Mar 18

The strongest armbar setup grip I know for no-gi

The other day, I was about the grip I prefer for setting up the armbar in no-gi, so I after an open mat, I jumped on the good ol’ book of faces and went live.

This grip was only showed to me once.

That was enough though.

I had to see once to know that my armbar setups would never be the same. It was a game changer, and it blew my mind in an instant. Fundamentally though, it’s built on solid principles.

In any situation where you can put someone close to a submission, you limit the force they can create and the movement that they’re capable. And right here, you’re creating instant pressure on the shoulder that is similar to the shoulder lock.

It’s not quite enough to finish, but it’s enough to control.

And once you feel the control you have with that grip, it changes a lot.

In the gi though, I still prefer to play with the lapel.


It’s because it opens up my attack options far beyond just the armbar, and the deets on the best system I use can be found here:

Mar 15

Four essential sweeps for closed guard

Over the years, these four sweeps have served me well.

And each of them give you attack options in slightly different situations.

Case in point:

  • The pendulum sweep works like a charm when you get the initial setup for the armbar (the elbow crosses the center line) but can’t quite escape your hips all the way for the ideal finish angle.
  • The hip bump sweep excels when you break posture and your opponent pulls away from you. Their momentum can helps you. It’s a glorious thing.
  • The scissor sweep can be added to any attack sequence that has a cross collar grip. And lately, I’ve been even playing with setups that are initiated from half guard.
  • The xande sweep is great when you can’t break grip or want to force some action. I especially like it as a counter to belt or pants grips in the closed guard. It can sneak right up on people.

So if you’re just starting out and you’re wondering where you should focus your attention, these four sweeps are a great place to start.

And for more closed guard goodness, check out the deathlock course:

Mar 02

3 rules of thumb for making the loop choke more effective

Over the last few months, a change has been happening in my game.

Out of nowhere, the loop choke just started clicking for me, and I’ve been terrorizing the mat with it left and right. Hell, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve hit the same setup on three different people in one night even after teaching the technique earlier in the day.

They knew it was coming.

It didn’t matter though.

And it’s not because of some black belch magic either.


The culprit was principles and nothing less.

In fact, I operate by three rules of thumb that have served me well.

First, the index finger of my collar grip must touch my opponent’s collarbone…. Second, when I initiate the attack my head must be higher than theirs…. And third, I must direct their head towards the armpit of my choking hand and cinch it in tight against the side of my hip. In some ways, it’s similar to the guillotine but not quite.

And I’ll tell you a sekret.

If you would like to see these principles in action and two setups for choking fools out, it’s easier than you might think. Just a bit ago, I loaded up a lesson on the Tube all about it.

And you can discover it here:

Feb 21

This world deserves a better class of grappler

“This city needs a better class of criminal.
And I’m going to give it to them.”

– The Joker in the Dark Knight

In the comic book world, there are countless villains. Most of them have incredible powers and the pure carnage they can unleash with ease is simply astonishing.

But one in particular looms larger than life.

He’s a bit of an oddity though.

He can’t shoot beams out of his eyes, move at the speed of light, or do any other extraordinary feat of power.


But with everything he does, love him or hate him, he commands the stage. All eyes swivel to watch his every move. And friend and foe alike, fear him. Hell, it can even be said that he is one of the most dangerous villains of all.

He’s the Joker.

And I’ll tell you something that may seem ridiculous at first.

You should study him.

Wait, wait.

I’m not saying that you should aspire to be a psychopath or a wanton murderer of countless innocents. But there are, indeed, lessons that can be outright stolen from the Joker that will make you far more dangerous on the mat.

Let’s name a few.


…imbue humor into everything you do. Having fun on the mat makes the experience better, and that’s true for more than just you. It can make those hard training days enjoyable and increase the bonds of your team which is definitely to your benefit and the benefit of your game.


…make you enemies react to you. Lead them around by the nose like a puppet master directs his puppets. Their very best response in any situation should be exactly the one you want them to make, and it should lead directly to their doom with them being none the wiser. And whenever you wish, change the rules on a dime, and keep them all dancing to your beat.


…keep expanding your ambitions. This game is endless, and there is always something more to aspire to. Escalate, escalate and escalate, and reach as far as you can. Excellence is the goal and nothing less.


..think deeper than anyone else. Your plans should be elaborate and impossible to figure out. While others are thinking one or two moves ahead, and you should be planning their demise from beginning to end even if 50 moves are required for that outcome to be achieved.


…fear nothing. There are times when you will fail but it is better to do so in the arena than on the sidelines. Embrace all the challenges and conquer them one after the other. That’s the only way to stand above all the riff raff and common criminals.

These and other attributes are the reasons why Joker is considered to be one of the most dangerous villains in the history of comics.

And just like Gotham deserved a better class of criminal, this world deserves a better class of grappler.

It’s time for you to give it to them.

And in addition to studying the Joker and learning the best of his wicked ways, I encourage you to focus on the endgame in jiu-jitsu.

Just like chess, when you understand the endgame, it gives your overall strategy greater depth and complexity. You know what you want to achieve, and you can reverse engineer the steps to get there.

That’s what Joker does when he sets in motion elaborate and complex plans for creating mayhem and chaos. He starts with the goal and then approaches the execution with unorthodox and unpredictable tactics.

And that is the core objective of the Submission Proof course.

…to increase your understanding of submissions and improve your ability to recognize threats, escape danger and also improve your ability to attack as well by showing you more offensive possibilities.

In short, it’s not for the run-of-the-mill kind of grappler.

But if you’re not about that life, here’s where to get started:

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):