Grappling Is Measured In Irimi

“Whoever controls the center, wins.” —Ellis Amdur Grappling is essentially a negotiation for space, space that one person is attempting to occupy to the detriment of the other. Takedowns, throws, pins, strangles, and joint-locks, are really all variants of taking space so that we are in control of it and our opponent is not. In…

Grapping With (Not Against) Our Opponent

If we want to experience the joy and flow of a mutually beneficial relationship, it is imperative that we allow others to be themselves, but not to the point where it shuts down our ability to also be ourselves. There are many benefits, both physical and psychological, that come from sportive grappling, especially in a…

Find Your Way Back to the Familiar

If you are stuck in a position you do not know how to get out of, find your way back to a position you do know how to get out of and escape from there. I received a call from one of my lead technicians the other day with a question about how to remove…

Start By Not Losing

“If they can’t submit you, they will start to respect you.” —Anonymous For a long time, I was one of the only white belts at a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) school full of blue, purple, and brown belts, as well as the black belt who owned the school. Every roll was hard and I was getting…

Cutting Through Closed Guard

Accepting even an expert’s opinion as fact, without testing and retesting it in different contexts, can be detrimental to growth and progress. When I first started cross-training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), I accepted the opinion that closed guard is better than open guard for self defense. It seemed logical. There is more postural control in…