July 20th Women’s BJJ Class, Triangle choke for more than sport.

July 20th Women’s BJJ Class

Monday night class was an introduction to the triangle choke; Did basic drills then the technique, but for the women’s class I usually try to spend some time talking about how it’s applicable in a fight/self defense situation. We went over the difference between and sport and fight; how to control the opponents arm when someone is striking you as well as finding the openings to strike back using hammer fists and elbows and eye gouging. The goal isn’t to finish with the strikes (though not going to complain if they do knock out their assailant) , but to survive long enough to finish the choke. “You can fight of you’re arm is broken, you can’t fight when you’re asleep.”

We included the Triangle Armbar as well, not because we want them to tap out, but to go for the break, to cause enough pain and damage that it allows you to create an opening in order to readjust for the choke.  On the mat; for sport you go for the win, you get the tap and shake hands and it’s done. For survival, you need to keep fighting, give it everything you’ve got in order to be able to survive and escape that situation.

I love the sport of BJJ, but sometimes we forget the fight aspect, get caught up in the fun of competition, the points, the challenges of competing against other players the shiny medals. You have to remember that no matter what the reason is that you train; health, fun, exercise, competition or whatever is that if you are learning Jiu-Jitsu you are learning to fight and somewhere in the back of your mind that thought should always be there.

Next weeks class is all sport!



July 17th, Good Rolls…

July 17th, Good Rolls…

It’s always great to roll with friends, especially when they are visiting from out of town. One of these guys is Ben Lenyard; he comes to town a couple times a year, and is always a blast to roll with. Very competitive, hard worker and the right amount of attitude that means he’s never satisfied with where he’s at. He’s been training at Brazilian Top Team in San Antonio and self admittedly has two speeds, 80% and a 100%. Needless to say I know I’ll be in for a scrap whenever we train and always never fails to motivate me.

As his first BJJ coach I’m extremely proud to see his progress eveytime he comes back. Plus he gets some payback on his early years with me. As he put it “Don’t think I forgot what you used to do to me.”

Bring it!



Are you ready to adopt?

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.
Albert Schweitzer

And you can also look at it this way.

Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
Dalai Lama

This kids are up for adoption.

Use the contact form if you’d can and are willing to give them a forever home.

Kitten therapy/massage after a harsh BJJ workout.

Carmel Working her Half Guard Pass

July 12th Seminar at Minnesota Kali Group International in Duluth

I had the pleasure of going to Duluth to teach a BJJ seminar at MKG International in Duluth, about two hours north of Minneapolis, so nice drive with some friends who accompanied me to take part.

good friends on a bjj trip with me
good friends on a bjj trip with me

So whenever I plan a seminar I day dream of all the cool, slick, fun moves that we are going to do; however a big part plays on the level of the students and what would best suit them. After a few pendulum and movement drills, we started with a look at basic guard passes; including posture, Bad Dog, how to open guard and using the same passes from different positions.  You don’t need to know every pass there is, but learn a few passes well and build off that. First, keep it simple.

We worked on some closed guard passes, and some half guard passes for about an hour and a half, then we moved onto the fun stuff, a little bit of candy for the day. I’m a big fan of the Omoplata, it’s one of my favorites and has a ton of options to play from, I jokingly call it an Omoplata guard there is so much to do there.

Carmel Working her Half Guard Pass
Carmel Working her Half Guard Pass

Though at first I thought working on the Ompoplata submission was going to be a little advanced; we started with basic movement, went back to the pendulum drill and built off of that, then needed an entry so basic armbar to Omoplata, added some helpful details on how to isolate the arm, adjust for a better position and then the finish for the tap. Then we were ready to really play. From basic combinations to how to start moving and retaining the arm and playing with submission combinations. I happened to get a little excited and accidentally added about an hour and a half to the day, but by the end of it, they were getting the hang of it conceptually enough to play a little with flowing from one thing to the next.

I got to spend the day teaching the art and being around good friends; it was a great way to spend a Sunday.

If you are ever in Duluth, go visit Drake Ritchie at Minnesota Kali Group International.


Antonio working on the Omoplata
Antonio working on the Omoplata

Group Pic Duluth Seminar

Group Pic Duluth Seminar


Akagi Jiu Jitsu

July 8th, Thoughts on tonights BJJ class

I usually like to teach things in progressions; but there are times you can just throw out fun stuff or teach something that maybe the less advanced students would normally not be ready for.

So for fun we did a lot of movement drills for the Omoplata; with the focus just being on movement and not even looking at how to finish the submission. The drill for the evening was setting up the Omoplata from the mount postion, leaving mount and retaining the arm and flowing back to mount, (may be hard to visualize). We worked our way to a series of rolling Omy’s; forward, backward  and to the side, and by the end of the night, everyone could do the drill and play and move between the setup fairly well.

Sometimes just have to show things like that just for fun and see what they make of it.


BJJ girls are tough...
BJJ girls are tough…

Omoplata flow drills

gym workouts

July 4th Random Guard Passing Reflection

So, after some 4th of July rolls in the morning and a walk around Lake Nokomis, guard passing entered my mind, between Tom Oberhue June 2014 and Chris Haueter twice,  its been a pretty good year.

I got to work on on my pressure pressure and mobile passing with Tom and the steady stay on top approach of Haueter.

Patient Persistent Pressure!  Having guard and passing guard are an important part of the game, being able to have to have options to deal with different types of guards and people’s games is a must!  I like a lot of mobile passing cause it’s fun, love the movement game; works great on larger or a little slower opponents; however, sometimes you get stuck with those little squirrelly  dudes with sick guard recovery and playing the mobile game is just ridiculous  and take too long, so you need to shut that down with pressure and patience. Follow the Chris Haueter rule number 1. Get on top, stay on top!


Akagi Jiu Jitsu

Ben Lenyard

I started learning BJJ from Fabio as a white belt, with no grappling experience. His clear, concise, and technically clean instruction made it easy for me to build a strong fundamental understanding of BJJ. 7 years later, I am a one stripe brown belt competitor and Mixed Marital Artist at Brazilian Top Team, and I am confident to say Fabio’s coaching has been instrumental in my beginning knowledge of the art.

Akagi Jiu Jitsu

Dick Davis Associate Director Blind Inc

Fabio Morescalchi taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the students in our PREP summer program for blind teenagers.  He was a wonderful instructor.  His classes were informative, he put the students’ fears at rest, and he taught in a manner that was respectful to both men and women.  There was no problem with the fact that our students were blind; he treated them like normal people.  We recommend him highly as an instructor and as a friend.  –

Dick Davis, Associate Director, Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND), Inc. 


Pendulum Drills

Pendulum drills are a great way to work hip movement; which will help with your guard game, understanding momentum, using it for guard recovery, sweeps and attacks.

In the below; my students are using a pendulum drill to help start learning the spinning armbar from the Guard position.

women pendulum drills 1

A big emphasis  for the women’s program is self defense, so a big part of that is learning to choke your opponent in a lot of different ways and from different positions focusing on technique rather than trying to match strength with bigger opponents.

Below, they are working on cross choke from the guard position.

“When it comes to chokes, there are no tough guys. Everybody goes to sleep.” – Grand Master Helio Gracie

women ajj

If you are learning Jiu-Jitsu; you are learning how to fight, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun training.

Come try a free week at the Minnesota Kali Group.