Pedro Carvalho has studied with Jacare Cavalcanti, Carlson Gracie, Sylvio Behring and Alvaro Barreto. And now, in this exclusive video, he shows YOU how to pass your opponent's guard and move into the full mount.

Pedro Carvalho immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and quickly gained a reputation for holding nothing back. The owner of 11 medals won in jiu-jitsu tournaments in his native Brazil, he publicly espoused the belief that instructors should share with their students even their most advanced BJJ techniques because the way those students perform in competition reflects back on their teacher. That idea prompted Pedro Carvalho to declare in a 1995 interview inKarate/Kung Fu Illustrated, one ofBlack Belt'ssister publications, "I make sure I teach them everything I know. Even in Brazil, some places don't teach you all the stuff, but I do.

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Fast-forward to today: Pedro Carvalho now has more than 30 years of grappling experience under his frayed belt and a growing network of jiu-jitsu schools across the United States, and he's every bit as willing to share his knowledge with his students — and, fortunately, with the BlackBeltMag.com audience.

In this exclusive BJJ techniques video, the Brazilian martial arts expert shows you how to pass your opponent's guard and move in for the full mount!

BJJ TECHNIQUES VIDEO Brazilian Martial Arts Expert Pedro Carvalho: How to Pass the Guard and Get the Full Mount

"In any discipline of study, including a martial art like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the keys to successful training will always be pace and progression," says Pedro Carvalho in the introduction to his books, Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 1: Gi Techniques and Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 2: No-Gi Techniques. "Each must be explored and experienced to facilitate the best skill development."

Pace and Progression for Developing BJJ Techniques

"Pace refers to the rate at which new information is given or received and to the speed that the student practices," the Brazilian martial arts expert explains. "To ensure successful skill achievement, the student should refrain from training or attempting techniques that his instructor believes are beyond his level."

Such a principle, Pedro Carvalho says, is especially true when it comes to sparring. Until certain BJJ techniques are practiced an adequate number of times, attempting them in sparring can cause a student to lose faith in valuable techniques simply because he is not yet capable of performing them well.

"Each student should pay attention during practice to each detail of a given technique, and it should be repeated slowly and smoothly with a gradual increase in tempo as the technique begins to sharpen," Pedro Carvalho explains.

Progression refers to the routine used in the class and to the order in which techniques are given to the student.

Essentials for Training in BJJ Techinques

Each class is made up of three progressive elements, each element being essential to proper training, according to Brazilian martial arts master Pedro Carvalho:

  • Warm-Up and Drill: Students are guided through a series of exercises that allow them to stretch and strengthen the muscles particular to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • BJJ Techniques Instruction: Each move is broken down into its various component. The average number of techniques taught in a given class is about three.
  • Sparring: Students are given the opportunity to test their skills against one another and observe other students sparring.

"Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools have similar technique progressions, and as long as your instructor is a recognized black belt, you are in good hands," Pedro Carvalho says.

For an optimal training experience, the Brazilian martial arts instructor recommends:

  • Find training partners who will train safely and allow for sufficient practice.
  • Find a qualified instructor; if he is not a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, then he should at least be a recognized representative of a specific school, not merely someone teaching a generic variation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • Study your movements and techniques in detail, ask a lot of questions and spar as often as possible.

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Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
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Looking to buy some weights to gain some strength?

Looking at Dumbbell, Kettlebells or Weighted bar? How about an all in one that won't just save you some good amount of money but also space? Look no further, we bring you the GRIPBELL!

Let's face it, when we do want to work on some strength building, we don't want to go around shopping for 20 different weight equipment things. That would just not want us to even do any sort of strength training. But what if we only needed a few, a few that can do the things we want without having 20 things lay around? That's where the GRIPBELL comes in. Let me clarify with you first, these are not some heavy duty, muscle exploding weights, they are for building the level of strength we as martial artists want without going crazy and insane in bulk sizing!

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Many different types of "blocks" are taught in most martial arts school. We are taught high blocks, low blocks, middle blocks, knife hand blocks, etc. Some schools will also teach how to use the legs to block an attack, as well.

The purpose of this writing is to possibly open some minds to the possibilities of going outside the box and considering alternatives to the basics.

Blocking is taught as a way of protecting oneself from harm. Truly, we don't "block" anything, as a non-martial artist would think of it. What we call "blocking" is more of a redirection of an opponent's attack, or even a counterstrike against the opponent's attacking limb.

To block something would mean to put something, like your arm, leg or other body part directly in front of the attack. That would certainly hurt and possibly cause some damage. The goal should be to move the attack out of the way in order to prevent injury and provide a way to fight back. For example, many schools teach blocks as a limb moving toward the strike such as a circular high block.

The movement required for a block might have other uses, if you keep an open mind. The blocking techniques can also be used as attack techniques. For example, your "low block" may be used as a striking technique against the outer thigh of the attacker. Your high block might be used as a strike to the jaw. The set up for a block can be used as a deflection, as well as the actual block.

Doing a block or a series of blocks will most likely not end an attack. A block needs to be followed by a counterattack. While the block is usually taught as a separate technique in order to learn it correctly, it should also be used in combination with a counter.

The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. Intensive books can and have be written about basic techniques. With this writing, I am hoping to create interest in exploring the additional possibilities for what we have been taught and what we teach others.

About Grand Master Stevens

GM Stevens has been training in taekwondo for 47 years under the tutelage of the late legendary Grand Master Richard Chun. He holds an 8th degree black belt and is certified in the USA and in Korea. Grand Master Stevens is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Richard Chun TaeKwonDo World Headquarters organization. He has been very active in his community and has been a volunteer with the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 11 years. He is a certified member of C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team).

Gary Stevens Taekwondo is located at 175 Rock Road in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

For more information: call (201) 670-7263, email: StevensTKD@aol.com or go to www.StevensTaeKwonDo.com

Having partners at or above your skill level is important for improving in your martial arts training. At some point, however, you will probably find yourself with a shortage of skilled partners, especially if you are an instructor.

This can happen for any number of reasons: students can move away, change their work schedules, start a family, etc., and just like that, you find that you're the highest-ranked student, or sole instructor, in your gym or dojo. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, if you take advantage of it, even working exclusively with lower-ranking classmates or students can improve your skills.

I used to host a twice-a-week training session at my dojo where I invited mostly black belts from other schools (as well as a few of my advanced students) to come and run drills. It was a blast. These were tough two- to three-hour sessions where I got to work with fighters of all different sizes, speeds, and technique preferences. My sparring improved dramatically over the next few months, and I don't think I've ever been in better shape. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. And as the old saying goes, "You gotta work with what ya got." So, make it hard on yourself.

I like to set handicaps when fighting my students. Specifically, I focus on forcing myself to work on improving my weak areas. Is you right leg weaker than the left? Then only kick with the right leg when sparring your students. Not much of an inside fighter? Don't kick at all. Training with partners of lesser skill not only helps you improve your weak points but gives them an opportunity to improve as well by working on strategy. It's also great for building their confidence. It can also be a low-cost opportunity to test new techniques and combinations, which benefits you as well.

In grappling, just like sparring, there is little benefit to wrapping lower ranking classmates into pretzels over and over, for them or you. Instead, let your partner put you in a bad situation. Let them get the mount; help them sink in that choke or armbar. If you start standing, such as in judo, allow your partner to get the superior grip before attempting a throw. This way you will get comfortable working out of a weaker position and your less-experienced partner can perfect their technique (and get experience using multiple techniques, if you get out of their first one).

You might think that giving advantages like these to students who may be far beneath your skill level is much of a challenge. Trust me, you'll reconsider that sentiment when you wind up sparring a 6'5" novice with zero control over his strength after deciding to only use your weak leg, or have a 250-pound green belt lying across your diaphragm trying to get an armlock after you let them get the pin. Remember, this is exactly what you signed up for: a challenge.

If you find yourself at the top of the heap without partners who are sufficiently challenging, there is no need to despair. Use it as a low-stress opportunity to improve your weaknesses and develop avenues to help your less experienced classmates and students to grow. You may even be surprised. One day they might present more of a challenge than you ever imagined!
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