If you’re afraid that when you try to attack you may be open to positional counters that leave you pinned in holds from which you can’t escape - then you won’t take the risk of attacking. The only thing that will liberate you from those fears that hold you back is the belief that you can escape any hold. The moment you believe that you will attack and hold nothing back.

Carry your opponents weight easily through posture

Carry your opponents weight easily through posture: When you work in bottom position you will have to carry your opponents weight on top of you for extended periods. This can be tiring and fruitless if done with poor posture. IF YOU WANT TO EASILY CARRY AND MOVE HEAVY OPPONENTS FROM BOTTOM KEEP YOUR KNEES TO CHEST AND SOINE CURVED LIKE THE BOTTOM OF A ROCKING CHAIR - just as a rocking chair can easily carry and move heavy bodies, so too will you. Look how Nicky Ryan uses the banana curve in his spine to topple an opponent forward and easily move him into a position where he can lift himself into a cross ashi garami entry. If your spine is flat on the floor you will feel every ounce of your opponents weight and won’t be able to move him an inch. Put a healthy curve in your spine and you will bounce him around from one attack to another.