HEAVY ASSAULT! - Circle and Chop

HEAVY ASSAULT! - Circle and Chop

HEAVY ASSAULT - Go heavy, or go home! This striking combination, plucked right from the catalog of Mantis Boxing techniques passed down for centuries, is to overwhelm the opponent with big, destructive, blows. Connecting with the first one is ideal and effective, but if they duck, or move back, the second…

Hook vs Circle Punch - What's the Difference?

Hook vs Circle Punch - What's the Difference?

What's the difference between a Hook Punch and a Circle Punch? Are they really that different? Yes, and yes. 

The Hook Punch is used at a closer range, similar to an uppercut. It works well when you are striking in tight, or engaged in a Clinch (Lǒu 摟). In here, a long range strike will extend beyond my opponent. We position the arm in a tighter hook shape to help…

Whipping Fist

Whipping Fist

Light, fast, yet highly effective'; the Whipping Fist is a great punch to have in your arsenal. Check this video out for more on how to throw it, and pad drills, and bag drills that you can use to perfect this sneaky shot.

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…

The Scraping Fist

The Scraping Fist

The Scraping Fist - like a low uppercut, or body shot. One of the advantages of this punch, is the fact that unlike throwing a straight punch…

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...

The Tiger Tail - My Most Hated Throw!!!

The Tiger Tail - My Most Hated Throw!!!

This was truly one of my most hated throws. In 2009, on one of my semi-annual sojourns to San Diego to train with my Mantis Boxing teacher at the time, I was introduced to this personal menace. 

The primary purpose of this trip, was for my teacher to share with me the 20 throws of Mantis Boxing that his 8-Step Mantis Boxing teacher had...

The Russian Twist - 1 of my Favorite Core Strengthening Exercises for Mantis Boxing and BJJ

The Russian Twist - 1 of my Favorite Core Strengthening Exercises for Mantis Boxing and BJJ

This is by far one of my favorite exercises for building core strength. When we're boxing, grappling, we use our core constantly to twist. In boxing, it is to assist in power generation in a punch. In grappling, it is to throw someone, maneuver on the ground, or twist our way through an escape. 

Transverse core rotation is a term thrown around a bit, and in Mantis Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we do a ton of that! The Russian Twist is a low tech exercise to do at home, or add to your gym routine, and can help us with...

Best Exercise to Improve Cardio - The Double Under - Mantis Boxing

Best Exercise to Improve Cardio - The Double Under - Mantis Boxing

Looking to improve your cardio on and off the mats? This is one of the best exercises for increasing your cardio. The Jump Rope is a phenomenal tool for this, but getting to the Double Under ramps it up to a whole new level.

The Straight Punch - Throwing the Forward and Reverse Punch

The Straight Punch - Throwing the Forward and Reverse Punch

The Straight Punch - devastating and destructive! Forward and Reverse punch are a good place to start when learning to punch in Mantis Boxing, or other striking arts. They are destructive, and can easily be modified to open hand strikes if necessary. 

The following video shows the in's and out's of...

How to Throw a Punch...Safely

How to Throw a Punch...Safely

Having an improper structure, leaving a finger misplaced, or snapping our elbow, can all cause lasting damage, injuring ourselves more than the object we are trying to hit.

Whether we are hitting bags, pads, mitts, makiwara boards, or sparring partners, it's important to keep these tips in mind to keep us punching without injury for years to come.

How to Drill Your Basic Footwork Skills

How to Drill Your Basic Footwork Skills

Basic Footwork is pivotal in understanding how to move when fighting/sparring. Bad footwork creates vulnerabilities in our game that our opponent can capitalize on. Once we have an understanding of our basic footwork skills, Mirror Drill becomes a great tool to help train fluidity and responsiveness, as well as range sensitivity, and neutral position; where our guard/blocks work best.
 

The Round Kick - Like a Dragon Lashing It's Tail

The Round Kick - Like a Dragon Lashing It's Tail

Here we help you set up the round kick without getting hit, run over, or shut down. Check out our video on Advanced Footwork if you need help with some of these angles. 

This is an extremely powerful kick. It's like getting lashed by the tail of a dragon. When fighting, getting hit here can be a huge game changer. Whether we take our opponents leg out from under them, or we weaken/injure the leg to get them to change sides. 

"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. 

Defending Against the Bear Hug - PASS vs. FAIL

Defending Against the Bear Hug - PASS vs. FAIL

Jumped from behind? Your opponent got position on you? No matter how it happened, it's a bad place to be. Join me and my special guest Sensei Ando as we show what to watch out for, and how to make one of the most commonly failed escapes, succeed.

Guest Post: Self Defense Mistake - Don't Just Stand There!

Guest Post: Self Defense Mistake - Don't Just Stand There!

My friend Ando from SenseiAndo.com was in town this weekend teaching a workshop in Boston. We took some time to shoot a couple of videos for everyone (when we weren't...

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.

Training Your Elbows and Joint Locks (Chin Na)

Training Your Elbows and Joint Locks (Chin Na)

Joint locks (Chin Na) are fun!!! If you are into pain that is. ;-) Seriously, standing submissions are very cool; unfortunately, they can be extremely difficult to pull off for real. 

Here is a more advanced drill to help you train ways to...