Marcelo Garcia – Counter Arm Drag to Back Control

As I am learning more about getting to the back I’m always amazed at how there is a counter it seems to everything.  I’ve been working on improving my Arm Drag technique.  I figured that was a good place to start in my quest to get to the back.

Marcelo Garcia gives a excellent example in this video of how to counter a arm drag.  At the same time it also shows the mechanics of the arm drag.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

3 Top Picks for Back Control Technique Instruction

In the movies before the fight begins the good guy usually asks his buddy and side kick “You got my back?”  In BJJ its just you and your opponent during the fight.  The only one who is going to get your back, in a literal sense, is the person you least want there.

I’ve decided I want to be the guy who is the most proficient at getting the back or back control.  Thank you to each of you that responded to my post “The Devil is in the Details with Technique”.  It has helped me narrow down some sources for good instruction on improving my technique based around getting back control.  Here are the 3 top picks on back control instruction:

  1. Ryan Hall – Back Attacks
  2. Pablo Popovitch – NoGi Exposed (DVD 3 – Taking the Back)
  3. Marcelo Garcia –

I’m not as focused on submissions from the back as I am getting to back control and maintaining it.  I noticed that Ryan Hall’s and Pablo Popovitch’s DVDs are still 40% off at  I didn’t see anything else really devoted to the back.  Am I missing anything from this list that you know of?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

The Devil is in The Details with Technique

I watched the Marcelo Garcia highlights video on Georgette’s Jiu-Jitsu World.  Marcelo makes it look so effortless getting to the back and most of all putting in that Rear Naked Choke.  But I’ve come to understand from experience that The devil is in the details.  I learned this when I tried to master the Triangle.  I found there were many unseen facets to the technique.  It took me a while to really get good at it.  I had to watch video of may different people doing it.  I read books telling the exact way.  But most of all I had to try it out and do reps of it.  At this point I think I have a good mastery of it.

My thoughts have turned to getting the back and the rear naked choke.  I feel  that same feeling I did when I first started learning the triangle choke.  I know the fundamentals but I don’t seem to be able to get it to work in a roll.  Marcelo inspired me to make it my next choke-of-choice.  Roy Dean has set me on the path to master it.  So who is really good and showing the nuances of getting to the back?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Marcelo Garcia Bares It All

No Marcelo is not becoming a centerfold.  But he is exposing his game.  Marcelo was interviewed on a while back.  He and a friend talked about his new website  I was interested when I learned that they had taken the approach of teaching as a chess master would in studying other masters games.  I was also very surprised that Marcelo would just allow every aspect of his game and technique to be public.  As I was thinking about it, I remembered a old boss of mine.  He would do classes for people on how to hang wallpaper.  I asked him one day, "Why? Don’t you lose business if they do it themselves?"  His reply was "No!  I get more business!  They go and try to do it feeling confident.  Only when they try they realize it takes more skill that is developed over time.  They then remember how well I did and call me."  Maybe it is the same way with Marcelo Garcia’s website.  If you stick with it long enough you should get skilled but if not . . . you might join his dojo or school.  I think I’m going to have to fork out the $25 for a month just to see what it is like.  I’ll be sure to share what I think of it.

Finding a Way to do Jiu Jitsu On the Road

I haven’t been able to post at all this week.  I’ve been on the road for work.  I had hoped that at least one night this week I’d be able to get in a practice at a school near where I was.  I even scoped out the two school I hoped to visit, Underdog Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  But as luck would have it things didn’t work out.  I was bummed and feeling Jiu Jitsu withdrawals until a co-work of mine turned me on to Gi Subs 1, a iPhone application that shows gi submissions by  It wasn’t as good as doing it but while I sat on the plane I could go over a whole bunch of new gi submission all for $2.99.  Once again saved by the iPhone and a enterprising Jiu Jitsu teacher.  I got researching and found two No-gi applications for the iPhone by the every popular Grapple Arts.  One is on sweeps and the other on submissions.  They were a dollar more expensive then Gi Subs 1 but its cheap entertainment compared to the $14 the airline wanted to watch one of their movies in flight.  Plus it goes with me know when ever I have my iPhone with me.  After I had my fill of watching submissions on my iPhone I turned to my old stand by GRACIEMAG.  I had the July 2009 issue detailing the 2009 World Championships.  I never get tired of watching or reading about Roger Gracie, not to mention Marcelo Gracia.  All of this combined I survived the business trip hungry but not starving for BJJ.  I might also not may Mundial #5 Atama was waiting for me when I got home.  I’ll have a review on it this next week after I use it in practice.

Jiu Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu Jitsu