Feb 14

I sense a great disturbance on this, the most sinister of days

“I felt a great disturbance in the force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I feel something terrible has happened.”

– Obi-Won Kenobi

Yes, it has.

On this, the most sinister of days, countless men are being dragged kicking and screaming away from training. No drilling. No rolling. No, not on this day.

And KB will also be spending some time away from my precious (let Smeagol reign) mats.

But no worries.

It’s still possible to improve.

For most of my early years training, I had significant demands on my time. I was in school full time, working almost full time, and traveling one hour each way to my home gym.

So time was precious.

And when I couldn’t train, I studied tape and drilled technique in my mind. Hell, it wasn’t even something that I did for significant periods of time. But those little mental reminders were like magic.

They helped me to remember what I was learning.

And they kept me excited about learning.

Which, in turn, made it easier to learn.

But if you’re one of the lucky sods who will be training on this day, I just have this to say.

Your days are numbered.

The mats have special powers. As you train and improve, you just become more and more attractive, and you may not know it yet but the noose is tightening. Soon, soon, you too will be boo’d up on Valentine’s Day.

Yes, yes.

Cuffing season always rears its seductive head, and you’re going to have to be slick to avoid it.

Here’s a suggestion though.

Sign up for KB’s Submission Proof course. If nothing else, it will give you loads of material to think about in the coming weeks and months for the days when you can’t train.

And while I can’t promise that it will stop you from getting cuffed up, it might help.

Who knows…

Seeing attacks coming on the mat might up your awareness overall, and you might start noticing innuendo, flirtatious glances and other overt signs of attraction as well.

Of course, I make no such claim.

You might be doomed to obliviousness for all time.

At least though, you won’t be so when it comes to seeing and preventing submissions. And that’s awesome enough.

Here’s where to get your lovin’ (for your game only, homie don’t play that):

Feb 08

Deep half players need triangle love too

This might seem a little flashy at first.

But it’s part of a sequence offense for the deep half that begins with the waiter sweep. A common reaction when going for that sweep is that opponents shift their weight forward. That’s when the knee comes into play to add extra leverage to the sweep.

But this is also an option. And the whole sequence will be added to the Foundations course soon.

Find out all about it here:

Jan 27

One of the simplest flow drills for underhook half guard

The connection between the kneetap sweep and the dope mount transition is just magic. They flow together so seamlessly, and it has worked so well for me.

Learn more of the game here:

Jan 25

A Sequence of Offense for the Scissor Sweep in Closed Guard

Since this is a quick demonstration, I’ll break down the principles a bit.

Before any scissor sweep can occur, you must damage the structure of an opponent’s position. Generally, that’s done by loading the person’s weight forward. That brings their hips off of their heels and creates a lightness in the lower body.

But, one thing that can always be counted on is resistance.

Opponents will widen their base or sit back more, and that’s where the kick out comes in. It’s another way (and perhaps a better way against larger opponents) to run roughshod over structure and sweep to mount.

The resistance doesn’t stop there though.

Sometimes, people also base out on their foot. And when that happens, it creates an opportunity, because they have shifted their base to one quadrant and left a massive hole behind. Towards the direction where the foot is planted, their base is strong, but that’s not so true the other fact.

In fact, it’s easy to off balance them in that direction. And that leaves them with a choice. They either base out on the hand or they get swept. Either you win, because if they base, your grip is already in the collar.

And now their posture makes the transition to the loop choke almost effortless (if you’ve spent time working on its execution).

Jan 23

Building a firm foundation in a non-ideal environment

Behold this message that came in on the book of faces recently from Mike Lamarche:

“I come from a small town in Ontario where jiu-jitsu is a couple hours away. Our dojo had open up and we kind of do self training also video tutorials from out affiliate Chino Jiu-jitsu. I just wanted to know from your opinion, what would be a good foundation of things to know and learn in my situation.”

I like questions like this.

Right off the bat, it shows that Mike is really thinking about how he can improve even in a situation that isn’t ideal for learning the art.

He’s in a small town. There’s no high level instructors around. And he can only depend on video and trial and error.

It sounds hopeless, but it’s not.

In fact, it can be an opportunity.

First though, let me answer this question.

My philosophy about building a good foundation is that you must start with a focus on movement. No other aspect of the game can restrict you or unleash your ability like movement can.

Generally, when I look at people struggle with technique, it’s not because they don’t know what to do. It’s because they can’t figure how to tell their body to do what they want, either because of physical limitations or motor skills.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It just means that you’ve discovered something that can be improved on.

And the best place to start that development is the shrimp, bridge and roll. Those three movements form a large percentage of the game on the bottom. And they can be easily drilled with or without a partner.

Then when you expand out from there, you have to find more and more drills that will allow you to replicate and improve movement.

That’s the best way to build a firm foundation.

Now here’s why it’s an opportunity:

Once upon a time my coach, Mike Moses, told me a story about what it was like training twenty years ago.

At the time, he was in the same situation as Mike Lamarche.

There were almost no high level instructors in the area and learning opportunities were slim. He had the bug though. He wanted to learn, but most of his instruction was coming from someone who was a blue belt at the time.

So they didn’t have access to a lot of technique (dark times, indeed). But, every little bit of knowledge they found was drilled ad nauseum.

He became really good at a small subset of the game, a true specialist, and that was enough to start absolutely ripping through the competition scene.

Quality over quantity.

Take what lesson you want from that.

But know this, improving movement through time and effort is the key to building a firm foundation.

And for more tips, tricks and stories that will help you expand your game, sneak into my newsletter:

Jan 22

On the unwary, the danger of the lapel sneaks up fast

If you would like to explore lapel trickery to a deeper level, there is a place you can go:

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