Technical Fail

Here is a video purporting to show a functional ground grappling technique:

No, no, no, and really no.

This is a great example of someone who does not know what they do not know teaching something that is utterly, devastatingly, wrong. This is the kind of thing that comes from people whose knowledge of grappling derives from a weekend certification course, or watching a lot of DVDS and online vids, or who grabs a couple of buddies (none of whom have any grappling experience) and rolling in their garage. And then based on that foundation (or lack of to be more accurate), they come up with “answers” that people with 20+ years of training don’t come up with.

Quick tip – that technique is not against BJJ rules. It can be done at any time, even in competition. So why don’t good BJJ players use it? Why was that technique never taught in the fundamental Gracie self-defense curriculum? Why is it never suggested by a seasoned grappler to be a good solution? That deafening silence is what can be called a “clue”.

I won’t go into detail on all the bad things with this technique, and why it won’t work consistently or reliably against a committed resisting attacker. I will give a hint though – what are the other guy’s limbs doing while the good guy is doing the head twist?

Edited to add: And as a BJJ black belt pointed out when I posted this on Facebook, if you cannot even get the terminology correct, why in the world would you assume you have an effective move? There is no such thing as a “guard escape”. There are sweeps, reversals, and attacks. The guard is NOT something you “escape” from. Creating verbiage out of the blue, and that makes no sense, is just as wrong as the physical technique itself.

There are tons of proven, easily learned solutions to that exact situation. This is absolutely not one of them.

Old School Boxing Article

It is no secret that I pay more attention these days to old school boxing much more intently than I do the contemporary sport. And this article is one of the reasons why:




Favorite Moves Pt. 1 – Modified Pendulum Sweep

This is a clip of one of my favorite attacks, my modified version of the classic Pendulum sweep from closed guard. One of the reasons I like it so much (besides how high a percentage of success it has) is that it works across the board in all fighting contexts – sport grappling, MMA, or street oriented self-defense in a Weapons Based Environment.


And now a few details to watch for to help the move work consistently.

1) I only need to control the elbow at the beginning just enough to keep him from moving. I want the elbow in place long enough to do the hip escape and turn, which will then keep his elbow blocked.

2) As soon as the hip is around the elbow, I need to eliminate all space between his torso and mine. I prefer to grab across his back to his far waist, but if I have to go to the armpit or shoulder, I will.

3) Obviously, the direction you move your hips will partially be determined by his actions/energy, but if I have a choice I like going to my left. That helps to keep my weapon access points fairly free, and it has a good percentage chance that I am blocking his strong arm and his strong side access. Unless he is a lefty, and then forget what I just said

4) I prefer to grab slightly under his far leg to facilitate the sweep, but I will take what I can get.

5) I want to drive into him hard, not just to keep his elbow blocked, but also to set up the pendulum momentum for the sweep. i don’t just fall back, I rotate a bit towards his far knee, and then use my outside leg to kick outwards to start the movement. To finish the positional change, I bring that leg back down towards his hips – hence the “pendulum” action

6) I make sure that as I go on top, my base is stable and I keep my chest low. I want to continue to disrupt any action he can take with his arms.