grappling techniques

With the phenomenal growth of Black Belt's social media footprint has come an increasing number of people who propagate martial arts memes, and those memes may be holding back the progress of those who believe them.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, the popularity of Black Belt’s Facebook page has exploded. Less than a year ago, we were at 56,000 fans. Several days ago, we topped 380,000. Part of the reason behind that growth — and the success of Facebook in general — is the public’s ability to comment on posts. It’s not uncommon for a martial arts photo or quotation we post to yield 500 or even 1,000 comments from our followers. The majority of those comments are a joy for the staff to read; in fact, it would be hard to think of a better way to start the day. Some of them are nothing but attempts by trolls to instigate arguments or tear down the accomplishments of others, but that’s the case in all aspects of life, not just the martial arts. Interestingly, there’s a third category of comments: those that come from martial artists who are propagating martial arts memes. Some make a certain amount of sense on the surface but start to show holes when you analyze them. Others are difficult to regard as appropriate for any situation. Here are a few that crop up on a regular basis: • “I don’t need that; I carry a Glock.” This statement, or a variation mentioning a 1911 or a .357, is made by someone whenever we post anything about traditional martial arts weapons or modern self-defense tools. We get it; you plan to rely on a gun for self-defense. So do we under certain circumstances. But we don’t wave it in people’s faces when the subject of the conversation is Japanese swords. • “The best defense is to run.” We’re not going to argue with this one; we’re just going to remind you that running isn’t always an option. What if you’re with your kids? What if you’re in a room and the bad guy is blocking the exit? • “I don’t practice grappling because going to the ground is the stupidest thing you can do on the street.” No argument about choosing to go to the ground, but didn’t the Gracies demonstrate decades ago that you can’t always avoid being taken down? Seems wise to have a backup plan. • “If you know martial arts, size doesn’t matter.” Good luck with that one. Size and the muscle mass that almost always accompanies it can render many punches and kicks ineffective, and throws and grappling techniques can become impossible to pull off. Unless you’re purely a headhunter with your straight blast, you might not want to keep telling yourself this. • “A true martial artist doesn’t put himself in places where fights happen.” This one gets added to most of the self-defense posts we make on Facebook, and it’s troubling. It probably originated with instructors telling students that the best way to win a bar fight is to not go to bars, and that’s fair enough. But what happens when a fight breaks out in a restaurant? When a guy follows you out of the store and into the parking lot? When a nut starts stabbing people in a classroom? We wish we had time to reply to the people who post these messages on our page, but we don’t. The next best option: Print the comments on our website to open a discussion for the benefit of all our followers. Feel free to post your opinions below in the comment section.

In this exclusive NEW video, the grappling, judo and MMA-training legend shows you how to take your opponent to the ground and stop him in his tracks!

If you're into real grappling techniques, only a few names should come to mind — and one of them should definitely be Gokor Chivichyan. Gokor Chivichyan — who was inducted into the 1997 Black Belt Hall of Fame as the Judo Instructor of the Year — is an iron-clad resource for submissions techniques ... leg locks in particular. Gokor Chivichyan's curriculum vitae, however, extends far beyond just judo. In addition to his ninth-degree black belt in the Japanese martial art, Gokor Chivichyan holds a sixth degree in sambo as well as a sixth degree in jujitsu. Prior to earning those those black belts, Gokor Chivichyan entered — and emerged victorious from — his first competition in 1971. Since then, he really hasn't stopped winning. This icon in the Armenian martial arts community now oversees nearly 30 affiliate schools in the United States and more than 40 across the Atlantic in Europe. In addition, he organizes 10 Hayastan Grappling Challenge tournaments a year in the United States, as well as another seven in Europe. In this exclusive video shot at the Hayastan MMA Academy in North Hollywood, California, Gokor Chivichyan demonstrates how to execute a takedown and heel hook.

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Get inside the mind of a grappling legend as Jean Jacques Machado demonstrats an elegant maneuver for passing an opponent's guard and securing a submission!

"Training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and feeling comfortable on the ground will allow you to see things that your opponent may not even imagine," says Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Jean Jacques Machado in this preview from the Mixed Martial Arts section of DVD 3 in his three-disc martial arts DVD set The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. These martial arts DVDs, which feature a total of more than 60 Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques, submission grappling techniquesandMMA techniques, serve as a martial arts multimedia companion to the acclaimed Brazilian jiu-jitsu/submission grappling/mixed-martial arts book (also titled The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques) written by Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos.

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Antonio Graceffo's series concludes as Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa's first martial arts teacher, adjan Sak Chai, shares the gritty reality of muay Thai boran training and reflects upon muay Thai philosophies.

Editor's Note: In Searching for Tony Jaa: The Hottest Martial Arts Movie Star Since Jackie Chan and Jet Li (Part 3), international correspondent Antonio Graceffo talked and trained with Tony Jaa's first martial arts teacher, Sak Chai, covering topics such as muay Thai boran's striking techniques and knee strikes, as well as delving into a comparison of modern muay Thai vs. boxing. In Part 4, the author of Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia continues that conversation with an exploration of muay Thai boran's grappling techniques.Delving into the seldom-seen dimensions of muay Thai boran, Sak Chai teaches me some grappling. He demonstrates a number of techniques in which he catches my leg and throws me. In some cases, he scoops or pushes my base leg. In other instances, he uses my kicking leg for leverage and tosses me to the ground. Sometimes he pushes with his shoulder and sends me tumbling. In one very cool technique, he ducks under my kick and comes up just as it passes overhead. He stands, trapping the leg on his shoulder. When he rises, the power and strength of his body are pitted against my extended leg, and I have no choice but to fall. Most muay Thai grappling consists of seizing at the neck and head, but Sak Chai also grapples from the waist. When I try to grab his head, he ducks under my arms and wraps his arms around my midsection. He's careful to set his head off to the side, with his face against my hip, where it's out of range of knee strikes. In an impressive display of flexibility, he lifts his knee over his head and smashes me in the face. A variation involves first bending at the waste and grabbing the back of the opponent's leg, then raising his knee over his head and striking the enemy in the face. This is the technique Tony Jaa used to defeat the huge bare-knuckle fighter in the dirty basement in Bangkok at the beginning of Ong-Bak. Sak Chai asks me to punch him. When I oblige, he uses his elbow to push the punch down so it doesn't hit him. Then he rotates his elbow across my forearm, gains control of my arm and pushes me to the ground. It's similar to a hapkido technique, but it's all done using the elbow for leverage, instead of grabbing the wrist or forearm. Certain martial arts espouse a theory that when you grab a man's wrist, you commit yourself and tie up one of your hands. By using the elbow to gain control, but not grab, you're still free to fight with both hands.

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