This post might seem odd, as it starts with a random sequence from a random skill. There are three reasons for this:
1) I like to expose readers to things they’ve never explored.
2) The best long-term policy for keeping a blog fun to read (and write) is to cover things that subsets of your readers love, not things that everyone merely likes.
3) I think all of you should know how to respond to a real physical attack.
Keeping these in mind, I hope you enjoy a lil’ taste of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, often nicknamed “human chess.”
If it’s not your thing, I still suggest you skip to the end, where you can see the free (and short) video series I did with Dave Camarillo on defending against real-world attacks of various types. I had these videos up at one time in 2007, but the code became corrupted, so I’m updating them here.
One of the last videos is of me getting thrown on my head, or heels-over-head, repeatedly.
Enter Dave Camarillo
Since the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) came to prominence in 2005, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been the most sought-after skill-set in the marital arts world. There are many world-class athletes, but there are only a few world-class teachers. Dave Camarillo, who’s coached UFC fighters like Cain Velasquez, is one of them…
I’ve known Dave for nearly a decade and trained with him at AKA in San Jose, CA. I also had the chance to be a crash-test dummy for his new book, Submit Everyone, which is the book I always wanted him to write. It is (finally) a principle-based system for learning submissions and game strategy, as opposed to a hodge-podge of random techniques. Dave, though he’d never admit it, used to teach chess in addition to BJJ. It comes through and, as of this writing, his book has 100% 5-star reviews on Amazon.
For grappling fans, the below pass will give you a submission to try at your next practice. This scenario comes up a lot on the mats.
PASSING: NEGATIVE SIT-UP PASS TO ARMBAR
PHOTO 1: SUBJECT CAMARILLO is approaching the open guard of CONTACT FERRISS, TIMOTHY. As always, Camarillo does not delay in establishing control of Ferriss’s heels. At this point, Ferriss is focused solely on defending these grips and has been momentarily taken out of his previous mindset.
PHOTOS 2-4: Without delay, Camarillo pushes Ferriss’s legs overhead and waits for him to rock back in defense. As Ferriss falls into the first trap, Camarillo steps inside of his seated guard. Ferriss does not wait and grabs the single-leg to gain advantage and attack.
PHOTO 5: However, Camarillo realizes that the single-leg is the most common reaction and is already cross-stepping backward with his left leg before Ferriss can execute a sweep or takedown. Due to his perfect timing, Camarillo does not have to wait for Ferriss to establish a stronger defense of the backward cross-step.
PHOTO 6: Having reached Ferriss’s left side, Camarillo now focuses on the arm by securing a figure-four kimura lock on Ferriss’s exposed (from holding the single-leg) left arm. [TIM: See third pic here for hand position] Camarillo’s right leg is still technically inside of the guard, but Camarillo has little concern for it; he is completely focused on the finish.
PHOTO 7: To break Ferriss’s posture and initiate the final sequence, Camarillo jumps his left foot to Ferriss’s left hip and sits down onto Ferriss’s left shoulder. This collapses Ferriss toward the mat and sets him up for the submission.
PHOTO 8: As Camarillo falls to his back, he slides a belt line hook with his left leg and uses his right foot as a hook to steer Ferriss away from his trapped arm. This keeps Ferriss planted to his back where it is far more difficult to defend.
PHOTO 9: Ferriss locks the triangle on Camarillo’s right leg, but it does not matter. Camarillo’s right leg blocks Ferriss’s right arm from making a proper defense and his triangle makes it impossible to roll to either side to escape.
Camarillo stretches Ferriss’s arm for the finish.
First, before the instructionals, here is me getting thrown over and over again. I did this video to illustrate the importance knowing how to fall (ukemi) without getting injured. The music is a bit loud:
The instructionals follow. If you want to skip around, they cover, in order: punch defense, choke defense, bottom defense, and bottom defense/offense. Women should focus on the latter three, especially the last two.
Originally filmed in 2007, most take place at AKA in San Jose, where Dave coached at the time:
Posted on: January 8, 2012.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.