Training: Form First

Before you bring in any kind of speed into drilling you need to master form first.

Good form means going slow enough to remove excess tension, and focusing on the individual pieces that make up the whole.

The above is not an overnight process, which again is why I get irritated when I see people over-simplify things to make Jiu-Jitsu easier to learn. Something that’s effective is one thing, but wouldn’t you want to do efficient things more often within a time frame?

Remember ‘shortcuts’ are a fast track to delusion. ;o)

Domination: Rear Mount Top Breakdown


Very little instructional footage of a classic Rickson finishing position appears to be online. What little I could find was naturally of Rickson origin (0-3:24):

If you guys can find any other solid technique video for flattening/breaking down bottom player from rear mount top, post that bad boy. =)

Domination: The Strangest Geography

Been digging into the rear-mount lately, and it’s probably the strangest dominant position because rear mount top…

rickson rear mount

…is dramatically different geographically from rear mount bottom:


Specifically rear mount bottom is like guard with a person reversed, and rear mount top is like mount top.

For the sake of uniformity I tried making these two positions similar, but the fact of the matter is they’re just not, so researching and designing accordingly.

Training: Hard/Easy Path Of Self-Coaching

The lifestyle practitioner for all intensive purposes is self-coached. We are our own nutritionist, conditioning coach, researcher, and details man/woman.

So, on one hand by way of lack of an intelligent team, we are operating at a severe disadvantage.

On the other hand though, we have access to ourselves 24/7, with zero personnel hassle and conversely no room to blame anyone else for a lack of progress.

Remember, you are the one, so be 5X as smart:


Design: Structural Priorities & Achievement

Anatomy-wise I probably talk about the spine more than anything as it’s literally the central piece in achieving structural objectives.

Pay attention to it when drilling:

Are you wanting to be a ball or board? Why?

In other words, what do you want to achieve, and how is spinal structure helping you achieve it?

Remember, if your spine sucks, you can forget about the arms and legs.

Structural priorities baby, structural priorities.

Study: The Most Functional Thought

The most evolutionary oriented Jiu-Jitsu thought you can have is:


Have come across a few videos lately where BJJ Black Belts come across as Gurus dispelling life lessons. Dude, honestly I don’t have time to cater to people looking for direction.

If you want to be good at BJJ it’s going to take many thoughtful hours of study, mistakes, and refinements.

If you want direction, sit with yourself until you find some.

Life is simple until we complicate it.

Side treat, Michael Jordan on Practice:

Study: The Most Common Mistake

The most common mistake in BJJ IMO is people don’t listen:

‘I can give you information that took my six months to figure out in six days, but your actions tells me you’d rather figure this out on your own.’

This is a frustrating one, but I’m learning to let it go and leave people to their own process.

With the amount of information out there right now, reasonably intelligent people can achieve a degree BJJ competency through self-teaching, it just takes longer.

The lesson for me is when in doubt, focus on myself so I have MORE to offer the rare and beautiful who do listen.

Psychology: Self-Congratulating

If we want quality, we have to set the bar extremely high on what we congratulate ourselves for.

Don’t get me wrong, celebration is cool, but it takes away from the valuable study time that produces evolution.

It’s great that we do Jiu-Jitsu, but don’t pat yourself on the back for attending a structured class or copying a move.

While such things are a necessary part of the learning process, demand something creative and/or personally challenging for yourself.

Dominance: Mastering Transitions On One Side

To further the idea of the continuity in mastering attacks on one side, a thing we might miss is this means mastering transisitons on the opposite side.

I probably don’t give transitioning the accolades it deserves as it’s the art of management while moving! Easier said than done against a good player, probably requiring as much or more drill time than any other skill.

Conclusion: You have to be good on both sides with different skill-sets.