Nov 14

The curse of triangle orthodoxy

Not that many years ago, the most common methodology for finishing the triangle required that you lift your hips, pass the arm across, and pull down on the head.

It was gospel.

Hell, you can even say that it was orthodoxy.

If you did it any other way, you were dead wrong.

But hidden in the depths of those execution is a problem. I would even call it a curse. The problem lies in that first step. When the hips lifts, an opportunity is created, small though it may be. If the opportunity drives their hips forward at that exact moment, the structure of the position will be damaged, and the threat will be diminished.

And it’s not even necessary.

The arm doesn’t have to go across.

No space has to be given.

And you can easily lead foes into the great dreamland with a few minor adjustments if you understand the position. And it is, indeed, a position more than it is a submission.

In fact, there are a whole host of attacks that exist in the position.

And there is one adjustment in particular that will give you a whole ‘nother level of control.

That, right there, is going to the next update to micro adjustments.

And you can find out more about what else is inside here:

Nov 07

Staying comfortable in horrible situations

More on that second super fight:

My opponent had a strategy for killing my half guard, and he played it to a T.

Time after time, he was able to force me out of position and put me in dangerous situations. I didn’t panicked though. In fact, throughout the whole thing, I felt comfortable and confident.

Then a day after, in a little kawinkidink, someone randomly commented on an old post I wrote in the land where books and faces transform into something that resembles neither.

It was quite apt to the situation, so I’ll tell you the story:


At one of the first tournaments I ever did as a black belt, I had an unexpected conversation.

It was the middle of the day. The event was already underway, and I was waiting to compete in the gi. As I walked around, I saw someone that I recognized.

At that time, I didn’t know his name.

But I remembered him from Copa Nova, where he coached against one of my teammates. And for some odd reason, I decided to strike up a conversation.

We started talking. And I learned that after he got out of the military, he uprooted his life just to go and train with Master Pedro Sauer. From the enthusiasm in his voice you could tell that it was a decision he never regretted.

And I asked him a question that I have also never regretted.

It was simply: What’s the best lesson you’ve ever learned while training there?

And his answer was:

Comfort is control.

Boom. It blew me away. To this day, I still think about it.

There’s so much contained in those three words. And it shifts your focus away from the technique and the position to a different set of problems.

How can I be comfortable in this situation?

How can I make my opponent uncomfortable?

If you’re always thinking of those two questions and coming up with answers, regardless of the position, you will have CONTROL.



That’s what I felt.

Despite losing some positional battles, I did little things to make myself comfortable while making my opponent uncomfortable. Those little things kept me in the match and eventually led to the opportunity to turn everything around.

It goes to show that even in the very worst positions, there are little micro adjustments you can do to make yourself comfortable and create opportunities for stealing victory from the jaws of defeat.

In fact, that will be the focus of the next lesson in micro adjustments.

I’m going to break down exactly what my opponent did to neutralize my half, what factors made it difficult to easily counter, what I did to stay comfortable and safe, and my current thoughts on what could have been done better to flip things around earlier.

It’s on deck for release by Monday next week.

But you’d have to sign up here to learn:

Nov 06

The tale of two super fights

A few days ago, I finally had the chance to compete in Fight to Win.

It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’ve applied more times than can be counted on one hand. So when I saw that the event was finally coming to my state, I knew I had to apply again. And that was despite the fact that I already had another superfight scheduled for the day after it.

Such an opportunity just couldn’t be wasted.

Now the dust has settled, and I emerged victorious from both, but I noticed clear differences in my performance. And it’s not what you would think either.

I performed far better in the second match.

And it’s not because the second opponent was a chump either.

In a purely objective evaluation, the second guy gave me far more technical problems than the first. He legit threatened me at several points.

I’ll explain.

There was something I did before my second match I didn’t do before the first.

It changed everything.

You know what?

I warmed up.

Just that.

While I was waiting, I repped out 150 push-ups in sets of 25 and flow rolled for a bit. It got my heart pumping. It prepared me for what was to come. And this wasn’t no ordinary match either.

It was a sub only with no time limit.

And it went well over an hour. All of it was a grind too. The guy was trying to break me with pressure but he didn’t even come close.

On the other hand, in my first match, which only lasted eight minutes, I got exhausted about two minutes in. An adrenal dump hit me like a ton of bricks, and it made me more cautious about pulling the trigger on some positions where I usually dominate.

My cardio didn’t change between those two days.

All that changed was the warmup.

Before that first match, I sat around for four hours waiting to compete, and I went out there cold.

It was a completely unforced error.

And I beat myself up about it afterward, and that’s despite the outcome.

In the room, I can roll cold, but it’s hard to go 0 to 100 when you’re in that state. Friday was a reminder of that fact.

And if you’re thinking about competing, learn from my experience. The warmup is non-negotiable.

It must be done.

And you must develop a routine that works for you.

Anyway, ’nuff on that.

In a few short hours, the next lesson in micro adjustments will go live. The focus is on a little micro battle that occurs in the over under butterfly position. Mere inches decide who dominates the battle, and if you don’t understand the dynamics of that situation, you’re going to have problems with the position.

Also, it will replace a nifty little lesson on attacking from the top of side control.

If that suits your fancy, jump aboard now to learn before it vanishes into the void.

The gate is this-away:

Oct 25

Why marriages fail like white belts attempting flying omoplatas

The other day, in a rare moment, yours truly chanced upon an article on the interwebz that actually succeeded in grabbing my attention with just the headline.

Yup, it was good.

The topic was all about the silent marriage killer.

That was the hook, and I bit at it like a large mouth bass in fresh water. Just couldn’t resist.

Get this though.

The answer was actually something unexpected too.

It wasn’t sex, money, or communication.


None of the usual culprits reared their ugly heads. Instead, the assassin of marriages was known by a different name. And that inner demon called logic, who thrashes and roared against emotion on the daily, even had to stop and nod its head in agreement.

There wasn’t even the slightest bit of argument either.

Shocking, I know.

But once logic heard that the killer was unmet expectations, it just couldn’t help but agree.

And that got me to thinking about something else right away (my mind is strange like that).

Usually killers strike more than once. And sometimes their victims don’t fit the same profile. That would be obvious if anyone ever had the skill and willingness to track down all the unmarked graves they’ve left in their wake.

Case in point:

Not that long ago, someone reached out to me with a question about frustration on the mat.

Lately, he’s been experiencing it in training. It stems from that whole unmet expectations killer too. There are times, when he feels that a technique should work, and it doesn’t.

That’s when frustration rushes up on him and clubs him upside the head.

We had a good discussion, and this is how I responded to one of his questions:


I would suggest that you start asking the right questions.


You just failed at a sweep you should have gotten, in your opinion.

In that moment, you can choose to focus on your failure, or ask why it happened. There’s almost always a logical reason. Maybe a grip is in the wrong place. Maybe he shifted his weight just right and you need a follow up attack.


Anyway, food for thought.

Use it as you wish.

Now on to another topic.

Some changes are on the way for the micro adjustments course. I might even change the name of it as well. The focus is going to shift far more heavily towards analyzing the specific micro battles in various scenarios. You’re going to learn exactly what goes into making technique work against resistance.

Yup, it’ll become an even better education in anti-assassin tactics.

And the training will happen here:

Oct 18

Crocodiles don’t hunt with their arms

In nature, crocodiles ambush their prey with a vicious intensity that few other predators can match.

Just pull up National Geography, and you’ll see them slowly drifting along in the water, all nonchalant, before suddenly surging out of the water and chomping down on some wildebeest.

And you know what?

They always lead with their jaws first.

Those arms don’t get used at all when it comes to hunting. And once their jaws snapped shut, they pull their prey into the depths of the water before finishing the job.

There’s a lesson there, if you’re savvy.

In fact, my coach was the first one to reveal it to me. It happened way back. I think I was a blue belt at the time, and the topic was the triangle from guard.

Too many people in the class were being lazy about shooting their hips up when it comes to executing the attack. And they were trying to compensate by using their hands to pull their partner down and adjust for the finish.

No bueno.

They were just making things harder on themselves, and yours truly was one of those poor saps too.

I was doing the same exact thing.

To fix that problem, we were all told to imagine ourselves as crocodile skimming the along the top of the water, in search of prey. As soon as it came close, we had to lunge out and snap down, and our legs were no different than the jaws of a croc.

In attack mode, we went to the prey, and then dragged them back into our feast zone.

And to make the triangle lethal, we had to ambush with the same vicious intensity. A sudden lunge, followed with a snap, before dragging the prey down into the depths to finish the job.

It was a necessity that the hips shot up. And the legs (or jaws) had to be tool used to entrap and demolish the opposition.

That was like an eureka moment for me.

It changed my approach to triangle ever since, and that’s especially true when it comes to drilling them.

In fact, there’s a little micro movement I use in the push pull triangle drill to quickly and effortlessly elevate my hips and snap down on a tight choke. It’s even broken down over on tube along with some other details.

Be warned though

I may indeed succumb to the temptation of removing it at any time just like one of the disciples of my sneaky ways feared when he wrote:

“I always feel I should download all of your videos before you change your mind and take them off for a dvd or something.”

For now though, that lesson can be found here: