One Secret to Increasing Your Defense 100%

John Machado told me to not be a master of kamikaze escapes.  Don’t let your arm get caught and accomplish a daring escape.  Remember that BJJ is not a sport- it is a form of self defense.  A joint lock on the street would not be done slow with control as the joint reached it’s limit.  It would be done quickly, like a punch.  There would be not time to do a fancy escape.

It takes a long time to learn several escapes for all of the different submissions.  One problem is that there are new submissions born every day from all over the world!  To learn the escapes from every one would take a long time.  I have something that is much simpler.

In health, prevention is better than the cure.  It takes planning and discipline, but it is easier to prevent most diseases than cure them.  And if someone has a disease, it is generally easier to cure the earlier you catch it.  The secret of defending submissions is simple.  In order for someone to choke you, they have to have a hand near your neck.  In order for someone to attack your elbow or shoulder, they have to secure your arm.  The secret of preventing submissions is awareness.  If you touch my neck, I am going to defend my neck- bringing my hand to my face or securing your arm that is on my neck.  If you touch my arm, I am going to bring it close to my body and bring that side of my body to the floor.

The next time you roll with someone better than you, keep your hands near your neck and your elbows close to your body and see how much longer it takes for them to tap you.  You do not need to know thirty or forty escapes to submissions.  You know one principle that will take you much, much further.

This is one chapter from the book, “The Beginner Grappler’s Manual: Training Principles and Strategies for Success” by Ryan Fiorenzi.

3 Responses to “One Secret to Increasing Your Defense 100%”

  1. Shawn King says:

    I really like how you applied the idea of prevention and health to prevention and submissions.

    I agree 100%…

    When I lived and trained with Relson Gracie… he made sure to instill the same philosophy…

    He would always say “First get good at knowing and feeling when you are in danger, learn to shut it down and defend it.. this way they never submit you. You will develop a great defense and then eventually they will make a mistake or get tired out and now it is your turn to go in for the win.”

    Also… Your book is excellent! I feel that it should be required by any and everyone that is training in submission grappling…

    Are you ever going to do a Volume 2?

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Shawn. I have been working on volume 2 for a while now, and it is coming soon…

  3. Eric Smith says:


    The above training tips works on EVERYONE except Jedi Master Ryan Fiorenzi. He reads my mind and actually uses the Jedi Mind Trick on me when I roll with him. He says to my mind…you want to give me your arm and of course my mind says…I want to give Ryan my arm…he graciously arm bars me and I say…”Thank You Sir may I have another!” The above tip did improve my defense 100%. I have given up my evil dark-side ways and life is good now. I am no longer Darth Stupidous. What are you reading this for, GET BACK ON THE MAT AND TRAIN SOME MORE!!!!

    Eric Smith

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