Nov 22

Committing blatant homicide on the elbow escape

Many years ago, I discovered a small little counter to the elbow escape from mount.

It’s a micro adjustment in the truest sense.

And it absolutely slaughters the escape. In fact, it’s so bad that I would even call it murder in plain daylight.

Let’s explore:

When it comes to the elbow escape, I break it down into a series of conditions that have to set for it to work.

1. The top guy’s hands must touch the mount. (It means that his legs will be light enough to manipulate.)

2. The bottom guy’s elbow, on the side he’s escaping, must be on the inside of his opponent’s knee. (It makes it easier to push down the knee and that increases access to their ankle.)

3. The bottom guy must straight his leg on the side he wants to escape and partially rotate his hips that way without turning his upper body. (It creates a situation where you can easily use the knee against their ankle to create space for escape and it also doesn’t expose the back at the same time.)

If those three things are done well, the rest of the steps are pretty easy. But it’s that last one where the opportunity lies.

When that leg straightens….

That’s when I strike.


Another counter lies in control of the head.

Their chin will always turn towards the direction they want to escape. Why? It’s because that’s how the body works. The head must lead the way. And therein lies the clue for how to proceed with your homicide.

It’s not hard at all to use your arms to turn their head other way.

In fact, I use my elbow all the time for exactly that.

But if you’re imagining raining down blows on your foe. Nothing could be further from the truth. All you do is put your elbow down right beside their head and then drive it across ever so gently.

(I like to show how much I care.)

You’ll have to figure out that one on your own though. I haven’t put it on tape. But the first counter can be learned quite easily.

It’s up in the micro adjustments course right now.

And that’s not all you’ll find within either.

Here’s a little glimpse at what else is inside at the moment:

  • How to make your darce chokes more lethal with just a slight modification to the attack. (This was inspired by several of the insights I learned from Dave Porter, and his darce is phenomenal.)
  • Why someone gripping your pants in your closed guard is a gift that you should take without the slightest bit of remorse. (‘Tis one of the easiest ways to hit one of the most basic closed guard sweeps.)
  • How a small adjustment to foot placement will radically increase the effectiveness of the x pass. (When I learned this from Abmar Barbosa, it blew my mind, and it changed how I do this pass for all time.)
  • A IBJJF legal ankle lock from the 50/50 that I’ve caught many people with nonchalant ease over the years. (Because I have this in my arsenal, I caught remember the last time I was frustrated about being stuck in 50/50.)
  • How to create soul crushing pressure. (It’s so bad that not only will people tap to the choke but even when they somehow survive that first threat, they still wish they were anywhere else but there at that moment.)
  • Some simple tactics for finishing the choke against hyper defensive opponents when you’re on their back. (Few things are worst than having all your attacks neutralized when you’re in dominant position.)
  • A stupid simple method for dealing with those who choose to stall in your closed guard. (When done right, it’ll give you immediate offensive opportunities.)
  • The one little grip that will drastically increase your control of the omoplata in the gi. (If you want to finish the submission more often, it’s something that must be in your toolbox.)
  • How to approach escaping from the back on a philosophical level. (You’ll learn exactly what your key objectives should be and how to increase both your survival rate and your escape probability.)
  • An exploration of the long step counter to the reverse de la riva and what can be done to counter. (Something you can steal and dance on fools tomorrow with.)
  • A breakdown of an aerial assault counter to the kneecut. (You’ll learn why it works and what can be done to kill it from the other side.)
  • The specific angles that decide who wins or loses the battle in the over under butterfly position. (I learned this many moons ago when I was a blue belt, and it has been a mega game changer.)
  • A solution to a position that frustrated me for way too long during an hour and half superfight. (I should have figured this out during the match because the solution is way too simple.)
  • How to deal with opponents who bait the triangle in order to pass in a way that will leave them frustrated and helpless. (This change in tactics has reaped massive benefits for me.)

….And of course, there is the elbow escape’s blatant homicide that I mentioned earlier.

Go here, if interested:

And know this:

For the next week only, upon signing up, you’ll receive an exclusive coupon that will chop half off the price of all my other courses. Seize upon this opportunity, if you so wish.

Nov 21

Stacked to hell and back again

I LOATHE being stacked.

It’s not even because I’m uncomfortable. No. I can hang out there all day. But if I get stacked, it means that I done fugked up.

I made some small error somewhere or I failed to make an adjustment as soon as control started to slip away.

And who can I blame for that?

Who else but yours truly.

So I pay attention to situations where it can happen. And the one place where you will absolutely feel the stack sometime in your life is when you go for the armbar in closed guard.

I know, I’ve been there.

The guy feels your transition and he has that ‘oh noes’ moment. It’s like a light goes off in his mind and he just reacts, driving into you and stacking you onto your neck.

Of course, there is a counter there. You can spin under and finish the armbar belly down. But I’m a slacker. I prefer simple efficiency.

Why invert and spin when you can just prevent the stack in the first place?

It’s a no brainer to me.

And the absolute best way to accomplish that is something that I learned from Pedro Sauer, the esteemed (and frankly, brilliant) master of efficiency.

A few years back, I attended one of his seminars. And it was all Q&A. He offered everyone the opportunity to ask a question and then he would share some gem of knowledge.

I had just one question.

It was as simple as simple could be.

I just wanted to know how he did armbars from closed guard. And he shared one small detail that BLEW my mind. It was a gamechanger. I’ve never forgotten about it. And I yap about it aalllll the time.

That one adjustment absolutely slaughters the stack.

And you will definitely be able to learn it in my closed guard course.

Hop on over for the deets:

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: