Mindsets: Dynamic vs. Static Understanding

Magical positions that do everything well operate on a static, one-dimensional thought process.

Nothing in nature is static, so you have to start with movement and build from there, as all that’s needed to ‘solve’ a magical position is one magical counter. ūüėČ

Think dynamics, bio-mechanics, energy, and movement THEN proceed:



Mindsets: Comparing vs. Instinctive Mind

If we’re approaching training right, we should become MORE excited and motivated to step on the mat.

The key here is paying attention to how we’re feeling about training and adjusting accordingly. ¬†If we’re not wanting to train we’re probably doing a number of things wrong:

For starters, everyone is unique. ¬†For some, training three times a week is perfect, for others it’s three times a day…

Problems begin when we try to copy or start comparing some one else’s process with our own.

Got caught up in the above mistake myself after reading a sports science book referenced a few post below, that stated most gains come from going either really hard, or really long. ¬†While this is useful info, have gone so hard running the past few weeks that I’m finding the motivation to run rather low! ¬†Why? ¬†Because the focus became ‘gain’ oriented instead of enjoyment and trusting my instincts.

In conclusion, we know we’re in the right place with Jiu-Jitsu, and Physical Culture in general, when every moment is healing. ¬†We’re human, so this likely won’t be the reality, but we can start enjoying ourselves more often, more of the time:


Domination From Cross-Sides: 5 Transitional Doorways

My early Jiu-Jitsu journey consisted of throwing positions at people and hoping they didn’t have counters. That is, there was little to no sense of when to move.

Contrary to the above, we can make just about any sound position work provided it’s set up and timed right.

So, if we aren’t trying to run over the top of people with positions, how and when are the best times to advance?

Well, for the first example, it may often be more of a ‘horizontal’ transistion than an ‘advance,’ but the most ‘Jiu-Jitsu’ oriented transition I can think of is¬†defensive, where your training partner gets frames and you roll your hips off them to a different Cross-Sides position, or in some cases use this moment to advance as Rickson demonstrates with a Mount from Cross-Sides @ 4:38-5:02 below. The bigger concept though is defensive transitions that prevent escape, which¬†sometimes result in better positioning:

Secondly, and pretty common is we dominate well enough to weather escape attempts that require lots of energy. When our friend inevitably pauses to catch his or her breath for recovery, we go. The metaphor here is waiting to attack some one while they’re reloading. Cold-blooded, but encourages people to be smart with their ammo/energy.

Third, is transitioning during the¬†decline of¬†an opponents counter movement. ¬†The most common example of this is mounting as I see a bottom player at the top¬†of a bridge attempt, so by the time my leg loops over, their bridge is on it’s way downward. ¬†This usually happens when our friend bridges without frames, which is a mistake although sometimes necessary for frame recovery.

Fourth, we advance by providing some sort of distraction that masks our true intention. Most common is neck pressure, or faked and real submission attempts. Rickson Gracie using this tactic against Yuki Nakai via leg-weave to set-up Mount @ 4:34-4:39:

Last but not least are transitions set up incrementally inch by inch through a number of small mechanical victories Roger Gracie style. ¬†This is a forced transition, but still ultra-technical compared to hail mary back takes or mount attempts that strive to devour the whole hog in one bite. Brilliant Gracie analysis demonstrating incremental approach by Dan ‘TrumpetDan’ Lukehart:

To sum things up, the five transitional doorways include but are not limited to:

1) Defensive.

2) During energy recovery (cardio).

3) Frame recovery and/or improper hip movement from poor escape technique.

4) Distraction.

5) Incremental.

Move accordingly! =)

Updated ‘About This Blog’

Realized when checking out other blogs my first instinct was to find out more about who was writing.

Would like to think you could come to know me through words, but that presumptuously assumes these posts are good enough to warrant regular readership.

So yeah man, have an actual bio now:


If you guys have any questions feel free to ask in the ‘About’ comment section.

Don’t know why I was a bit coy about a bio before, probably just growing up and becoming more comfortable with the past?

Anyway, cheers. =)

Submissions: Loose Arms Through Mobile Hips Part 2

Reflected on the idea of watery arms a bit more yesterday, and thought perhaps a better analogy is a whip that both coil and ensnare its victim tightly, or lash like hand whipping in for collar chokes.

Perhaps the craziest example of the above was witnessing Rickson transitioning to David Kama’s back (watery hips), and slapping a choke on so tight and quick it literally sounds like a whip cracking @ 4:20-4:25:

Another thing to consider is to grapple with body as a complete unit.

Making mention of the arms being separate from the hips as reminder that the ‘core’ of domination is hip movement, and to keep hands and arms as relaxed as possible along with everything else, especially during drilling where it’s easier to be mindful.

Submissions: Loose Arms Through Mobile Hips

After putting in a chunk of time in Cross-Sides Top would say the ‘fundamental’ to drill are mobile hips that roll around frames, sticky at the point of contact absorbing and nullifying bridging and shrimping through the legs:

From 3:10 on:


The related new idea is, to the degree we’re loose, sensitive, and sticky with our hips, letting them do the dominating, we’re free to be equally loose with our hands and arms.

Ryron Gracie being water my friend via loose arms as applied to Cross-Chokes from Mount @ 15:32-16:10:

Credits: Xande Ribeiro, Rickson Gracie, Ryron Gracie

Submissions: Huntin’ & Fishin’ Principles

The perfect submission is one your friend doesn’t feel until it’s too late.

This art is similar to waiting for a fish to swallow the bait before pulling the line to set the hook.

grumpier old men

Set a trap and be patient, use camouflage, and scout things out instead of jumping on finishes the first time presented.

The trick here is understanding we’ll lose a certain amount of opportunities by waiting, but the goal isn’t the kill, it’s becoming an increasingly refined huntsman.

Cross-Sides Bottom: Defending Outside Arm With Arm-Fold

Working Cross-Sides Top, noticed if the bottom player places their far-side forearm under the neck prematurely, they open themselves up to elbow control demonstrated by Braulio Estima @ 10:30 and 9:41-10:09:

To prevent the above elbow underhook, experimenting with folding the forearm across belly, which shuts down the bicep access at the fold of the elbow that makes control work.

Footnote:  First heard about arm-fold posture second hand from some one who saw Rigan Machado teaching it in LA in the early 2000s.

Further, although I couldn’t find any youtube footage, Saulo Ribeiro teaches arm-fold posture extensively in his Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 1 DVDs, and in his Jiu-Jitsu University book from which I found a page and small photo of it in action:


What you can’t see is Ribeiro’s forearm tucked in at a 90 degree angle in between chest navel area. ¬†Something I didn’t understand about this position is that arm becomes active when you bridge, with elbow pushing at opponents south shoulder/upper chest (middle pictures) to facilitate shrimping.

Is this posture the end all be all? ¬†Certainly not. ¬†For right now, I think the standard forearm frame against the neck is great at longer ranges, or to help create space when you’ve lost a grip battle and your training partner is intent on holding you down and crushing you. ¬†The Arm-Fold comes in to play during moments when we’re dominated with body-weight but grips haven’t been established.

One a side note, I think we often look for the perfect posture instead of understanding window(s) where specific postures are most useful. ¬†From here, we can us a variety of frames like Kung-Fu to stifle, shut down, create space, recover, and reverse the top player should the opportunity present itself. ¬†They’re a doorway to being sensitive, fluid, and dynamic:

daniel fly

Mindsets: Martial Artist Vs. Jiu-Jitsu Practitioner

There’s a huge difference between trying to copy a position wholesale versus breaking it down mechanically at the level of anatomy.

The preceding distinction starts separating the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner from a Martial Artist with a much broader range of goals than tapping out their nemesis at the gym. ;o)

We’re talking about some one seeking a greater understanding of mechanics, posture, and anatomy as well as personal expression and evolution, on down to the abstracts of awareness, being, and insight.

Training: Update On Concentrated Work

Was off on a couple of things in a post written last July:


First, endorphin high aside, joy is complex thing and at least partially independent of how intense a workout is. Have no idea why I made a severe discomfort/enjoyment correlation???

Secondly, at the time had gotten into decent running shape by going on easy paced endurance runs with a buddy. This was a comfortable process, so reasoned that ‘slight discomfort’ was the sweet spot.

Well, according to ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating A New Generation Of Superathletes – and What We Can Learn From Them’ by Mark McClusky, I was wrong on this point as well:

McClusky writes that according to various studies the most beneficial workouts are EITHER very intense or endurance based. The slightly uncomfortable zone the average person trains at is actually the least beneficial, probably because it doesn’t build strength OR endurance very well.

So, for most benefit go for a long time or short and intense. Kill it or chill it:


‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ has been a fun and informative listen (audiobook):