Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Escaping Bottom Across Side

We have shown you a strong series of escapes from the Bottom Side Cross Position. This is because of how often you will find yourself in this difficult situation. Most of our escapes thus far have been from traditional hand placement when you’re on the bottom.

This escape is an excellent one to put into your repertoire to give you options when your arms get trapped outside of the traditional hand positioning. I really enjoy Gustavo Rodrigues approach as he has a similar weight and body type to my own and as a result his techniques are based on leverage and the mindset of being smaller and weaker than his opponents. Which is another way of saying, his stuff works, and works well regardless of how big or strong your opponents are.

Our MMA Students in Action – Nasty Knockouts and Omoplata Arm Break

This was a project we’ve been working on for a long time. Time to develop the fighters, time to collect the footage and get permission for use, and then the biggest delay was in finding a rockin sound track and then getting permission to use it. Which never happened… 3 or 4 years went by and then we finally decided to just publish it without the sound track.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s as good as it would have been with the music in the background, but what is one to do? At any rate we thought it would be fun to publish it anyway, to give at least some credence to what we’ve been showing you guys in the Damage Control Vids throughout the years. There have been a fair number of detractors and critics out there, and I don’t blame them. Many have pulled the “In a real MMA fight” card, having never given any proof of their own experience in such a field.

We didn’t want you guys to have any doubts of your own so here you go. More examples of our own students using what they’ve learned from us in the ring, on the mat and in the cage. And if you would like more, be sure to check out.

Let us know what you think in the comments? Still think we’re a bunch of frauds?

MMA Techniques: Shin Lock 102

We recently did a video for our friends at demonstrating another variant of the versatile Shin Lock. Ever since I learned the proper mechanics from Coach Billy Robinson, the Shin Lock has found an ever growing role in my MMA and Submission Grappling game.

Fringe Techniques and Our Disclaimer

Now I cannot emphasize this enough. Kiser and I often put up video content that demonstrate some of the more fringe type techniques (most of the fundamentals we do are in the Members Only area of DCMMA). This isn’t because we favor these over tried and tested basics, nor is it because we like them better.

We just figure, that if you wanted to see a basic guard pass, there are plenty of resources out there for you already, most of which are done by well respected, high profile instructors.

So we try to keep it interesting by exposing you guys to stuff you may not have seen just yet.

The Ever Versatile Shin Lock

The Shin Locks and their myriad of applications are something that fits the bill and this week we add a few more options based on the initial mechanics taught to us by Coach Robinson. He really does teach you how to learn, and then the rest just starts to blossom.

Add these to the stuff we showed in the BJJ CACC Shin Lock Guard Pass and your opponent will never look at that game the same.

Good luck, have fun, and happy hunting!

MMA Striking Techniques – CSW Style

Some videos more or less speak for themselves. This is one of them. Ben “The Badger” Jones, puts some mojo on Coach Kiser during the 2011 CSW Fighter and Instructor’s Camp.

Jaw Breakers, Liver Shots and Sweep Kicks abound.

Ahhhh, I love being the camera man sometimes.

Damage Control MMA: Cutting Room Floor Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the Damage Control Blog, so I’ll dispense with all the worthless excuses. I mean, the Southpaw series with it’s 16 videos wasn’t that time consuming to produce. Tax season has been a cinch this year as we’ve got double the paperwork do to a recent gym move, company restructuring and building purchase. Erik Paulson didn’t roll through town, oh wait a second, he did, and I had a wonderful time training, hanging out and messing around that whole weekend.

Jeff Monson is on the docket for next weekend, but really that was supposed to happen this past weekend. Plans were made, schedules were cleared, but we had to reschedule due to a marathon 5 rounder he went through the Friday night prior to the preposed Seminar date.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to organize a relief effort called M.M.Aid Fund for people of the world who may find themselves in hard times. Saying this about the situation in Japan is perhaps the understatement of the year, nevertheless, you’d never know how difficult it is to set up a charitable effort until you’ve tried. There’s more red tape in relief efforts than in trying to open up a fast food road kill restaurant at the cafeteria in USDA’s headquarters.

So what did I scrounge up for this Blog Post? Well, it’s a couple of videos we filmed about two years ago that never made it onto our T.V. show, never got published on Youtube, and have been sitting on the cutting room floor until now. I’ve been saving them because I really like the material but we never released them because there was a problem with the audio that could not be resolved. But I liked them so much I kept them around, perhaps for a rainy day like today.

First up is a series of Ankle Pick Takedowns by one of my all time favorite instructors, Coach (Collegiate Wrestler and Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt) Chris Wells.

Next is a Swing Kick I filmed with my good friend Khuen Khru Johnny Miller. Johnny has been a training partner and friend of mine for years. I watched him come up through the ranks at my Instructor’s Gym and eventually earn his Apprentice Instructorship under Ajarn Chai. He’s recently relocated to Hawaii and I posted this to reminisce a little about the good old days.

Finally, is a perfectly good clip we filmed at the 2011 CACC Certification with Coach Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon. I didn’t want to put up a post with only damaged goods, so I included this sneak peak at a video that eventually make it onto our Youtube profile. Assistant Coach Sam Kressin, one of the highest ranking students of the Scientific Wrestling (Billy Robinson’s) Program, was kind enough to share these gems and Coach Robinson sneaks in for a cameo.

Stay tuned, we’re still alive and kicking. We’ll be clearing off our plates in the next few weeks and be back to regular blog updates in no time.

Until then, keep your hands up, your chin down, your mouth closed and your eyes and ears open.

How To Fight A Southpaw

“What’s a southpaw? It means you’re left-handed. A southpaw throws your timin’ off, see? Other guys, it makes ’em look awkward. Nobody wants to look awkward.

You know where southpaw came from? A long time ago, a couple of hundred years ago, this guy was fightin’. I think it was around Philadelphia. He was left-handed. His arm was facin’ towards New Jersey. And that’s south, so naturally, they called him Southpaw.

You see? Southpaw, South Jersey, South Camden, Southpaw… You know what I mean?”

– Sylvester Stallone, “Rocky” –

Rocky had it right when he said that nobody wants to look awkward.

And we’re going to give you a few tips to help you with that situation.

Fighting a left handed fighter or “Southpaw” can be a difficult proposition. Almost everything you do is backwards.

More times than not, you’re taught to lead with your Jab, but with a Southpaw, your more often encouraged to use your straight right.

The video below will explain some of the basics behind why this is the case.

As an Orthodox Fighter (Right handed with a Left Handed Lead) the cornerstone of counter Southpaw tactics is to move towards your left and keep your lead foot on the outside of your opponent’s lead foot. This same theory applies to a Southpaw fighting an Orthodox Fighter.

And although the emphasis of a lead straight right, shown in the video above has it’s origins in American Pugilism, the technique is so sound that it carries over to Muay Thai, Kickboxing and MMA. It works well in the realms of Mixed Martial Arts because of it’s simplicity, power and the fact that your lead hand can still be used to fend off takedown attempts should they occur during your attack.

That is not to say that there aren’t other weapons that are also effective, but if you watch the following video, you will see that many of the most devastating and prevalent strikes are the lead straight left (for Pacquiao) and lead straight right (for his Orthodox foes).

In addition to the hands, there are other weapons that we as Mixed Martial Artists can bring to bear vs the Southpaw, so long as you adhere to the fundamental of staying outside that lead foot of his, and thus further away from his power tools.

Another such technique has been recently popularized by Anderson Silva as a result of his KO victory over Vitor Belfort. In this case we had 2 Southpaws squaring off and thus the outside lead foot rule was not in effect. Nevertheless, the fight proved the effectiveness of the Front Snap Kick for MMA, although the kick has been around for centuries.

There are going to be times when your opponent is much more experienced at playing the outside lead foot and Southpaw game than you are. After all, a Southpaw gets to go up against Orthodox fighters all the time, while Orthodox fighters only see Southpaws every once in a while. Below is one way you can take that advantage away from your opponent.

Fighting for the clinch or a takedown aren’t the only way to handle and opponent who simply owns the outside lead game. We’ve addressed this as well as shown some ideas outside the conventional Counter Southpaw box in our members only area where we have a total of 15 + videos dedicated to the Southpaw series, in addition to the 230 videos which cover all aspects of the MMA game.

If you’ve enjoyed the articles and videos brought to you by please show your support by picking up a membership, telling a friend about our site, friending us on facebook, or joining the discussions on our free forum at

Doing so helps us to continue on our journey and bring you top quality instruction.

Until next time, keep your lead foot on the outside of your opponents foot, keep your hands up and your chin down.

Hop Overhand Right – Aka The Superman Punch

Khuen Khru Brian Yamasaki, CSW Coach and Thai Boxing Instructor out of Bountiful Utah demonstrates the basic use and set up for the Hop Overhand Right. He then shows a second variation of the technique.

The New Gladiator Challenge Welter Weight Champion

Jake Paul, Gladiator Challenge Welter Weight Campion

Going into the weekend, Coach Kiser and I had 4 fights on the docket.  2 on Friday night in Salt Lake City at the Ultimate Combat Experience and 2 on Saturday night in Wendover at the Gladiator Challenge.

Preparations for these fights began over 2 months ago as Fighters Jake Paul, Paul Roberts, Johnny Miller and Aaron Okura began to ramp up their conditioning and put together game plans for their respective opponents.

As training progressed, the opponents began to shuffle and add the usual X factor to the challenge of preparing these guys for fights.  Originally Jake was to fight Brad Johnson, and Aaron Okura was to fight Paris Swain.  Jake’s opponent declined the fight half way through preparations and Lee Doss out of Jeremy Horn’s Elite Performance gym stepped up to take his place.  Paris stepped down the week of the fight and Zack Wojcheck, a very seasoned and hearty opponent took the fight last minute.

Team Bernales and The Mushin Fighter Corps

Team Bernales and The Mushin Fighter Corps

The training camp was solid as both Team Bernales and the Mushin Fighter Corps banded together in usual fashion to show each other and their teammates a huge level of support.  Kensei Sato, Konrad Jones, John Mckean, Jeremy Sullivan and Ultimate Fighter Brandon Melendez, among many others offered themselves as consistent sparring partners and moral support for their fight family.

There are particulars that are important to consider when preping guys for fights, Lee Doss has a striking game as opposed to Johnson’s wrestling based style.  Paris Swain is a left handed fighter as opposed to Wojcheck’s orthodox stance.  But again, throught he power of TEAM, we were able to create drills that mimiced the tendencies and energy of the various opponents.

From Left To Right, Will Bernales, Paul Roberts and Brian Yamasaki

From Left To Right, Will Bernales, Paul Roberts and Brian Yamasaki

Khuen Khru Will and I worked the corner for Paul Roberts who dispatched an undefeated Kevin Hanby :30 seconds into round one.  After delivering a punishing flurry of punches and knees and stringing together a 3 sub combination lock flow, Kevin tapped out to a Triangle. Like a true gentleman, Kevin was graceful in defeat and wished Paul good luck on his UCE title bout vs. Daniel Grass.

Aaron had an altogether different experience against his opponent, Zack Wojcheck.  None of us expected him to be able to keep up with the pace that Aaron put forth.  Especially after taking the fight with such late notice.  Not only did Wojcheck go all three rounds and put together a steely performance, he concussed Aaron with his heavy handed punching.  But after 3 rounds of non st0p action, the judges saw it a split decision in Aaron’s favor.

From Left to Right, Brandon Kiser, Will Bernales and Aaron Okura

From Left to Right, Brandon Kiser, Will Bernales and Aaron Okura

After celebrating late into the evening, Kiser and I retired to our homes and prepared for the trip out to Wendover the next morning.  At the weigh ins on Thursday night, Johnny Miller’s opponent Chris Julkenun showed up 20 lbs. over weight and as a result the fight was canceled. We were all disappointed but, sometimes that’s how it goes in the fight game.

At any rate, Kiser and I loaded up into the Honda Civic with Kade Anderson and Brittany in tow and headed off to Wendover.  Little did we know of the adventure that lay before us.

On the road again, Trainers Yamasaki and Kiser enroute to Wendover

On the road again, Trainers Yamasaki and Kiser enroute to Wendover

Shortly after passing the airport, traffic came to a dead halt.  I-80 West had been shut down due to a freight crash which involved live ammunition that had ignited and begun to go off.

Generally, the trip takes about 2 hours.  It took us about that long to get to a point where we could turn around and try another route.

Next up was I-215 and it looked pretty promising at first.  But shortly after reaching Kennecott, we found that that route had been shut down as well.

Gridlock on the way to Wendover

Gridlock on the way to Wendover

We were told of some secret back road passage around the crash, through Lehi and Grantsville down route SR 73 or something like that so we headed off. Once to Lehi, the traffic there was too intimidating and so we headed back to Kiser’s abode to use the bathroom, and re-think our options.

At that point I-80 was re-opened and we started back down the original route, determined to make it to Wendover, despite the one lane closure and awful delay. 5 hours into the drive I started to get nervous about our fuel situation and was feeling the effects of being pent up in a sub compact so we decided to shut the engine off, stick her in neutral and push the Civic for the occasional 10 to 20 feet move forward. We ended up getting a decent little workout amidst cheers and cat calls from our gridlocked audience.

After seven hours of driving, we finally arrived at the Gladiator Challenge hosted by the Wendover Nugget. Kiser and I literally ran from the car to the warm up area.

Jake Paul warms up with Brandon Melendez

Jake Paul warms up with Brandon Melendez

Konrad and Melendez had Jake taped up and sweating. 5 minutes later, we were ringside watching Jake put the hurt on Jeremy Horn’s Lee Doss. Round 1 began with Jake pressing Doss into the cage and delivering a stylish Spinning Elbow from a Single Leg before taking Lee down and dominating the action. Round 2 had Jake taking Lee down with a Blast Double and eventually taking mount to finish the fight by GNP.

Jake Paul has his hand raised after defeating Lee Doss

Jake Paul has his hand raised after defeating Lee Doss

It was a long trip but the journey and the 2 months of grueling training to prepare these warriors for their bouts made the weekend of victories all the more sweet.

JTS After Party

JTS After Party

Congratulations to all the fighters for their successes and a special thanks to the Bernales Team and Mushin Self Defense Student Bodies for helping our boys prepare for their bouts.

Escapes From North South Position

Former Bodog Fighter Kaycey Uscola demonstrates the “Sit Out” and “Far Side Knee Tap” Escapes to the Front Headlock – North South Position. Notice, Kaycey is executing this escape before his opponent locks in the dreaded Anaconda or Darce Choke.

Young Women’s Self Defense Workshops

A Young Womens Group shortly after our "Womens Self Defense" workshop

Recently, we had the privilage of working with young women’s groups from Bountiful, Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.  I always feel deeply honored to have an opportunity to apply my knowledge of the Martial Arts and Self Defense (which I feel is a separate, though related entity) towards keeping people safe and confident in themselves.

It’s a very difficult task however.  I know that many of these groups expect to be taught a magical karate chop and Spock Neck Pinch that will instantly, easily and humanely disable and immobilize thier would be attacker.  And although I do believe in the effectiveness of Martial Arts techniques (heh, I teach them for a living), I am experienced enough to know, one or two moves taught to a group of 20 or so teens in the course of an hour will probably only be good for entertainment purposes.

So I feel that is more ethical to expose these myths (the existence of magical, stop them  in their tracks, Martial Arts techniques) and to educate young women about the realities and profiles of the types of predators most likely to attack them.  The focus of my 1 hour workshops tend to stay centered on prevention and education rather than fisticuffs.

Many predators and attackers will be known and familiar with their victems.  Much more uncommon is the boogey man in a ski mask that jumps out of the bushes.  It is this statistic that makes it even more difficult to gouge out an eye ball to defend one’s honor.

So the essential lesson is on what we call the 5 stages of attack prevention:

1. Be A Hard Target – “Be The One With The Knife Mentality”

Predators, whether animal or human will try to seek out weak or weak appearing targets.  This is why women, children and the elderly are more often targets than young males.  Keep in good shape, walk with confidence (head held high, shoulders back, good posture), speak with confidence and be assertive.

2. Be Aware

Be cognizent of your surroundings and who has entered your general area.  Listen for ques of potential danger (gunfire, raised voices, running).  Look for things that are out of place (heavy coats in summer time, someone who seems agitated or aggressive)  Don’t let people come up from behind you.

3. Establish A Verbal Perimeter

If your “Spidey Sense” tells you that something isn’t right, trust it.  If someone approaches (gets past your first two lines of defense, i.e. being a Hard Target and Being Aware) stop them with a firm, calm and assertive greeting.  “That’s close enough. Is there something I can help you with.” Make sure that the Verbal Perimeter is beyond your arms length.

4. Establish A Physical Perimeter

If the person ignores your Verbal Perimeter, your hands should come up.  Think traffic cop.  Open palms arms extended.  This space is essential for giving you the reaction time you need to physically defend yourself.  If somone trys to enter your personal space, the area inside arms lenght, I think it safe to assume they don’t have your best interests in mind.

5. Throw Down

Something has gone seriously wrong.  Either you’ve completely failed at the 4 previous layers of defense or this person is Hell bent on your destruction.  It’s time to pull out all the stops.  It’s difficult enough to defend yourself, don’t be so concerned about protecting the bad guy too (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “but I don’t want to hurt him”).  There are many techniques that can be used.  And these are beyond the scope of the workshop but this is where the last line of defense is drawn.

Hear what people have said about our “Women’s Self Defense” workshops:


Thank you for your self-defense class.  The things you taught will help us to defend ourselves in real-life.  Your focus on awareness and prevention is especially helpful.  Hopefully being aware and confident I will prevent me from being a victim, but should I ever be attacked I feel empowered knowing how to stop a killer in his tracks.  I also like how you taught us to stay more than an arms distance from any stranger who might approach us, and that when our personal space is violated it’s time to take action.  These are valuable things for all young women to know. Thank you for your time and expertise.

Connie Salgado”

“Hi Brian!

The girls really enjoyed the workshop! They still ‘practice’ some of the moves we learned on each other. I think that the points of self defense that do not require actual physical defense (i.e. noticing your surroundings, etc) were VERY beneficial, especially since the girls are at such a young age and will remember that for the rest of their lives. I also liked how you focused not just so much on the moves, but on the ‘real’ aspects of self-defense, and the useful tips you gave us, like where to safely sit while in a restaurant, and how to realistically prevent someone from invading your ‘bubble’. I asked for their input on the workshop and they all loved it. I would highly recommend the workshop, as well as your business, to anyone, and I know the girls would as well. It was a very good activity and it’s amazing how learning just a few simple moves and tips can save a life!

Thanks again, Brian!

Rachel Birkel”