Category Archives: Uncategorized

Emiliano’s Unstoppable Side Control Escape

A while back, I asked my friend Emiliano Cardona (Gracie Certified Instructor at Central City Jiu Jitsu in Tampa) a single question…

“What is your favorite, nearly unstoppable, escape from under side-control?”

I filmed his response…

Here’s the key points from the video…

  • This move is done when opponent leans back or his weight is closer to your hips than your center
  • Push “stiff arm” beneath opponents arm pit
  • Sit up as opponent rolls back
  • Come up to your elbow, then hand

Keep training!


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“Do you train controlling your “adrenaline” response?

Many people find their “adrenaline response” overwhelms them during a real fight, and they can barely move. Its dangerous to assume you’ll be able to respond appropriately simply practicing your grappling or striking”

Listen, the instinct to survive is the strongest instinct we’ve got… so your body has a very powerful response to a threat to your life. Unfortunately, it’s based on prehistoric needs, and that means it can sometimes force you to “freeze” so you aren’t seen by a predator. That’s really bad in a fight.

I suggest you do some research on training methods to be able to handle that adrenaline response. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who freezes, you’re training’s not going to help you if you can’t move.  

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Trigger Positions for Faster Reactions

Ever wish you could react faster with your grappling submissions?

If so, here’s a secret. You can’t simply practice moves. To have fast reactions, you have to practice REACTING, not just “performing” techniques. Otherwise you’re practicing grappling “movements”, but not creating reactions. But the question is…

…what do you practice reacting TO?

To have fast reactions, you want to practice reacting to something I call “trigger positions”. 

Trigger Position = A Specific (rather than “general”) Position in Grappling

I explain trigger positions & how to have faster reactions here:

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BTW, athletes in most other sports train to develop fast reactions… why not grapplers?

Keep training!

P.S. Really… just start using this approach, and within a few weeks you’ll be recalling & reacting faster with your submission than ever than you do now.

A Strategy to Becoming a Killer Submission Grappler

Here’s a strategy I learned TWICE…

… once from the most skilled athlete I have ever met, and then again later from the most skilled musician I’ve ever met. Both have really jaw-dropping abilities, and it’s safe to say when they speak about “how to get good at something”, they’re worth listening to. 

Here’s what they suggest:

Specialize & Maintain

Become very good at ONE small thing at a time. Focus on just ONE small, specific area that you want to improve, while spending a little time MAINTAINING your current skills.

Do the above, rather than trying to become good at multiple things at once.  I know this may sound too simple to you, but there’s some magic that happens when you do this that I’ll explain in a moment. 

So, to start, fill in the blank to this statement:

“I want to be the ONE person everyone thinks of when the hear the word __________.”

Go ahead – fill in the blank with whatever very small, specific grappling POSITION you want to be great at. Now, I don’t mean a position like “the guard”. I mean a SMALL & SPECIFIC position, like “escaping an arm bar from inside guard”.

IMPORTANT: Choose a position that’s small and specific enough that you can become very good at it within 2-3 weeks of solid focus. Avoid anything so big that it will take you months. 

Next, your job is to become that person in the statement above, while doing only what’s needed to maintain your current skills. (If you don’t know how to do that, see the very end of this article)

Why does this  method work so well? For a couple reasons:

Attainable Goals

First, it gives you a VERY attainable goal. Don’t you think you could easily become the best person in your group at, for example, escaping arm bars from the guard? And, couldn’t you do that within 2-3 weeks if you really tried?

I mean, really… who else in your group recently completely devoted 2 to 3 weeks to escaping arm bars from the guard? No one, right?

So now, suddenly, your the BEST at something!  Pretty damn motivating, isn’t it?  Kind of makes you want to do it again, doesn’t it?

Which leads to the 2nd reason this works…

Provides Necessary Motivation

Your grappling improvement is fueled almost entirely by your motivation, isn’t it? If you’re not motivated, you’re not even going to try. And, NOTHING is more motivating than seeing results from the time you invest into practicing.

Get the point?

Now,  after you’ve mastered that one small position, make it part of your ongoing “maintenance” routine, then choose your NEXT small, specific position that you want to be the best at. It’s a rinse and repeat protocol, and it works like gangbusters. 

Listen, there’s no reason you can’t be as good as you want. No one is inherently better that you… but there’s certain principles like this one that other’s may have stumbled on that you just don’t know about. When you find one, take it and run with it.

“Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

Keep training!

P.S. Ok, that was your tip for today. You can stop reading now, if you’d like.


Go ahead.


Huh? Still here?

Ok, so maybe you’re thinking “But how do I become VERY good as that small & specific position that I decided on?” If you don’t know the answer to that question, then listen carefully.

I’ve created an affordable tool EXACTLY for that purpose called the iGrapple. You simply click on a position you want to get good at, drill down through it’s sub-positions…

…right down to short, concise video clips of the exact position you want to become good at.

For example, if you had already purchased access to the iGrapple®, you’d be able to find SIX escapes from the armbar inside the guard (mentioned above) in under 10 seconds. And, then you’d be able to do it again when you’re ready for your next small, specific position – simply because that’s exactly what the iGrapple® what made for.

If you did that for the next 4-6 weeks, do you think that you’d be a much better… or worse… submission grappler than you are today?

Of course, you’d be much better, wouldn’t you? I think you know what you need to do next…

Try the iGrapple® for only $1 here. 

Cool Kneebar from Half Guard

Here’s a cool kneebar from half-guard. It’s a move that will come out of nowhere, as far as your opponent’s concerned. 

I think this move is a great one to have in your bag. When your opponent’s focused on passing your half-guard, he’s not likely to be anywhere near thinking about this move. Try it out!

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Steps to this move:

1 – When your opponent puts up his left leg, underhook it with your right arm
2 – Swing your left leg over your opponent’s head
3 – Continue rolling to sweep your opponent
4 – Figure 4 your legs, finish with kneebar

3 Easy Headlock Escapes

Anybody can do a headlock… it’s a natural reaction in a fight. Hell, even I put a headlock on a guy who attacked me when I was 18 years old.

That means you, too, are likely to end up in a headlock in a fight. So…

…you need to be very good at escaping them. Here’s a quick demo of 3 techniques to escape a headlock, shown to you by BJJ Blackbelt James Brasco.

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Pay particularly close attention to the last one (at 00:1:22) where James finishes with a devastating Twister neck lock… a very strong move.

How To Unlock ALL Your Skills

How To Unlock ALL Your Skills

I’ve been training martial arts for over 42 years and grappling for 25 of them. As you can imagine, I’ve seen a lot of things and trained with a lot of people. In all that time, I’ve found that there’s really just one skill that is absolutely necessary for you to master…

…because all the rest of your skills fall in place once you have this one. Before I tell you what it is, let’s find out if you have it.

Answer these 3 questions honestly…

1.) Do you ever skip training because there’s something else you’d rather do?

2.) Do you ever quit earlier during training because you’re “sort of tired…” when you could have continued if you absolutely had to?

3.) Do you ever give less than 100% of your “best effort” (different than going “all out”) when you train?

If you answered NO to all, congratulations… you’re destined for greatness! However, if you answered YES to any… you don’t have this one, imprortant skill (yet).

Obviously, I’m talking about SELF-DISCIPLINE. You might have it in some areas of your life, but if you don’t have it in your training, you’ll never even begin to approach your potential.

Listen to the words of these champions:

“Champions… have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill”

– Muhammed Ali

“A champion is someone who gets back up – even if they can`t.”

– Jack Dempsey

“Without discipline, no matter how good you are, you are nothing!”

– Mike Tyson

“Discipline is doing what you don’t like to do as if you LOVE to do it.”

– Also Mike Tyson

(BTW, Tyson said the the most important thing his trainer EVER taught him was discipline.)

Self-discipline is the one driving factor that allow you to accomplish your grappling goals. It must be there before you’ll make much progress with anything else.

And if you’ve got it, you’ll find a way to accomplish not only your grappling goals, but pretty much any goals in life. But if you don’t have it, you’re destined to fall short of your potential in everything you do. So that begs the question…

…how do you get self discipline?

Basically, I just told you in those 3 questions I asked you above…

it’s a skill (or more precisely, a “habit”) that you develop by training.

Since self-discipline is about having the ability to do things you don’t necessarily want to do, doesn’t it make sense that if you…

1.) Go to training EVEN when you’d rather not…

2.) Don’t GIVE UP during training simply because you’re tired…

3.) Always give 100% of your best effort during training…

…for a long enough period of time, that you’ll eventually develop the habit of self-discipline?

Developing self-discipline is a matter of “fake it ’till you make it.” And, you’re not born with it, you develop it. And as you develop it, it will then take on a life of its own, enabling you to continue doing those things above with much less effort on your part.

And when you can consistently do those same 3 things (go to training, not give up during training and give 100% of your best effort) to the point they become natural and easy, it’s only a matter of time until you achieve your grappling goals. It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion.

And if you don’t do those 3 things… you won’t develop self-discipline… and you almost certainly won’t reach your grappling goals. The point is…

…developing self-discipline is built into the training if you do it right. It’s built into the pursuit of any skill… hell, you can learn it playing a ukulele! Initially, you’ve just got to:

1- Show up…

2- Do it while you’re there…

3- Give it your best effort while your doing it…

…for a period of time.

Once you’ve done that for whatever period of time it takes for those things become easy, they take on a life of their own, much like building a habit. You can really call it the “habit of self-discipline.”

The bottom line is, learning self-discipline is built into the training when you do it right… you just have to do it.

Keep training!

Knee Bar Half Guard

Knee Bar From Half-Guard

Here’s a slick knee bar from the half-guard. It’s demonstrated by James Brasco, a BJJ Black Belt, Cage Fighter and NCAA Division 1 Champion.

The steps are:

1 – Start in half guard on bottom
2 – Get opponent to post his knee up
3 – Underhook his leg with your right arm
4 – Bring your left leg over his head
5 – Go to knee bar position
6 – Continue rolling onto your left side, figure 4 legs and finish.

Keep training!

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Tempo Trick

The “Tempo” Trick…

Here’s a “tempo” trick that high level boxers use that you can apply to your submission grappling. The trick is to alternate between TWO SPEEDS.

1 – The first speed is SLOW & RELAXED

2 – The second speed is FAST & EXPLOSIVE

Now, the reason a boxer uses this trick is because the “slow/relaxed” tempo can subconsciously lull his opponent into the same slow/relaxed tempo that he is moving at. His opponent doesn’t feel a need to be moving faster because he doesn’t perceive a “fast” threat that he needs to react to, so he moves at that same tempo to conserve energy. 

So, when the boxer feels his opponent unwittingly moving at the same relaxed tempo, he executes a FAST & EXPLOSIVE attack, which will often land because his opponent is “muscle-set” to move slower and is simply lagging behind.

In submission grappling, you can often do the same thing. If you move at a controlled, slow speed, your opponent will expect you to continue at that speed, and will be subconsciously prepared to react at the same slow speed you are moving at.

When you suddenly change to a FAST / EXPLOSIVE movement, you’ll often be able to accomplish a movement, position change or transition that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise BEFORE your opponent can react, simply because he’s subconsciously prepped himself to move at the slower tempo you had just established.

When you start paying attention to it, you’ll start to recognize that your opponents generally have a tempo that they are comfortable moving at. If you establish a different tempo, they will often mimic it. That’s when you’ve got the opportunity to change it up and catch them momentarily lagging behind.

***NOTE: Actually, the highest level boxers can do this in reverse, too. They will establish a very FAST tempo, making their opponent feel the need to move at a faster than normal speed. Then, they suddenly attack at a SLOWER tempo, and their opponents reaction is too fast and out of sync, often allowing that slower attack to land.

Try it out. See if you can cause your opponent to move at a slower tempo that you establish, then quickly change it up when you spot an opportunity. You’re very likely to catch him lagging behind.

Keep training!