One of the central concepts of using the guard for self defense is to either keep your opponent very close or very far away. When he's very close it's hard for him to generate enough power for a knockout shot. And if he's very far away then his punches simply can't reach you. It's the middle ground that gets you killed. This is where punches reach their full KO power, … [Read more...]
Two is One and One is None
There’s a military saying that goes, “Two is one, and one is none.” The idea is that if you have a mission-critical item then it will inevitably malfunction, get misplaced or get smashed into a million pieces. So you need a backup. This is really a corollary of Murphy’s Law, namely “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”. Once you involve Murphy you can’t have a single … [Read more...]
Back Pain from Martial Arts Training
Almost every martial artist experiences back pain at some point in their training. It hurts like hell and brings your training to a screeching halt. And in the worst case some people are even permanently sidelined by it. Understanding what's causing your pain, changing your movement patterns to prevent it, and implementing 'spinal hygiene' so that you place less wear and … [Read more...]
MMA Fighter Fights for His Life in Home Invasion
On Sunday April 5th, 2020, at 4 am in the morning, MMA fighter Anthony Smith found himself in the fight of his life to protect his wife and kids. He went from being sound asleep to fighting an intruder a few seconds later who just wouldn't quit no matter what was thrown at him. What might sound strange is that he 6' 4", 230 lb, highly athletic, super conditioned fighter … [Read more...]
BJJ vs Boxing
A question came up on a recent Instagram Live Q&A I did about a streetfight video in which a 'boxer' beat up a 'jiu-jitsu guy'. This was a great entry point into a really interesting discussion about the street applicability of BJJ, the importance of cross training in today's martial arts environment, and specific drills BJJ guys should be doing if they want their art to … [Read more...]
Surviving the Worst Case Scenario – BJJ vs a Gun on the Ground!
If you’re on the bottom using your guard in a submission grappling situation then the single worst thing that can happen is that the other guy drops back and locks on a heel hook submission, forcing you to tap out or suffer a potentially serious ankle or knee injury. If you’re using your guard in an MMA situation then the worst thing that can happen is that you get hit with … [Read more...]
Kicking from the Ground – How to Do It Properly!
Many self defense systems teach that if you get knocked down to the ground you should get into a defensive position on your side. From there you should then lash out at your opponent with sidekicks to keep him away. In this article and video I'll show how staying on your side when you're knocked down is mostly an outmoded technique and that there are much better options … [Read more...]
The Simplest Guard Pass for Self Defense and MMA
In the old days, two guys fighting would typically back up, square off, and swing for the fences until one of them went down. The whole idea of taking the fight to the ground, passing the guard, securing a good position, and using ground and pound to finish a fight or set up a submission would have been considered ludicrous. But the popularity of MMA and BJJ have done a … [Read more...]
The BJJ Guard for Self Defense… on Your Phone!
I've just released the Self Defense Guard as a 2 module instructional for iPhone and Android. It covers the techniques and strategies from the bottom of guard that are most useful in a real fight. From defending yourself against strikes, to getting back to your feet, to choking your opponent out or sweeping him and getting on top, it's all covered here. (Watch the video … [Read more...]
BJJ in a Streetfight, the Merciful Option
Adam Nadow is a Machado jiu-jitsu black belt and he was recently attacked in the street by a mentally unstable individual. He used his BJJ training to defend himself and control his attacker until the police arrived. He used a rear naked choke and a bow and arrow lapel choke to control his opponent (and there are people who say that gi-based grappling is irrelevant for self … [Read more...]
A Great Ground and Pound Drill
Here's a really interesting MMA drill with a TON of applications for self defense... It's features Greg Nelson who has coached 3 different fighters to UFC championships (Dave Menne, Sean Sherk and Brock Lesnar) and has also done a ton of work with law enforcement and the military. Anyway, here's video I think you should watch. The ground and pound section is mostly in … [Read more...]
Martial Art Ranges for Fighting
There are many different ways to classify martial arts ranges, but one relatively simple method way to divide all combat up into 5 distances... Projectile range (guns, javelins, arrows, thrown rocks, etc.) Handheld weapons range (sticks, swords, handheld spears, knives, clubs, etc.) Striking range (punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts, etc.) Clinching range … [Read more...]
How to Train Eye Gouges, Throat Grabs and Groin Strikes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5b98N_VzgQ OK, I get it: on the street you don't want to be limited by the rules of a sport. On the street you may need to pull hair, gouge the eyes, kick the groin, grab the throat, and if all that doesn't work then you'll need to start fighting dirty ;) But a martial art is more than just the techniques that you find in that martial … [Read more...]
Air Chokes vs Blood Chokes – What’s Better?
Even if you're a world class striker, with knockout power in both hands, I would still argue that it's absolutely critical to also master a few reliable chokes from different positions! A properly applied choke can render even a big guy unconscious in about 10 seconds - it's that powerful. And, contrary to what you might think, a choke is actually much safer than a left … [Read more...]
BJJ Punch Defense Using a T Shirt Grip
I've said it many times... BJJ is a great sport, a fun fitness activity and a fantastic way to make friends, but at it's core it's a martial art! And one of the things that 'martial art' means is being able to defend against punches. And one of the most important places to defend punches from is when you're on the bottom, in the guard. Why the Guard? On the ground it's … [Read more...]