Worm Guard was two years in the making, video evidence Inside!!!!

Hey guys not a lot of talk today, here is a quick breakdown I did of Keenan vs. Cyrbor Abreu at the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in NY back in Oct. of 2012.  I remember watching the match personally, the weight divisions were over, and sadly I didn’t qualify for the black belt absolute, so  I sat and studied the action.  Here it is, if you missed the previous two Worm Guard blogs check them out right here, PART ONE , AND PART TWO.  Enjoy 😉

If you guys liked that breakdown and maybe interested in competing more, but have fear and or anxiety, give this a quick read, maybe if you have to take a bathroom break lol, it’s not that long, and people have told me they really enjoy the story, check it out down below

I don’t have to tell you everyone is scared to compete, no matter how many times they have done it, any top level competitor will tell you they deal with nerves and fear and doubt, if you are interested, my 5 step system can help you or anyone get over that, I had a chance to sit down with one of my black belt buddies, and well, here, here is what he had to say (Ken Primola Pan Am Champion)

So if you are interested in what you read, and heard, and want to find out more, I’ll leave some more info right here, thanks for your time and listening to my story


Body Builder Beat Down Part Two

So I mentioned earlier on my Facebook page, a few years ago my instructor called me up and said he needed me to come to his academy to fight, I won’t go into it too much, I’ll post the link to the first part of the story  right here. This way you can catch up on the situation, and if you already read part one, we can get right into it. So if you haven’t read part one, hurry and catch up, see you down below for part two, I won’t talk about details on part one right here.


So I get to my instructor’s academy, after the 45 min drive from my place where I was teaching to meet these beef caked, roided out goons he was telling me about. I walk in and he is like, “finally, fuck, what took you so long, Jesus.” Haha, he was always busting my ass, it’s cool, I was pretty used it by now. You see the thing is my instructor had just moved to a new location in the town he was teaching, so one ways he was marketing the new location was to hand out fliers to local businesses and friends. They were posted places; stacks were left at restaurants, etc., that sort of thing. So he told me that, “Yea I was in the grocery story, and they saw my jiu jitsu shirt and just walked up to me with a crinkled up flier and were like is this your school? We want to come and put it to the test.” My instructor was never one to back down from a fight, so he said something like, “yea, come out, your muscles won’t save you on my mats, you’ll be amazed, you’ll be dying when you’re done.” Lol, so he goes onto tell me that these guys were fucking HUGE! So I am like great, you probably pissed them off, and now I am going to have to pick up the pieces, no worries, by this time I had done many a challenge matches.


You see my instructor was hurt, all the good tough guys were deployed, so he called me and my other buddy Mike who was wrestler for the all marine team and super good jiu jitsu guy as well, and he was pretty jacked himself, bigger then me. Turns out there were two bodybuilders coming, my instructor was like “Stevie, you take the smaller one, Mike you fuck up the biggest one.” So that was the plan from our general, “fuck em up.” Soon they walk in, and yea they are significantly bigger then us, huge guys, pretty tall, and heavily muscled, and my instructor sees them and then is like “these are the guys”, haha yea no shit haha. My instructor talks a little more shit to them, and then points to me and Mike, and tells them we are going to take them on.

We head to the back of the mat, and I didn’t know exactly what type of challenge it was going to be, and right away the bodybuilders say, “no punches, just wrestling stuff.” Haha, just wrestling stuff, that’s my speciality. Not soon after we my instructor squares us off, no warm up and tells the muscle fiends to, “just fight for your life, you don’t know anything.” Then we shake hands, and this dude starts to grab me, I shuck him off, feeling how strong he is, and I decide after that, that I probably don’t want this muscle head on top of me trying to squeeze my throat or some shit, so I decided to take the back. He is reaching aimlessly, I circle his wrist with mine on the reach, grab his triceps from underneath with my far arm, and arm drag him just enough to hop on his back Marcelo Garcia style. And from there, he is standing with me on his back, I pressed my heels into his knee sockets to buckle his knees, he dropped, I wrapped both hooks, went around his neck, and sunk the choke, in all of about 10 to 12 seconds from start to finish haha. He was like “fuckkkk”, and just as we finished I looked over to see Mike hoisting the biggest beast over his head for nice Matt Hughes esque double leg take down, and then taking him out with a Kimura soon after.


The guys never came back, they were cool after, gave us a lot of respect, we shot the shit for a little bit after class, and then that was that. Just another one of the many challenges that went down at my instructor’s academy, this time it was just “wrestling stuff”, other times it was full on MMA style beat downs. Haha, oh those were the good old days. Hope you enjoyed the story, if you want to learn how to overcome some of the fears I went through that day, read a little more down below, and thanks for listening to part two of the Bodybuilder Challenge.

SPECIAL UPDATE: If you missed my Worm Guard breakdowns, check out all three parts right here, PART ONE ,


if you are reading this you must be pretty smart, and are in sync with the new competition scene. And Now I know not everyone competes, but if you do, and or are thinking about competing, check this out, give it read, heck I know most won’t but that’s cool, if anything, if you want a quick read, it’s worth your time during your morning bathroom break 😉

I am just saying, I gave my tips to my fellow black belt friends, and they said it really changed the way think about competition, well here, here is what one of my friends, Ken Primola, former Pan Am champ had to say about my tips right down below

If you are interested in what you read, and heard, and want to find out more, I’ll leave some more info right here, thanks for your time and listening to my story

How The Worm Guard Broke Jiu Jitsu


Worm Guard Breaks sh@#


How The Worm Guard Broke Jiu Jitsu


Lol, nah I don’t think it broke jiu jitsu at all. I mean, I can see, and have felt how the Worm Guard can be frustrating, or annoying, but that is jiu jitsu, I don’t know if you have noticed, but it is not easy haha. But if you are reading this, you must be pretty smart, so you already know that haha.  I mean I have been doing jiu jitsu for like 12 some odd years, and I still get confused and frustrated. The worm guard is just the next evolution in the sport jiu jitsu game. It gets extremely hard to surprise people, let alone finish them at the black belt level. So new players, with fresh blood come along, and innovate, and invent new positions to take out their opponents. I have said it before a few years back when talking about the 50/50 guard.


“….refering to some of the gi moves that require a lot of cloth manipulation, and moves like the 50/50 guard and deep half.  But these are relativley high sport jiu jitsu moves that are being utilized because everyone is so technical at this level, and one needs to be creative to submit someone at that level….”



So with that being said, the Worm Guard will if anything, help develop and strengthen the sport jiu jitsu scene. I think the worm guard has a high sweep percentage, and you saw how Keenan used it to sweep the current 3x world champion in this past weekend World Championships (if you missed the match, you can watch it in my previous blog by clicking right here). There is the old argument that has come up with moves like the 50/50 and deep half guard and how they aren’t really street applicable, and or MMA applicable. Street applicable, probably not, they have been hit in MMA. The Berimbolo is the next big move that took over the scene, and people cry the sport vs. street jiu jitsu, which is cool, I wrote a little about it, I have not seen anyone hit the Berimbolo in MMA, and I do not think anyone will try it in the street. Check out a little more about what I said in a previous blog, I don’t want to talk about it too much, so check it out right here.



Back to the Worm Guard, will it be as big as the Berimbolo? Is it the next big thing taking over academies in waves? Maybe, I know at my academy we have been working it for a little while now, and my buddy Ken and I have been addressing it as well. Even if you do not plan on doing it, you have to address it if you plan on competing at the highest level. I think the worm guard is a good position so far, it has already proven its effectiveness by its maker. I think the biggest thing about the worm guard and other guards like the Berimbolo is that new jiu jitsu practitioners see it, and from and early belt like white and blue they do that, and do that only, and neglect every other aspect of the game. This makes them fundamentally weak, which is not what Keenan is. Keenan has a lot of innovations that are not taught at the fundamental level, but he knows the fundamentals, and was stopping people from passing his guard and sweeping high level opponents long before the Worm Guard’s birth about two months ago. So if you are rather new, focus what on what is being taught in class by your professor before you do the Worm bro 😉

SPECIAL UPDATE: Check out my breakdown of the origins of the Worm Guard, video evidence of Keenan using it almost two years ago, video evidence right here


Now, like I said if you are reading this you must be pretty smart, and are in sync with the new competition scene. And Now I know not everyone competes, but if you do, and or are thinking about competing, check this out, give it read, heck I know most won’t but that’s cool, if anything, if you want a quick read, it’s worth your time during your morning bathroom break 😉


I am just saying, I gave my tips to my fellow black belt friends, and they said it really changed the way think about competition, well here, here is what one of my friends, Ken Primola, former Pan Am champ had to say about my tips right down below


If you are interested in what you read, and heard, and want to find out more, I’ll leave some more info right here, thanks for your time and listening to my story

9 Worm Guard Videos Every BJJ Player Must See


Ello gobnor. Lol, as you can see this is an extensive video archive of the newly famous and not well known how to defend “Worm Guard” by America’s great jiu jitsu black belt Keena Cornelius. If you are reading this blog and searching for this knowledge, then you must be pretty smart, because Keenan has said himself that this new guard formation/structure has only been around for about two months. The wormguard seems to be an evolutionary off shoot of the lapel grip sweep, where a jiu jitsu fighter feeds the tail of their opponent’s gi under their leg (coming under and around the hamstring region) and gripping with their own hand on the same side to come up for a single/double leg type situation. If you do not understand what I am trying to put into words lol, that’s cool, I get ahead of myself a lot. Check out this video of Rodolfo Viera doing it to Andre Galvao a fews back at the WPJJC in Dubai. I have the link.. The match starts out, Rodolfo hits a left handed drop seoi nage, Andre sweeps him back with a deep half guard sweep, then Rodolfo comes right back with the aforementioned lapel sweep. It’s beautiful jiu jitsu to watch, one of my favorite matches of recent time. Match #1 of the must see Worm Guard videos starts with this
match right here (sweep goes down at the 2:56 min mark if you want to skip ahead).

Now onto Keenan, he has really evolved this lapel grip manipulation and has been using it to beat, and score on the top of the top of the food chain Jiu Jitsu fighters of modern time. Now I am not going to go into detail on each video, I will more in the near future, this is just a quick reference for all you bjj fanatics out there who are trying to stay current, and stay one up on those who are slipping, and not studying the modern jiu jitsu game. In these videos you can see the standard Worm Guard, one of the videos is by BJJ Scout, where he/she does go through a detailed breakdown on the position, other videos you can see Keenan do the reverse De La Worm Guard, and the Reverse Upsidedown De La Worm Guard. Each video will have the corresponding heading letting you know which guard is inside 😉

1. Keenan vs. Murilo Santana, first Emergence of the Worm Guard, Pans 2014, Black Belt Medium Heavy Class

2. Keenan vs. Braulio Estima WPJJC 2014 Worm Guard

3. Keenan vs. Buchecha WPJJC Worm Guard

4. Keenan and Andre Galvao Reverse Upside down De La Worm Guard, Worm Guard

5. Keenan leandro worm guard

6. Keenan vs. Buchecha mundials Reverse De La Worm Guard

7. Ken and Jiu Jitsu Stevie Worm Guard exploration; offensive and counter

8. Detailed Bjj Scout breakdown on the basics of the Worm Guard

Read part two of the Worm Guard blog RIGHT HERE!

Now like I said if you are reading this you must be pretty smart, and are in sync with the new competition scene. And Now I know not everyone competes, but if you do, and or are thinking about competing, check  this out, give it read, heck I know most won’t but that’s cool, if anything, if you want a quick read, it’s worth your time during your morning bathroom break 😉

I am just saying, I gave my tips to my fellow black belt friends, and they said it really changed the way think about competition, well here, here is what one of my friends, Ken Primola, former Pan Am champ had to say about my tips right down below

If you are interested in what you read, and heard, and want to find out more, I’ll leave some more info right here, thanks for your time and listening to my story.

American Born Brazilian Jiu Jits Black Belt 2014 World Champion Prospects. Part Two

Now part two of my American born BJJ black belts prospects to win gold this year at the mundials. If you did not read part one, click right here, and catch up 😉 If you did, now we move onto the next ones.

Lightweight: DJ Jackson

DJ is one of the fastest American born competitors to receive their black belt, doing so in record time in just around 4 years. It came from constant competition at every belt, and winning world titles at every belt in gi and no gi along the way, so this American is no stranger to the top of the podium. And with his move down from middle to light weight this year; he might be a brute force in that division, exciting to see how the change in weight class amplifies his game. If you do not know DJ he has a strong wrestling pedigree from college, and on top of that he has worked with the likes of world champion takedown coach Ken Primola. Ken already helped DJ win world championship gold at the black belt level once already. DJ is the former 2012 IBJJF no gi black belt middleweight world champion. With that being said, if DJ can force most, or if not all of his matches in the worlds this weekend into some kind of wrestling battle, not many will be able to stop him at his weight class. DJ has a strong single leg finish, and probably and even stronger single leg defense. DJ also has a blast double leg that lifts many larger opponents off their feet for air time before their slammed to the ground by the American wrestler turned bjj player. DJ has adapted his takedowns well to the gi, so well that most opponents will opt to pull guard almost immediately after tying up with him rather then risk starting with a two point deficit after DJ takes them down. Which is fine for DJ, he loves the passing game, and relentless on the passes, never stopping, and will win off sheer tenacity, drive and conditioning if you fall behind his pass just an inch. His strongest passing position is by far the half guard situation. He has very good head and arm control there, and almost always knee cuts out. If he does not he looks to implement his wristlock and kimura game on the arm he has underhooked. And as I mentioned before, if his opponents come up for a single leg in the half guard, or any other guard situation, DJ has excellent defense that will stifle these attacks. DJ’s guard is progressing, but I would say if he is on his back it is because he got put there, so for the best odds, if he can get the takedown, stay on top, and pressure the pass and wear his opponents down, he can have a repeat of the no gi worlds in 2012, only this time will. DJ fights out of Camp Springs, Maryland under the always well trained, and tough competition team, Team Lloyd Irvin.

Medium Heavy: Keenan Cornelius

Keenan is the American black belt with the most attention around him this year, and for the past few years, even though this is his first year as a black belt. He has won almost every major title there is to win at purple and brown belt leading up to this point. As a black belt the trend is still a winning one, he took third at ADCC last year, he took double gold a the San Francisco Open, winning his weight and the open class, narrowly missed bronze at the WPJJC losing to his instructor Andre Galvao, and he closed out his Pan Am division at Medium Heavy this year with his Atos teammate Guto Campos. Keenan has a dynamic, long “legged”, and insanely flexible guard, coupled with creative and unique techniques coming off the lapel guard and the De La Riva guards (normal and inverted). BJJ Scout has coined it “Medusa like” which is fitting. His legs seem to take on a life of their own and almost make themselves seem like more then two legs, couple that with his creative use of the lapel, and long legs, and you have nearly an impassable guard, as he has demonstrated many times, only being passed by the great Rodolfo Viera, and current European black belt champion Alexander Trans. Keenan has been working on some new innovations on his Lapel Guard, mostly recently noted by BJJ Scout, which Keenan has dubbed, “the worm guard”, haha, check out BJJ Scout’s video breakdown of Keenan’s use of the worm guard here. With that I think Keenan just needs to go out there, implement his guard strategies, sweep and use his patented finishing techniques like the Ezekiel variants he likes, the bow arrow chokes, and sneaky armbars. If you ask most people who know the game, they would probably say Keenan has the best chance to become the next American black belt bjj world champion, he has got a lot of hype around him, and never disappoints, let’s see what happens this weekend. Keenan fights out of San Diego under Andre Galvao for team Atos.

Heavyweight: Rafael Lovato Jr.

Lovato was the second, and last American born male to win the mundials at the black belt level since BJ Penn in 2000. Lovato is also the only American to win the Brazilian Nationals black belt Open class, doing so last year in Brazil. He wears shirts that say “I Make History” and he does just that. Lovato’s accolades are too many to mention. He has done things no American in the sport of BJJ has ever down, and he is the most decorated American competitor to this day. He is always a fierce and feared competitor on the competition mats, and is never to be taken lightly. I think if Lovato can get on top and implement his patented pressure passing system that runs deep in his Ribeiro jiu jitsu association, and also chain that passing style with his kimura game, he has a good shot at a repeat of black belt world championship gold. Lovato always trains hard, and is a great teacher as well, turning out many ADCC vets and world champions at other belts, along black belt no gi world champs. Let’s see how he does this weekend. As mentioned before, Lovato fights under the Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu banner, out of Oklahoma.

That’s my take on the American scene this year, best shots, they are not the only ones, but in my opinion, they have the best shot.

I have been working on some other competition based material special for bjj competitors and recreational players alike. It is a lot technical stuff and really changes the way you think and see competition and sparring on the mats, it, well, honestly don’t listen to me, listen to what Former Pan Am Champ Ken Primola had to say about it here. After you listen to what he says, check out what he is talking about right here. And after that, you can check out this triangle set up from Demian Maia. Peace out for now, I’ll watching the worlds championships closely this weekend, trust you will be too 😉

American Born black belt world champ prospects, PT. 1

“ONLY TWO American born males have attained the title “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion” at the black belt level, BJ Penn in 2000, and Rafael Lovato Jr. in 2007. Will we see a new one crowned this year? Will we see another American born black belt crush the odds and stand atop the podium? We will we see the beginning of a changing in the guard? Will we a more evenly distributed podium of Americans and Brazilians in this Brazilian dominated sport? Who can it be? Keenan? JT? Gianni? DJ? Lovato again?”

Who do you think can take home gold for the American born BJJ black belts? Now this is not a post about being nationalistic or anything, it is just an obvious truth that to this day still, the Brazilians dominate the top of the podium at the black belt level in Brazilian jiu jitsu (crazy I know right lol). So with that being said, there are some good American prospects this year who have a good chance of taking the world title, let’s talk about them a little bit in this part one of American Born champion prospers.

Featherweight: Gianni Grippo

A young American born black belt, Gianni has a proclivity to compete. He will be competing on one coast one weekend, and the other the next, and then he will be in Europe or Dubai the other. He put together a very good string of wins here right before the WPJJC. He closed out his Pan Ams bracket with teammate Mario Reis, and he took double good at both the Boston and NY Opens. He took 3rd at the San Fransico Open and 2nd at the European championships; losing both times to the former world champion Rafael Mendes. I think if Gianni can put together a performance like he did at Pans to the NY Open, he has a good shot at shocking the world at featherweight. He has a very dynamic guard, he looks to berimbolo you on your left or right side, he will de la riva either leg you give him and look to invert and take the back. He can also tie you up with a very annoying (I say that in a good competition way) 50/50 guard, completely shutting down your offense to pass and using the 50/50 to work the back take, or sweep you. Or he will use the 50/50 to work back to another offensive guard. He used this strategy en route to winning the NY Open, defeating much larger opponents in the open division with his 50/50 guard. Gianni is out of Alliance Marcelo Garcia in NY, he has a strong competition tutelage coming from Marcelo, and a big strong team to help him get ready. And up until brown belt he was training at Renzo’s. Let’s see how he does.

Lightweight: JT “Spiderman” Torres

J.T. is one of the youngest Americans to receive their black belt, and of the fiercest competitors to come out of America. Having been a black belt for over three years, he has a wealth of experience at the highest level; always reaching the podium in almost every major tournament in the past few years, this year was no exception. He took third at Pan Ams, he took 3rd at ADCC this past year, and he recently won his middleweight bracket at the NY Spring Open last month. With so much experience at this level, and still very young, in his early twenties, JT is primed for greatness this time around. J.T. has solid wrestling takedowns and very fast transitions off his opponent’s counters, and or sprawl tactics. J.T. is not afraid to pull guard, and play his very effective de la riva guard to off balance opponents for the sweep, and or take their back. J.T. is known for pushing the pace, always moving forward and pressing the action. He has very fast transitions; he links his passing together very well, he can jump from side to side wearing down his opponent, and he can come up on a single leg and employ some of his good wrestling when playing guard. I think if JT can couple his speed and pace with his solid technique combos, transitioning seamlessly from one to the other, stay on the attack, he can take home gold this year. Not an easy task with 55 competitiors in the Black Belt male lightweight bracket, but getting to the medal rounds has never been a problem for JT. JT fights out of Atos San Diego, under the great Andre Galvao, along with other strong American born prospect, his teammate Keenan Kornelius. Before his move to Atos, JT was head of the medal chasers in Camp Springs, Maryland for Lloyd Irvin. JT has had a taste of black belt world title gold last year at the No Gi Worlds, where he won his division, let’s see if he can double up and take it home in the gi this year too.

I’ll put out part two on my other prospects later this week, before the black belt brackets start on Saturday in Long Beach, CA. Let me know what you think, leave a comment on the blog, or here on my Facebook page here. If you still haven’t figured out how to get over your fears for jiu jitsu competition, click here for my 5 free tips on how to do so. Check out my video down below on that gives you another passing option off my hand in weave, long step combo. And again, stay tuned for part two 😉

Progressing your competition game: Acquiring the technical eye along with your technical jiu jitsu game PT. 2

In part one I talked about the role great coaching plays in acquiring a technical eye in jiu jitsu. And I mentioned in the end of the previous blog how great coaching lays the blue print for you to gain this technicality. If you watch your coach/instructor/professor and see what they are doing to up your game, you can mimic them and develop your own eye. Or more specifically your ability to scout out good techniques that are high percentage, and breakdown matches and opponents at a technical level so well that you can mimic or counter certain games you want. This is a good skill to have because there will come a time when we all must fend for ourselves, and take matters into our own hands; perhaps you start your own academy and raise your own champions. Maybe you move and are the highest belt around, and are forced into instructing more, or maybe you reach upper rank at your academy, and need to teach more, develop your own game, and think for yourself more, on top of following your instructor’s teachings. We all need to become free thinkers, and jiu jitsu is really good at doing that, everyone develops their own game, but being able to spot things, or having the ability to acquire a technical eye will take you to the next level if you are looking for competition glory at the highest level, for you, or your team.


By this I mean do not “water down” your game by trying to implement any and every youtube technique you see by god knows whom. I know it is fun and some things are fancy looking, and are exciting to try. But most of the time we see one “cool” technique, try it for a day or two, and forget it, and never gain anything from it, and it hinders our over all game. It hinders our game because instead of “repping” out, and executing fundamentally sound techniques that we need, we are doing stupid shit we saw on the “inter webs”. Everyone is guilty to an extent. Focus on high percentage moves, fundamental moves, moves that work at the highest level consistently. Focus on matches if you are going to watch jiu jitsu on youtube, which is what I will talk about next.


Who better to start with then yourself? Actually, I would say to develop a more impartial eye, and not get caught in the joy of watching yourself, you probably should not start with yourself. If you know you have an opponent you are fighting first in your bracket, start with them. What I would do is simply YouTube their name, see what matches come up, and try to watch them in chronological order from oldest to newest. And just simply watch at first, sit down have the patience to watch them all if you can, do not take any notes, do not worry about rewinding too much, just watch. Then once you have finished them, you should have a pretty good idea of what his or her game is. Next, go back to the beginning, to the oldest match. Take the note pad out, and scout them out, rewind techniques you notice they do over and over through out the years, belt ranks, and tournaments. You will have a keener eye the second time. You will begin to see what throws/takedowns they do over and over, their guard pulls, their go to sweep, their passing style etc. From there just being aware will help you in the match, and if you really feel the need, you can develop some counter techniques to their game.

Now once you have done this a few times, and perhaps started breaking down high level matches as well (which I will talk about in the next section), you can turn your eye to your own game, and employ the same scrutiny. And hopefully you can scout yourself as well, with out bias, in the same manner you did with your future opponents. Then you can start implementing changes into your game in training, and fixing the holes that exist. If you can, if you have the permission, you can go as far as videotaping your training sessions as well, for further analysis.


Once you reach a certain level, or declare you want to be a world champion, you must start watching all the great matches and all the great fighters, and apply the same scrutiny you did with your opponents and yourself. You will see the game that the great fighters have emerge from the your scouting. You will see they do similar things, they will do the same techniques through out the years, just like everyone else. And once you start watching all the great matches across the board, you will see a similar skill set, and techniques dominate the top levels across the board, this is true for jiu jitsu, judo, wrestling, sambo etc. There are certain things/techniques all top-level athletes do in their respective sports’ that transcends them all. You will see certain guard structure in jiu jitsu consistently utilized at the top level (de la riva, spider), you will see a certain passes consistently utilized as well (leg drags, stack, toreando), in judo you will see a set of throws used more then others to throw for ippon (drop seoi nage, uchi mata), in wrestling and sambo certain takedowns dominate the exchange, and etc. What works, is what the elite level players will be doing. Seeing this, seeing what the elite level does to win consistently across the board will help you filter out your game, and help you concentrate on what the top-level athletes are doing. Because if a technique works at the top-level, it will work at any level below, and the sooner you perfect it, the better off you will be once you get to the elite level.

So to sum up, start with an opponent, or a player you like, watch them come up, learn their game. Apply that to top-level matches/players, and then to yourself. I hope this helps, I’ll leave you with some great breakdowns and scouting from BJJ Scout, he just put out two new videos today and they are excellent as usual. And if you want the blue print system I used to get my purple in 1 ½ years from 7th degree red and belt Master Luiz Palhares, click here, throw your info down, and I’ll be putting that crucial info out soon.

Progressing your competition game: Acquiring the technical eye along with your technical jiu jitsu game, PT. 1


One key to developing a technical jiu jitsu game, one that is not only technically sound, but also delivers results in the competition arena, is to have great coaching. Instructors and coaches, or coaching are not the same, one can do both, which we usually see in jiu jitsu. Your instructor or professor is also your coach, some instructors know the difference, some do not, which is not their fault, it is just the way it is.


With that being said, I great coach is going to have a good eye, knows what to study, stays on top of the evolution of the sport, and always hammers in a sound, strong fundamental base. They study the top-level athletes, they study the top-level matches, and they study the trends through out the sport, and implement what they see in training to better prepare you for the highest levels of competition. I have said it before, what works at the highest level will work at the lower levels, not vice versa. You can get away with shit at the lower belts that really does not matter and is not statistically significant. I have been fortunate to have coaches in my career that have always had emphasis on what is going on at the highest levels of sport jiu jitsu, and not only that, but the highest levels of Judo and Wrestling, which go hand in hand with top level jiu jitsu.


A great coach is also going to ride you, and hold you to higher standard if you desire to compete, or day you say you want to be a world champion. A great coach is not a yes man, they are not going to coddle you and make excuses when you lose. They are not going to complain about the rule set, the ref, the age difference, the size or weight difference, the belt difference etc. When you compete, you throw all that out the window, and if you lose you lose, and they know that. A good coach is going to tell you the truth when you lose, like you made this mistake, the match was yours until this moment. A good coach will say you were better then a person but they made fewer mistakes, this is fine, some people compete better, and we all make mistakes. Also a good coach will be straight up with you and tell you when someone was just better then you, which is bound to happen if you keep challenging yourself.


So a good coach is going to study the highest levels of the sport, implement them in training, ride your ass during training, and be straight up with you win, lose or draw. A good coach also knows how tweak the minutest of details in your technique, to help execute that technique at the most effective level possible. This can be done on the fly, just a real quick, “instead of do this, just do this,” a change of hand, foot, or body placement and they have remedied a failing or less then adequate technique application. They also know how to completely deconstruct a technique, break it down to it’s fundament core, show you the base, and build it back up with each connecting part along the way to show the theory and proper application behind it. And a great coach is going to help strengthen your game, the game that develops organically from you training over the years. Everyone’s strength, speed, explosion, flexibility, learning curve, attention span etc. is different. A great coach knows this, and will only try to strengthen the game that comes from this, not force his or her game on to you. A great coach will help you develop a game that is uniquely your own, based off your skill set, and the most commonly used technique set in your game.

I have been fortunate enough to have coaches, and friends who I see as coaches that do all these things. They study the top, they tell me when I suck, or when I made mistake, and they do things to strengthen my game. This develops your technical jiu jitsu game, and lays the blue print for developing your “technical eye”. I’ll talk about that later in Pt. 2.

Until then check out this video break down I did on Rodolfo Viera’s half guard passing game back at the World Pro Cup about a month ago, it will lead right into part two 😉 And if you enjoy videos like this, throw your info here. I am developing some cool stuff privy only to those who join up on that list. Ok peace out for now, keep fighting the good fight, oss!

Some quick tips to getting better at Jiu Jitsu

  1. Drill


This has been said; this is known, from the beginning of time. If you want to get better at anything, especially something as dynamic and monstrous as jiu jitsu, you must relentlessly drill, repetition, repetition, repetition. You must engrain your muscles with the memory of correct movement through drilling repetition so when it comes time to fight and react, you do just that, react instinctively. The only way that happens is if you have drilled it thousands of times, which takes time, some say you need 10,000 reps, or 10,000 hours, which I say is true. You need that much, or more. Rep it out through drilling if you wan to get better.


  1. Set Aside Extra Drill Time


Now we are all going to drill in class, that is the nature of the sport, our instructor teaches the technique, and we drill it for reps, time, or back and forth until it is time to spar. This is the foundation, and to get better you need to make time to drill outside your regularly scheduled class time. So as I mentioned in the first tip about 10,000 reps, hours etc., you only get to this point by taking the initiative and making time to do it outside your class time. Which can be 20 to 30 mins before and or after class, everyday, three days a week, two days a week, etc. However much extra, consistent time you can put in over the weeks, months, and years will only make you better faster. Everyone wants to get good, everyone wants to rank up, it’s cool, and we all want that black belt. But you only get it through hard work and sacrifice right?


  1. Compete As Often As Possible


Now I am not saying you have to, am I saying you will get better from it, yes I am. But it is up to you, if you are happy and content with the pace and progress you are making then do not worry about it, everyone is different and has different desires and time scales. But if you do want to get better faster, or as fast as you possibly can, do steps one and two, and compete! Try to do any and all tournaments you can. It will show you what works, and it will expose the weak parts of your game. What’s the old cliché, “you always learn from a loss”, sad but true. So get out there and do not be afraid to lose. And if you are afraid of competing, throw your info in here, and I’ll send you my “5 Must Know Tips To Overcoming Jiu Jitsu Competition Fear”


  1. Stick To The Nuts and Bolts


Don’t try to be too fancy, your own game will come over time, harness the fundamentals, be a fundamental machine. Look at Kron Gracie, look at Roger Gracie, they are technical monsters, and there game is deeply rooted in fundamentals. No frills, no gimmicks, they just cut through your shit like a knife through butter with sound fundamentals. It is easy to get distracted with all the crazy new gazillion techniques that come out daily on you tube, but don’t stray, stay focused, don’t get distracted. What’s the old saying, “don’t fear the man who can do a million techniques, fear the man who can do one technique, a million times”, I think that pretty much sums it up. Oss.


Check out my new triangle finish video here if you are having trouble cinching up this fundamental technique, oss!

Sacrifice, and hoping to get lucky

The Jiu Jitsu World Championships is coming up, and it gets me wondering, how many are truly sacrificing everything they can, and how many are hoping to get lucky off talent, or are just doing it to be cool. Everyone’s sacrifice is different, whether you are in school, you have a job, or you train full time, sacrifices can be made for each lifestyle. There are some in each of these lifestyles who are hoping to get lucky, and there are some sacrificing in each lifestyle that will not be lucky enough to win it all, it will not be their time. I know this path, and most who compete know this path. There can only be one champion, it is just the way the game is played. Not to say that there is more then one who deserves to win, but when it comes down to it, maybe the two finalists sacrificed equally in respective amounts, maybe they have been training nearly the same amount of time, so each is equally deserving to be crowned champion. But one had their game together more, one was more sharp that day, one wanted it just a little more towards the end of the match, fought to stay on top, or fought out of a bad position and scored at the last minute to seal the top spot.

Champions do not make excuses; champions do not see impenetrable walls, or dead ends. They see obstacles to climb, and different paths to the top. Everything is a challenge to the final goal, the goal of winning and being crowned the best in the world. Nothing more, nothing less, simply to be proclaimed the greatest, and that should not be too much to ask. If you want it bad enough, and you do everything you know to be right, you do everything in your power, and do not rest on your laurels and or talent, it is not too much to ask, because you will be taking it with out question.

The truth is nobody has anything to rest on, not even the world champions in our sport or any sport. Each day is a new day to fight, each competition a new battle to fend off enemies who want what you have, and if you think they are going to take it easy on you, or be afraid of you because you are considered the best, think again. So no one has it easy, not you, not a champion, not anyone. So if you are taking it easy, riding out minimal amounts of training, and slacking, what right do you think you have to do that? Why do you have that right when the fucking champion is up early, grinding it out, dieting year round, getting beat up at practice, sweating and bleeding for something they have already attained, but want to keep, so why do you get to take it easy? That should not be the case; you should be out working everyone.

And if by some miracle, you or someone wins with minimal to no sacrifice and is crowned world champion, it was not right to begin with, it was not something worth winning. If it is so easy anyone can do it by slacking, the title was bullshit to begin with. But I’ll tell you, any IBJJF world title is something that only those who sacrifice and devote every waking spare minute to attaining it, will achieve it, those are the ones, at any belt level. The black belt titles are the only significant ones, more specifically, the absolute title is the one, this is the significant one, but if you are working towards that, your work ethic better be that of a black belt absolute champion starting now.

Follow this link to learn my 5 tips to getting over your jiu jitsu competition fears, if you are good and mentally prepared, oss, kick ass and take names 😉 see you on the mats.