Category Archives: Uncategorized

Classic fight: Hulk vs. Bitetti

When I first watched this fight years ago, I was really upset by the outcome… BJJ was supposed to be the best and Bitetti was a legend! 

Now, I consider it a good reminder to keep well rounded skills. It’s also a reminder that anything can happen and no one is unbeatable.

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Keep training!

Controlling the Timing & Landing More Strikes

Ok guys, here’s a quick tip to control the timing and land more strikes. I’m talking about when you’re on your feet here, not so much when you’re grappling. Here it is…

Add more fakes, setups and rapid succession movements (i.e. fake punches, fake head & body movements and misdirecting footwork) into your training and fighting. 

Does that sound too simplistic to you to really bother with? Then think about this saying I learned years ago….

“The more of your movements that an opponent has to recognize, decipher and make a decision on, the longer it will take him to respond to those movements.”

That means that if you do multiple rapid succession movements, your opponent has to SEE them, DECIPHER which ones are real attacks and which are fake, then DECIDE what his response will be.

That’s confusing and a lot of work (relatively speaking) for your opponent, and it can slow his reaction time to a crawl and cause openings he’d otherwise never give you. 

In my experience, when multiple fast movements are done in quick succession, it’s almost impossible to tell which one is intended to be a fake attack, and which one is intended to be a real attack. That forces an opponent to have to GUESS which is which, and he’s likely to guess wrong.  

He’ll often try to block an attack that was only a fake, counter an attack at the wrong time, or just blindly throw an un-timed attack hoping to hit. Either way, his timing and movement is going to be way out of sync, leaving you openings and opportunities to land a clean attack. 

I’ve also found that rapid succession movements, since they are so hard to interpret, will often cause an opponent to just NOT attack when he otherwise would, due to the feeling that he’s not in control of the timing.

Regardless,  it works in your favor. That’s why using rapid succession feints and setups before an attack allows your attacks to land more often than simply throwing an attack with no setup. 

Keep training!


How To Self Analyze Your Performance

We all have times of “poor performance” in our training, right?

And, if you’re an instructor, you see times of poor performance in your students.

Usually, you’ll feel you just need to try harder the next time. But, the correct response is a bit more nuanced than that. Think about it this way…

…if a race horse under-performs, is it always best just to push him harder the following day?  Obviously not! So, here’s a better method…

When you have those days of poor performance, run this quick 2-question analysis on yourself (or your students):

1: Was the poor performance due to LACK OF ABILITY OR APTITUDE?

If so, then the solution is PATIENCE.  You’ve got to give yourself (or your student) more time and training.

Criticism, being firm and forceful, or increasing motivation  just won’t work in this situation. They’d only be the equivalent of whipping a racehorse harder when he’s already doing everything he can!

Now, if it’s not due to lack of ability, then ask yourself  this…

#2 Was the poor performance due to LACK OF EFFORT?

If the answer is yes, then patience isn’t the right prescription. In this case, FIRMNESS, FORCEFULNESS  and MOTIVATION is a better prescription.

The bottom line here is that it’s important to recognize the cause of the poor performance.  Even though the problem is the same, the solution is dramatically different.

The next time you have a training session where you feel a bit disappointed by your (or your students’) performance, ask your self whether the reason was lack of ability or lack of effort, then apply the correct prescription above.

Keep training!


How to Watch a Fight


Here’s a couple tips for how to get more out of watching a fight. 

Fight Watching Tip #1

Remember that when YOU fight, you’re usually trying to process what your opponent is doing and react based on that.

However, when you watch a fight on TV, you’re trying to process and analyze what TWO people are doing… at the same time!  Guess what?

That’s too much info!  It’s enough of a job just analyzing just one opponent. When you fight, you’re fighting one (or more) opponent… but not two opponents who are fighting each other at the same time!

So instead, try focusing on just one of the fighters at a time. If you were facing him, how would you respond to his tactics? Can you  spot weaknesses? Can you spot any opportunities against him?

If you haven’t done this before, I guarantee you’ll get much more useful information just by watching from this perspective.

Fight Watching Tip #2

Do you have favorite fighters? Do you root for someone to win?

If you really want to learn while watching fights, let me explain why being a “fan” might not be such a good idea (pure entertainment value aside).

When you watch a fight, you want to see what’s “really” happening, right? Well, there’s a famous Zen saying about the problem of  using your judgement to determine “reality.”

Pardon my being philosophical, but here’s a couple excerpts:

Neither love nor hate,
And you will clearly understand…

Be off by a hair,
And you are as far from it as heaven from earth…

If you want the Way to appear,
Be neither for nor against…

Get the idea? If you are WANTING something to happen (that is, wanting your fighter to win), you’re not really seeing what IS happening (for example, the opponent demonstrating better skills than the one you’re rooting for).

If you attribute your favorite fighter’s loss to  “the ref wasn’t fair”, you’re not learning from his mistakes.

If the “bad guy” won because he was lucky, you didn’t learn from his strengths.

The next time you watch a fight, try NOT rooting for either opponent, and I believe you’ll see the fight with much a clearer perspective, and you’ll learn more from it in the process.

Keep training!

Armbar to Armbar (Very Slick!)

Armbar to Armbar (Very Slick!)

I’m sure you’ve had a nice armbar (from the guard) on your training partner, and he yanked his arm out… right?

Here’s a beautiful technique that you can use to put him right back in an armar on his OTHER arm. It’s super slick and he’ll never see it coming!
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The steps to this move are:

1 – You have him in armbar from your guard

2 – As you feel him yanking his arm free, grab his neck with one hand.

3 – Put your foot to his hip

4 – Drop your other shin across & in front of his neck

5 – Throw your leg over his head for an armbar

Keep training!

5 Mount Escapes 90 Seconds

High mount is a tough position to escape, especially for beginners. So, here’s 5 slick tricks to help you escape and get top position where you then can submit your opponent.

If you like these moves, you’ll find lots more like them in the iGrapple© online grappling software. It’s the best way to get your grappling together fast.

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The 5 moves you just watched are:

1 – “Walk” yourself forward so you can get your opponent below your elbows again

2 – If opponent blocks #1, trap his arm & bridge

3 – Lift his leg, bring your knee under & hip escape

4 – Pull his foot back, do a “foot drag” knee escape

5 – Sit on his foot, trap arm & bridge escape

Keep training!

How to Avoid Guard

If getting stuck in your opponent’s guard is a problem for you (or even if it’s not), here’s some great advice from a great submission grappler and pro cage fighter.

BTW, pay close attention to what James says at 00:54 of the video. I think it may change your perspective on side control a bit!

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Here’s the steps (shown after James’ explanation):

1- Pop opponents’ right shoulder with your right hand
2-Simultaneously, push down his right leg with your left hand
3-Step to the left
4-Kneel on top of opponents right leg to trap it

Keep training!


I love simple, uncomplicated techniques that are going to work FAST for common self-defense situations.

There’s no scenario much more common than being in a headlock, and this technique is simple and fast, the way I like them. 

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Steps to this technique are:

1 – You’re in a headlock
2 – “Run” toward your opponent & throw your leg over his
3 –  Put your forearm across his chin & drive him onto his back
4 – Grip your hands together high on his head and pull toward you

Keep training!

How To Avoid Your Opponent’s Guard

Hate getting stuck in your opponent’s guard? Then here’s a video showing you how to avoid it altogether.

This is really smart stuff from James Brasco. He’s a consummate BJJ Black Belt, ADCC champion and pro cage fighter, so he knows what he’s talking about. 

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If you can manage to avoid your opponent’s guard altogether, you’re way ahead of the game. This is really worth spending time to get this down. 

Keep training!

Sneaky “Ghost” Escape From Side Control

Here’s a clip of my friend, BJJ Black Belt James Brasco, demonstrating a slick “ghost” escape from under side control.

After he demo’s it, I’ll show you a quick clip of someone using it perfectly in a live competition!

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The steps to this technique are:

1 – Move hand from his hip to under his body
2 – Drive arm up
3 – Corkscrew your body out

Keep training!