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Game changing Guard passing Concept | Leg Drag

Leg drag’s change the BJJ guard passing Game

If you watch BJJ / Jiu-Jitsu actively you have got to agree all the best passers have a few techniques/ ideas in commong one we can not overlook to develop a complete passing and attacking guard is the Leg Drag..

The idea of crossing a guys legs up and passing back in towards the legs im sure is nothing new BUT given the number of highly level players using its the leg drags taken on a life of its own. Applicable from just about every position you dont want to overlook this guard passing strategy.


Some background on this game changer

First time i saw it clearly demonstrated was Chekmat BJJ leader Leo Viera teaching it in Hawaii in the mid 2000’s.

Prior to that your see it in scrambles in matches as early as the  90’s and even a really primitive version some times in mma but now as i said its take on a life of its own.

Remember grips and hand position are going to vary but the overall goal of spiting the knees is what im calling the leg drag for the same of this post (some people look at it as a step in using a weave to pass as well)

Common uses

1-Passing delariva guard

Variation off the Torreando guard pass

This is a really good as it highlight my point about the movement being more powerful than any one grip

Guard passing grandmasters (mendes bros in action)

Here is a solid highlight that really shows how variable the concept is, Rafa and Gui Mendes put this passing sequence to serious work always keeping the guard player under pressure the brothers and rodolfo veira are two sets of mundial champions who make the leg drag a staple in their grappling toolkit.

here is a highlight of RAFA Mendes using it in every possible way

Mississauga BJJ students be ready we are hitting the leg drag hard this week so touching up on these videos is only going to help.



focus on the lesson at hand in mississauga bjj

Mississauga BJJ |Smart Growth in Jiu-Jitsu

Core bjj and grappling | pointing at the moon as you watch my finger

Now don’t get me wrong, i’m not claiming to be a mind reader BUT after many years teaching group BJJ & Martial Arts Classes i know what you are thinking 🙂

i know doubt the veracity of what i’m saying but that doesn’t really matter 🙂 when teaching I know exactly what the crowd is thinking..

the first couple years teaching you are trying to figure out your specific personal style and deliver of the message /techniques. I was lucky to start training in grappling under a man (sylvain moroney)  who I still believe has one of the best system for teaching everyday “normal” people interested in Jiu-Jitsu.

syl moroney bjj

I’t didn’t take long for me to pick up the same flow and over the years add my own taste to it.  all in all id say im pretty effective as an instructor and convey the idea’s to the students well BUT there is still the #1 issue facing every leader of a class..

What do you do when the crowd just don’t care about what you’re talking about???


not paying attention in class mississauga bjj coach knows

I told you know what you’re thinking.. lol

I look out at the crowd 25-40 faces some are thinking about randon tv shows,  some others just want me to shut up so they can start rolling and try that new move they saw on Youtube , and then there are about 25 percent, they are tuned in on the same frequency, and following the system.

“Breaking news= it may or not be a coincidence but these 20-25 percent of the class are also the the most effective with their jiu-jitsu” hmmmmm?

Easy way to be better than your instructor?

It really shouldnt be that hard when you think about it.. if you have a sincere instructor really most interested in developing your skills , they would teach you everything they knew “at the right time” all their best tricks tactics and moves. Baring physical attributes and mat time etc that means you would have the advantage of all thier knowledge + the new positions and techniques being innovated every day.

Unlikely 1997 BJJ student can do much vs 2017 BJJ student unless 2017 was asleep in class..

the answer to that is simple.. if you are skipping the valuable yet sometimes not all the exciting concepts your instructor is teaching you (fundamentals) that they gained through years of training then there is a good possibility that no matter how new you favourite technique is that you will walk head first into the trap and no know what is going on until its too late.

Fabio Gurgel said it best modern BJJ is by far superior to that of old “due to innovation and sheer number of people practicing now” IF you learn and pay attention to the foundational lessons being taught in class. If you try to skip head you are taking your chances  wasting valuable time trying to re-invent the wheel 

(its a great watch but if you just want the quote in context skip to 3 min mark)


speaking of fundamentals white belt class was a lot of fun this week as i stepped in to cover thar’s vacation growing quickly with lots of new faces..






A tough lesson in womens BJJ | From MMA to the Gi

Rio Open BJJ | Womens Champion learns a harsh lesson

I had to post about the recent match between members of the powerhouse Gracie Humaita womens  bjj team.

Last week you had two champions square off with  Mcenzie Dern(currently focusing on mma) stepping up to compete at the rio open vs Current GI Champion Bia Mesquita.

It goes without saying transitioning from 1 sport to another is tricky, but in high level sport BJJ that is extremely true.

Without a doubt there are some transferable skills and you always have the base of your Jiu-Jitsu skills /knowledge even if you are doing more no-gi or mma but in a tournament where being that sharp on controls and gi based positioning is so crucial it’s nearly impossible!!!

Actually let me go out on a limb say it’s IMPOSSIBLE 🙂

If you are an mma fighter putitng in all the time cross training without a gi its impossible to go and dominate at elite level of sport bjj competition, ive never seen it happen and it aint gonna happen any time soon.

Take a look at the match below

positoning, rules, timing and flow of the match is so different in IBJJF based competion that to go from mma to that is a tall task.

Ive found a huge part of being sucessfull at MMA is ditching the ego and testing yourself in a variety of skill sets that may not be your home base or forte , knowing that ultimately your plan is to put everything together.. BUT the GI is particularly harsh because there is so little cross over skill set wise. No gi / wrestling  is a bit different, but with Grips being the first thing to go in terms of positioning, its a tough situation to be in knowing what you want to do but being a step behind in the kimono..

All that aside  congrats to McKenzie for taking the step to the mats at such a high level while doing mma, it makes for some entertaining match ups no gi but  this is the reason even mma’s best grapplers don’t really delve to deeply into Elite BJJ competition.

p.s here is Alan Belcher getting ready for copa podio ( he got killed in that tourney but couldn’t find any footage online)

still respect for putting yourself outside of the box to get better if more people do the same all martial arts will only get better. That’s why we encourage cross training at our Mississauga martial arts academy



Coach Sam Zakula Moves to Prime time | Competition GI class

A big part of what makes our Mississauga martial arts academy the place that it is lies in the fact it’s not just about numbers. Sure having the area’s fastest growing member base is nice but most importantly we’ve always had a clear vision of the direction the academy would grow towards in terms of culture and strucutre. With things taking shape nicely  it’s once again time to make a few adjustments


#1 Sam Zakula is hands down one of the cities most decorated and below the radar coaches for BJJ and honestly anything to do with combat sports / MMA

A Toronto area pioneer in both sport bjj and grappling, Sam’s clean cut coaching style has been sought after and instrumental in the development of many of the areas most successful grapplers and world class mixed martial artists.

Long and short the man really knows his craft and a student of the game on a level not matched by many..

I’ve been training with him for the last 20 years on and off, so when I heard he wasn’t teaching anywhere we started talking about a more official partnership and here we are today.

Having a coach of his calibre is a great boost to any program and a fresh set of eyes doesn’t hurt either so to balance things out a bit we’ve decided to stager the class offerings to make the No GI classes take place Tuesday and Thursday @7pm followed by the competition gi class @ 8pm.



Sadly right now when you talk to people and they say they train BJJ one picture comes to mind, a bunch of rough and tumble men and lady grappling each other lol .. I’ve been around for a good 20 years so have seen the ups and downs of different training approaches and come to the plain conclusion that like almost everything else in life Jiu-Jitsu isn’t 1 size fits all.


Since not every person has the same goal in training or  looking for the same thing out of training it dawned on me instead of offering only what interested me at the time it would be best to have the academy offer a full spread of high level programs covering topics ranging from combative applications, technical study of the art / sport focused competitions

Lots to chose from so going forward the time for the competition based class will be Tuesday and Thursday 8pm following directly after the no gi class.

This diversification of programs is paying off in a big with with the recent addition of the “white belt class” – held Tuesday and Thursday 6:15pm , people seem to be enjoying the more focused approach and as  instructors it is certainly nice to be able to delve deeply into topics with the more focused classes.



Congrats to everyone who attended the Niagara open on the weekend.. win lose or draw everyone that prepared for the event is a lot better off for all the effort.


Epic IBJJF Tournament on the Way

2017’s  Biggest BJJ Superfight on the way

The world wide growth of  BJJ has been nothing short of phenomenal over the past 10 years and the recent shift towards professional event with athletes actually being paid a decent sum for their grappling efforts is a great change.

Heading the pack were Metamoris and ebi but now with even more events the idea of professional grappling has erally taken hold  and doesnt appear to be going anywhere soon. Last on the list to follow suit was the IBJJF but the have jumped in the pool head first in a HUGE way with a tourney the likes of which rarely seen.


Galvao, Roger, Buchecha plus god knows who else this gonna be super fight after super figjht under  IBJJF rules!! ” i know many claim those to be boring non submission friendly rule set but given its the forte for most of the BJJ world beaters this is going to make for great match ups and quite possibly the #1 matchup most hardcore GI Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fanatics are longing to see


Roger Gracie vs Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida #1


I had the pleasure of working closely with Buchecha for an entire fight camp in prep for ufc 120 and this guy was obsessed with Roger!! Hearing i lived in Canada he put the pieces together and assumed i may have worked with roger in montreal at tristar (i hadn’t and actually never been on the mats with Roger) but he was super hungry to face the champ it was really impressive.

A few years later the match went down at Metamoris

Buchecha has taken the crown as top heavyweight gi competitor with roger having moved on to MMA the squared off in Metamoris submission only rules and made for a GREAT match with back and forth action and the closest ive ever seen roger to being submitted


But Rogers famous defense came through 1 more time as he pulled out of really smooth back attack to Arm-


bar thus making the match a draw.

With the IBJJF rules this time there will be a clear winner and with both guys actively prepping for the event i anticipate an amazing match-up and stiff competition for the rest of the event on the other sides of the brackets


Going to be a great event and its nice to see the  IBJJF tackling the professional Jiu-Jitsu scene and giving those competitors a fair venue to work within without having to go too far out of their skill set.

quick takeaways from a great mma fight

Anderson silva vs Brunson | Quick MMA takeaways

Every Anderson Silva fight for me is a special event!!!! He is in my opinion too old to take out the elite compeition at the weight class but still a serious danger for anyone with out clean hands and ready to mix it up a bit before shooting for takedowns.

No he isnt going to make it out of 2 rounds vs Yoel Romero or Luke Rockhold but he still makes for some great fights


last night was one such match-up, Derek Brunson is a solid top 10’ish level opponent that many thought would take anderson out but as we can see below the crafty spider used a good mix of boxing, BJJ and muay thai tactics to pull out a decision win.

heres a highlight of the match followed by my quick takeaways that jumped out to me right away

Quick Take-Aways from this fight “just my opinion :)|

1- Anderson is a big guy

There was some talk of a Prime GSP vs Anderson fight a few years back and i was on the fence thinking ok Georges gotta go up in weight but much better take-downs so could go either way.. in hindsight that wasn’t really cool as Anderson is a BIG guy at 185, Brunson is not small for the weight class and was noticeably smaller last night in the octagon. BJJ mma or any other combat sport size plays a factor so that extra mass helped with taking shots and takedown defence as well to Andersons advantage.

2- The 2 hand “thai clinch” isnt the end of the world

i remember a time past about 10 years ago if a chute-box guy got a hold of your head it was game over people had no idea of what to do in the “thai clinch ” usually ended up eating knees to a quick KO..

let take a look at Wanderlei’s highlight for illustrative purposes.

“not my choice of music but a great video to highlight the effect of the clinch when not defended right”

This is a really good clip to watch for EVERY BJJ student intrested in self defence. It is often taught in various BJJ/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self defence curriculums that the defense for  neck clinches is to duck out under them which is at best what id call a bad idea .

Instead look at using your upper body clinch work to get a body lock or implement a take-down from that position.


Anderson’s fixation on the position gave Brunson his best punches of the entire fight and vs someone well versed in upper body wrestling like Yoel Romero  , Chris Weidman or event a Jacare Souza this is a gift of a takedown. There are many other upper body strike based clinches that can be used to solid effect in MMA and self defense so always going to the same position regardless of he opponents reaction is not the best idea.

Id take a look at quality muay thai  and greco roman clinch work for cleaner answers.

3- Close fight & Judging in the UFC is always a guessing game

I loved the decision and was personally happy to see Anderson come out on top of a high level fight this late in his MMA career but at the same time, using the judging criteria applied ot other decisions ive seen in the past i and many other on lookers thought Brunson had the win in the bag. LOL You can never tell with the UFC until there is a set criteria people can look at and base strategy around i guess it is like Dana white so honestly said you are taking your chances if you go to the judges…”Dont leave it to the judges!!”


4- even at age 41 Anderson a  threat

Father time is undefeated in the fight game !!! But well past his prime and coming back from a serious injury Anderson is still a super skilled and spectacular fighter, iconic in the modern MMA era.

The old lion is having fun in there and I honestly hope he stops fighting before going out on his shield like so many other champions who stick around too long.

Take a look at Anderson in his best and a overall pretty decent plan on the part of Sonnen closing the distance and looking for takedowns (just a bit on the desperate side better if mixed with striking)


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