Ever thought about why you love/hate the gi?

Gi or no-gi is a polarising question in BJJ circles. Most people have a preference for one or the other. Calling it a preference is a little understated. Religious fervour would be more accurate.

The main difference between gi and no-gi is that you can grip the clothing. Essentially, gripping the gi acts as . . . → Read More: Ever thought about why you love/hate the gi?

Safety and Illegal Moves

As a coach, my job is to provide a training environment where people can learn BJJ safely and effectively. But there’s more to it than that. My job is to ensure that they learn how to keep themselves safe while training and competing.

These two things are not the same.

The most important thing . . . → Read More: Safety and Illegal Moves

Why the IBJJF rules can’t be fixed

The majority of BJJ competitions follow the IBJJF ruleset or a variation of it. The objective in a BJJ match is for two competitors to battle to be the first to submit the other. This simple objective sounds like fun for the competitors and promises excitement for the spectators. So why aren’t IBJJF matches . . . → Read More: Why the IBJJF rules can’t be fixed

Using the Frame to fight the powerhand – Half guard notes week 9

The top player’s power hand is his most important tool in the half guard top position. Even if he is not attacking with it directly, he is using it for balance and defence. Removing the use of his power hand leaves him at a serious disadvantage. We examined fighting the power hand in week . . . → Read More: Using the Frame to fight the powerhand – Half guard notes week 9

Frames – Half guard notes week 8

Until now, the bottom player has been reacting defensively to the top player’s counters. Even though her goal is an offensive one (gain head position), she has been going about it with a defensive mindset. Her thoughts have been on countering the obstacles that the top player is putting in her path. The top . . . → Read More: Frames – Half guard notes week 8

Review week – Half guard notes week 7

This week was used to review what we’ve covered so far and to ensure we understand what the key points are.

Key points:

The main objective for the bottom player is to gain dominant head position. Control the centre of mass after obtaining head position. The main objective of the top player is to . . . → Read More: Review week – Half guard notes week 7

Fighting the power hand – Half guard notes week 6

In the fight for head position, the obvious thing for the top player to do is to use his hands and arms to push the bottom player and prevent her from closing the distance to gain head position (head to chest). Regardless of which hand is dominant, his outside (crossfacing) arm will be able . . . → Read More: Fighting the power hand – Half guard notes week 6

The skilled opponent – Half guard notes week 5

Until now, our focus has been on what the bottom player is attempting to do. The top player as been providing resistance, but that resistance has been unskilled. We shall now begin dealing with a skilled opponent.

The first objective of a skilled top player who finds himself in half guard is to gain . . . → Read More: The skilled opponent – Half guard notes week 5

Top player counters by pressuring the deltoid – Half guard notes week 4

We are now well aware that the main battle that is occurring with half guard is that the bottom player is attempting to gain dominant head position and the top player is trying to prevent this from occurring.

A common way the top player does this is by squashing the bottom player with his . . . → Read More: Top player counters by pressuring the deltoid – Half guard notes week 4

Details of the foot grab sweep – Half guard notes week 3

Last week focussed on gaining good positioning. With good positioning, sweeping becomes easy. The aim of this week is to introduce the most common (and hence easy to apply) half guard sweeps. The next two months will be spent on dismantling our opponent’s counters so we can perform these sweeps.

A note for those . . . → Read More: Details of the foot grab sweep – Half guard notes week 3