Maintaining Control Of The Mount

Achieving the mount position is sometime a huge accomplishment while rolling.  It is one of the most dominant positions in Jiu Jitsu and has scores of submissions for you to choose from. Being able to maintain such a great position is a huge advantage and will make your submission setups much more effective. The chances […]

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3 Chokes You Should Drill From Everywhere

Often when training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with technique and you cannot remember what choke to administer. I have watched the highest-level practitioners and world champions to know that it is not how many chokes you know, but how well you know them and drill them. I want to present three […]

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Inside Pass Or Outside Pass

Smash them, or evade?  Fast, or grinding?  Push, or pull?  Rock, or water?  The art of Jiu Jitsu sometimes circles around these questions. Whether you are a small or large competitor, the idea of using a ‘brick wall’ or a ‘quicksand’ method is always there. The best answer to these questions does not rely on […]

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Breaking down the Turtle

Attacking the turtle position is a matter of three variables: keeping your weight on the right parts, achieving your optimum grips, and attacking at points your opponent isn’t expecting or can’t defend. When you are looking for points, or a finish, taking the back is a great option from the top of the turtle position. […]

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Podcast Episode 127: Why Techniques Never Work on the Day They’re Shown

OK, so you’ve just learned a cool new technique – a sweep, a pass, a submission – that you’re pretty sure is the Kryptonite you need to defeat your hardest sparring partner.  It’s the missing piece you’ve been looking for.

But then you crash and burn when you try it out in sparring.  Your opponent ignores your move, passes your guard, smashes you flat and taps you out.

What’s going on?

In this episode of The Strenuous Life Podcast I break down exactly why techniques NEVER work on the day they’re shown, and the simple steps you need to make that killer technique functional as fast as humanly possible.

The best way to listen to this podcast is to go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast, and then look for episode 127. You can find it on most podcast platforms, including…

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/strenuous-life-podcast-stephan-kesting-grapplearts/id320705565?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser&u=0#/ps/I3qvbtkdb74xrpv6ozbzie2ca4e

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-993426357

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stephan-kesting/grapplearts-radio-podcast

You can also listen to interview on the embedded player below…

P.S. Check out my FREE app for learning BJJ, The Roadmap for BJJ app for iOS and Android! It’s my most popular instructional app, so it must be helping someone!!

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The 5 Steps to Training A New Technique

Most of the videos I post online are from my main Youtube channel which focusses quite heavily on BJJ, no gi jiu-jitsu, MMA and other forms of grappling.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that I also have a second youtube channel called ‘Self Defense Tutorials‘ which – as the title might imply – focuses more on self defense and martial arts training.

Here is one of the videos from that second channel talking about the 5 levels of training you need to make a technique functional and something you can rely on in a real situation.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if that technique is a triangle choke, a throw, a right cross or a double stick striking combo; the same 5 levels of training are required again and again.

Understanding and implementing these 5 different ways of training will definitely speed up the learning process regardless of whether your goal is to get your BJJ black belt, fight in an MMA match, or just walk the streets with increased confidence.

Check out the video below…

I wrote a more in depth article about these 5 levels on selfdefensetutorials.com called How to Make Sure Your Martial Art Will Work on the Street.

You should check out that article if you want more details, but if you just want a quick reference, here are the steps for internalising a martial arts technique and making it functional.

THE 5 LEVELS OF TRAINING A NEW MARTIAL ARTS TECHNIQUE Solo Training Partner Training with Low Resistance Partner Training with Higher Resistance Contested Situational Sparring with a Partner Partner Sparring with Many Different Techniques

It’s all explained in the video above, with lots of examples from different martial arts!

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Adding New Techniques to Your BJJ Game

I once posted a cool new technique by a famous jiu-jitsu fighter on the Grapplearts Facebook Page.

Within the hour I got a text from a purple belt friend of mine who wanted me to show him how to do this technique and start using it.

I said sure, but I also advocated caution…

I told him that it was going to take a LOT more time to incorporate this particular BJJ technique in to his game. Not because it was extraordinarily difficult, but because it didn’t fit his pre-existing game!

This concept of congruence of new techniques with your existing game is an important topic, and I discussed it in more detail on episode 42 of my podcast which  you can listen to on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher.  Give it a listen there, and if you enjoy it then please subscribe to the podcast itself!

You can also watch a detailed discussion of this topic in the video below…

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Pressing Armbar from Guard

The pressing armbar, also known as the ‘cutting armbar’ or the ‘reverse armbar’, is one of the big attacks from guard.

It works in both gi and no gi competition.


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Wrist Locks – Attacking The Most Under-Attacked Joint

Jiu-jitsu and submission grappling offer techniques to attack almost every major joint in the body including the elbow, shoulder, neck, knees, feet, and ankles.

These should be your bread and butter submissions because they have a long, proven track record of effectiveness.

I think a bit of variety is a good thing, however, so let’s talk about a not-so-common attack: wrist locks!

The wrist is the most under-attacked joint in grappling. Just about every time you are attacking the arm you have access to the wrist as well. If your opponent is really good at defending the armlock, for example, you may be able to switch to a quick wristlock and get a submission that way.

The video on wrist lock safety below also has lots of examples of wrist locks that you can intentionally (and accidentally) apply on the ground:

There are lots of ways to compress, extend and twist the wrist. Just watch an aikido class or read a book and traditional Japanese Ju-jutsu. Typically these wristlocks start with both combatants in a standing or kneeling position, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also work on the ground.

But against resistance – an opponent who is really fighting you – wrist locks are a lot easier to do on a pinned opponent than on a more mobile standing opponent.

I am not alone in my respect for the wristlock in grappling. Fernando ‘Terere’ and Fredson Paixao are just 2 of many BJJ players who have used the wristlock at the highest levels of competition. One the home front, one of my main training partners is a master of sneak wristlock attack. When we spar I constantly have to watch where I put my hands or he is going to trap a hand and lock the wrist.

Now for an important safety announcement: APPLY WRISTLOCKS SLOWLY!! Here is why:

The wrist is a small joint with many small bones and ligaments and thus susceptible to injury in the first place Wrist locks are relatively easy to counter, so  the temptation is to slam them on quickly If  you slam them on quickly you WILL injure your training partners.

In a very real sense wrist locks are the heel hooks of the upper body – very effective, but also prone to injure your partner if misused.

I’ve accidentally injured a training partner’s wrist with a simple twist of » Continue Reading.

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My Favorite Sweep – Part 2

If you’ve had some success with the sweep we looked at earlier, you’ll appreciate this second part to the technique which adds a simple counter to the opponent’s defense.

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