"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...

How to Start Martial Arts

How to Start Martial Arts

As we get more people contacting us, and joining classes of late, I thought it was a good time to send around this video again. Max put this episode together a few years ago as part of his Swamp Talks series. Enjoy the sound effects. [Gunshots were not an intentional part of the production]

Emotional Control - A Core Fighting Principle

Emotional Control - A Core Fighting Principle

‘Emotional Control’ - this often sought after, and rarely attained, side effect from martial arts training. We envision the wise old master sitting quietly in meditation, only to turn into a verifiable badass the moment the movie needs an action star to save the day.

What we don’t see, is that emotional control doesn’t really come for free, or as an automatic trait of just taking martial arts classes a few times per week.  It doesn't come with...

Find Your Passion - Succeeding in Fitness

Find Your Passion - Succeeding in Fitness

Yesterday I was meeting with a professional from a different part of the health, wellness, fitness industry who mentioned her gym membership(s) going to waste. Her story may be familiar to some of you, so I thought I would share it, and offer some of my personal tips to stave off similar circumstance.

No Discounts! How to Increase Your Martial Arts Learning Potential.

No Discounts! How to Increase Your Martial Arts Learning Potential.

"I don't like this move."
"This technique isn't for me."

These are examples of things I hear from students from time to time. Usually they are unaware I am listening, and I like to keep it that way so they feel free to express themselves in the process of learning. I myself have said similar things in the past while going through the process.
 

Speed Kills

Speed Kills

Whether you are Boxing, rolling in Jiu Jitsu, or Wrestling on the mats, speed is a factor that can destroy, or enhance your training depending on how you use it. Here's a quick rundown on the benefits of controlling speed to enhance your training.

Learning to Walk Again

Learning to Walk Again

The original title for this article was "Why is BJJ easier than my [insert Stand-Up Art]?" This was a question proposed to me last year when we were taking submissions for the
 Swamp Talks videos. Truth be told, it was a question that made me uncomfortable at first, as I assumed it would be misconstrued. This question, out of all of them, really stood out to me and made me think.

It made me think about something I hadn't previously considered. Something that was clearly...

There Are No SECRETS!!!

There Are No SECRETS!!!

I want to take a few minutes today and try to shed some light on this obscure 'suck zone' we go through, and perhaps offer you some perspective to help you not only get through it, but optimize your progression.

"Arrrrgghh!!! Why Can't I Get This!?!?!", "Why is that person getting this so much faster than I am?", "Why do I feel so stupid, or uncoordinated?"

These are common questions I hear, or see, as a coach/mentor/instructor. In order to understand why martial arts, or any

Embrace the Suck

Embrace the Suck

How To Get Better at Martial Arts

I have taught highly intelligent people over the past decade and a half, and yet, they can't tell you where their arm is located if they don't stop and look down at it. This is completely normal and certainly not an indicator of mental acumen.

What many of us fail to recognize in ourselves, or cut ourselves slack for, is our…

Size Matters - In Qín Ná (擒拿)

Size Matters - In Qín Ná (擒拿)

“Having spent years studying these locks, I found it awkward to pull some of them off in 'live' situations. A great many of them if attempted, would have landed the practitioner in a world of hurt from their opponent. Simply from the person reacting by punching them with their free hand/arm. This article attempts to clarify some of the misunderstanding of how and why Qín Ná does, or does not work.” - Excerpt from an article published in the Journal of 7 Star Mantis Volume 3, Issue 3 on the Chinese Joint Locking method known as Chin Na, or Qín Ná (Capture and Seize 擒拿).

Southpaw and The Crazy Ghost Fist

Southpaw and The Crazy Ghost Fist

There is a long history of ancient cultures including the Greeks, Romans, and Chinese, that prejudice left-handed use, or left-handed people. It is seen as - sinister, wicked, evil, and many of the words for such are derived from the word left in these languages.

In Chinese culture, the major philosophies and religions believe in the universe spinning from left to right; things must always start on the left and move toward the right to remain in harmony. This is expressed in many of the Traditional…

Bridging - How to Close Distance in a Fight

Bridging - How to Close Distance in a Fight

You charge in on your enemy, filled with the hope that you can capitalize on that weak spot you spy in their guard. As you are about to land your punch, suddenly, without warning, BAM!!!! POW!!!! SMACK!!! His strike has met you mid-stride and square in the nose. As blood begins to rush down your face you pause and wonder, why you were unable to hit that giant hole that invited you to enter to begin with?