Defensive soundness before submission

Defensive soundness before submission: The great cliche of Jiu jitsu is “position before submission” However, in some situations such as ashi garami, conventional approaches to position don’t really apply, since both athletes are in a situation where they can attack each other at the same time. I’m these types of scenarios “position before submission “ gets replaced by “defensive soundness before submission.” The idea is to set your feet, knees and other relevant body parts in locations where they are defensively sound (not open to obvious attacks) prior to launching your own attacks. In this way you avoid the undesirable situation of both athletes attacking simultaneously, in which case victory will go to the faster athlete or the one who is prepared to lose a limb to break his opponents limb. The best way is always that of first making yourself defensively sound so that when you do attack you can do so without the distraction of simultaneous counter attacks. Don’t get into submission shoot outs if you can avoid them. Rather, create situations where you can fire at will without return fire. Focus on defensive soundness first, attacks second

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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… Continue reading If the most important battle of the position is the hand fight – learn to trap and immobilize hand and victory is yours ...

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… Continue reading Pathways to the back – the elbow ...

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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! ...

Two approaches to leg locking

Two approaches to leg locking: When it’s time to attack the legs there are two main methods. The first is to get to the finishing position as soon as possible so that it is set before an opponent can gather up an effective defense. The second is to exert sufficient control over an opponents hips… Continue reading Two approaches to leg locking ...

The greatest submission of them all – pressure leading to fatigue

The greatest submission of them all – pressure leading to fatigue: let me tell you something rather obvious but which has torment ramifications for your success or failure in grappling – EXHAUSTED PEOPLE ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO SUBMIT TO YOU THAN FRESH PEOPLE. Understand this – a BIG part of submission is mental –… Continue reading The greatest submission of them all – pressure leading to fatigue ...

Downtown ninja

Downtown ninja: First Bane – now NINJA’S!! WTF!! Going for a solo stroll around a very quiet downtown Manhattan – I always knew growing up in the 80’s watching ninja movies would pay off one day!! Normally if you walked around Manhattan like this you’d get arrested; but in these strange times you’d get arrested… Continue reading Downtown ninja ...

Quiet days in NYC

Quiet days in NYC: It’s strange seeing the city like this – almost no one about as the seasons begin to change. I’ve lived here almost thirty years and never seen The Apple this way. One of my first students @zimlion took some beautifully haunting photos of the city the last few days that give… Continue reading Quiet days in NYC ...

Strangers

Strangers: One of the most valuable training tools you have is a stranger. The overwhelming majority of our training is done with people we know pretty well. This is good, as their constant progress alongside us forces adaptation and growth if we are to stay abreast of them. However, every so often you get chances… Continue reading Strangers ...

Possible Bane sighting on NYC subway

Possible Bane sighting on NYC subway: I was heading down to the supermarket for weekly grocery shopping when I came across this fellow sitting on the train with some other people who appeared to be working on some kind of underground construction project. He somewhat resembled criminal mastermind Bane and so, struck by curiosity, I… Continue reading Possible Bane sighting on NYC subway ...

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There are a thousand possible targets for you to attack from bottom positions – but whenever possible – make your opponents BALANCE the first target – only then will all the others be realistic options. Gordon Ryan does a fine job here of getting his opponent completely out of balance – now he can attack… Continue reading Untitled ...

The back and the serpent

The back and the serpent: There is something very serpentine about a good back attack. Whenever a constrictor snake goes to attack it’s prey, it needs several key elements. The first is an initial connection or anchor to the body of its victim. This is done by biting. The bite is almost always applied close… Continue reading The back and the serpent ...

The incredible power of experimental testing, observation of results and refinement over time

The incredible power of experimental testing, observation of results and refinement over time: The single greatest asset that combat sports have is the application of a simplified scientific method – start with a conjecture or theory, test it with various forms of experimentation, observe the results of testing those conjectures and theories in sparring and… Continue reading The incredible power of experimental testing, observation of results and refinement over time ...

Alignment to angle

Alignment to angle: Most of the time when we begin from bottom guard positions we BEGIN aligned square to our opponent; but when it’s time to enter and FINISH the most high percentage submissions from the various guard position it’s usually the case that we need to misalign ourselves and create a substantial angle to… Continue reading Alignment to angle ...

Learn to create multiple threats to break through tough defenses

Learn to create multiple threats to break through tough defenses: The higher the skill level of your opponents, the harder it will become to finish them with even very strong single attacks. At some point you have to start creating multiple threats at the same time to force talented opponents to spread their defensive resources… Continue reading Learn to create multiple threats to break through tough defenses ...

Making first contact with your opponent – start with hands and head

Making first contact with your opponent – start with hands and head: All grappling requires contact with your opponent. When it’s time to initiate that contact it is almost always the case that we begin with HANDS and HEAD. You must get used to getting to your grips with your hands and establishing forehead to… Continue reading Making first contact with your opponent – start with hands and head ...

Identify the potential threat(s) and negate it – then go to work

Identify the potential threat(s) and negate it – then go to work: The most obvious and important feature of all combat sports is RESISTANCE. You are expected to impose your moves upon an opponent who is actively resisting your attempts at those moves AND who is simultaneously attempting to impose his own moves upon you.… Continue reading Identify the potential threat(s) and negate it – then go to work ...

The less time you spend directly in front of your opponents legs – the better

The less time you spend directly in front of your opponents legs – the better: Whenever you play top position your primary concern is getting past your opponents legs. The overwhelming majority of your opponents submission and positional offense relies on his legs – if you get past them he will not be able to… Continue reading The less time you spend directly in front of your opponents legs – the better ...

Two things you need

Two things you need: The first is a clear sense of what you want to accomplish. The second is a clear understanding of what the main obstacles/problems that prevent you from making that accomplishment. If you have these two things you can start the magic of problem solving to get to your goals. See everything… Continue reading Two things you need ...

The power of observation

The power of observation: There are many great learning tools in Jiu Jitsu – I always rate realistic drilling, experimental research and structured sparring as the three most important. Another which I value highly is OBSERVATION. You can learn a tremendous amount through ACTIVE observation of athletes sparring. By this I mean watch the action… Continue reading The power of observation ...

If he can’t grip you he can’t control you – if he can’t control you he can’t attack you

If he can’t grip you he can’t control you – if he can’t control you he can’t attack you: The game of grappling begins with grip. Learning to IMPOSE YOUR OWN GRIPS WHILST DENYING GRIPS TO YOUR OPPONENT is this a HUGE part of the game. You simply must make grip fighting a serious study… Continue reading If he can’t grip you he can’t control you – if he can’t control you he can’t attack you ...

Letting your opponent pick his poison

Letting your opponent pick his poison: It’s always impressive to see an athlete impose his will upon another and force him into a given finish even when the other fellow knows very well what’s coming. What is every bit as impressive however, is the art of DELAYING YOUR CHOICE OF FINISH UNTIL YOU SEE YOUR… Continue reading Letting your opponent pick his poison ...