Feb 09

Reverse figure four shoulder lock grip variations

Feb 08

Don’t sleep on the reverse figure four

In the heavier divisions, more than once, I’ve seen a certain tactic. A guy will feed his arm inside the legs…


One arm in, one arm out.

It’s the breaking of a fundamental rule, but they don’t do it because they know no better.


They know exactly what they’re doing. In fact, it’s even intentional, and it stems from their confidence in beating the triangle with pressure and angle.

And you know what?

It works.

In fact, I remember watching Orlando Sanchez try it against the Paulo Miyao several years back. Miyao was savvy to it though and made no attempt to triangle.

I ain’t scurred though.

If someone tries that on me, I’m going to strike, but I won’t go for the choke right off the bat. Instead, they’re going to feel the bite of the reverse figure four.


It’s because it’s a superior control position. Bullying out of it doesn’t work so easy. In fact, I haven’t been able to discover a good escape from it yet. Even when my control is loose and someone can slip their head out, all that awaits them is the omoplata, and I snap that bad boy on quick too.

Regardless of what they do, the reverse figure four is a precursor to doom.

In fact, I’ve been teaching an attack series, this week, that focuses on wringing all the submissions out of it like water from a wet towel. And the options abound. Just to count a few, there’s two wrist locks, two armbars, three different grip variations for the shoulder lock, and a downright sinister transition to the triangle choke.

And those are all at the tips of your fingers in the position.

You just have to delay the transition to the choke for a bit.

The benefit?

It’s obvious.

More control. More offensive options. And the best part is that you can make someone who baits the triangle feel like a fool.

And you know what?

Over in the tube, I recently posted a short lesson on some of the attack possibilities in the reverse figure four. Today, I’ll follow it up with a short lesson on the grip variations, and next week, the new micro adjustments lesson with focus on the mechanics of a strong open guard setup to the position and a logical sequence of attack.

For the tube stuff, just head there and search for me, but for more, you’d have to head here:

Feb 05

Two tweaks for a more vicious triangle choke finish

Feb 05

The first thing I would teach about guard retention

There are many ways to pass the guard.

Let us count a few:

* You can go over the legs (over under)
* You can go around the legs (bullfight/torreando, leg pin, leg drag, etc)
* You can go through the legs (knee cut)
* You can go under legs (double under, over under)

The specific purpose of all of them though is to bypass the legs. But even when that is accomplished, the pass isn’t complete because there is another line of defense.

The passer now has to get through the arms (the frames), but it’s a situation that is little different from a charging army of swordsmen blasting past a line of well armored pikemen before hitting the second line of hastily drafted farmers.

The farmers can only do damage if they have good leadership (know what to do), proper formation (know how to support each other) and strong resolve (reinforced by belief). Likewise the power of frames only truly shows itself when they have similar elements.

But the major difference is that the reinforcement comes from base.


One arm frames and the other is used for base, but after that the analogy crumbles.


It’s because frame and base are not enough to slaughter a pass dead in its tracks. There’s one more element that must be added to the combination, and it’s almost effortless if you do the first two right.

What is it?

Movement, pure and simple.

Frame, base then move. That strategy is the first thing that I would teach anyone who asked me about guard retention. And if you understand it, it’ll be easier to make sense of the specific tactics that are used to kill passes.

Of course though, that’s assuming that they get past you first line of defense.

Stopping them there will make everything easier.

And there are many lessons exactly how you can do that in half guard in a certain place.

Discover it here:

Feb 04

Maintaining mount and finishing the cross choke with greater ease