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Setting Up and Finishing the Single Leg Takedown in BJJ with the Gi

The single leg takedown is one of the main moves in freestyle wrestling, but it becomes considerably harder to pull off when you put the gi on.

That’s because with the gi  your opponent usually just grabs your lapel and sleeve, stiff-arms away, and makes it hard to get at his legs. This can be very frustrating for people looking for single and double leg wrestling takedowns in BJJ.

Now judo players have an easier time dismantling this sort of defense since gripfighting is so integral to their sport.

Does that mean that you should learn Judo?  I started doing Judo when I was 11 and think it’s a beautiful art, but the sad truth is that most judo throws take a very long time and thousands of repetitions to develop.

Also many Judo throws don’t translate well to no gi and MMA type scenarios.

But if you want to stick with a wrestling approach then you absolutely CAN adapt the single leg to work with the gi!

The key is setting up your grips.

In a previous article I showed my own favourite gripping sequence in the gi.  It’s centered around first getting the ‘across the back’ grip and then using your opponent’s reactions to take him down (and the single leg takedown was one of those techniques covered).

But today we’re looking at another sequence to secure the single leg takedown in the gi.  The sequence consists of the following steps:

Open your opponent’s left lapel with your left hand and then back away Now insert your right hand low on his right lapel and slide it up as high as you can comfortably get Pull your opponent forward so that he steps his right leg forward and postures up and backwards Step forward and off balance him backwards by pushing his chest with your face/forehead Pick up his lead (right) leg, which should now be light, with your left hand and drive forward Keep his leg elevated, pull down on his lapel, and circle to your right to take him down

This sequence, taught by Rob Biernacki, is a lot easier to understand if you check out the video below.

Hope this helps!

Stephan

More Easy Takedowns

A lot of people have asked me about throws and takedowns over the years so I’ve actually written about this topic numerous times on my blog.  If you’re » Continue Reading.

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Standing Guillotine Choke Escapes

Standing guillotine chokes are really tough to escape, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get out!

I recently met up with my friend Ando Mierzwa, and we shot something on the topic of guillotine prevention and escape for his martial arts oriented Youtube channel.

It’s a video in 3 parts…

The first part of the video is about guillotine prevention.  

It’s always easier to prevent a submission in the first place than it is to defend it once it’s applied, and this choke is no different. And to prevent the guillotine you need to have good posture.  You want to have your head upright and be looking at your opponent.  If your head is down and you’re looking at the floor then it’s child’s play for your opponent to slap on the guillotine (or snap you down, or apply the front headlock, or just kick you in the face)!

The second part is about escaping the guillotine as it’s being applied and before it’s fully locked on.

The key here is awareness.  As you feel your opponent looping his arm around your neck you want to look up, up, up. Literally arch your neck backwards and point your face to the sky.

If you do the right timing here then you actually get a clear route to your opponent’s back – it’s a lot like doing the ‘duck under’ in wrestling.  You’ve taken a potentially devastating situation and turned it around in your favour.

The third part is about survival once the guillotine is fully locked on.

I’m not gonna lie…  A fully applied guillotine choke is a terrible thing.

If he’s skilled with this attack then you’re probably going to tap out. But you want to rage, rage against the dying of the light, so try to defend it and maybe you’ll get out.

The initial defense in this part of the video is the classic BJJ arm-over-the-shoulder position, but you might not be familiar with the next part, which is a counter-guillotine takedown which works extremely well.

Don’t miss the outtake at the end; we were rehearsing the opening and I screwed up and managed to chip a tooth pretty good on the concrete pool deck where we were filming.

Oh, the things I do for the love of jiu-jitsu!

Enjoy!

P.S. Click here to download my free PDF checklist to the positions and » Continue Reading.

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Podcast Episode #72 – Interview with Chad Skands on Managing Chaos

Longtime bouncer Chad Skands talks about managing multiple attacker scenarios, continuing to think and use your brain in a critical situation, the right way to deescalate situations, and why ripping someone’s throat out Roadhouse-style is frowned upon in the security industry.

Have a watch below:

Alternately, you can listen to this as Episode 72 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

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Podcast Episode 94 – Coach Rodney King on Survival in South Africa

WARNING: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence and is definitely not suitable for children.

In this episode I talk with boxing and BJJ coach Rodney King about the epidemic of violence in modern day South Africa, how training helps you prepare for confrontations, and how dangerous a ‘romantic’ notion of fighting is.

Some of the topics we covered include:

00:17 – Who is Rodney King? 01:16 – Growing up in South Africa 08:47 – Bouncing at nightclubs 13:57 – Johannesburg today 26:42 – Some reasons for the South African crime epidemic 33:10 – How much does training help? 40:09 – Prevalence of techniques 46:52 – Self defence and conflict de-escalation 54:21 – Training vs real life 64:03 – Ventures outside martial arts

You can listen to this as Episode 94 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)

The post Podcast Episode 94 – Coach Rodney King on Survival in South Africa appeared first on Grapplearts.

Advanced Omoplata Finish

Jiu-jitsu is so cool! As you might know, the omoplata armlock is one of my very favorite techniques. But even after 10 years of studying this position, I’m still learning new stuff about it…

Today I want to share a variation of the omoplata that I learned this summer working with Brandon Mullins. Of course this finish works great on larger people, but even though I’m 6’2′ and 215 lbs I’m gonna ‘hijack’ it and use it in my own game as well.

This 3:22 omoplata video provides powerful answers to a couple of common omoplata problems.

Like what to do if a bigger, stronger opponent rolls forward to escape from your omoplata, and how to finish the omoplata if you end up ‘stuck’ on the bottom with your opponent resting his weight on you.

It’s really cool, check it out

P.S. If you’re interested in more from BJJ black belt world champion Brandon Mullins please make sure to check out the two instructionals I did with him available on this site, including

How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent Series 2, and Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu with Brandon Mullins

Both sets are available on DVD, as online streaming instructionals, and as a series of apps for Android and iOS devices!

 

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Podcast Episode 113 – A Close Call, and Avoiding Injuries!

The other day I almost tore a partner’s ACL off the bone, which would have required him to have surgery and many months of rehabilitation.

What happened exactly?

I was more experienced and a bit bigger than my training partner that day and we were doing some no gi sparring.

Because of the experience discrepancy I was hyper-focusing on a couple of very specific positions, namely Ashi Garami and the 411.

(This is a form of Targeted Sparring which is a great tool to use when you’re going against less experienced training partners – by limiting myself to only a couple positions and one submission it makes the match more even and better training for both of us.)

So we’re rolling, carefully and respectfully… I’ve tapped my training partner out a few times with heel hooks, all applied in slow motion…  He’s beginning to defend the leglocks more intelligently and I’m having to work a little harder to get them…

Everything is going the way it’s supposed to.

Then it almost ended very badly.

I had the Ashi Garami firmly in place, and was just finishing the dig part of the heel hook (where you get your wrist under his heel in preparation for finishing the lock).

And 99% of the time when I’m sparring that’s as far as I’ll go – no need to actually apply the heel hook.  At that point my partner typically knows he’s caught and will tap out.

But this new training partner didn’t know when to quit.  He tried to escape by spinning.

And, to make matters MUCH worse, he spun the wrong way!

Spinning or rotating can be part of an effective heel hook defense, BUT NOT WHEN YOU GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!

Instead of relieving the pressure, spinning into the dig amplifies the power of the submission exponentially!

If I had remained still, not moving, his wrong-way-spin would have slammed his heel into my forearm.

He would have full power heel hooked himself, which can tear all sorts of ligaments in the knee, the foot and the ankle.

Fortunately I saw what was about to happen and completely released my grips without a second to spare.

The submission evaporated, he spun safely and ‘escaped.’

Then I sat him down and we had a good little chat about the dangers of spinning out of leglock if you don’t know which way to spin.

Now I’m » Continue Reading.

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Podcast Episode 90 – Finding the Best Techniques Using the 80/20 Principle

In this episode I argue that you should start by teaching and learning the most effective, most proven, highest percentage techniques first.  And I share a useful thought experiment that should quickly allow you to identify what those techniques might be (hint: it involves a hypothetical death match).

You can listen to this as Episode 90 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)

The post Podcast Episode 90 – Finding the Best Techniques Using the 80/20 Principle appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 84 – 3 Steps To Overcoming Training Plateaus

In this short episode we talk about why training plateaus are actually more frustrating than training slumps, plus I share 3 concrete steps to bust out of a plateau and get back to getting better!

You can listen to this as Episode 84 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

 

The post Podcast Episode 84 – 3 Steps To Overcoming Training Plateaus appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode 80 – When Should Leglock Training Start?

What belt level should you start training leg locks at?  It depends a little bit on what your goals are and whether you’re doing gi or no gi, but it’s a lot sooner than you think EVEN if you’re competing only in the IBJJF rule set.  This podcast episode is excerpted from a 17 minute long Youtube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GQZPtpsg_U which takes you through how to do the actual leglocks and demonstrates some of the techniques that will instantly get you disqualified from an IBJJF tournament.

You can listen to this as Episode 80 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

(A subscription, rating, and review on whatever podcast platform you use is always super appreciated!)

The post Podcast Episode 80 – When Should Leglock Training Start? appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode #73 – Grappling VS Striking

If you could only do one which would be better for self defense: striking or grappling?  The answer is grappling of course, but the reasons why might surprise you…

You can listen to this as Episode 73 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

 

The post Podcast Episode #73 – Grappling VS Striking appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode #71 – BJJ and Training Q&A With Stephan

What would I do different as a white belt if I could go back in time?  What are the best guards that go together with the butterfly guard?  Can you become an elite level grappler if you have both a job and a family?  And you’ve choked someone out in a streetfight… what now?  All this and more in today’s Q&A episode.

In this episode I make reference to articles on Grapplearts which can be found here: http://www.grapplearts.com/articles and also to my main youtube channel which is here: http://www.youtube.com/stephankesting

But I also make reference to my second website (http://www.selfdefensetutorials.com) and to my second youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/selfdefensetutorials).

So there, now you’ve got all the urls you need for additional info on the topics we discussed.

You can listen to this as Episode 71 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

The post Podcast Episode #71 – BJJ and Training Q&A With Stephan appeared first on Grapplearts.

Podcast Episode #66 – Functional Training

Regardless of whether you train BJJ, MMA or a self-defense oriented martial art you’re faced with the same dilemma: how do you take a technique you’re shown in class and actually make it work against someone who is resisting you 100%?  The key is progressive resistance, and in this episode I go into the 5 training modalities you should use to functionalise your techniques.

You can listen to this as episode 66 of the Strenuous Life podcast, available on  iTunesStitcherSoundcloud and Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

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Podcast Episode 61 – What Steps to Follow to get Back to Training after Being Injured

Unfortunately injuries are just part of the game, and getting back to training after recuperating from an injury is always a tricky business.  In this episode I give some of my best advice about exactly how your return to the mats should be structured.  This is advice I’ve learned the hard way so take my advice – for the longest time I didn’t use it myself and I wish I had!

You can listen to this as Episode 61 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

Enjoy!

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Podcast Episode 59 – When Short on Time, What’s the Most Effective Cardio?

Endurance is the most important physical attribute in combat sport, but it can be time consuming to develop.  In this short episode I talk about some of the most efficient cardio protocols that I’ve used during periods of my life when I had no time for long, leisurely cardio.

You can listen to this as Episode 59 of The Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

Or you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

Enjoy and as always, comments are welcome!

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Podcast Episode 46 – Three Fundamental Elements for Every Martial Art

In this 13 minute rant I go into the 3 essential components that make up every martial art on the planet, a concept I learned from the famous Filipino martial artist (and protege of Bruce Lee) Mr Dan Inosanto!  Lots of examples from Judo, Boxing, Wrestling, BJJ, MMA, Kali, Capoeira, and Kung Fu…

You can listen to this as episode 46 of the Strenuous Life podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Or, alternately, you can listen to it in the embedded player below:

Click here to see a selection of other podcast episodes from The Strenuous Life Podcast that I host and publish!

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