Category Archives for "Gracie Jiu Jitsu"

Scranton MMA Quick Tip Judo Vol I

Today I wanted to share a video with you that we recently shot at Scranton MMA.  We had the opportunity to film some really well produced videos so I hope you enjoy them. This first video shows a great takedown that you can use in Judo, BJJ and even MMA.

So first  things first watch the video and then read a bit more about what is going on below:

So I want to talk a bit more about the throw starting with the set up. It is very important to make sure you are in an opposite stance when you execute this throw.  Now I demonstrate this start to finish from an opposite stance but I did want to mention that I train with a great Judo / BJJ player who was able to throw me and many other people with this throw starting with a same sided stance and then switching to an opposite stance as he trapped the arm. Might be a bit more risky but again he did throw a lot of good players with that version.

I like the opposite stance from start to finish because many good players will grab your lapel when you are in that situation so you do not need to bait them into grabbing the lapel. Now if you do need to bait them a bit here are some tips.

First control the distance and what your partner can grab.  You want to make it difficult for them to grab your sleeve so you might need to break that grip or slap it away.  At the same time you dont want them to be able to grab your neck or back so you need to defend that and again control the space between you and your partner.

Next is the ‘grip’ make sure you get lots of practice with the motion and securing that arm. I love doing this almost as a fake grip break or even better after a failed grip break. It starts elbow down then elbow straight up and then elbow to elbow. Keep that arm and wrist trapped and secured.

To me once you got a good grip on that arm you are in a great position to get the takedown.  Again make sure you rep it out in practice and try it during randori or sparring a lot. You want to figure out what is working and what needs improvement.

The last detail to remember is the finishing position.  I love using throws and takdeowns as a means of passing the guard.  With this throw if you remember to bring your opposite hand behind their lead leg and use it to control their hips you will end up in a great position. You will be past their guard and you will make it very difficult for them to try to recover guard.

Here are a few more tips about adding this throw to your game. Again remember this throw is best used as soon as your opponent grips your gi. Maybe its the first thing you do in the match or maybe you do it later in the match but try to do it right as they grip before they get settled in. Work on really securing and trapping that arm.  Don’t shortcut the movement. Start elbow down and go elbow up and then end elbow to elbow. Try to keep your grip on the wrist or by the gi the entire time.  Try to keep your posture as best as you can the entire time. Focus on looking up and keeping your back straight. This will let you move quickly and have a lot of power in your movement. Last but not least focus on controlling the final position and the transition.  You want to end in a dominant position you do not want to go through all of this hard work just to end up in their guard!

I hope you enjoy the video. Please let me know if you have any questions.


November 20, 2015

Jiu Jitsu Competition Tips For White Belts

At Scranton MMA we have always had a lot of success as a team when it comes to Jiu Jitsu Competitions. We have been very fortunate to have some very successful competitors train with us for years and years. This has helped our competitors routinely come home with lots of medals, trophies and belts.

Today I just want to share a few tips that will help you get started when you first decide to want to give competition a try. Trust me we have all been there and we know it is going to be difficult and stressful but these tips will make it a bit easier to get started.

Enjoy the Experience

Your first goal should be to enjoy the experience. Win or lose make sure you enjoy the entire overall experience.  Im not saying you have to or that you should enjoy losing. However most likely you are going to lose a match or two at your first few tournaments. Its important to realize that basically everyone is going to lose especially at first but if you quit now you will never get to enjoy winning.  You need to make sure you enjoy all the prep work leading up to the tournament.  If you are going to push yourself a bit harder or a lot harder during training make sure you take some time to enjoy that as well.  Just remember after the training how much your jiu jitsu is improving.  Also enjoy the trip, the traveling and hanging out with all your teammates.  This really can be the best thing about competing.


Learn and Improve

You want to make sure that no matter what happens you learn from the experience. You want to learn and then use what you learn to improve your jiu jitsu. Focusing on learning and improving will help take some of the stress away from competing.

Record Your Matches

It really took me a long time to realize how important it is to record your matches.  Please do everything you can to record all your matches.  Normally you can just ask your teammates or a friend or even another competitor to record the match.  Trust me it will be worth it!  You can learn a great deal by reviewing your match after the tournament.  Often what you think happened didnt happen exactly how you remembered 🙂  The camera doesnt lie so having the ability to review your matches is priceless.

Create a Game Plan

Now some people will disagree with this but I definitely think having a game plan and a strategy will help.  Maybe you are a guard puller or you want to stand up or shoot for the take down.  Either way you should have a plan and do your best to execute it.

Get Back On The Mat

Again no matter what the outcome of the tournament get right back on the mat.  Do everything you can to get back on the mat the very next opportunity you have.  You might be a bit sore or tired but get right back out there.  Talk to your coaches, talk to your teammates and tell them what it was like to compete

Plan Your Next Jiu Jitsu Tournament

Now I’m not saying you have to set a date to compete the next day but the sooner the better.  Even if you need to wait a few months or longer you should start to plan for your next tournament.  You dont want to dwell on what happened to long.. good or bad.. When you compete once one of the best things you can do is plan to compete again. Many people will say that they only want to compete once just to see what it is like and there is nothing wrong with that but I would strongly suggest that if you compete once to give it another shot.  The hardest part is getting out there the first time. The second time is normally a lot easier and a lot more fun so again I definitely suggest you give a second competition a try and see what you think

Now I hope these tips help give you a few ideas and I really hope that they make you think about giving Jiu Jitsu competition a try.  If you have been thinking about it please talk to one of our coaches ASAP!

Scranton MMA Kids Training BJJ and Judo

Today we had a really great kids class and I was able to take a quick video at the end of the class and I wanted to share it on our website.  It is really amazing what a short video can show you about our kids, what they are learning and how the program is run.

First you will see these kids are learning and trying some great Judo and Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques.  You can see them sparring both on their feet and on the ground.  While on their feet you will see them going for the throws they learn as part of their Judo training.  You will see the kids throw and get thrown safely.  They all know how to fall properly and it shows.

When they are grappling on the ground their gracie jiu jitsu training shines through.  Part of the video will show some of the kids getting mount properly and even taking the back and getting their hooks in.  You will see some great defense, sweeps and escapes as well.  It is really great to watch these kids train.

You can also see the high level of instruction the kids get as well as how much supervision they receive.  This is a short video and I didnt get all the instructors in the shot but I believe we had about seven instructors helping with this class. Most importantly that helps keep all the kids safe.  It also allows the kids to get more work in.  We can run more drills, have the kids spar more and really keep things moving with so many experienced instructors on the mat.

Im actually sorry that I didnt plan this video out better or organize it a bit. I just realized that our little kids are kind of left out because they were playing a fun game during this two minute part of class and I wanted to get some footage of our kids sparring.  Next time Ill show more of what our 4-6 year old kids can do and Im sure you will be amazed.  Again its great to see what kids can do with the right coaching and when they are in the right program.

Ok here is the video. I hop you enjoy it!


November 19, 2015

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Tips

I recently had the great pleasure of doing some great Gracie Jiu Jitsu Training with three exceptional grapplers.  It was a great session where we simply drilled some techniques and then sparred.  Sounds simple sounds like most classes or training sessions but what was really great about this session was the little tips I got during the training session.  I want to share some of the tips, ideas and strategies that were shared with me during the training and I want to give you some of the tips that popped into my head while I was training as well.

Jiu Jitsu Technique Details

So the first tip that was drilled into me was to focus on the details of the technique you are practicing. Again sounds familiar.  We first learn the big steps of the technique and can kind of walk through it and make it work.  After that we start to try to smooth it out and then perfect the details. During this session what stuck out as being a little different is that we basically started with the details.  Now this was okay because we were all very experienced grapplers but the other thing that stood out was when we were focusing on the details it was all about the why in the details.  Why do you move your knee a few inches up?  Why do you turn your elbow out?  Why do you pull with your right arm?  We constantly focused on why the details matter and what we were trying to accomplish, prevent or defend against.

What I noticed is the more I focused on the why the easier the details were to perform.  By constantly focusing on why we were doing certain things it really made the whole technique come together for me.

Force and Momentum During Training

When you are training the techniques make sure you or your partner are using the right amount of attacking force or momentum.  Try to avoid being a dead fish or a lame or weak partner.  Make sure you are doing the attack properly so your partner can practice the defense or counter attack properly.  This is extremely important and it will make your practice and all of your reps way more beneficial.   When the right force is used you will get a much better feel for the technique and you will get much better feedback.   You will know if you are really executing the technique properly and all your mistakes will be made clear as day.

BJJ Is All About The Basics

When the training session started we with one of the first guard passes that most Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu students learn.  It is also one of the passes that I have had very little success with in sparring.  So much so that I never use it in competition.  Now even after this last session I am not expecting the pass to just start magically working but what I did get from practicing this basic pass was a bunch of other lessons that will help all of my other guard passes out. That is one of the best things about practicing basic techniques over and over.  While you are practicing one basic technique you are actually improving upon many other techniques at the same time.  While I was training this one pass that I do not really preform well I was give MANY tips on that specific technique.  What was really great though was I realized each tip would help me out in a bunch of other situations that I find myself in when trying to pass the guard!

I’m hoping to have more and more training sessions like this and I am sure I will keep getting great tips that will help my Jiu Jitsu and I will be sure to share them with you here.  I hope some of these tips help you out as much as they help me out.