Friday, December 19, 2014


Is your game constantly being shut down and suppressed like the Interview? Is that chubby white belt constantly trying to sit on you? Don't fret friends, BJJ Black Belt Jack Taufer of Karma JJ, is here to give us some great principles for escaping a technical mount.

Like always, we stress the simple things in grappling and one of the fundamentals we all need to work on are our escapes. Often times escapes are overlooked in place of those fancy guards or ridiculous submissions. Another over looked position is the technical mount. Whether you are attacking or being attacked, the technical mount is a great place to transition from, and it takes learning it's vulnerabilities to become good from the top or the bottom.

So check out Jack Raufer's escape combo, I assure you it has worked for me for many years and don't let that fat white belt man handle you.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Sambo doesn't get much notoriety or exposure in the U.S., much like it's first cousin Judo, but we are here to change that. In the States only a handful of brave gentlemen promote this great grappling art that we should all get to know a little better.

The 2014 Championships took place in Japan at the end of last month, but we finally got our hands on some videos for you. As usual, they are full of nasty throws, takedowns and submissions. So grab your Snuggie and vegetate on some World Class Sambo for the next 4 hours. Yes, four hours, we are not kidding, we take things serious over here, much the same way CM Punk does.

So, make Putin proud!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


There is no question Henry Akins is a super legit black belt and instructor with probably the best pedigree in the world of Jiu Jitsu - a black best from the one and only Rickson Gracie.  Henry applies and instructs on the principles of Jiu Jitsu with much of the same philosophy and style as his teacher, Rickson. 

Rickson is now famous for his concept of "Invisible Jiu JIstu."  It doesn't make you invisible or even ninja.  And, that is misleading.  Instead, it's the name of the concept of understanding and learning to develop the precise body movements and mechanics involved in Jiu Jitsu.  That's just my goofy paraphrase.  This is high level and high minded Jiu Jitsu and you can't help but want to know more.

To hear it from the horse's mouth, watch Akins exemplify and explain it to Jiu JItsu Magazine.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Anthony Bourdain has a black belt in badboy chefery, television jouirnalism and being an all-around kickass writer and television personality.  But, he's a novice white belt in BJJ and he wears his humility and eagerness to learn quite well. 

This is a very cool portion of his recent interview on Charlie Rose, during which he explains his fascination with and happiness being a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  We can all relate to this, no matter what belt we wear or what level of skill we've obtained.  Props to Bourdain for speaking on the subject and giving our awesome sport/art a little airtime. 

Monday, December 1, 2014


Alexandre Franca "Pequeno" Nogueira is a Luta Livre Black Belt, MMA pioneer and former Shooto Lightweight Champion. Over the past five years he has spread the knowledge of LL all over the World and today we bring you a segment from his seminar at an affiliate in Peru.

In today's video, Pequeno shows us a ton of techniques including an arm triangle, several open guard passes, a back take, guillotine, leg locks and so much more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


As usual, we are here to give you the recap of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Metamoris 5. On the card we had Maxwell v Tonnen, Shields v Satoshi, Vinny v Diniz, JT v Rory, Yuri v Keenan and finally Saku v Renzo. As  you can see, this was another All-Star line up of grapplers, some of who have standing rivalries with each other. Overall it was a good card, but in some aspects it was disappointing. Of course at the highest level of any sports (especially combat sports) opponents often nullify each other, and styles do make the best fights. Unfortunately, this card only had one submission in it and the rest went to draw.

Maxwell v Tonnen - in typical fashion, Tonnen brought the power of his handlebar mustache to the mats and kept Maxwell in harms way the entire fight. He locked up heel hook after heel hook and finished Maxwell in the end.

Shields v Satoshi - The very tricky and technical Satoshi was not able to implement his game. He found himself on his back with Shields riding out top position using his pressure game. This match ends in a disappointing draw.

Vinny v Diniz - We have been long time fans of Vinny and he is undoubtedly one of the best grapplers in the world. We were a little disappointed with his last match with Keenan and we were hoping for an entertaining match with Marcello Garcia Brown Belt Diniz. It turned out to be just the opposite. Both men showed good standup grappling and Vinny decided to pull guard and go to work (kind of.) He did not push his attacks or sweeps hard and only threatened Diniz once from rubber guard. The rest of the match showed Diniz stuffing Vinny and almost passing guard with some very technical movements. It ended in a disappointing draw. I think we need to find a replacement for Vinny in the next Metamoris - in our book 2 strikes and your out.

JT v Rory - JT is another one of our favorite grapplers and of course Rory hails from the UFC and the famous Tristar Gym. We are glad that Metamoris has kept MMA fighters in the mix, it answers a lot of the questions that we have all had about the grappling within other fighting arts. Anyway, Rory stayed on his heels (aka his ass) for most of the match with JT passing guard with ease and setting up some very nasty figure four arm locks, all of which Rory powered out of. In the end it was another draw, but the winner was clearly JT.

Yuri v Keenan - This is a round three rematch for these rivals and this time it was in the kimono. As of late Yuri has hit the competition scene with some very impressive performances. This fight we saw both men consistently attacking and countering each other. This was by far the most technical match of the evening and it ended in another draw.

Saku v Renzo - This was the headliner we have been waiting 14 years for. Both men stepped on the mat ready for war and surprisingly they both looked in very good shape. I for one was worried about Saku's long hiatus from training and maybe a few to many beers and cigarettes would effect his comeback. Fortunately that wasn't the case. Renzo and Saku spent some solid time on their feet countering each other, with Saku having the slight advantage with several single leg shot attempts. He caught a beautiful low single to dump Renzo, but he did not pounce and capitalize. Once the fight hit the ground we saw Renzo lock his guard and attempt several static attacks, but it was far from what we were used to. Renzo has a very aggressive bottom game and a great butterfly and halfguard which we didn't get to see. Saku postured and hand fought and sat patiently waiting to strike, similar to how he had done in MMA for so many years. At one point, Saku postured out of guard and locked up a cradle, Renzo countered and dumped Saku to his back where he remained for the rest of the match. Renzo showed intense top pressure, but little if any attacks from top. The nerve racking, slow paced fight ended in a draw, with Renzo stating that he previously had a knee injury which forced him to limit his attacks and stall. I wouldn't mind seeing either of these men fighting on the mat again and in the end Metamoris was successful, but not nearly as exciting as previous events.

We do have to note that this is the second Metamoris event with a catch wrestler on the card, the last one being Barnett and this time Saku. We can only hope to see some more high level matches with Cacc practitioners and maybe more of both men. We will also keep our fingers crossed for more Glover, Tonnon, and JT and much less of Casey, Vinny and Shields.

Until next time grapplers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This news may come as a shock to many, similar to walking by the magazine section at your local book store. Braulio Estima is a legend in the sport of BJJ, at 34 years of age he has an ridiculous list of wins and accomplishments. He is currently 1-0 in MMA, and he has won ADCC, The World Championships, World Cup, Europeans, and both the Gi and NoGi Pan Ams several times each. Despite being one of the elite grapplers in the World, he is prone to mistakes like any other person, athlete or not. In this particular case, it may just end his career.

This past June Braulio closed out his bracket in the IBJJF 2014 World Championships to win gold along side fellow teammate Romulo Barral. IBJJF competitors are subject to drug testing by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and Braulio tested positive for DMAA or methylhexanamine. This banned substance is most well known as a stimulant and it is often found within drinks and dietary supplements as an energy booster or pre-workout supplement. Braulio's punishment consists of having his title stripped as well as a two year ban from the sport. Now, was this punishment excessive? Probably. Does he deserve to be punished - absolutely! It's no secret that when money is at stake athletes and competitors will follow their natural inclination to gain any advantage necessary. As sport grappling increases in popularity, sponsorships and monetary opportunities follow close behind. For several years now, competitors such as Felipe Costa have challenged the IBJJF to start drug testing and it was put in place in Black Belt divisions in 2013. Now some of you may think drug testing is silly or maybe even too strict, but it is what it is. As an athlete you are responsible for everything that you put into your body as well as the actions or lack of actions you take leading up to a fight or event. In most cases (including most courts of law) ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the rules or the law. Do we feel bad for Braulio, sure - two years very well could end his IBJJF career, but the fact is he took a banned substance and the fact that he unknowingly drank from a bunch of different bottles doesn't matter. USADA makes their testing and list of banned substances very clear, and again it's up to the competitors and coaches to know the rules. Could the ban have been less severe, probably, and in most cases I would imagine someone with a more severe and clear case of cheating (say with steroids) would probably wind up getting the same or less of a ban. Yes, they are both illegal, but a tiered punishment system could be implemented - at least in this case. Now we are sure this isn't the last of Braulio, it may just give him a chance to compete in different venues (ADCC, Metamoris, MMA) but all we can only sit back and wait.

In the meantime, take a look at JJM's exclusive interview with Braulio discussing his ban and the events that lead up to it .

Monday, November 10, 2014


Today we have Luta Livre Spirit Part Three, brought to us LL Black Belt Nicolas Renier & If you have missed the previous episodes you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2. This ongoing series has given us a behind the scenes look at the Brazilian Catch Wrestling style known as Luta Livre. The series has followed legends of the art and in MMA as well. It has also given us history about the art, its influences rivalries and resurgence.

Check out Part Three featuring Master Joao Ricardo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Think of this as a nice counter balance to all the time you spend trying to pass the guard like Leandro Lo.  Sure, you're athletic.  At least that's what your mom always told you.  She also said you were handsome.

Some might look at Judo-based guard passing as passé, given the dynamic and specialized guard passing we see today, particularly among the elite competitors.  But, these are the basics and they are tried and true.  Even if you claim to be a brilliant passer, you can learn something from these core techniques shown here.

Besides, who are you kidding?  You're not that fast.

Monday, October 27, 2014


In case you missed it, grapplers, this went down this past weekend.  Say what you like about worm guards and lapel guards and the state of competitive BJJ today (e.g., Rickson Gracie's very public opinion on this subject), these two are at the very pinnacle of the BJJ game.  That's irrefutable. 

I look at a match like this as a true display of everything our sport has to offer in this modern day.  The complexity of Keenan's guard; the adaptability, nuance and sheer athleticism of Leandro's passing skills.  Yes. These kinds of matches are close (often down to the advantage), but that's only because both athletes are so extremely tuned for competition.  When you look at it that way, it's like watching Formula 1 racing or thoroughbred horse racing.  Every movement and movement within a movement matters.