More New Videos To Help You Escape Side Control




More New Videos To Help You Escape Side Control


Side control can be one of the most arduous situations to deal with as a BJJ white belt. If you are tired of being smashed for minutes on end, you are going to love these videos below!


Get out your notebooks because you will not want to forget any of these details. Thanks to Professors Adem Redzovic and James “300” Foster for these valuable insights.










If you want even more techniques to escape side control check out this article here.


I hope that you enjoyed this post and good luck on your BJJ journey!


How To Master Jiu-Jitsu – The 2 Most Important Aspects Of Training – Firas Zahabi




How To Master Jiu-Jitsu – The 2 Most Important Aspects Of Training – Firas Zahabi


If you like a good ol’ fashioned Jiu-Jitsu philosophical discussion then you are going to love this video. Tristar gym coach Firas Zahabi has been on a tear lately with fantastic BJJ instructionals and tutorials. Firas is widely known as the coach and friend of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre.



Firas studies under John Danaher. Check out this amazing brand new video from BJJ hacks featuring the great coach of great coaches.



How To Properly Wash Your Jiu Jitsu Gi




How To Properly Wash Your Jiu Jitsu Gi


The Jiu Jitsu Gi. Oh how we adore you. You are an extension of us and are symbolically representative of us. We take you into war on a daily basis. You are the weapon that our opponents use against us; you wear my weapon, and I, wear yours. Ironic is our relationship, yet we love you so.


We all love our BJJ Gi’s and we all hope that we can make them last as long as possible. It is not only important to properly care for your Gi to make it last for many years, but the proper care of your Gi will also prevent you from being the loathed “stinky person” to roll with.


Here are some helpful hints written by my teammate Nic C. followed by some supplemental videos on how to keep your Gi in pristine condition!


Cleaning Gi’s with vinegar and baking soda.


When you get home throw everything you sweat in into the washing machine, including your compression shorts/rash guard/cup/jock.


Throw in 1 -1.5 cups of distilled white vinegar, make sure you get your collar, arm pit, crotch areas on your Gi.


Depending on your washing machine: pre-soak or rinse without spinning in the vinegar + warm water. Let it sit and drain. (If I get home at 10pm I’ll let the vinegar work until i get up in the morning)


Then, add a cup of baking soda to the load and a small amount of detergent. (Too much detergent that doesn’t get rinsed out is what collects additional funk.)


Wash heavy with warm water. Use the second rinse if your machine has it.


If your gi is still a little funky, repeat the process. If it starts out the worst thing ever, seriously soak it in the vinegar. If you don’t want to do this whole process every time, do it every third wash and wash it heavy with Tide Sport in between, but again, don’t use too much detergent and rinse an extra time. Get vinegar and baking soda from a price club if you can. I get huge things of baking soda for pool maintenance for under $10, and the vinegar is equally cheap. If you get a brand new Gi, washing it in vinegar first will help set the color better.


If you have any questions just ask, or Google how to refresh old dingy cotton towels.






Dealing With Larger Opponents In Jiu Jitsu




Dealing With Larger Opponents In Jiu Jitsu


The first time I ever did an Open division was when I was Purple Belt. I had won the Lightweight division and was facing the Heavyweight division champion. As the match began, joy filled my heart when my opponent pulled guard. I jumped over his guard almost immediately and my sense of elation grew. Wow. I’m so much faster than this guy. This is going to be easier than I thought.


This feeling was replaced by horror as he reached over my back, and pulled me over him, onto the bottom of side mount. At this point, the match became blurry. I must have gotten out of the side mount at one point, because I remember he jumped flying mount on me, and I recall thinking “holy s***, this guy is heavy” when I couldn’t shrimp out. The match ended a few seconds later with me getting submitted via armbar.


“Overcoming The Bench Press”


When I debriefed with my coach, I mentioned that I felt really demoralized after passing my opponent’s guard only to get rolled over with a ‘wrong’ technique.


He compared my situation during the match with the analogy of a 135lb bench press. Most adults can bench press 135lbs. But no one can bench press 135 for 7 minutes non stop (the length of a purple belt match). So mindset wise, you have to think of forcing your opponent to bench press you off each time and remember that with each rep, he is getting weaker.


“[Avoid] Harpooning the Whale”


The other analogy I like to use is that of harpooning a whale. The fishermen shoot a harpoon into the beast. The harpoon is attached to a barrel that can be dragged under the water. As the whale dives underwater, the added buoyancy fatigues him, eventually allowing the fisherman to complete the catch.


Same concept with a shark…



Don’t get stuck to your bigger opponent like a barrel!


After you pass, you have to “float” the guy until the right time. You have to disengage and make the bigger slower guy have to chase. Don’t clamp down and pin him until the moment is exactly right.


Here’s an example of the type of movement necessary for floating.



Passing the Guard…


When you say someone is bigger, you have to take into account both height and weight. A heavier shorter guy poses a different set of problems than a heavier taller guy.


Taller Guys are generally better at defending outside rotational passes. You have to stay close and try to control the inside space or the hips.


On Shorter Heavier Guys, techniques that move on the outside of the person will be more effective than head-on techniques.


From the Bottom…


Protect the Inside Space and force Outside attacks.


When the guard opens, you must protect the inside space so your leg doesn’t get pushed down right away. You should open while maintaining good pressure between your knees and turning your hips to the side. In other words, your opponent’s core should always be pinched between your legs. You should not absorb his pressure as a thigh-master.




It’s often hard for beginners to learn how to defend the inside space with just their arms, which is why the closed guard (most often taught as the refuge against bigger and stronger guys) is hard for beginners to master.


Secondly, you will probably will find it easier to attack on the outside. Think Omoplatas, De La Riva, and spinning to the back, etc. All these positions keep you from being directly under your larger opponent.


High Knee-Shields and Spider Guards are good for when the person is on their knees. You have less movement to worry about since the opponent is on their knees. So your primary concern is to always maintain the right distance between yourself and your partner.


Long Term – Develop Takedowns!!!


For competitors, winning the open becomes much easier if you have good takedown ability. Not just because you can take your opponent down but because you maintain the ability to fatigue your opponent on the feet.


Example – Tye Murphy, one of the coaches here at Crazy 88, came in with zero takedown training – no wrestling, no judo. At the Blue Belt level, we would use a strategy of gripping for the first half of the match to burn out the big guys. Quite often, these big guys would switch gears and pull guard (sloppily) as they started to fatigue. As his judo and wrestling improved, Tye could now fight pure takedown matches, keeping his larger opponents out of their preferred position – top.


Specific wrestling and judo techniques also work better or worse against bigger opponents. Kouchi-gari and Stickers will be easier for you to execute earlier than Uchimata’s. Single Legs will generally be easier to get on larger opponent than Power Doubles.


So anyway, that’s my short primer on dealing with larger opponents. Hope that helps.


About Julius Park: I am a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. I’ve produced BJJ World Champions from Blue Belt up to Brown Belt. My next goal is to get a student to the Black Belt World Champion level and into the UFC. I have an English Bulldog, Ghostface, who has so far resisted all training methods. I teach out of Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the Baltimore area.



Julius Park


Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts can be found on the Web, Facebook and Twitter.


How (And Why) To Tape Your Fingers For Jiu Jitsu




How (And Why) To Tape Your Fingers For Jiu Jitsu


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the most fun thing in many of our lives. That fun can sometimes become associated with some pain and injury. That is simply the price that we all willingly pay on a daily basis.


Most common finger injuries can be treated with athletic tape so that you can continue rolling. A significant amount of these injuries can be prevented with a little bit of instruction.


Preventative finger taping can save you many months of pain. When your fingers are taped properly they can also give you some extra grip strength.


There are many reasons as to why someone should tape their fingers for Jiu Jitsu. Firstly, do you want your hands to look like the Miyao Brothers?




Finger injuries can take many months to heal. Our hands are as intrinsic to BJJ as our grips are. They are of tremendous import.


Check out some of the taping techniques in the videos below and let us know what you think!






I hope that this post helps you in your BJJ journey and saves you some finger wear and tear!




15 Tips And Strategies For White Belt Jiu-Jitsu Competitors




15 Tips And Strategies For White Belt Jiu-Jitsu Competitors


1. Decide whether you’re going to do takedowns or pull guard. If your standup strategy is a single technique like a “double-leg”, and you are unable to make it happen, just pull guard. If you started Jiu-Jitsu with takedown experience, make for yourself a set of parameters. For example, “If it’s halfway through the match and nothing has happened in terms of standup, I’ll pull guard to get the match going.”


2. Relax Relax Relax. What I mean by relax is to maintain a presence of mind.


3. There’s nothing wrong with being nervous. Don’t spend all your emotional energy fighting your own nervousness. Just accept it.


4. If it’s your first competition, remember that you only have to win each match once. In the training room, you can be lazy because you know there will be more rolling. You think, “Why burn up all my energy fighting this position now when I have another 30 minutes of rolling left?” This doesn’t apply to competitions. When competing you have to go full throttle each match from start to finish.


5. Most White Belts start strong. Few White Belts end strong.


6. I remember feeling extremely nervous watching competitors perform certain “advanced” techniques. For me, it was the flying armbar. I was deathly afraid of flying armbars – despite never having been flying armbarred. I’ve heard other people get nervous because they see someone do a Berimbolo or attacks feet a lot. Believe me when I say that styles make fights. You can have the fanciest, jitz-flow, surfer hand sign grappler look amazing in one match, and get completely shut down by a “boring” pressure oriented grappler the next.


7. Patches and stripes don’t mean a person is good.


8. Muscles don’t mean a person is good.


9. School affiliation doesn’t mean a person is good.




10. You will experience time distortion. Everything might seem much faster (or slower) than it seems in the training room. Once you watch it on tape, you’ll realize the match was the same speed as training.


11. You don’t have to mean mug or be friends with everyone before the match. Do whatever makes you comfortable and don’t let your competition dictate your pre-match ritual. You don’t have to look people in the eyes (the “staredown”), perform the Catholic hand sign, or reenact Russell Crowe’s prebattle routine from Gladiator in order to win the match. Just do what makes you comfortable.


12. Put competition into context. The first time you step onto the mat, you’re just trying to get your nerves right. You’re not going to look like Bruno Malfacine out there. That’s ok.


13. You have to learn to compete as much as you have to learn Jiu-Jitsu. They are related but separate skills.


14. You don’t control winning or losing 100%. The referee and your opponent also play huge roles. That being said, the biggest variable that you control is yourself. Win or lose, keep your focus on what you could have done better.


15. Enjoy it.


About Julius Park: I am a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. I’ve produced BJJ World Champions from Blue Belt up to Brown Belt. My next goal is to get a student to the Black Belt World Champion level and into the UFC. I have an English Bulldog, Ghostface, who has so far resisted all training methods. I teach out of Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the Baltimore area.



Julius Park


Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts can be found on the Web, Facebook and Twitter.


The Forgotten BJJ Fundamental: Standing Up




The Forgotten BJJ Fundamental: Standing Up


Many times when we begin our journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and many more times during the heat of a roll, a white belt can forget the option of standing up.


Standing up in base is an especially important skill if your focus is MMA or self-defense. If either of those is your primary course of study, the standing up option should be amongst the main tools in your arsenal.


For the BJJ practitioner standing up is extremely useful when going against a bigger, stronger opponent. It is much easier to simply get up and work passes then it is to start out playing guard, getting passed, working an escape, gaining dominant position and then submitting your much larger compadre.


By no means am I suggesting that you should never play guard against bigger and stronger opponents. Such is not the case. I am merely trying to add the standing up alternative to your repertoire of options. If there is someone in your class that constantly pulls the smash-and-pass on you. Trust me, you will love the standing up option.


Below are a some videos to show you the technique of standing up:




Check out the new Dillon Danis highlight (below) which demonstrates the stand up option in action at the highest levels. In Dillon’s case, and the case of people who like the kneebar/footlock game, standing up proves critical because performing these techniques can leave you in bad position if you are not careful.



Hopefully this article proves useful to you. Good luck!


5 Ways To Escape Being Stuck In Side Control




5 Ways To Escape Being Stuck In Side Control


One of the most difficult positions for White Belts to deal with is being stuck in side control (side mount). I can’t tell you how many times I have seen two White Belts rolling. Combatant “A” breaks open Combatant “B”‘s guard and passes to side control. The rest of the round usually takes place with Combatant “A” trying to figure a way to submit Combatant “B” as Combatant “B” squirms about trying to survive.


The worst part is that the White Belt on top is often afraid to move to the mount position, out of fear of not being able to continue controlling their opponent. I have seen it in the gym and in competition.


So what can we do to help the person who is constantly getting stuck in side control? The answer is, to teach them how to escape effectively. Below are 5 different escapes that you can use to get your way out of any side control predicament.


This first video is the most basic and the one you should focus on the most.






Hope that these videos were helpful! If you have any other questions please let us know.


Roy Dean – The Collection: Judo, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu




Roy Dean – The Collection: Judo, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Jiu Jitsu is a journey.


It’s an art. It’s a system of movement; of self defense.


It changes lives.


So where do you turn first? You know where you want to go. You want to learn how to fly; to learn from legends, to always keep fighting, to overcome each and every obstacle that’s between white belt and black. There are many.


I’ve climbed that mountain, and I’ve shown others how to do it as well.


That’s what the collection is. All of my instructionals, for you. It’s a decade of showing others how to use their body; the angles of off-balancing, how to move efficiently, the path to success, and the principles which underpin it all.


Jiu Jitsu is movement; spirals, pressure, technique, mentorship, precision. It’s testing it out in the field of battle. Having fun and seeing what really works for you.


There is so much to know. To understand what Jiu Jitsu really is, and where it came from; it’s not about first place. It’s about victory over ourselves. It’s about physical literacy in a world that needs as much literacy as it can get.


We need to know what’s real; what actually works, so that we can move with security and real purpose in our lives. That is the real understanding. That is the true confidence.


You have to realize that Jiu Jitsu is not about having a single hand raised; it’s about two hands coming together in the spirit of friendship, and respect.


Roy Dean