Leg Lasso Sweep From Open Guard

The leg lasso is one of my favorite open guard positions. With the lasso in, we can defend the guard and transition back to closed guard if we want to. We can also set up powerful and safe attacks.

It’s very frustrating for our opponent to pass the lasso guard, and frustrated people make mistakes. This sweep is one we can hit when our opponent makes a very common mistake: trying to pass without clearing the lasso first.

Thanks again to Roy Marsh for letting me show some techniques at his school and helping me film these videos. If you enjoyed them, you’ll definitely like the other videos on his YouTube channel by Roy himself and guys like Drew Culbreth, so check them out and subscribe if you like.

Why BJJ Lineage Matters

Without a fighter from Japan and a few Brazilian pioneers, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. Without a black belt from Vermont, I wouldn’t be competing at high-level tournaments. Without a select handful of dedicated people, I would be a completely different person than I am — a less happy, less tough person leading a less fulfilled life.

That last paragraph is about my lineage in jiujitsu, the teachers that have trained me. We think about that a fair bit in the martial arts.

Interestingly, a new guest article on JiuJitsu Times purports to not see why lineage matters. While I see where the author is coming from — yes, in a fight or a tournament match, no one cares who your instructor is — the piece wildly misanalyzes what lineage is and why it’s important. Continue reading

Tripod Sweep From De La Riva Guard

My new technique video is out on the Roy Marsh Jiujitsu YouTube channel. It’s my take on a fundamental, effective and powerful move: the tripod sweep.

I like to set this up from De La Riva guard, ideally with a cross-grip on the sleeve. But as I say in the video, we have a wide array of options to hit the sweep depending on what grips we get and how our opponent behaves. The little foot transition in the video is something I drill over and over.

What Makes a Good Tournament?

Competition is valuable. The experience you get from standing across from another combat athlete who is going to try assiduously to choke you or bend your joints the wrong way is hard to replicate.

A tournament can either be a winning experience or a learning experience, or ideally both. Apart from the matches themselves, though, whether you have a good time at an event really depends heavily on how the tournament is run.

Since I starting training almost five years ago, I’ve been fortunate to compete at a ton of different events run by different organizations. During this time, I’ve developed some fairly firm thoughts on what makes a tournament a good experience for competitors — and by contrast, what undermines a competitor’s experience.

Yes, you want to win medals. But other things go into making a tournament a good experience!

Yes, you want to win medals. But other things go into making a tournament a good experience!

Follow me through my list, which is organized into “you’ve got to have these things” and “it is nice when tournaments have these things.” Continue reading

Video: DLR sweep from combat base

My friend Roy Marsh asked me to come teach an open guard series at his school last week, and I stuck around to make a video for his YouTube channel. This simple De La Riva guard technique is my highest-percentage sweep when my opponent takes the combat base (one knee up) position, and I hope you dig it.

I had fun doing the video, and I know Roy’s going to be posting a bunch of great stuff from guys better than I am, so if you like this technique, please consider subscribing.