The Pareto Principle for Jiu Jitsu

Ryan Young from Kama Jiu Jitsu just released a video discussing the Pareto Principle and how it applies to jiu jitsu. I recently wrote about this as well when I reviewed the 80/20 Principle and how I thought it applied to learning jiu jitsu.

In the video below, Professor Ryan goes into some detail regarding how the Pareto Principle can be used to improve your jiu jitsu game. As he states in the video, if you know one hundred moves, maybe ten of those moves would account for 50% of your success on the mat.

To take this further, the 80/20 principle finds that it’s actually 80% of your effort that will lead to 20% of your success.

So what does this mean? Essentially that you should identify the moves that lead to your greatest successes, and concentrate your training on those moves. Not the exclusion of others of course. You’ll still want to learn new stuff, refine moves that maybe aren’t coming as naturally, etc. But the core of your training should be focused on improving those moves which are already winners for you. At least according to the Pareto Principle.

Professor Ryan gives one caveat in this video: if your best moves are complex moves such De La Riva, at the expense of fundamentals, then you should really focus on sharpening up your fundamentals. You may be a wizard at flying armbars, but those kinds of moves will never be as high-percentage in success as a good old-fashioned Mata Leão.

How to Build a Grappling Dummy

This is my take on making a homemade grappling dummy. My goal was to create something durable, flexible, and strong, and to try to do it as cheaply as possible. I tried to do this under 50 dollars, but I ended up spending about 80 dollars. This design took a lot of duct tape, which was about half the cost. If you can get *good* duct tape cheaper than I did (about 10 dollars a roll), then you might be able to get the cost down. Regardless, I still saved a ton over buying one outright.

I started the design based on this link on various tutorials I’ve seen online. I combined a couple of ideas and built what I have listed below. I wanted to put together a detailed tutorial on how to build one, because I didn’t see a really well spelled out tutorial online already.

I’ve had some time to practice with this dummy. So far it seems pretty sturdy. I will update this page if there end up being any issues with it. Since this design uses the service cable, the flexibility allows you to position this dummy in a variety of ways, and the strength of the service cable allows the dummy to hold it’s position on it’s own. It can sit in upright in your guard, or wrap you in guard, etc.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 9 Feet of Service Entrance Cable, Aluminum, 4/0-4/0-2/0 200 Amp “AA8176 style U-type AWG 2” – Can be found at Lowes for about $1.89 a foot as of the time of this article. It comes bundled with 3 cables, the bundle of 3 at 9 feet will cost around 18 dollars total.
    I deteremined the measurement of 9 feet for my frame by making the following calculations:

    • Measure the length of your foot x2 (if you have a 10 inch foot, then double that and make it 20)
    • Measure the length of your leg x2 (same for the leg, if you have 36 inch leg, then double it and make it 72)
    • Measure the width of your waist (if it’s 15 inches across don’t double this length, just keep it 15)
    • Add all the above measurements together 20 + 72 + 17 = 109 inches = approximately 9feet

    As you’ll see later in the instructions, the piece of cable that makes up the feet/legs/waist would be the longest length you would need.

  • 3 to 4 rolls of Duct Tape. I used a little over 3 rolls, you might be able to do it with a little less. (30 – 40 dollars)
  • 2 Tennis Balls – 2 dollars at Target.
  • 2 – 2″ x 15″ x 17″ sheets of High Density Foam. Can be found at Jo-Ann Fabrics for around 10 dollars a sheet.
  • Some filler material – I used 2 bed sheets and an old thick sweatshirt, all bought from good will for about 5 dollars total.
  • 3 Pool noodles – Target, about 4 dollars a piece
  • 1 pair of socks.
  • A mop, the kind with a hollow steel handle, and the stringy mop head that attaches directly to the handle, not to an piece of plastic between the handle and the head. The “Quickie – Clean Results Wet Mop” is what I used. About 7 dollars at Lowes.
  • A knife
  • A hacksaw

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Kodokan Throwing Techniques (Nagewaza)

What’s more exciting than watching a Judo master throw his opponent? We all know how devastating a good judo throw can be, one could even argue that when properly executed a judo throw can be a fight ender.

As jiu jitsu practitioners we’re often accused of not having a good stand-up game. Across the internet you often read people lamenting “how can you win a fight if you can’t even get your opponent to the ground?”.

I disagree with this. I believe that as long as you start most of your rolls from a standing position, you’ll be in good shape in terms of perfecting your take down skills.

Throw in some judo throws combined with some wrestling and you can become exceptionally effective at taking down an opponent.

Check out this video demonstrating 67 throwing techniques with variations:

 

Also check out the video “Real World Judo: Hit Harder with a Throw” (included with an Amazon Prime subscription if you have that):

real-world-judo

4 Fighting Styles Every Fighter Should Know

“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” – Robert E. Howard

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Most of us will never be put in a situation to have to defend ourselves in our adult life. Fights are typically relegated to the school yard, or the college bar, but at a certain point life changes and the appeal of throwing fists in polite society loses it’s luster.

Still, this doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility of knowing how to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and those who can’t defend themselves. The chances of needing to get into a physical altercation are generally pretty slim, but it’s better to be a “warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war”.

Learning how to fight is a great way to boost confidence. Knowing you can throw a punch, and take a punch if necessary, can take the anxiety out of any adversarial exchange. There’s evidence that people who know how to fight tend to avoid confrontation just on the basis that they know they don’t need to prove themselves.

There’s also evidence that the more confidence you exude, the less likely you are to be a target of violent crime. Most criminals commit crimes of opportunity. They want the most return on their efforts with the least amount of resistance and risk . How you carry yourself could very well make the difference when a criminal is looking for their next mark.

With the plethora of fighting styles available to learn, which ones should you choose to dive into? There are traditional martial arts such as Karate and Kung Fu, grappling styles, striking styles, and subdivisions in each.

Here are the four fighting styles I think are the most important and effective. Each of these fighting styles has proven themselves to be invaluable in mixed martial arts events. Their effectiveness has been battle tested by their practitioners through countless hours of sparring and refinement.

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Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu

At our Jiu Jitsu academy we have a women’s program that was started a couple of years ago. It was created as a way to help women overcome the discomfort of training in a co-ed environment. One of the instructor’s at our academy is a female, and she thought it would be worth experimenting with a women’s-only program to see if there would be any interest in getting more women to train jiu jitsu. And there certainly was. That part of the school is now thriving. You can read about it here: Girls-in-Gis: The Power of Healing.

I’ve heard from a few women that have trained jiu jitsu that there is an initial discomfort to get over in training with guys. There’s the obvious gender difference that is a barrier for some women to get past, but there’s also the size difference. It’s physically demanding to train when you’re first starting jiu jitsu, and if you’re a woman starting out who has to train with guys much larger than them then I could see how it could be difficult to do the moves, at least in the beginning. Jiu jitsu was designed so that a smaller, weaker person can overcome someone larger and stronger, but when you’re first learning the techniques you don’t know how to apply the proper leverage yet, so you’re not going to be defeating size and strength from day one.

There are many reasons why women may feel uncomfortable training jiu jitsu with guys, I’m not a woman so I won’t claim to know truly what it feels like but a quick web search shows many articles that address this topic. The organization “Girls in Gis” was created to help women train together in a friendly environment. They host events all around the United States through their ambassador program and we are very fortunate to have a Girls in Gis event at our school. Girls in Gis also has a scholarship program to help offset the costs associated with learning jiu jitsu.  If you check out the testimonials on their site you’ll see that Girls in Gis have had a positive influence on many women’s jiu jitsu journey.

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Jesse Delgado Funk Roll Study

DPS Breakdowns just posted a video breaking down how to do and use a Funk Roll in grappling. If you’re not familiar with DPS Breakdowns, you should head over to their YouTube channel, tons of great videos, a lot of very technical, high quality analysis. Dan from DPS breakdowns is a high level competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has great insight into the finer details of the game.

The Funk Roll is a roll that according to Dan has 3 objectives:

  1. Disrupt the opponent’s base, by doing the Funk Roll and achieving hip and ankle control.
  2. Prevent the opponent from regaining base.
  3. Either score or force a stalemate.

From the video blow it seems like an important aspect of the funk roll (or arguably the sole reason to do this move) is to counter a take down with the funk roll, and then establish control of your opponents leg(s) or hips so that they can’t establish their own base, which kills subsequent take down attempts and opens other possibilities.

See the full breakdown below:

Hurricane Jiu Jitsu: Student Video Analysis

Hurricane Jiu JitsuIn this video John Lawrence from Hurricane Jiu Jitsu does an analysis of one of his student’s competition footage. Lawrence has a long competition history and his experience enables to him to see details in this video that I would have missed.  He breaks down what it would take for this student to finish his sweeps and control his opponent better by controlling his opponent’s posting hand and stabilizing his opponents core by gaining grips on two opposing corners of his opponent’s body.

North South Escape using Elbow Push vs Side Control

marcelo-garciaI find myself getting stuck in north  south and side control a lot lately (again). While searching for ideas on how to escape north south I found this video of Marcelo Garcia showing how to escape by getting back into side control. He says that he’d rather be in side control than in north south, so doesn’t mind escaping to that position, where he can work on escaping side control via an elbow push.

Chris Haueter Seminar January 2019

Chris HaueterI just got back from a seminar put on by Chris Haueter at the Fight Gym in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. This is the second seminar I’ve attended with Haueter, and I said the same thing last time, I wouldn’t miss a Chris Haueter seminar when he comes around. Both times that I’ve attended his seminars I’ve had several “ah-ha” moments, which totally makes the price of admission worthwhile.

This seminar we focused on the rear naked choke. We spent a little time in the beginning of the seminar after our warm up talking about how to control our partner when we have back control. Haueter spoke about the importance of controlling our partner’s hips by pushing our hips right against their tail bone and using our legs to keep their hips pulled back into ours and to the ground. We spent some time with our partner trying to escape while we attempted to hold them in place. It was pretty amazing how much control we had this way, without even really needing to use our arms that much to control their upper body. Typically we’re taught to get a seat belt grip to maintain control but by controlling their hips with our legs we didn’t seem to need that grip to maintain control.

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