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Jiu Jitsu Technique, Knee Bar From The Half Guard

It can be very difficult to secure a knee bar on your opponent when his base is low in the guard.  In this technique Rosendo utilizes his leg to pressure his opponent into a roll securing the knee bar.  For more information about our academy and how to take advantage of our 2 weeks of training FREE, please contact us at or call to 267.476.1858.


Omoplata Shoulder Lock – BJJ in PA Technique of the Week

The omoplata is perhaps one of the most adaptable submissions in the art of Jiu-Jitsu.  It doesn’t take a great deal of flexibility to apply and is a great attack for all body types.  In the following video technique demonstration you will see a basic set up for the omoplata submission as well as a variation commonly used when your opponent attempts to fight the downwards pressure.  Enjoy!



Rosendo Diaz Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy – Chalfont, PA

How to Learn

Recently I was on the phone with someone and they asked me who I learned my Jiu-Jitsu from, my immediate answer was to give the names of my instructors.  But that got me thinking, did I really learn everything I know from my instructors… or is there more to it than that?
So after spending way to much time thinking about it, I came up with what I think is involved in the process of really learning the art.  For me, I think it comes in thirds…
One-third I learned from my instructors for sure.  They taught me the techniques, helped me understand the mechanics of movement and helped me find crucial errors in my game.  They also gave me the skills I needed to be able to pass on the art to my students.
The second-third I learned was two phase.  First and most importantly was mat time.  I have spent more time rolling/sparring with my training partners than I ever have or will drilling moves.  You need to roll with people better than you.  They will exploit your weaknesses and give you a sense of where your game needs to go.  You need to roll with people of equal level to your own. They will assist you in developing strategy and timing.  And you need to roll with partners that have less skill than you, they will allow you to improvise and fine tune new techniques you are working on. 
The second phase was exploration…whether its YouTube, instructional videos, training with other black belts, or just coming up with my own sweeps, attacks, and defenses.  Watching videos, training with others outside your academy and just spending time coming up with your own stuff, whether it works or not opens your mind and often gives your game that much needed spark.  But don’t go out and buy every instructional or spend your day watching YouTube, that can lead to information overload.  Be specific in your exploration, if you want a better guard, find a good series on the X-guard or butterfly guard.  Don’t be lulled into buying or watching every position.  If you have a target in front of you and you want to hit the bulls-eye, don’t throw a basket ball at it because it’s guaranteed to bounce back, you want to hit that bulls-eye with the point of a dart.
The third-third, was teaching.  Regardless of whether you have your own academy, teach a class, or are just helping your training partner during class, nothing cements the information than passing it on.  Teaching forces your mind to truly understand the details of a technique. 

To this day, after 16+ years of training and teaching jiu-jitsu I will find myself learning a new detail or find new understanding of a technique while I’m actually showing it to the rest of the class.  As often happens to me, during the lulls in my training, when I feel like I’m not getting better I will focus on my teaching to help me find new ways and cement what I already know.
So, learn from your teachers, roll as much as you can win or lose, explore and pass on the knowledge, those are the keys to learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

Improving Your Game

The Three P’s of Training by Rosendo Diaz (RGDA Black Belt)

The keys to becoming better at Jiu-Jitsu don’t always rest in the in the hands of your instructor or the quality of your training partners, nor does it always come from getting the most up to date techniques used in competition.


While those things are important and contribute to the overall development of your skills, what really matters is the commitment you make to the art of jiu-jitsu and your discipline and what I like to refer to as the three P’s of training.


 What are the three P’s of training?


Practice, Persistence and Patience…

 This article will teach you how to use the three P’s to ensure that your jiu-jitsu improves at a steady pace, avoiding the typical “slumps” that come with training an art for so long.

 P1 – Practice

 Drilling is one of the most, if not the most, important keys to developing an overall game in jiu-jitsu. 


 1.  When learning a new technique; Drill the move with no resistance, if your partner is using resistance it will only ensure that you will have to force the move for it to work!  When you force a move, you most likely are doing something incorrectly and that incorrect movement will be programmed into your muscle memory.  Work hard to ensure that your body is learning correct form early on and consistently throughout your training.


2.  Locking the move down; Once you grasp a basic understanding of how the technique works, you can start having your partner use varying degrees of resistance.  This will help you learn the timing and create different angles of the technique, so that when used in live training you’ll be able to have moderate to good success in getting the technique to work.

3.  Connecting the puzzle pieces;   Once you’ve drilled a move to death, gone for it in resistance drilling and had success in live training, it’s time to find how the technique fits into your game.  For example, a brabo choke is a great submission, but if you never get to the position where you see it and are able to use it, then it’s worthless.  All techniques have their place in a series of exchanges.  Your job now is to figure out how to seamlessly connect the new move into your style of movement.  If you’re having trouble, just ask your instructor.

P2 – Persistence


Being persistent has many meanings but for me its most important meaning is having discipline in your approach to training.


 1.   Show up; If you’re not showing up to train then I’m sorry, but you’re not going to get any better.  While a brief break in training is good to focus the mind, taking a month or more off only sets you back.  There is nothing better to breaking a slump than getting in there and working yourself out of it.

2.  Go after it;  If you want to get better at let’s say an x-choke then you’re going to need to drill that move and, even more importantly, you’re going to need to really go after that move in your live training.  This does have a way of making your matches a bit boring, but overall it improves your chances of actually getting the move to work.

3.  Let go of the ego; Be persistent in controlling your ego.  Being the best jiu-jitsu guy in your academy only ensures that someone eventually is going to catch up to you.  Don’t fall into the trap of always needing to win every match in class.  You need to experiment, you need to take risks and you need to put yourself in bad positions as often as possible.  Here are some things you can do in your live training to ensure that you keep your game in top-notch condition.


 i.) Positional only rolling;  If you a submission hunter, then a great exercise is to start your first match without allowing any submissions, since your goal is to outmaneuver your opponent to gain advantageous position.


 ii.) Bad side rolling; Here you’re going to want to train everything on the other side.  So, if you like to armlock your opponent’s left arm, then only armlock his right.  If you like to pass the guard to the left, then go right.  If you’re a wiz at escaping cross side when he’s on your right side, then he’s got to be on your left.  And so on..


 iii.)  No ego, unconventional rolling; In this type of training, your job is to basically go for moves that are not typically in your game and for positions in which you don’t usually find yourself.  You’re going to want to just move as quickly as possible from positions, sweeps, and submissions while at the same time allowing your partner to do the same.  This type of training really improves your ability to improvise and to see different submission all while on the go.


 P3 – Patience

Rome was not built in a day and so goes jiu-jitsu.  Mastery of the art, for the average person, takes many, many years, if even attainable at all. 

1. You don’t need all the answers right now; In jiu-jitsu there are many techniques, many counters, and many counters to the counters and so on.  Understand that your brain and your body can only download so much information before you it gets overloaded with information.  This often happens to those starting out, so avoid the pitfalls of trying to know everything at once…you can’t.  Focus on what is most important, which at the beginning should be developing a great defensive game.

2.  Moves come and go; Years ago, I was an ace with the Uchi Mata, which is a type of JUDO throw.  Now, I can’t seem to find the timing or the opening to land that throw.  No worries, my arsenal of takedowns has grown and matured over the years.  I may at some point come back and find that move or I may not.  It’s not important as long as you’re improving. 

3. I’ll work on that later; You don’t need to have the best half guard to be good at jiu-jitsu.  Focus on what you’re good at now, as there is always time for exploring later.  I always remind my students that there are techniques that I learned as a white belt that I really didn’t start to explore until I was a brown belt.  In the end, will it affect your game today not knowing that move or position?  Probably not, but as you progress and mature in the art, you’ll definitely want to come back and begin the process of exploration.


4.  Don’t give up;  David Adiv once told me early in my career that if I wanted to be better than everyone else, then simply, just don’t quit.  Sounds funny, but the truth is that if you do a thing for a long time then you really have no choice but to eventually get good at that thing. 

Jiu-jitsu can be, that’s if you want it to be, a life-long journey.  Now in my fifteen plus years of training, I find myself exploring and learning even more now than in all the years I worked towards my black belt.  Using the three P’s method will only get you better.  But the most important part is not to worry about your strengths and weaknesses but to enjoy the process of your improvement.

Megaton Dias Technique

Saturday, May 30th, 2009 No Commented

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This week we are fortunate to have Megaton demonstrate a wrist lock from the guard.

Armlock from Knee on Belly

Sunday, May 17th, 2009 No Commented

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Great setup from the knee on the belly to the armlock on the opposite side.

Armlock from the Guard

The armlock from the guard, like the x-choke, is one of the basic submissions taught to all beginners.  The armlock is an extremely powerful submission primarily because it utilizes the entire body to put pressure on the elbow of the opponent.  Done right, it can be an extremely useful tool, should you find yourself on your back with an opponent on top of you.  Let’s look at some of the mechanics of how to apply a very tight armlock.

1.  With your legs wrapped around your opponent (guard position). Take your left hand and cup the back of your opponents right elbow.  Now with your right hand grab the wrist of the same hand.

2.  Moving your hip slightly to the left as you release your lock with your legs, place your left foot on your opponent’s right hip.

3.  At this point you want to ensure that your are pressing your opponent’s arm tight to your chest.  Take your right leg and place it as high on your opponent’s back as you can, you will find that your body will start to turn to allow you to get to that higher position.  Once you’ve gotten that leg up high, clamp it down on his back, tight!

4.  Back to your left foot.  Now it’s time to start to angle off, while keeping the pressure downwards with your right leg, start to push on his hip with your left foot.  You will find yourself turning so that you and your opponent begin to look like a “T”, that’s if you were looking at it from above.
*The key point here is that the more you turn and try to make that “T”, the less you’ll struggle in getting your left leg to go over his head for the finish.

5.  Once the “T” is established, you’ll be able to simply take your left leg and place it over the opponent’s head.

6.  For the finish:  Your body must do several things at once; squeeze your knees together as tight as you can, keep that grip on your opponent’s arm, begin to lift your hip like you were doing a bridging excercise, except that your feet aren’t on the ground, your support is his body.

Now it’s just a matter of extending the bridge until you’ve put enough pressure on his arm to make him submit.

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The X-Choke

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 No Commented

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The X-Choke


In the following video we will be demonstrating the X-choke.  Here are some of the major points you need to remember in order to make your choke secure so that you can enhance your chances of landing this powerful submission.
It all starts with the first grip
Open the collar with your right hand, making sure your left hand slides up the collar all the way until you can feel the back of his neck with the back of your hand.  Keep you arm loose, don’t pull him down, use your legs to keep control of your  partner.  Pulling only serves to weaken your grip and as you’ll see in the demonstration, the more you pull the more your first grip slides down to the side of his neck.



Now it’s time for the second hand
Use your legs to control your opponent and get him closer to you.  Use a fake attack by first reaching up towards your opponents face.  Then quickly come back under your left arm and begin to slide your right hand up the opposite collar.  Often students have difficulty getting a strong grip with the second hand.  Make sure; 1. stay relaxed, the hand will slide easier.  2. if his collar is tight, use your fingers to walk up his collar.  At this point, try to reach all the way meeting both your hands behind his neck.



Applying the choke
Watch the hands…holding the grip they will begin to turn facing the palms up, remember to keep your forearms tight against your partners collar bones, that will help to keep him from tucking his chin.  Now with the palms turned upward, your partner should be feeling the effects of the choke already, to enhance it, start to slowly bring your opponent closer to you, remember not to spread your elbows at this point or you’ll take the pressure off the carotids and on to his wind pipe.  Keep your elbows tight to your rib cage as you bring him down to your chest.


Done right, your partner should be tapping before his head is touching your chest.  Try it out and let us know what you think!


Rosendo Diaz Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
3rd Generation Jiu-Jitsu Team

BJJ Tips and Strategies

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 No Commented

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Welcome to the Rosendo Diaz Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy website.  We’ve added this new section to our site which in the coming weeks will be filled with tips, techniques and strategies to help you maximize your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training.  In this installment of BJJ Tips, as it is our first, where to begin, but at the beginning, more or less.


Starting out with your training – Tips for success


1.  Take it slow
If you have no prior experience in grappling arts, then it’s always best to start out slow, don’t train more than 3 times per week.  This will give your mind and body a chance to download the information you’ve learned.  Often we see students come to class 5-6 times per week, you can usually see within a couple weeks that the new student is overloaded with information.  With a 2 to 3 class per week schedule, you’ll be assured of getting the information you need to learn the basics, while allowing your body to acclimate itself to the new positions.


2.  Physical Conditioning and you
In terms of the physical part of jiu-jitsu, if you’ve never had this kind of training, then again it’s always best to limit the training time per week.  In the course of learning how to fight on the ground, the new student will be using muscles, that in many cases, he never knew he had.  Give your body a chance to recover and adapt to the new surroundings.  Every person has a different level of fitness, know your own, if during the class you start to feel fatigued, slow down, there is no one to impress, every single person in the class will at some point have been in the same condition.


3. Don’t worry about losing and winning…enjoy the process of both.

We have a saying in our academy, “if you’re not losing, then you’re not improving”.  Progressing in the art of Jiu-Jitsu is about applying new sweeps, new positions, new submissions, new transitions, and taking risks.  At the academy you’ll find all kinds of students with different body types: some are tall and thin, short and stocky, flexible, in-flexible, smaller than you and bigger than you.  One specific move will not work the exact same way on each of those body types; you’ll need to learn to adapt those moves to each of those body types to ensure they work.  Adapting, taking risks and trying new stuff out is as important as drilling the X-choke a thousand times.  Any improvement you make in your overall game generally comes from consistent practice and a willingness to learn from your losses.


Check back next week for a video demonstration on the X-choke.


Rosendo Diaz Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
27 W. Butler Avenue
Chalfont, PA  18914