Sunday, July 28, 2013

JiujitsuGeeks Podcast / Slight Return

Finally the JiujitsuGeeks have cleared their ultra busy schedules to record a new podcast. We discuss what we have been doing lately, new jiujitsu products, and whatever else we can think of. Thanks for the continued support. Enjoy! 


Things mentioned on this episode...

E.T.'s apparel company for video gamers...

Scramble USA

Athletic Tape (in case this is your first day practicing jiujitsu) 

Monday, February 18, 2013

JiujitsuGeeks Podcast / Clark Gracie

On this episode of the podcast we talk to Clark Gracie. Clark talks about training in America before BJJ was popular, his famous family, the Gracie diet, and his philosophy of the gentle art. Enjoy! 

You can learn more about Clark Gracie by visiting his website here..


Click the link below or listen through iTunes. We are listed under "JiujitsuGeeks" 

Clark Gracie

The young master's logo. 

Carly Gracie, Clark's father, on the cover of now defunct Martial Arts Masters magazine.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Examining the Cross Collar Choke

It’s the oldest trick in the book.  Everybody knows it and everybody can see it coming from a mile away.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about… the cross collar choke.  Ever learned it?  Of course you have.  If it wasn’t the first submission you were shown when you walked into the academy, it has to have been in the top 3. 

Primarily seen from either the guard or the mount, it’s a classic gi submission.  Now, the second part of the question:  when’s the last time you caught somebody with it?  (Subbing the guy that started training last week doesn’t count.)  How’s your success rate with it?  Unless your name is Roger Gracie, chances are that your technique needs some work.  (And if your name is Roger Gracie, want to come on the podcast and talk to us?) 

There are a few different ways (grip-wise) to set up this choke, though the most popular seems to be the “both palms up” method.  There’s also the “one palm up one palm down” when you bring the second (palm down) hand around and grab the fabric on the opposite side shoulder/neck.  And don’t forget about the “one palm up opposite thumb goes in and bring the arm around” version.  The videos below show a mix of all three of those grips.  So check it out below, fellow Geeks, and you’ll be subbing fools with Grandmaster Helio’s favorite choke before you know it!

Here’s a Professor Pedro Sauer instructional on the choke (using the "both palms up" grip) with the finer points outlined.  Check out how he flexes his wrists before he starts using his arms to bring his opponent chest-to-chest.

Here’s a video of the modern-day master of the cross collar choke explaining it.  This goes over how to get the choke from mount, which Roger is known for, including where to place your feet and knees to secure your opponent.  The version he shows here is the “thumb-in” version, which if you get your thumb behind their head, will get tight on the opponent as soon as you flip your arm around to form the “x” on their neck.  Yay!

And for those of you who think you can only do this with a gi, check out this video showing otherwise.  The hand positioning in this version is the “palm down” grip as well, but instead of putting the thumb in he grabs the fabric near the shoulder.  Since bunching up a t-shirt will create that handle at the bottom of the t-shirt material that “palm down” grip is easier to get in this version, rather than with a gi when it’s harder for your fingers to get a grip.  Of course there’s no way you could get away with this in a no gi competition, but still… never hurts to know it.

Mostly still on topic, here are the Gracie brothers with a preview of the video they put out a few years ago of “street chokes” where you use everyday pieces of clothing to choke your opponents.  The cross collar choke is featured in several different forms.  It’s not the whole video, but it gives you an idea of what they show if you want to buy it.  Having watched the whole video a few times I can tell you that most of it is stuff you probably already know, but some of it is pretty sneaky.  It’s worth a watch.

And just to give you something to aspire to, here’s a highlight reel of Roger.  Check out the section devoted entirely to the cross choke (starts about 01:30) he’s subbing the best guys in the world with the most basic choke there is. 

Now, get on the mats and practice choking people!

Train Hard,

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Importance of Leglocks

“When lions attack they go for the neck, not the legs.”

Ever heard that before?  Chances are if you have ever tried or learned a leglock, you have.  Every time the subject of lower body submissions comes up, it seems like somebody utters that phrase.  And while that idiom might be true on the savannah, in the gym the lion should be open to learning new submissions. 

Traditionally, leglocks aren’t overly emphasized in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu schools.  At least partially in part because the Gracie’s didn’t do much with leg attacks (in contrast, we all know that Fadda would roll and footlock the heck out of you).  But we all want to be well-rounded grapplers right?  That means keeping an open mind about wrestling, judo, sambo, or other grappling arts that might have something to offer.  When it comes to leglocks, even if you know them but don’t use them, recognizing when one is coming is pretty valuable, don’t you think?  (Hint: your ankles and knees agree with me.)

BJJ doesn’t place a big emphasis on leg locks, but they are allowed in competition rules to varying degrees.  As information continues to be shared and grappling techniques get swapped between styles, leg locks will continue to become more common.  And with guys like Dean Lister and Rousimar Palhares setting the leglock standard in high-level competition, you’d best come correct with your knowledge.  Check it out below, fellow Geeks, and soon your nickname at your academy will be “bear trap”.

At the time of this writing, I’m a no-stripe purple belt.  So I haven’t been training leglocks that long.  There’s no real rule against practicing them at my academy, I just didn’t feel like I had a good enough knowledge of grappling, BJJ or human body mechanics to train them until now.  Here are a few lessons that I’ve picked up either from experience or through conversations with upper belts: 

  • Remember that legs aren’t as dexterous as arms…don’t crank stuff! 
  • Don’t try leglocks on white belts or new blue belts.
  • If you are a white or a new blue belt, don’t do leglocks.  Though I will admit, fewer things are funnier than rolling with a white belt who falls back for an ankle lock or heel hook and looks bewildered when it doesn’t work.  You gotta crawl before you ball, new guy.
  • People get squirrely when you grab their legs/feet, so getting reps in and having your technique down are priority one.  Like any other move if you want it to work you have to drill it, don’t write something off because you can’t get it to work instantly.
Aside from giving you more options, training leglocks will change how you roll and will consequently change how people roll with you.  Positions that didn’t used to be dangerous suddenly will be.  Beware!

Want to learn more about attacking the other 50% of people’s bodies?  Peep some of the resources below:

1)  I own Gokor’s Leglock Encyclopedia and it is a wealth of information.  However my main problem with it is that it is not well organized.  Techniques are randomly thrown together on the discs, not really divided up into categories of position or submission type, which can make finding the techniques you want a challenge.  But if you have the patience, this is a must-have resource.  

2)  Check out  They cover all types of submission grappling, BJJ and MMA as well but seem to have more leglock content than other sites I’ve visited.  As if that wasn’t obvious just by their logo.

3)  Even Kurt Osiander, who by his own admission doesn’t do footlocks, has a few videos out on them.  He makes it a point to mention that he does know footlocks, he just doesn’t use them because he doesn’t like them.  Moral of the story: Knowledge is power, don’t get your ankle snapped because you’re unwilling to learn any submissions below the armpit. 

4)  Another name synonymous with leglocks is Reilly Bodycomb.  He has some DVDs out as well and his highlight reel is below, he didn't fair so well in the Ultimate Absolute but the dude has some mad skills.

If you grapple long enough, you will come across leglocks.  You can avoid them or cite them as not being part of the pure form of BJJ, but in the end it'll be better to know them rather than not.

Train hard,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Now on iTunes...the Jiujitsu Geeks!

The Jiujitsu Geeks are now on iTunes!  Search for us under "JiujitsuGeeks" and hit "Subscribe" and you'll be sent the latest and greatest podcasts!  You can also go back and listen to your favorite previous episodes.  Who will you listen to first...Renzo Gracie?  Gustavo Machado?  Nino Schembri?  Gordo Correa?  Tinguinha Mariano?  So many choices!!


JiujitsuGeeks Have A New Sponsor...

The JiujitsuGeeks are now sponsored by AvidGamer. AvidGamer is a growing apparel company for the hardcore and obsessed video game junkie. I know there is many dedicated grapplers are gamers when not on the mat so the partnership between the two companies is only too logical!

Check AvidGamer out at  and follow them on Twitter @avidgamerwear


JiujitsuGeek Aaron sporting an AvidGamer shirt. 

AvidGamer logo located on the back.

Gamers and Jiujitsu fighters are vastly superior! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

JiujitsuGeeks Podcast / Jay Oliveria "The Plant Based Athlete"

On this episode of the podcast we talk to Jay Oliveria. Jay is a jiu-jitsu practitioner who runs out of his home in Hawaii. We discuss the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, weight cutting for BJJ competition, and his 801010 philosophy. Brian, being a pescetarian, was really excited for this interview and had prepared some great questions. Enjoy!


JiujitsuGeeks Podcast / Jay Oliveria "The Plant Based Athlete"

Visit Jay's blog at

and like him on Facebook....

If you are interested in Jay's philosophy and want to dig deeper...