6 Positions of Side Control - How to Drill and Improve Side Mount

6 Positions of Side Control - How to Drill and Improve Side Mount

My Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher (Andre 'Dedeco' Almeida) showed me this awesome Side Control drill when I was a new White Belt. It is one of the best drills I've seen for…

Guest Appearance: Fight for a Happy Life with Sensei Ando

Guest Appearance: Fight for a Happy Life with Sensei Ando

I had the honor of being invited onto Fight for a Happy Life martial arts podcast with host Sensei Ando. The episode just released today. 

Check out our conversation on topics like - freedom, defining success, barriers to students progress, living life, and weird questions about what I want on my deathbed/tombstone (is this guy planning to kill me???), and lots of laughter.

Monkey Grips! How I Strengthen My Grips and Keep Them Healthy

Monkey Grips! How I Strengthen My Grips and Keep Them Healthy

Fingers hurt after training? Grips not strong enough to hold on when grappling? Check this out.

Grip strength and health can be a really important thing for martial artists. Grip intensive arts such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shuai Jiao, and other Grappling Arts, all require/build grip strength, and put a great deal of wear and tear on the fingers. Today I'm going to show you the methods I use to keep my grips not only strong, but healthy. For strengthening: exercises like rope...

Guest Appearance: The Strenuous Life Podcast w/ Stephen Kesting

Guest Appearance: The Strenuous Life Podcast w/ Stephen Kesting

On the latest episode of his podcast - 'The Strenuous Life' - BJJ Black Belt and founder of Grapplearts, Stephen Kesting and I debate the value of Kung Fu, and if it can coexist with BJJ and MMA. I think you are going to like this! I highly recommend his channels if you haven't already found him!

"Can Kung Fu, BJJ and MMA coexist? Maybe they can, and maybe they can even learn from each other.

This is a conversation I had with with Kung Fu stylist (and BJJ brown belt) Randy Brown in which we touched on the history of Chinese martial arts and what made them less effective over time, what traditional martial arts look like when you start training them with resistance, and much more. I think you’ll like this one!"

'Sneaky' Americana - No-Gi

'Sneaky' Americana - No-Gi

Here is a No-Gi variation for the Sneaky Americana (Keylock) I've been using from under the head. Using the shoulder to crack open their frame, can help me pry my opponents arm up closer to their head, where I can snag ahold of it to go for the Sneaky Americana. 

Be sure to...

Ezekiel Choke to Americana Lock

Ezekiel Choke to Americana Lock

Here is another attack using the same sneaky Americana I've been using from under the head. In this example, we go from the Ezekiel Choke and our opponent defends it. Because my weight is side shifted, my savvy friend will feel my opposite leg go light, and try to push my knee into half guard to gain a better position. 

Rather than stay there and let them get half guard, we skip over to position 2 of Side Control. Now they defend the position by trying to build a frame. This presents the arm in a vulnerable position to grab it from...
 

How and When to Stand Up in a Fight

How and When to Stand Up in a Fight

Team Note: I know many of you who train with me will enjoy this video. Truth be told, I wish we had done it years ago because it is so fundamentally important. There isn't enough time in the day to practice everything, so feel free to take this and practice it whenever you can, and as much as you want.

Video Description: Whether we like it or not, sometimes we end up on the ground in a fight/altercation, or just a dangerous situation. When and how we stand up, can mean the difference between success and fail. Here are some tips for standing up when someone is waiting to pounce. 

Build a Mountain - Stop Your Opponents Crushing Side Control

Build a Mountain - Stop Your Opponents Crushing Side Control

Do you hate being crushed in your opponent's side control? Here's something I've been working on in my game that will hopefully help your game. Building a mountain under your opponents crushing side control can give you space and mobility for countering their attacks, and possibly bringing us to a better position.

Belt Ceremony | Dedeco Workshop - Dec 9th!

Belt Ceremony | Dedeco Workshop - Dec 9th!

Hello Team,

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving this year! Welcome back to classes and our regular schedule this week. 

December 9th is coming up fast and one of the best times of the year: Belt Ceremony!!! Please join me in this amazing time honoring you and/or your peers for your hard work and dedication. This happens 2x per year only, and is such an amazing day...

"I'm Not Ready For That."

"I'm Not Ready For That."

"I'm not ready for that." is a healthy approach to training things that overwhelm us.

Here are a couple of counters to the standing guard pass to help your game. Years ago I learned the second of these moves at a workshop with Renan Borges. I was still a white belt at the time, and even though I really liked the move, it wasn't something I was ready for. 

Mantis Captures Prey - How to Stop the Underhooks

Mantis Captures Prey - How to Stop the Underhooks

The underhook is a powerful tool in the hands of an opponent who knows how to use it. They have leverage, control, and setups for numerous takedowns. So how do we stop our opponent from getting the underhooks? With this awesome move from Taijiquan called Fist Under Elbow, and what I like to call Mantis Captures Prey.

Martial Superiority: The Silent Assassin

Martial Superiority: The Silent Assassin

When we look at one school versus another, and determine that one of them is promoting people to Black Belt with far easier requirements than we ourselves went through, or they are expecting less of their students than what we expect of our students, we can climb on our rickety soap box and take a stand against them, railing at the injustice of it all, or we can look at it like this...

Defending the Worst Position Ever!!

Defending the Worst Position Ever!!

The High Mount combined with striking is a deadly combination. This is by far, one of the worst positions you can get stuck in on the ground. The traditional BJJ escape for mount - bridge, trap, and roll doesn't work quite yet, and meanwhile our opponent is raining punches on us, and bringing the thunder like Poseidon.

All too often, we panic in this situation and end up flailing, or trying to grab arms. Here we show a technique we call - 'Shield Up / Shimmy Up' to help you deal with this problematic position. We have to work from where we are, not where we want to be.

Ando Workshop and Belt Promotions

Things to know for Saturday:

  • Kickboxing class is running as scheduled at 10a.
  • Please bring $50 cash for the workshop. 
  • All other classes and private training sessions are canceled. 
  • For workshop - please wear your school shirt, boxing shorts (or black shorts or pants if you do not have), and belt to the workshop.
  • Mantis Boxing belt ceremony following the workshop at 2:00 p. 
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt ceremony will immediately follow that (BJJ practitioners will have a brief window to change into your gi before the ceremony.)

In the Line of Fire - Escaping the Bow and Arrow Choke

In the Line of Fire - Escaping the Bow and Arrow Choke

I absolutely love the Bow and Arrow choke, but it sucks to be on the receiving end. Here we demonstrate the choke, an escape from the choke, and then how to prepare yourself for your next move after you release the choke.

Mount Attacks to Help Smaller Fighters

Mount Attacks to Help Smaller Fighters

Fighting bigger opponents can be frustrating when we try and control the mount position. I know I avoided the mount most of the time as a BJJ White Belt after getting tossed around repeatedly. After a while, I started using the high mount to setup some attacks. Here's are two videos highlighting some attacks from the mount. 

5 Reasons Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is THE Best Martial Art for Kids

Striking arts, whether they be Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Kickboxing, etc. - all require high degrees of focus on multiple facets of fighting, & self-defense (you can read more on this in my 2015 blog post).

I have spent the past 18 years practicing Mantis Boxing, and the past 5 of those also practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I also spent years teaching kids both Kung Fu, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My first love will always be Mantis Boxing, but frankly speaking, it is not for kids.