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Jiu-Jitsu for the Zombie Apocalypse

As we get closer and closer to Halloween it’s important to shift your priorities from training jiu-jitsu to surviving the impending zombie apocalypse.

(After all, it’s tough to train jiu-jitsu when you’re dead.  Or undead, as the case may be.)

That’s why you’ve got to check out the most important video I’ve ever put onto Youtube: Jiu-Jitsu for the Zombie Apocalypse.

A lot of people will tell you that jiu-jitsu will be useless when the Zombie Apocalypse hits.  But those people have an agenda: usually they’re trying to sell you flamethrowers, or have stocks in the big arms companies.

The truth is that the better your jiu-jitsu and grappling skills are, then better your odds become of surviving long enough to get to your arsenal, your giant vehicle, and making it to the safezone.

This video was a lot of fun to make, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t very important stuff in it. Check it out right now and thank me later!

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Is Really Position vs Submission? Sometimes You Can Have Both…

One of the fundamental rules of BJJ is that you should value ‘Position over Submission.’

This means is that you shouldn’t abandon a good position – like the mount for example –  to go for a dubious submission and lose the position.

This is even more important in MMA and self defense: imagine going for an armbar from mount, your opponent escaping it, and you now ending up on the bottom getting punched in the teeth repeatedly.

Now you definitely should go for submissions; the trick is to do them while maintaining control through the entire process.

Essentially you want to  move from a dominant position to a submission without giving your opponent any chance to escape by keeping his base, posture and structure out of alignment the entire time (click here for a different article on Grapplearts that breaks down base, posture and structure).

This is good theory, but how do you accomplish it in real life?

In the video below my friend Rob Biernacki uses the examples of an armbar from S Mount and the 411 leglock position from the knee cut to illustrate exactly how you might disrupt your opponent’s alignment during a submission attack.

By the way, about 12 hours before we shot this video Rob had an absolutely ghastly dislocation of his big toe while sparring after a seminar.  Seriously: his big toe was rotated more than 90 degrees to the side, and he ended up being in the hospital until about 2 in the morning.

It’s a sign of his toughness and dedication to jiu-jitsu that he literally limped into the dojo to film this for you guys!

Related Links The BJJ Formula on DVD and as a series of 4 smartphone and tablet apps, the highly reviewed instructional by Rob Biernacki and Stephan Kesting The Three Most Important Concepts in BJJ: Base, Posture and Structure

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10 Key Techniques and Tactics of Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia is probably the most dominant jiu-jitsu athlete of the last 15 years.

When he was competing he owned both the gi and the no gi divisions (4 x ADCC champion, 5 x Mundial World Champion).  As if that wasn’t enough, his amazing performances in the absolute division against giants like Ricco Rodriguez have ensured his place in grappling history.

It’s always a good idea to carefully examine the game of the best players in any sport and copy whatever is applicable for your own body type, attributes, and limitations.

That’s why many grapplers (including myself) have tried to reverse engineer aspects of Marcelo’s successes and add his techniques to their own game.

He has quite a few signature moves, each of which took the sport by storm.  Let’s look at 10 examples of Marcelo’s techniques and see if there’s anything you can swipe and put to use to sharpen your own game…

1: The Arm Drag

Everyone in jiu-jitsu knows that getting your opponent’s back is as good as it gets. Once you’re on his back they are nearly helpless while you have a wide selection of attacks to choose from.

The arm drag is borrowed from wrestling where it’s used as a set up for takedowns. However it’s even more useful in jiu-jitsu because with it you can quickly get to the back and submit your opponent.

If you hit a successful arm drag from standing then you get directly to your opponent’s back, often in a standing rear bear hug position (click here for 4 Takedowns from the Rear Bearhug).

If you apply the arm drag from guard then you get right to rear mount without having to first sweep your opponent and then struggling to pass his guard. Going directly to the back instead of spending time in the guard reduces the risk of getting swept or submitted.

In other words the arm drag gets you right to the top of the mountain.

Here’s Marcelo talking about how and why he developed the arm drag to such a high degree:

Did Garcia invent this technique? Certainly not – he took it from wrestling. But he was the first person to popularize it by doing it successfully and repeatedly at the world’s biggest events; such as the ADCC world championships where he did it to basically everyone.

How is it done?

To do the arm drag from standing you grab their same-side » Continue Reading.

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Top 3 Armbar Mistakes in BJJ

The basic armbar is one of those bread-and-butter submission techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. You just can’t do BJJ without it, so it’s SUPER important to understand this submission inside out!

But I see people make the same silly errors for the armbar all the time. That’s why I shot a quick and dirty video showing the three most common mistakes for the armbar (plus how to fix them).

The first most common armbar error is having your hips too far away from your opponent’s shoulder. This reduces the amount of control you have over him, and gives him lots of room to escape his elbow down to the floor.

The second most common armbar error is having your legs loose and/or too wide apart. Having your legs wide allows your opponent to shove your top leg up, or your bottom leg down. Then he can progress from there to a wide variety of escapes.

The third most common armbar error is not controlling the rotation of your opponent’s hand. His little finger should be on your chest. His thumb should be pointing up to the ceiling (or, alternately, pointing down towards your legs). But if he twists his thumb up, into the ‘hitch-hiker’ position for example, it takes his elbow out of alignment for the armbar to work properly.

So there you have it!  To illustrate these techniques I’d recommend checking out the BJJ armbar mistakes video itself, either above in the post or on Youtube.  It’s only 1:35 long and may make this submission a lot more effective.. We didn’t have a fancy camera for shooting this, but I think the information is still valid.

Click here to watch the Top 3 Armbar Mistakes video on Youtube.

(And if you go there, then please rate the video on Youtube and/or subscribe to my Youtube channel.  Lots and lots of BJJ stuff there!)

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New T-Shirts: Keep Calm and Grapple On

We just released these brand new shirts.  I had fun looking into the history of the classic ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ meme – turns out it comes from just before World War 2 where the British government was trying to bolster the public morale in the face of imminent war.

They might boost your morale too, but hopefully your situation is a little bit less dire than Europe in 1939…

There are currently four variations which you can see above.  So far the ‘Keep Calm and Armbar On’ shirt has been the fan favourite, but I’m wondering if that will shift and another variation on the theme will take the lead.  Time will tell…

Click here for more information about these shirts, or go directly to the Amazon page for each individual shirt at the link below

Keep Calm and Armbar On (Amazon link) Keep Calm and Triangle On (Amazon link) Keep Calm and Leglock On (Amazon Link) Keep Calm and Grapple On (Amazon Link)

These are form-fitting, ring-spun combed cotton, American Apparel shirts for maximum comfort, looks and durability.

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