Sep 04

Levels to this cross choke game

Following up from yesterday:

I’ve had the opportunity now to test out the double palm down cross choke, and it works. Yes, yes indeed, it does. In fact, it took almost no strength at all. Just wrist action and they were heading off towards lala land.

This changes a lot.

And that’s no exaggeration.

Being able to switch the configuration of the grip while still achieving the same outcome adds more unpredictability to the attack. And once you add an understanding the rules of head position to the mix, it’s like a unstoppable force almost.

And that’s especially true from the closed guard.

Feeding the first grip palm down not only makes posture control easier, but now you can actually attack with the choke from both angles as well. Before, that wasn’t an option. I had to feed the second grip palm up. That meant that my head had to be on the same side as my first grip.

But now, it doesn’t matter where my head is because the second grip can switch to fit the occasion.

Use it, and you will crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Now in the other news.

An update is currently being uploaded to the micro adjustment course. It’s the fifteenth lesson, and that’s an important number.

There will only be fifteen lessons in the course at any one time. From this point on, anytime I do an update, I’ll also delete the oldest lesson.

Just a heads up.


In this update is a ridiculously simple way to slaughter the elbow escape from mount. It’s something that frustrate people to the depths of their souls. And I’ve been using it for many years to keep the top position as I slowly slide in the ezekiel choke.

Check it out here:

Sep 03

The pressure grip that transformed into a choke

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Rafael Lovato matches.

And I noticed something curious.

When he gets to quarter mount, his very next step is to drive in a cross collar grip with the palm. He then uses his forearm to drive into the chin, making his opponents look away from his trapped leg.

That force often opens up the pass right into mount.

And that’s not all.

Once in mount, he does something completely unorthodox.

He goes for the cross choke, but it’s not any old normal one. He doesn’t switch his first grip at all, nor does he feed the second grip in with the palm up.

Instead, he loops around and slices his elbow down against the other side of his opponent’s neck (’tis a really good way to make sure that second grip is tight) and then grabs the back of the collar with his palm down.

That means that he executes the cross collar choke from mount with both palms down.

Now that might not seem that extraordinary to you.

But it is to me.

And I’ll tell you why.

One of the biggest challenges with getting basic attacks to work on seasoned opponents lies in how effectively you conceal the threat. If they see it coming a mile away, they will stop everything and slaughter it in its infancy without the slightest bit of remorse.

There one moment, gone the next.

Opportunity lost.

On the other hand though, changing the execution of the choke conceals the threat. And not only is that first grip powerful in the sense that it can be used to inflict discomfort and distraction but it’s also not an early sign of the cross choke threat.

Unless the opponents knows that you have many levels to your attack, they won’t see it coming.

And it’ll be too late to stop it.

Play with it and see if it works.

And for more little micro adjustments head here:

Aug 28

A quick peek at one of my stolen goods

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

One of the principles I live by is that any and every thing that works on me on the mat is subject to outright and blatant theft, and I have absolutely no reservations about it either. If it works on me, I steal it.

And oh boy, have I looted some great stuff over the years.

In fact, one particular piece of loot comes to mind at the moment.

Back in my purple belt days, Tim Spriggs (a straight up beast passer) started to give me trouble in the room. Whenever we got to half guard, he would establish a high collar grip on the same side as his trapped leg, so if I was playing on my right side with his right leg trapped, his right hand would always grab my left side collar.

He used that grip to control the inside space, and it absolutely slaughtered most of my offense in its infancy.

It was a really frustrating time for me.

I tried all kinds of different ways to deal with it, and none of them worked at all. Hell, more than once, whole rolls went by with us just fighting in that position. The best I could do was prevent the pass.

All my offense was dead.

And you know what?

I stole that grip.

There’s no shame in my game either. It was robbery in broad daylight. Hell, I’m proud of it too.

Since then, that grip has served me well.

Pinning that far shoulder to the mat does more than prevent offense. It also opens up a ridiculous strong knee cut, and I’ve used it to run roughshod through half from the top countless times.

The key, though, is to make sure that you control their bottom arm. The wrist must be pinned to the mat or the elbow must be lifted off the ground. That kills their ability to rotate, making the pass stupid easy.

On the other side of the coin though, I now have several answers for it when people try it on me.

And at least one of them can be found in the higher institute of half gyard learning along with many other tips and tricks.

Find out more here:

Aug 27

How the young wolf staved off the old lion

Sometime ago, I invested some time in watching tape, and I found one match in particular interesting.

It was the latest in the Xande Ribeiro vs Felipe Pena mat battles, and it came down to a razor thin margin. In fact, no point were scored at all. But I was riveted because of the lessons in guard retention.

Case in point:

A few minutes in, Xande, the old lion, forced the half guard and immediately started to smash and pass but he ran smackdab into a wall.


It’s because Pena threw up a frame so hard that you could see the grimace on Xande’s face.

That frame started as just straight palm to the jaw and then transitioned to the cross collar with the thumb down. The forearm then became an immovable wall that Xande just couldn’t get through no matter what he did.

It’s such an incredible example of how one frame can make all the difference.

And I’ll tell you something that you must understand.

Knowing when and how to frame is absolutely essential for preventing and escaping from bad situations.

In fact, I emphasize that principle when it comes to side control escapes. The battle for effective frames is a micro battle that must be won, and I’ll show you how to do it when someone is crushing you in cross body.

Get your fill here:

Aug 26

Most men would have let the sharks devour them

A few days ago, Unbroken became another of the few movies that I would enthusiastically watch more than once.

It’s the story of Louie Zamperini, who was a US Olympian who later became a bombardier in World War II. And while searching for a missing B-24 over open water, several hundreds miles from Oahu, Hawaii, his plane suffered severe mechanical failures and crashed into the sea.

Of the 11 crew members, only three survived, and Louie was one of them.

But they were stranded.

As far as the eye could see, there was nothing…. but ocean.

They only had a few chocolate bars (which didn’t last one night), a few half-pints of water, a flare gun, sea dye, fishhooks, and a fishing line.

Imagine that.

No food. Little water. And no hope of rescue.

Many would give up.

And in fact, one of them started panicking right away. Another had a significant head injury.

Louie realized that he had to be one to keep the morale high, and he started telling stories of how great it would be back home, with their families, slowly savoring warm home cooked meals.

It was a constant mental battle.

One day passed, two days, three days, and on…

All they had was hope.

It was so bad that they had to depend on rain to survive. And they lucked out when it came to food too.

One day, a bird landed on their raft, and they were able to catch it and kill it. They had no way to cook it though and the flesh was just rancid. It made them all throw up, but they were able to use it as a bait to catch a fish.

They kept them going for a bit longer.

Thirty days in though, they lost one to starvation and dehydration.

The grim reaper was hovering over their shoulders. But they still had believe and endure their own slow, painful demise.

And then they were “rescued”.

But enough on that.

This wasn’t some random story.

There’s a reason I shared it.

Throughout the movie, there was a maxim that Louie repeated more than once. It’s something that his brother told him when he was a young buck, and it served to inflame his desire to live even at his lowest points.

It was simply:

“If you can take it, you can make it.”

It calls to mind that great speech in another movie I like a lot, when Rocky Balboa told his son that it’s not about how hard you can hit but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Louie could have said fugk it after 40 days of feeling his life ebb away with no hope of survival, but he chose to desperately cling to life until the very last moment.

And while the stakes are much, much lower on the mat, that’s same kind of determination I want for myself.

It doesn’t matter if I’m down by 30 going into the last minute.

It doesn’t matter if I got taken down and passed in the first minute.

And it doesn’t matter if everyone expects me to lose to the guy standing across from me.

For every moment, every second, and every minute of the match, I can still win.

And that principle applies to far more than just competition (obviously).

Use it as you will.

On to some business (uh oh I spelled it right) stuff.

I’m still in Vegas, and later today, the Grand Prix will be going down. I’ll be live streaming some of the matches up on the book of faces, and the OLDMAN coupon will stay active until tomorrow.

Once it’s gone though, who knows if it will ever come back.

Just a word of advice though, it works on every last one of my courses, but while I’ve been out here, the one that I have gotten the absolute positive feedback on has been the “Half Guard Trickery” course.

It’s filled with more than just techniques. In fact, even if you think no one can touch your Half Guardian card, there is still something that you can learn about the little micro battles and positions that exist in the game.

Reach out and grasp desperately for half gyardian life here: