Holiday Von Flue Choke

 

Happy Holidays everyone! I had a member of my special Mind Blown Club ask me what some of my biggest learning for the year have been. One of the amazing things about life and Jiu-Jitsu is you never stop learning and there's always more room to grow and improve.

Besides the Matt Jones footlock which we did a long video on and is included in the Hidden Jiu-Jitsu VIP section, this is one of my favorite new techniques I've been playing around with.  It is a very simple set up for the Von Flue choke that makes it extremely difficult to get out.

For those that have seen my cross-side escapes series, I'm really big on establishing an under-hook so I can get back to my knees and go for a take down. Lots of times though, people will grab my neck to attempt a Guillotine. By blocking their knees and taking them down not only end up on top but we have this super simple finish!

It's a great technique any time you end up cross side and they have your head wrapped for a Guillotine. I also...

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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.

[Update Dec. 9, 2020]
 
I posted this article a couple of years ago on Hidden Jiu-Jitsu and since then there have still been quite a few people who have mentioned how dominant the back position is for Jiu-Jitsu and many people who believe it should be considered the highest priority position to achieve.
 
While in Jiu-Jitsu competition it's arguable, for MMA and fighting I think we have to take a look at how some of the greatest grapplers have actually struggled quite a bit being able to finish from that position.  
 
There was recently a very high-profile fight in the One Championship organization between Garry "The Lion Killer" Tonon and Koyomi Matsushima, which again helps demonstrate the issues I had mentioned in my article. 
 

Garry being a much higher caliber grappler than his opponent, who also has had a tremendous amount of success finishing...
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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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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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What was your biggest breakthrough in your Jiu Jitsu training?

I got asked this question the other day and I really had to put quite a bit of thought into it. I've had zillions of breakthroughs in training just like everyone else.  Sometimes it relates to a specific technique, a way to escape, a moment something is available to attack or just a concept and idea.  But I think something that I have been constantly reminded of recently in life and something that has had the greatest impact in my training the last few years is this.

The more relaxed and less strength I use the more effective my jiu-jitsu can become.  

I know all our instructors have tried to beat this idea into our heads from day one but it's one thing to hear it and something completely different to experience it.  The first time I had actually experienced this was when I was a purple belt almost 18 years ago.  I was just getting back on the mats from taking almost a year off from training because I had blown out both my knees in a tournament. ...

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