Full Contact Jousting with Shane Adams

Shane Adams is the star of Full Metal Jousting and has been featured in the New York Times because is the godfather of modern full contact jousting.

In full contact jousting two knights wearing 150 lbs of armour ride on charging horses and try to unhorse each other using 11 foot long solid wooden lances that deliver 2,000 lbs of force.

Yes, this is an actual sport: there are rules, competitions, champions and a point system.  For example you get 1 point for hitting the opponent with your lance tip, 5 points for breaking your lance during that hit, and 10 points for unhorsing the opponent (i.e. if he falls to the ground)

But thousands of pounds of human, horse and armour colliding creates quite a bit of an impact, so broken bones, concussions and impacts that feel like you’re being hit in the chest with a sledge hammer are not uncommon.

Oh, did I mention that dodging, ducking, parrying, and blocking your opponent’s lance is NOT allowed?  You have to sit there and take it. This is definitely NOT a choreographed Vegas dinner show…


Doubles EVERYWHERE!! #pne #vancouver #knightsofvalour #knightsofmayhem #jousting#extreme#bc#horses#dirt

A post shared by Knights of Valour (@knightsofvalour) on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:15pm PDT

I caught up with Shane shortly after one of his live shows at the Pacific National Exhibition this year where full contact jousting had quickly become one of the favorite events of the event.

Shane and I talked about the physical and mental aspects of jousting, and what really distinguishes people who manage to survive the training and stick with the sport.

I really enjoyed the part where he talks about balancing on the knife’s edge between the aggression required to do this insane sport, and the zen state of mind you need to properly plan and aim your shot.

Here’s the video version of that chat (the audio and free podcast version is like to below)…

The problem with just watching the video » Continue Reading.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Guillotine Choke in BJJ

The guillotine choke is a powerful submission in BJJ, no gi grappling, and mixed martial arts.

At first glance it seems like a simple submission – you just wrap your opponent’s neck with your arms, pull up and squeeze, right?

Not so fast…

There are a LOT of subtleties that you need to master before this submission starts being reliable for you, especially if you don’t spend 4 hours a day in the gym doing biceps curls…

The first, and most important subtlety to grasp, is that the guillotine is both a position and a submission. And you need to master the positional aspect first; learn to maintain the guillotine, control your opponent and stop him from escaping and then it becomes much easier to choke him out!

In this article Rob Biernacki of The BJJ FormulaThe Modern Leglock Formula, and BJJconcepts.net fame breaks down the guillotine as a control position AND as a blood and air restricting submission that’ll force your opponent to tap out or go unconscious.

In Rob’s guillotine module below you’ll get…

Different variations of the choke, including high elbow, arm-in, five finger, front naked choke, and Rafa Mendes style guillotines Drills that’ll teach you how to control the guillotine position and always be able to transition from bottom to top Entries to catch the guillotine on your feet and on the ground (bottom and top) Transitions and variations to choke out your opponent if the initial guillotine attack doesn’t work And – seriously – a LOT more!

Scroll down, check it out, and bookmark this page so you can come back it – it’s a pretty amazing set of videos!

Stephan Kesting

Intro to the Guillotine Control

Here’s you’ll learn about the critical importance of using the guillotine choke as a control position before using it as a submission to tap out your opponent! Bottom line: don’t proceed with the submission aspects of the guillotine until you can go from bottom to top position at will.

Guillotine Control Scheme

Here’s why you shouldn’t just jump the guillotine and squeeze.  You’ll learn the basics of the guillotine control position and using the chin-strap to control the head, using extension and rotation to weaken his posture.  Also covered is using the underhook and overhook to control his shoulders using lever control and indirect proxy control.

Guillotine Control Drill: Maintaining the Chinstrap

How to drill the chinstrap control » Continue Reading.

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Robot Legs Drill (video)

Today I want to show you a fun and effective way to improve your guard passes that I call the robot legs’ drill.

Using this drill you make a super-powerful guard passing movement totally instinctive.  And once you get comfortable with this drill you can also get a good cardio workout by going faster – start with 3 sets of one minute at full speed and tell me how you feel afterwards!

But here’s the ‘catch’ – this drill ISN’T only for the guy on top.

The Robot Legs drill ALSO lays the foundation for some highly sophisticated guard retention drills for the guy on the bottom.

That makes it win-win for both training partners, which is always the best kind of situation!

Obviously there’s a lot more to defending the guard pass than this highly simplified ‘robot leg’ movement, but this is a great place to start.  Once you get comfortable with this, then you can move on to other, more advanced, drills.

More Info About Getting the Black Belt Grappling Concepts Course at a Special Price

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Podcast Episode 156 with Survivorman Les Stroud

This conversation with Survivorman Les Stroud  might be one of my favourite Strenuous Life Podcast episodes ever!

Les Stroud has produced many survival-themed shows for The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, and YTV.  In these shows he usually goes out into very challenging wilderness situations and tries to survive using only the materials at hand and minimal equipment.

He’s done this again and again in places like the Rocky Mountains, Kalahari Desert, Amazon Jungle, Arctic Tundra, Australian Outback, and many other wild and remote locations.

Dealing with hunger, thirst, heat, cold, animals and terrible conditions would be difficult enough for most people.  But unlike other survival experts (who go out there with their own film crews and helicopter back to plush hotels for the night) Les does all the filming himself and actually stays out there.

So it’s gritty, difficult and very, very real.

He’s also a talented musician who has found some incredibly innovative ways to combine cinematography, storytelling and music to create compelling narratives.

Les Stroud  combines his incredible skills with great mental toughness to exemplify the strenuous life!

In this 46 minute episode Les and I talked adventure, survival skills, navigating in the wilderness, the closest he’s come to death while filming, work-life balance, music and more.

I hope you enjoy listening to his episode as much as I did recording it for you!

How to Listen to this Episode with Les Stroud

This conversation with Les Stroud was episode 156 of my show, which is called ‘The Strenuous Life Podcast’.

You can subscribe to the podcast on your phone, tablet or computer by using your favourite podcasting app and/or going to the appropriate feed below:

iTunes StitcherSoundcloudGoogle Play 

Alternately you can listen to episode 156 on the embedded audio player right here…

Or you can watch the same conversation in the embedded video below (direct link the Youtube video here)…

How to Help Create More Podcast Episodes

I really want to avoid having ads on the podcast!  And you probably don’t want to hear me singing the praises of mattress companies, web design services, or microfibre underwear either.

To keep it ad free I’ve created an option where you can support this podcast through Patreon.com. For the price of a cup of coffee you can help us create more podcasts, ask questions for our Q&A epidodes, » Continue Reading.

The post Podcast Episode 156 with Survivorman Les Stroud appeared first on Grapplearts.

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!


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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How to Manage Fear and Adrenaline in Competition

My friend Shane Fazen has fought Muay Thai in Thailand, competed in boxing, and has even challenged himself in some MMA smokers.

In this conversation he and I talk about how to manage fear and adrenaline when you’re competing or in a fight.

Specific topics include

What happens to your body when you experience the  fight or flight reflex, How to use an adrenaline dump to your advantage, What you can expect in your few competitions, Why people get tired so quickly in competition, Exactly how to use visualisation and meditation to lower your heart rate and stay calm, Steps to actually fight the way you train, And more…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – stuff like this is incredibly important for self defense too! Your most important tool in a real life situation is your brain; you need to keep on thinking and evaluating, and not just have everything go black.

This is why doing a few competitions and getting used to dealing with fear and adrenaline in a relatively safe context is such a useful tool for getting you ready for self defense in the real world.

You can listen to my talk with Shane in the video below, or in podcast form (scroll down below the video for those links)…

Managing Fear and Adrenaline in Podcast Form

You can also listen to this as Episode 152 of my podcast, The Strenuous Life, available on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud or Google Play.

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

Thanks for reading, watching and listening!


Find out more about Shane Fazen at http://fighttips.com or on his youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/fighttips

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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!


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

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