Thursday, July 24, 2014


The power of Joe Rogan (and the UFC) is certainly strong.  Almost as strong as one of Rickson Gracie's lesser fingers and/or his ear (with which he could easily submit most men).  Eddie Bravo and his rubber guard, along with his perfectly dyed goatee, are also a force to be reckoned with.  When you combine all of these elements, you get some serious power ... and 58,503 views of a Youtube video in less than 24 hours.

The internet is amazing.  I'm not sure I ever expected to see Eddie describing (in great detail) his rubber guard to Rickson Gracie in what looks like Joe Rogan's game room.  But, it happened.  Eddie is a talker, so it takes about 17 minutes to happen.  But, that's good stuff.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Ah, Luta Livre. Don't worry, we wont bore you with a LL History Lesson again. This time we go right to the heart of the art - attack and finish! It's no coincidence that  over the last few years Cacc influenced arts have hit the MMA circuit. Arts such as LL, Sambo or Catch itself continue their very slow creep into the mainstream. A laundry list of LL fighter have been making there way stateside and fighting in venues both small and large (Bellator.) Keep an eye out for even more hard nosed, submission fighters making there way to the ring or octagon.

Luta livre has two sporting aspects, the first appropriately named "esportiva" and the other "vale tudo." To generalize and simplify, for those not familiar with the art or the culture, one is submission grappling and the other "MMA." Today, LL master Netinho Natal, gives us some LL style attacks that work for both MMA and sub grappling. Take a look at Natal breaking down a series of brutal attacks from topside turtle position.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Like always, we try to provide our readers with the news that they might have overlooked or missed, and for the most part Judo isn't at the top of most people's reading lists.

This past weekend the Judo Grand Slam took place in Tyumen, Russia. The Grand Slam typically marks the last big competition every year before the World Championships, which take place next month in Chelyabinsk, Russia. If you're not up to date about Chelyabinsk, it was made world famous last year after a meteor was caught on film, and everyone thought the end of the world had arrived.

Clear your schedule and check out the videos below where you will get both Day 1 and Day 2 of competition and a total of over 5 hours a throws, sweeps, and submissions from some of the best grapplers in the world.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The Reverse De La Riva is a pretty fancy display of guard artistry.  If it was a hairstyle, it would be a something like a pompadour.  Unlike it's only moderately fancy cousin, the traditional De La Riva guard, the Reverse DLR gets most of its bang from an elaborate inverted through the legs back take.  Helio would definitely not approve, but this guard is here and it's dangerous to the unknowing defender.  Don't be that guy.  Be the guy that laughed at someone's Reverse DLR and, instead, wages his/her own attack.

Stephan Kesting, along with his site,, is one of the very best sources for BJJ technique and overall instruction online.  He's been doing it forever too.  I literally owned his kimura attacks video series on VHS way back in 2003 or something.  Watch and learn as Ostap Manastyrsk takes us through his counter to the Reverse DLR.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


If you're tired of hearing about Worm Guard repeatedly by every white belt and keyboard Grand Master, we are here to let you know we feel the same. Is the worm guard cool, yea, it's innovative, but its evolution and use shouldn't be all that surprising, nor is the position very complex. We will agree that it's a major pain in the ass to deal with. That's why for every crazy guard that freakishly flexible guys develop, there is an intelligent counter that we can all do. There also exists a counter that is just as nuts as the original attack.

Today, StockMMA and Isaac Doederlein bring us a rolling back take, and a smash pass from countering your opponents wormguard. Watch, enjoy and try not to pull anything in the process of drilling.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


What's Jiu Jitsu all about?  This. 

This is 10 minutes of pure inspiration and depth from one of this era's our greatest BJJ competitors, Caio Terra. Yes, he cries, but that only reveals the authenticity and truth of his very personal journey. 

It even get to me, a cold-hearted, non-empathetic and sarcastic grappler with almost no romanticized view of BJJ and the martial arts code.  So, you know it's done its job. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Martial Arts Lineage - Think of it as your family tree or for grappling. Some people swear by their lineage and those that have a direct an pure connection to the past are of course the best. As you know, this isn’t always the case for many reasons, and in my opinion the most significant being those who are primarily self taught. I know many would argue against that point, but let’s leave that for another post.

As we have stated many times before Luta Livre is part of the CACC family tree along with Sambo, Shooto and modern styles of wrestling. Since many of these Catch influenced arts have stayed semi secluded, small and relatively non-mainstream (unlike their distant cousin BJJ and Judo) finding your lineage is fairly easy. Unlike Catch itself (which in most cases does not use a ranking system) most other styles of submission grappling do have some sort of belt, color or title ranking. In many ways this has made documentation and tracking lineage much easier for the modern grappler.

So here is a very quick and dirty history of LL: Luta livre has long been considered the poor man’s BJJ, because in the beginning it was pretty much just that. No, the Gracie’s didn’t invent ground fighting, nor did they create a style vastly different than what existed already. While BJJ with the kimono was taught to the well to do business men and politicians in Brazil, Luta Livre found it’s home with those who could not afford kimonos, thus the first incarnation of Brazilian No-gi (sem kimono) grappling. Luta Livre was the combination of early 1900’s Judo/JiuJitsu from Japan and the integration of Catch wrestling. Combined they created a style that was very aggressive, fast paced, and had dynamic attacks. At this point the only relation between LL and BJJ was their parent influence of pre-war Judo. As we have talked about in the past LL had a bitter rivalry with BJJ for many years. As the rivalry weaned with the advent of early MMA/Vale Tudo, you started to see more cross training. It is without a doubt that LL has greatly influenced modern BJJ/combat sports. You can credit LL for forcing BJJ fighters to take there kimonos off, hiding their legs and the integration of standup arts into grappling (Brazilian Muay Thai with LL.) As grappling styles started to assimilate in Brazil, BJJ spread throughout the world with the UFC as a catalyst. LL also spread quietly through South America, Germany, and France. Over the past few years we have seen a big resurgence in LL, primarily in part to RFT LL whom are part of the Daniel DDane lineage. Keep your eyes open for even more tough LL fighters making appearances in submission grappling tournaments and MMA. You can read some great articles written about LL's history here and here.

In the meantime check out this very interesting LL Family Tree, put together by Nicolas Renier of NR Fight Team France LL.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Belt Testing has been a long debated topic for many decades despite the fact that the belt system is just over 100 years old and previous to that none really existed. Your skill was displayed via passing on techniques and concepts or proving them on the battlefield.

Now that we are no longer a fight oriented society, how do we grade, rank and test our skill level when a martial art is strictly for the purposes of enlightenment or just sport? Yes, martial arts can play a major factor in improving your health, both physically and mentally, it can also save your life (self defense). The question lies in defining the necessary merits needed to accomplish or achieve a level of skill.

It has a been a long standing tradition in BJJ for students to be surprised with a belt when they have reached a level that their instructor deems sufficient. Other arts refrain from giving out belts and require you to achieve a level of success in competition in order to acquire a ranking or title. Other arts have sashes, shorts, rashguards, tshirts patches and certificates that all show the level of knowledge you have achieved. Some systems even charge for testing, which personally I have no problem with, as long as it's a reasonable fee that covers your certificate and belt - otherwise it becomes a grey area where you wind up paying for rank in place of showcasing your skills.

A newer approach has come to light over the past few years, spawning from life-long martial artist Roy Harris and his protege Roy Dean. They have adopted the a set standard curriculum for BJJ, as well as a procedure for testing in front of your peers. Now, as simple, and as standard as that is -some find it silly, others despise the idea. But think, at least as far as BJJ is concerned. The game is drastically changing from year to year and new styles and methods appear daily. What proper or better way to display your knowledge then in a form of a test. No, it doesn't have to be written, but you should be able to perform certain techniques and show a thorough understanding of concepts in order to reach a level. You should also be able to display those skills in a manner that is semi-realistic (thus Roy's belt test and rolling.)

For many years we have admired Roy Dean, not only for his incredible skill in the grappling arts, but also for intelligently codifying a method of testing, that remains far from mainstream. He also makes it public, and at least in our eyes, each and every one of his guys is tough as nails.

By now, most of you have seen the RD way of testing, but in this particular case our buddy StuCoop made a cameo. As usual he has been traveling the world and providing us nerds with unbelievable video footage of martial arts. In the video below you can watch Cooper rolling with a BJJ Purple belt, as part of his Brown Belt testing.

Watch enjoy and hopefully we made you think a little more than usual.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I know it seems like we're sending you mixed messages, grappler.  Just like that mysterious girl you met during your 7th grade youth retreat.  Later you discovered she made out with a classmate, so you pretty much know you have poor judgement when it comes to these kinds of things. Moving on.  To learn the worm guard or not to. 

We can't necessarily support you dedicating yourself to the worm guard.  We don't know you well enough, grappler.  But, if your bread n' butter techniques are rock solid and you have the inclination, why not dabble on the glory of this Chic guard?  You know you want to.

Check out this teaser from Keenan.  Tantalizing, isn't it?

Thursday, June 26, 2014


If you're new to the Laamb, then we suggest you read our previous posts here. Laamb is the native folk style of wrestling found in Western Africa. Depending on the particular country it can be called Laamb, Lutte Traditionnelle, or Evala.

In fact, not to long ago, Vice did a feature on African Wrestling you can check out here. Surprising to us and probably most of you, Pro wrestling is huge in West Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Anyway, Today's video is about The Lion Heart Initiative. "LHI is a non-profit endeavor to introduce and develop mixed martial arts (MMA) in West Africa. The initiative aims to introduce urban youth to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai, and modern reality-based MMA; concurrently, allowing visiting martial artists to experience indigenous West African wrestling."

Take a look at this trailers from MMA videographer extraordinaire, Genghis Con. This documentary took place in November of 2013 and details the Journey of the LHI in Dakar and Senegal to spread BJJ, MT and MMA. Of course cross-training took place with traditional Laamb wrestlers in Senegal and much more, so check it out!