How to Breakdown Jiu Jitsu Techniques to Make It as Efficient as Possible

How to break down techniques to figure out how to make them as efficient as possible or to figure out the most efficient/best counter to a technique?

This was a question that was brought up by one of my Mind Blown Jiu Jitsu Club Members.

The short answer is to question everything....

For me as I was coming up through Jiu-Jitsu it was never good enough for me to just learn a technique. What I was really interested in were all the things that surround the technique and trying to really understand what makes it work.

These are the things I work to master in every technique.

Timing.
What situation should I apply the technique and when was the best time? If the timing is off, the technique is going to require too much strength or not work at all.

Baiting.
How could I bait my opponent or set them up to give me what I wanted? For maximum efficiency we always try to use our opponents movements against them. So I was always trying to find the necessary reaction to the get the technique to work...

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Interview with MMASUCKA

I just did a new interview with MMASUCKA.  It was a great interview in it we discuss the start of my journey, belt promotions and online promotions, Hidden Jiu-Jitsu, training with Rickson, and the importance of understanding the fundamentals and concepts of Jiu-Jitsu.

CLICK HERE to listen.

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Happy Birthday Rickson Gracie & What Makes Rickson Different

This is a very special day! I just want to take the time to wish Rickson Gracie, my instructor, one of my biggest inspirations in my life and a person who has inspired so many others a very Happy Birthday.Rickson & Traven

To celebrate his birthday I just wanted to share one of the many stories about him that motivated and inspired me as I was coming up.

It was in the mid to late late 90's (97 or 98 maybe) at the Pico academy when Fabio Gurgel came to town with several black belts from Brazil. One of the black belts that came with him was Roberto "Spider" Traven. I believe Roberto was a world champion black belt at the time or won the world's shortly after this visit.

I remember seeing Rickson train with all the black belts, and doing what he normally does to them all, which is submit them multiple times within a 5-6 minute roll, but with Roberto he could not even pass his guard. You see this was the first time any of us had been exposed to the Spider guard, named after Roberto. Gripping the sleeves...

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Why “the back” position is not as good as most people think.

Why “the back” position is not as good as most people think in MMA or for fighting.

Many consider “the back” position the most dominant position in all of jiu-jitsu and are willing to give up any position to take the back.   “The Back” is considered by many the golden position, a place where we all strive to get to but for MMA or Self Defense it is not a position I recommend for my students and I usually advise them NOT to take the back if securing it places them on the bottom of their opponent.  If given the choice I always prefer for my students to maintain the mount and stay on top and here is my reasoning why:

There is a much greater ability to do damage with strikes from the Mount Position. 

From the mount we have the advantage of being able to reign down very heavy punches and elbows.  From the back, striking is quite limited because we are facing the back of the opponents head and striking that area is illegal in...

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Jiu Jitsu Journey Interview with Henry Akins by Shawn Mozen

Here is one of the latest interviews I did with Shawn Mozen, founder and CEO of Agatsu.

Shawn is one of the foremost authorities in kettlebell training in the world and a lifelong martial artist.  He found out about me and Hidden Jiu-Jitsu from a Faceobook ad and I was lucky enough to have him come by Dynamix MMA and train for a few days while he was visiting in Los Angeles.

We talked a little about the site, my ideas on jiu-jitsu and I shared with him some basic ideas and adjustments to make some techniques more effective.

In this video we review some details on why framing on the bottom doesn't always work and another option.

We also reviewed a couple examples of how normal BJJ training can leave you wide open to be hit and the small changes that can implement in your training that can keep you safe from strikes.  The styles do blend together.
To check out all the amazing fitness and strength and conditioning stuff Shawn does go here http://www.agatsu.com/

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Alpha Jiu Jitsu Seminar "What EXACTLY Happens when you get your Guard Passed?"

Here is a small part of my seminar from Alpha Jiu Jitsu in Woodstock, IL.

It was a great seminar thanks to Dan Hart for flying me out.

A few questions that get answered in this video.

  1. What's the most IMPORTANT detail while your guard is being passed to make sure you Recover?
  2. What are the main two control points your opponent needs to FLATTEN you out and control you? (and how to stop him!)
  3. What does throwing a punch have to do with ESCAPING Cross Side?
  4. How does changing your thumb position make it IMPOSSIBLE to be Flattened Out?

The rest of the seminar will be made available to my HJJ Members soon.

If you are ever in want to do some BJJ in Woodstock, IL check them out http://alphajiujitsu.com/

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The biggest lessons I learned from Rickson on how to train to get better at Jiu-Jitsu

"The training is all in your mind!"

For a long time in my training like most people I always thought I had to train with the best and the toughest guys to improve and get better.  Then one day after talking with Rickson I realized my strategy for how to get the most out of my training was all wrong.

You see, I witnessed first hand so many times Rickson training with the current world champion of whatever year and whatever weight and absolutely annihilate them.  Many times after the training the black belt would say "they have never experienced anything like that" OR "they felt like an absolute white belt training with Rickson".  I would see him tap guys effortlessly multiple times in a 5 minute training session.  These were guys who were winning the Mundials submitting everyone in their division.  Many of these legendary greats, Fabio Gurgel, Saulo, Xande, Fabio Leopoldo, Paulo Filho, Renzo Gracie, have all talked about their experience training with...

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Why You Should ALWAYS Go To Jiu Jitsu Class, Especially When You CAN'T Train.

The details are in the deep understanding of Jiu Jitsu.

People ask me a lot of times for advice on how to improve quicker at jiu-jitsu.  I was one of fastest black belt under Rickson Gracie.  I started training in 1995 and within 6 months I had my blue belt.  A year and a half after that (2 years total) I was a purple, and got my brown belt in 2000, in 5 years, that is with taking a year off because I had blown out both my knees in a competition my first day as a purple belt.  I ended up getting my black belt in 2004.  (the story of why it took me so long to go from brown to black belt is a great story with many lessons for another article!) It was never a race for me, in fact, I never really wanted or cared about getting belts, the only reason I mention the timeline is to give people an idea of how my teacher, who was considered to have extremely high standards, acknowledged my progress.

I was really blessed with my circumstances when I started...

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Can you be a complete martial artist only learning Jiu-Jitsu?

I remember one of my first exposures to Jiu-Jitsu was watching Royce Gracie fight in UFC 1 back in 1993 (a few months before that I had seen an old grainy vhs copy of a copy of Gracie in Action 1 and 2 so I knew who the Gracie family were and  who Royce was).  All of the competitors in the event were decorated competitors in their respective martial art, skilled martial artists.  The UFC back in those days was a tournament style, no weight limit, no time limit, bare knuckle fight. The only rules were no biting, and no eye gouging.  All else was allowed.  In those days the UFC really was "As Real As It Gets" except you had to fight 3 game opponents in one night to "win".  Royce Gracie won the first event in under 5 minutes dispatching Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau barely taking a hit.  After seeing the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in action again, I knew I had to figure out a way to learn the art.  A year and a half later...

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Street Defense: Grabbed from Behind Underneath Arms Around the Waist Pt. 1

 

Ever since attending Rickson's Black Belt only JJGF Self Defense certification seminar. I have been flooded with people asking what he covered.

It was about 100 different Self Defense techniques that Rickson wanted to make sure were not forgotten in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. But the crazy part is with 20 Black Belts there Rickson showed so many concepts, details, and techniques we had never seen!

Here is one he taught us I think is very important for everyone to master. It is a Street Defense that also leads into a submission when someone grabs you from behind around your waist.

A couple details that really help this technique to be successful is the way I step to be able to grab the ankle and also how I make my opponent fall to the ground.  I found if the person is big and strong or if they have weight on their foot it's not possible to grab the ankle and pull it off the ground, instead I take my feet off the ground and sit all my weight into the thigh while just holding the ankle to...

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