Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Indian clubs have been around for centuries and for the average person, they are just wooden bowling pins. Originally, clubs originated in what would be known now as modern day Indian, Iran and Pakistan. The clubs, often made of stone or heavy woods, were used as a form of conditioning for battle. To this day men practice these ancient routines using bodyweight exercises and clubs. In India, Kushti wrestlers use clubs along with squats, pushups and yoga to supplement their training. In Iran, men practice in their local Zurkhaneh, or house of strength, using similar methods as the Kushti wrestlers. These forms of training go hand in hand with wrestling and martial combat and they also provide practitioners with a better quality of life. Take it from Pat Miletich, he knows what's up.

Proper mobility and tendon strength may be the two most important aspects of your everyday life. If you practice martial arts, in particular grappling those two aspects are essential to a well rounded game and a healthy future in your sport of choice.

The benefits of clubs go way beyond functional fitness and you can tailor them to your liking to include sport specific movements. Clubs much like kettlebells come in a variety of weights, shapes and sizes, although in my opinion the wood ones are by far the best. Depending on the size and weight of the club you can work your grip strength and endurance for use with the kimono. You can use them as a training aid for striking - they force you to keep your hands up and the point of origin is always chest level or higher. They are also great for rehabilitation and prehab, or the prevention of sports related injuries. Ensuring your have full range of motion with your joints and ligaments along with proper muscle and tendon strength, is a recipe for a healthy fit body.

Mr. Army McGuire breaks down several exercises you can do from the comfort of your couch, wheelchair or bathroom toilet.

In all seriousness, indian clubs are vital in my day-to-day workouts and they can benefit everyone, athletes or not, alike. Listen to Army, he is probably one of the foremost authorities on clubs in the United States and he is a life long martial artist as well.


Howdy grapplin' pardners.  Today we're talkin' like cowboys 'cause we're focusing on the lasso hook/guard (and, because we're idiots).  There's lots of good grapplin' in the lasso, and you should definitely partake in it if you haven't already. 

Likewise, there are many a ways to get yerself a triangle from the lasso position.  The one featured below is probably the most complex, difficult and least direct. At the same time, it's that kind of complexity and nuanced movement that is often needed to catch a skilled opponent who is well prepared for a straight-down-the-middle attack.  I'd deem this an advanced move to say the least.  If you are not already a seasoned and well-conditioned triangle choke attacker, you may want to wait to walk before you crawl.  But, if you've got it down, then proceed.

Note:  Yes, this is a sport BJJ-specific technique, as are many techniques that require inversion.  It's highly unlikely that you'll encounter an high tech grappler in mortal combat on the street.  You never know though.

Note 2:  Thanks Shoyoroll and thanks to Victor Siverio for the top-notch illustration.

Monday, April 14, 2014


As we get older we inevitably get slower. We get aches and pains that we never remember having before. Training sessions seem harder and recovery is always longer than expected. You might start withering like Keith Richards or turn opaque like Lindsay Lohan, but aging isn't all negative. With age comes great knowledge and experience.

Today's inspiration comes from two older gentlemen that put most of us to shame. First is 74 year old James Terlecki of Next Level Martial Arts Academy in Ohio. He recently received his Black Belt and hits the mats with his son (also a BJJ Black Belt) every evening. Our second example of aging with grace is BJJ powerhouse and strength and conditioning guru Steve Maxwell (father of Zack Maxwell). He gives new meaning to keep it playful*, with his spontaneous workouts in hotel rooms and on Russian playgrounds.Watch the videos below, have them inspire you and think of these two gentlemen next time you complain about your mat burn from the one hour of work your putting in at the gym.

*We hope we don't get sued for using that line or have Royce confront us in an alley or a dark corner of a bathroom. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


In our view, Metamoris 3 was excellent and surpassed it's two predecessors in overall entertainment value, despite there being only 2 submissions.  Why?  A lot of that has to do with the star power of the elite competitors, namely the Mendes brothers, Dean Lister and Keenan "He's so hot right now" Cornelius.  Up and comers, Sean Roberts and Zak Maxwell went hard (especially in the end) and added to the overall value.  Equally impacting, of course, was the shear excellence of main event match between Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie.  Although it didn't result in a submission, it was, we think, exactly what Metamoris intends to be - an all out, non-stop battle for position/submission.

That just our opinion.  And, everyone has one.  We thought it would be interesting to hear from Ralek Gracie, to get his opinion on a few items. He's the the promoter and the creative voice, if you will, of the event.  We asked him a few pointed question in the wake of the event.  Results are below. 

DSTRYR:  In terms of performances, whose were you most impressed with or surprised by?

RALEK GRACIE:  I think Babalu surprised everyone by not getting heel hooked in 1 minute. I was surprised Eddie imposed his game with more effectiveness than Royler but not disappointed in Royler at all.

DSTRYR:  Did anyone’s performance disappoint in your view?

RALEK GRACIE: Rafa Mendes and Clark Gracie stylistically I think were not matched up for the most exciting experience but with that said I think it was cool to see Rafa giving every shot at the berimbolo and just thinking 'it's like a game of cat and mouse', will he get it? etc. But I think for the untrained eye it must have been the least appealing.

DSTRYR:  [Our] view on submission-only matches is that they are entirely dependent on an individual athlete’s participation in the concept and willingness to take certain risks to press for submissions.  Do you agree?  And, assuming so, are you working on other ways to incentivize future Metamoris athletes to go for subs?

RALEK GRACIE:  Ive seen in just 3 events the power of "good" and "bad" performances. The influence on competitors in Metamoris 3 was screaming to avoid Metamoris 2 at all costs. No Jiu-Jitsu athlete wants to be known as a points fighter, it's not cool to do anything less than go for subs in Metamoris. I think competitors will only realize that more and more. Bonuses are good too. 

DSTRYR:  You’ve probably heard about the confrontation between Eddie Bravo and Royce Gracie after the event.  Did you see that coming?  What do you think about it?

RALEK GRACIE:  It was disappointing to hear about that on such an awesome night for Metamoris and Jiu-Jitsu as a whole. I said in an interview that Royce comes from a generation and lifestyle where that kind of thing is completely normal but I still don't like it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


All to often athletes and aficionados create a routine and mindset of continually building techniques and technical attributes like timing, speed, strength, power etc. It's not often that we take a step back and think or even practice the restorative aspects of martial arts. If you take a close look at most traditional martial or combative arts, they all contain restorative components that are taught and practiced along side the combative skills. Restorative practices can be found in sumo, Filipino Kali, Thai Boxing and many other arts. They help balance the strenuous forces and abuse put on the body. These practices can include pressure points, massage, yoga, stretching and special forms of water dousing or bathing.

As grapplers we put a tremendous amount of strain on our bodies especially on our small joints and tendons. Some of the most abused can be found in our hands and involve our grips. While most of the time our focus may be on building strength endurance for better grips, rehabilitating and restoring should be part of your training routine as well.

Take a look at John Bair's restorative treatments for all your gripping needs. His treatments will help you prehab and condition your body to perform at its highest level.

Monday, April 7, 2014


We say the take away here is that this teacher/coach could really have benefited from some submission grappling instruction.  Sure, he works really hard for his takedown and he gets it.  And, yeah, he's on the older side.  But, in the end, we'd really like to see him work on his control.  Whenever I randomly decide to take the law into my own hands and get into some combat with a 15-year old, I make sure my mount and side control (or back control, for that matter) game is in top shape.  Maybe you hit of some videos or sign up for some online courses at the Gracie University. Worst case, you pop in some Krav Maga DVD's in between grading sophomore chemistry quizzes.

This is another one of of those "stranger than fiction"-type stories.  Apparently, Mark Black, a Santa Monica High School science teacher and wrestling coach, and by all accounts a total badass got into a physical altercation with a student after allegedly attempting to confiscate illegal drugs.  That what we've deduced, at least.  Is he a hero?  Probably.  Is it kind of weird?  Yeah. We don't know enough of the facts, nor do we care.  We'd just like to see more of this kind of thing in general to keep life interesting and to illustrate the merits of GRAPPLING!!

Friday, April 4, 2014


People are still talking about this - if the Metamoris 3 can't popularize submission grappling, I don't know what will. Whether you loved the event or hated it or if your a Gracie or Bravo fanboy, the headlining match will make for one of the best grappling matches of the year.

Many thought the first match was a fluke when Eddie submitted Royler, but the rematch answered a lot of questions.

Lets start off by saying much respect to both men, both of which are in their 40's, maybe past their prime, and legendary in there own ways. For Eddie there didn't seem like there was much he couldn't do throughout the match. While nothing came easy to him, he found the positions he wanted to and moved to them time and time again. Many of you may think of his system as silly or not meant for the average person, but much like the De la Riva game, it starts from the basics. Both Bravo and DLR have incredible half guards that they use in order to transition into their favored positions, that maybe he the DLR hooks, or for Eddie the Lockdown or rubber guard. If you think about it, it's not very complicated at all. Throughout the fight Eddie used simple grappling, trapping, and off balancing to find submission attempts. The fanciest technique he pulled off was his patented twister roll, which in this case landed him in the opposite position of the Truck, affectionally known as the Vaporiszer. Again, while the roll may be fancy or unorthodox, the technique is found in Catch Wrestling as a toe hold to turn your opponent or submit him and in Sambo for the calf crank or turn. Both arts which Eddie borrowed heavily from. For those of you in doubt of that, read his books closely or check out version 1.0 of his system named "Dark Planet Catch." Also for you fancy guard players, the roll employed by Eddie is almost identical to the berimbolo nuff said.

Now on to Royler. What can I say, the man is legendary, and for the most part, pretty respectful (at least in public) to his competitor. Royler seemed happy to take the top position when Eddie pulled half guard and he immediately went with his patented cross knee slide. Royler is known for this particular pass as well as his ability to create an immense amount of pressure on opponents, especially once he gets an underhook. He did just that after fighting for several minutes with Eddie's left arm. Royler smashed, and squeezed and - that's about it. What was disappointing was Royler never really tried anything else, he never sat back and tried a different pass, he never dropped his hip to the mat or even took the risk of backstepping to attack the knee or reverse mount. Even his sweeps seemed dull - Eddie almost seemed content to give up position in a few places just to get back to where he was and reset. After listening to the Rogan/Bravo breakdown below, it seems that he did just that. He gave up position to reset himself either in a better position or to restart in the lockdown since he knew Royler couldn't beat it. Now, some of you may be doubting that, which I might as well, but you do have to agree some of Royler's sweeps were far from being authoritative and most ended in a recounter.

Overall this fight was great, I would have loved to see Eddie go for the kill and be a little more vicious in finishing his submissions, but it is what it is. On Royler's part, I wish he would have did more than just trying one pass and sit statically, waiting for something to happen. We do give him all the props in the world for being incredibly tough and having a huge heart to continue through several devastating sub attempts. On that note, he survived all the sub attempts by grabbing the pants. Imagine if Eddie had not agreed to those rules. He most likely would have finished the 100% neck crank and definitely would have finished the Vaporizer crank/toehold/knee ripper.

So in the end we leave it up to you to make your own decision on each man and how they fought. We also want you to check out several versions and point of views on Metamoris 3. We kick it off with the Gracie Breakdown Propaganda Machine, then to the Rogan/Eddie podcast interview and finally we top it off with a breakdown from OI Ranga.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


When we can, we strive to provide our readers with sport specific strength and conditioning techniques. Today's work out comes from straight from Dynamo Sambo. The routines are simple, but utilize a variety of movements with the trusty old band. Bands are a great addition to any gym or workout, and they offer resistance throughout the entire range of motion. They also are a very cheap alternative to buying expensive weights, and require very little room. Add some of these techniques into your daily S&C and you'll be in competition (or beach) shape in no time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Usually we are right on top of grappling news and events, but we are still in shock from the shear awesomeness of this weekends grappling, we needed a full day to recover. The much anticipated Metamoris 3 re-match with Royler v Bravo took the cake. If you missed it, maybe you can find it on Youtube, it was 24 minutes of back and forth sweeps and sub attempts. In our opinion Eddie unanimously took the victory, with his countless sweeps and several very close submissions, but in the end the decision was a draw. A quick recap of the event: everything was of course overshadowed by the headliner.

Gui Mendes finishes Samir via baseball bat choke
Raf Mendes draws with Clark Gracie - Raf took it to Clark the entire match and Clark was on the defensive.
Lister v Sobral ends in a draw- with lots of anticipation for an all-out heavyweight battle - nothing much happend
Zak Maxwell and Sean Roberts draw - a decent back and forth match pinning knee slides versus crazy flexibility.
Keenan inside heel hooks Casey - Casey was a last minute fill-in for Vinny Magalhaes who had a staph infection. Kennan easily took the heel hook half way through the match.

Overall, Metamoris 3 was a great card that ended with some controversy. Back stage after the fights Royce Gracie appeared in order to confront Mr. Bravo and this is what occurred according to Eddie:
"After that match, after I got onstage, I was giving it up to the Gracies like I always have. I've always been super respectful of the Gracies. As a matter of fact, in my first book which came out in 2005, in the beginning, I write about them and give them the ultimate respect. I wanted to squash all these misconceptions that I'm against jiu-jitsu, and I'm a jiu-jitsu traitor, and all this shit. It's incredible how things get twisted. ‘Oh he disrespected me and I dropped the gi.' I dropped the gi for jiu-jitsu, to make jiu-jitsu look better in the UFC. The UFC got me into jiu-jitsu; jiu-jitsu didn't get me into the UFC.

I'm throwing up after the event, we went 20 hard minutes, I'm so emotional; my mom is there, I'm crying, it was just crazy. After it was all done, I felt like I had to throw up. I'm throwing up on the side of a tent... I hear this voice behind me, ‘It's good that you said these things about my family.' I'm like who is this? I turn around, wipe throw up off my mouth and it's Royce Gracie, and he goes, ‘It's good that you're saying what you say because you used to talk shit about my family.' And then I get up and I'm like ‘Dude, I never talked shit on your family, who is telling you these lies?' And I go in my book, like I told him, my book in 2005, I thank you, and I'm pointing, I have my finger like, ‘I thank you. I thank Royler. I thank your father,' and he thought that was disrespectful, because I was like pointing at him, he goes ‘Don't point your finger at me! Don't disrespect me!' And he gets in my face like he wants to fight me, and Jean Jacques Machado, he separates us. Man, Royce Gracie wants to kick my ass? How cool is that!"
In honor of such an amazing match match which you need to see, we give you a great 10th Planet technique from Eddie's affiliate in Decatur, Alabama. Enjoy the moves and the matches!

Friday, March 28, 2014


As all of you know by now, this weekend will be one of the biggest of 2014. If you don't know, well we feel sorry for you. We have an IBJJF Tourney, Metamoris, Bellator and WSOF all happening this weekend. While Bellator and WSOF may not be the largest promotions around, they have compiled some very high-level grapplers that will go face to face. The weekend will definitely be full of locks chokes and finishes. We do have to say the two main attractions would be Metamoris III: Royler v Bravo and WSOF: Paul Harris v Steve Carl. So tune in when you can, Bellator and WSOF are free, Metamoris is $20 and IBJJF you will have to go to the even or wait for us to post videos. Regardless, tune-in and enjoy your weekend!

IBJJF Chicago Spring Open:
To many to list

Metamoris III:
Royler v Bravo
Lister v Babalu

Bellator 114:
Shlemenko v Ward
Grove v Cooper

Paul Harris v Steve Carl
Okami v Savov