Oct 18

Crocodiles don’t hunt with their arms

In nature, crocodiles ambush their prey with a vicious intensity that few other predators can match.

Just pull up National Geography, and you’ll see them slowly drifting along in the water, all nonchalant, before suddenly surging out of the water and chomping down on some wildebeest.

And you know what?

They always lead with their jaws first.

Those arms don’t get used at all when it comes to hunting. And once their jaws snapped shut, they pull their prey into the depths of the water before finishing the job.

There’s a lesson there, if you’re savvy.

In fact, my coach was the first one to reveal it to me. It happened way back. I think I was a blue belt at the time, and the topic was the triangle from guard.

Too many people in the class were being lazy about shooting their hips up when it comes to executing the attack. And they were trying to compensate by using their hands to pull their partner down and adjust for the finish.

No bueno.

They were just making things harder on themselves, and yours truly was one of those poor saps too.

I was doing the same exact thing.

To fix that problem, we were all told to imagine ourselves as crocodile skimming the along the top of the water, in search of prey. As soon as it came close, we had to lunge out and snap down, and our legs were no different than the jaws of a croc.

In attack mode, we went to the prey, and then dragged them back into our feast zone.

And to make the triangle lethal, we had to ambush with the same vicious intensity. A sudden lunge, followed with a snap, before dragging the prey down into the depths to finish the job.

It was a necessity that the hips shot up. And the legs (or jaws) had to be tool used to entrap and demolish the opposition.

That was like an eureka moment for me.

It changed my approach to triangle ever since, and that’s especially true when it comes to drilling them.

In fact, there’s a little micro movement I use in the push pull triangle drill to quickly and effortlessly elevate my hips and snap down on a tight choke. It’s even broken down over on tube along with some other details.

Be warned though

I may indeed succumb to the temptation of removing it at any time just like one of the disciples of my sneaky ways feared when he wrote:

“I always feel I should download all of your videos before you change your mind and take them off for a dvd or something.”

For now though, that lesson can be found here:

Oct 08

A principle that can be outright stolen from the marketing world

“The things that lead to great accomplishment are not sexy, or glamorous, so they’re rarely practiced, rarely thought, and therefore rarely learned.”
– Ken McCarthy (One of the pioneers of internet marketing)

The other day, I spent a few hours slowly poring over a long form sales letter.

And amidst all the words (there were, indeed, a lot), I chanced upon that little gem up above. That principle immediately made me think of applications that extend far beyond just marketing. In fact, it’s something that can be outright stolen and applied to the game we play.

I’ll give you an example.

There’s a movement that almost no one drills. I can count on one hand the times that I’ve seen it in a warmup of a class that I wasn’t teaching. And in fact, the first time I ever learned it was when I was a purple belt.

I still remember that day.

Wilson Reis came out to Maryland for a seminar, and he had all these freaky movements in his warmup. We all struggled with them. They were all unfamiliar.

Of them all, just one stuck with me.

And since then, I’ve realized how powerful it is.

Not only can it be used to get out from under knee on belly in a way that will make your opponent seem like a fool but it’s also the absolute easiest way to escape from knee pillow (the position that often leads to death by strangulation) as well.

That’s not even all.

And it also happens to be the key element of escaping in that moment when your opponent transitions into S mount and readies themselves to snatch up your arm with a gleam of anticipation in their eyes.

Right then, you can snatch victory right out of their jaws and leave them looking at you with frustration.

It’s ridiculously easy too.

It just requires that one basic movement. It’s not secksy. Or glamorous either. Perhaps that’s why no one really drills it as much as the shrimp.

Who knows.

I, for one, don’t fall into that camp though. I’m making all my students drill until it becomes second nature. And frankly, I don’t even want to tell you what it is. I’d rather show you.

There’s a lesson up in the micro adjustments course that breaks down exactly how you can escape from S mount with ease. And in it, you will learn that movement.

By my reckoning, there’s about a month left, before that lesson will be sent on its merry way. So you have time (but not too much).

Here’s the non-secksy link:

Oct 03

The best way to show someone nothing

Since its inception, I’ve made radical changes to the micro adjustments course. The last being the restriction of content to just 15 lessons at any one time.

It’s not something that went down without some blowback either.

In fact, here’s an example:

“Noooooooooooo! Not the bow-and-arrow technique!!!!!!!!!! Is there really no way we can have an archive of old lessons to refer back to every so often? These little adjustments are gems – I can see myself coming back to them all the time.”

It wasn’t a decision that was made without forethought though. In that weird little thing called my mind, I envisioned sharing little insights, principles, techniques and tricks on a weekly basis for years to come.

That’s 52 lessons a year (at the very least) averaging between anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes.

Without some management…

The bloat would have gotten insane.

That right there is the absolute best way to teach someone nothing.

It’s the kinda thing that happens in the academy too. People try to learn everything at once and end up learning nothing. The better path is to focus on one thing at a time.

It’s hard though, I know.

I like feasting too, but sometimes you just have to take a bite and savor it for sometime to truly nourish yourself.

That’s the philosophy behind the changes I made to the course. I wanted people to take the time to savor each small lesson, experiment with the technique, and use the principles as inspiration to improve their games, rather than feast and forget.

And frankly, those that are capable of such laser focus go much further in the game.

Anyway, if you’re not a food eating champion, head here for more details on the course:

Sep 27

The backtake that killed dreams

I’ve told this real life tale of utter domination before.

But at times, it bears repetition because of the principles that can be discovered within its depths.

Anyway, too many years ago to bother counting, I watched as a teammate of mine harvested souls one after the another with the same exact strategy. It didn’t even matter that they knew it was coming.

Hell, I even heard the coach of one girl warn her over and over again about it.


That didn’t change annnnnything.

The grip still got set, and from there, it was a wrap. Slowly and methodically, the back was taken, and doom soon followed.

Dreams were crushed.

But one was realized.

On that day, Rachel Demara, became the first World Champion that my academy ever produced. Her strategy wasn’t complicated either. She pulled to closed guard, attacked the arm, and then set a certain grip while her opponents were distracted by the submission threat.


What that grip accomplished though was amazing. Not only did it lock her opponent’s arm across the body, leaving a clear path to the back, but it also immediately opened the door to a quick and lethal choke.

The whole series is pure platinum.

In fact, I still use it to this day.

But it’s not in its old form anymore. I tinkered with it more than a little bit. Now that system has far more offensive options and even the initial grip has been mutated into a monstrosity that devours souls without remorse and crushes dreams without blinking.

And it can all be discovered here:

Sep 23

By axe or by guillotine

Something morbid to think about on this fine Saturday evening:

At the height of the French Revolution, there was a familiar scene.

One after another, those who were condemned to execution stumbled down from carts and were marshaled into line, as each in turn was led up the steps of a scaffold, where blood soaked the boards and dripped down through the cracks.

They had to watch as each person in front of them was strapped to the guillotine and know that they would soon share the same fate.

There was no escape.

No hope.

Only death awaited, and it came from above.

The guillotine had no remorse. Once released, it struck true, and a head would roll, regardless of guilt or innocence.

Now look, I’m not bringing this up because it’s fun to talk about, but because there are times on the mat, where you have to imagine yourself as an executioner. And if you tap into that mindset, your opponents will feel that same sense of hopelessness of those condemned to die.

Here’s what I mean:

Whether by axe or by guillotine, the strike must always come from above.

And the same exact thing applies to certain chokes like the loop choke, guillotine, and hand gun choke. Your head must always be above theirs before you strike.

It’s not negotiable.

The condition is set in stone.

And there is power in that knowledge.

If you internalize it, you’ll start to recognize immediately when someone moves into your strike zone. And once there, all you have to do is swing the axe or release the guillotine.

And you know what?

That recognition of execution conditions can be more broadly applied. All you have to do is take the time to break down what specifically has to happen in order for you to succeed with a particular technique.

And you’ll notice that sometimes, you don’t even have to force things.

People will walk smackdab into your strike zone on their very own. In those moments, don’t resist the urge. Strike. Swing the axe. Release the guillotine. And leave their head rolling along the ground.

Anyway, use that suggestion as you wish.

I’ll be exploring applications of this philosophy in greater detail up in the micro adjustments course.

Find out more here:

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