Bernardo Faria: Pressure Passing

This video showed up on my YouTube timeline today, it’s Bernardo Faria talking about pressure passing. Some good stuff in this video. He demonstrates how to angle your body so that more of your weight is on your opponents body. For example, using  your shoulder to pin your opponent to the ground when passing can be more effective if you angle your body in such a way that more of the weight is going into that shoulder.

This can be generalized to say that when attempting a pressure pass, if you can focus your weight into a small point on your body and apply that point to your opponent then you will generate more pressure. Pedro Vianna talks about applying pressure in this manner to large muscles. He says that if you can focus pressure in the middle of a large muscle then that becomes like a pressure point, making things very uncomfortable for your opponent.

Check out the video to hear Fari discuss pressure passing. It’s a short video, but has some great info.


Striking vs Grappling for Self Defense

Chewy from Chewjitsu recently published a video titled “Friend Said BJJ Is Useless for a Street Fight (Boxing is Realistic)”, and that got me thinking about writing this blog post comparing striking vs grappling.

Prior to starting jiu jitsu, I studied several martial arts. I got involved in a few TMA’s (traditional martial arts) that I won’t name here. Those styles essentially amounted to nothing more than choreographed movements that had zero effectiveness (we’ve all been there right?). I took some boxing, I wrestled a little in high school, and did some MMA training.

I also had some street fights (nothing too serious thankfully), as well as some friendly fights with my buddies just to have fun and goof around.

I feel pretty confident in saying that if you’ve never been punched in the face before, it is a shocking experience. If you are training any type of martial art, but have never really been punched by someone trying to take your  head off, then you’d be pretty surprised at how it feels.

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Kama Jiu Jitsu Vlog

I’ve been spending some time watching videos on the Kama Jiu Jitsu YouTube channel. This channel is run and maintained by Professor Ryan Young.  Young is a 2nd degree black belt under Dave Kama (who is one of the original “Dirty Dozen” black belts).  He has also trained under Relson Gracie, Rickson Gracie, and many other prominent black belts. He was active in the competition scene for many years but now focuses on teaching.

The videos on the Kama Jiu Jitsu YouTube channel focus on old-school, self-defense based jiu jitsu. Many of the videos reference Rickson Gracie’s style of teaching and try to convey that to the viewer. Topics covered vary from technique, to fitness and diet, to self-defense philosophy.

I really enjoy this channel. Young seems to be a  natural vlogger, and has lots of great insights to offer. Check out the video below on how to get better faster in jiu jitsu to see what I mean.

Hard 2 Hurt

Hard 2 Hurt is Icy Mike’s YouTube channel.  But just  who is Icy Mike, and what is his channel about?

Icy Mike is an ex-police officer turned martial arts instructor/enthusiast/fighter. He has been in several fights in episodes of StreetBeefs and his YouTube channel is focused on exploring the effectiveness of martial arts training in self-defense scenarios (aka: “THE STREETZ”).

This post is a bit of a departure from the regular jiu jitsu topics that I write about, but I think it’s valuable to keep in mind real-world self-defense scenarios during training so that you have an awareness of what works and what doesn’t.

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Judo Grip Fighting

A buddy of mine that I train with is a black belt in judo, and he was coaching me on some grip fighting fundamentals that he learned. He was showing me how it’s better to have a higher, inside grip on the lapels, and various ways of fighting to get two on one control. During rolling he got his grips and hit me with a cool sweep, the “Double Tap Foot Sweep” (found an instructional video by Jack Hatton posted below).

Through talking with him I realized that grip fighting is much more complex and cool than I was aware. It’s like a mini-chess game in the bigger game of grappling. Usually when I think of Judo techniques I’m thinking of the endgame, the throws, but now I see that there is an important game in fighting the grips.

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Chris Haueter BJJ Seminar (Full Video)

Chris Haueter is one of my favorite guys to take a seminar with. I didn’t attend this seminar but a buddy of mine sent me this link. Great video, lots of good details. The over-arching theme here is “head control”.  Control your opponent’s head and you can control their body more easily. He talks about this in the context of setting up chokes from the closed guard quite a bit in this video.

How To Do The Perfect BJJ Mount Escape by John Danaher

In this video John Danaher teaches how to do the perfect mount escape. Danaher is big on the concept of “wedges” for control, and getting inside these “wedges” for defense and escape. He makes use of a power shrimp initially (not to be confused with a sliding shrimp, as he explains) to get a knee between himself and one of Bernardo Faria’s wedges (his leg).  Special attention is paid to how the lead knee is inverted towards the ground in order to gain clearance past Faria’s leg.

Nice details here not only on the mount escape, but on different ways of shrimping, and what their uses are.

Roy Marsh – What Sharpens Iron?

In this video Roy Marsh talks about some of the fallacies surrounding who you should roll with and who you shouldn’t. He mentions that many white belts tell him that they don’t like to roll with upper belts because they feel that they would be wasting the upper belt’s time. But as stated in the video, it’s important for all belt levels to roll with all other belt levels, in addition to different weight ranges and genders. This is how you will develop the most well rounded game. As Joe Rogan says, in order to get good at jiu jitsu you “go and find people who are just learning, but they’re not as good as you, and you choke the f&*k out of them”. Funny quote, but it highlights a good point, higher belts get better at offense by working against lower belts, lower belts get better at defense by rolling with upper belts (in addition to the benefits gained from feeling the technique in live action applied by an upper belt).

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.