On this page we have collected answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about DefensiveBJJ.com. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help!

What is this site about?

This is a forum for sharing my research into an aspect of BJJ that I feel is often somewhat neglected – defense.

You can of course find technique videos here, but it’s not just a technique site. The main benefits come when we actually work together. Post videos of your rolls and drills, ask me specific questions, and I’ll give you direct feedback. I won’t provide quick, superficial answers, but rather draw your attention to the fundamental issue with a particular movement/position that caused the problem to arise in the first place.

Basically, don’t think of it as just a video library (although you are of course free to just watch the videos if you want), but as an online coaching relationship.

What is the point of all this?

The goal of this site is to build a defensive structure that will help you to better survive tough situations. We start by developing a solid foundation based on the key postures (Turtle, Panda, Hawking, Running Man) and the transitions between them, and then we branch out into more targeted defenses and escapes from specific submissions.

Bit by bit, we work on refining each posture and movement, so that you can use the right one at the right time.

How can defense help my offense?

Think about it from an MMA perspective. If you want to be an effective puncher, then you need to have good wrestling defense. Otherwise you’ll be so worried about getting taken down that you’ll never let your hands go. Once those defensive skills are there, you can really pull the trigger!

Likewise, if your BJJ defense is strong enough that you feel safe in bottom side control, then you’re probably going to be much more comfortable with attacking from guard, since you’re no longer as worried about your guard getting passed. Good defense leads to confidence, and confidence leads to offense!

Isn’t playing defensive just stalling?

It depends on how you use it. If you just endlessly shut down and never open up, then yes, it can be called stalling. But done properly, it just means surviving long enough that you can start learning and improving.

When rolling against someone more experienced, or simply bigger and more aggressive, if you attack you can often find yourself getting quickly and repeatedly destroyed. In the worst case scenario, you can even get injured.

With the right defensive skills, this isn’t a problem anymore. If someone is very aggressive, then you can “shut down” a bit and keep yourself safe. Once your partner recognizes that they need to tone down the aggression in order to achieve anything, you can open up and start playing and learning.

Is Defensive BJJ a style of rolling?

No, it’s more of an environment for study. This site is basically a laboratory in which I gather all my research about the defensive possibilities of BJJ, and continue that research further. It’s a place where I can share what I’ve learned, and if you have specific questions you have a direct line to me at any time.

I definitely don’t want to say that everyone should roll exactly like me, but I do believe that the defensive side of BJJ has been under-studied so far. By sharing my findings, I’m putting them out there to be analyzed (and if necessary criticized) by other people, so we can continue to improve together.

Where do I start with the defensive postures?

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter exactly where you start. All of the main defensive postures (Turtle, Hawking, Running Man etc.) can be studied and adopted very quickly, and then it’s just a case of refining the transitions between them. If you’re already more comfortable with one particular posture, then it’s probably best to start there and then move on to the others.

Alternatively, if you’re working on your defense against a specific submission, then there’s usually an accompanying defensive posture that it would make sense to focus on. For instance, if you want to improve your kimura defense, then start with Hawking. If you want to improve your anaconda choke defense, then start with Turtle, and so on.

When do I send you videos for narrating?

I find the best results come when you conduct the first round of problem-solving yourself. Once you’ve drilled a specific posture or transition, film yourself and compare the video to those on the site. You’ll often see “big” things that you can correct quite quickly. Once you’ve done that, we can move on to making the smaller, more intricate refinements together.

You can send me videos of you drilling or rolling, ideally accompanied by some comments on what you see and understand about your execution of the posture/transition, as well as the problems you’re encountering. Then I can do my part!

How is this different than your DVDs?

There is of course a lot in common, but the main difference is that the DVDs don’t offer support!

In addition, DVDs are a packaged form of information that you watch and absorb in large chunks. The information is aimed at a general audience, rather than you specifically. Here I will “make” you work on the postures and movements that are causing you trouble, give you feedback (such as narrating your rolls), and check your progress. All in all, it’s much more of a guided, personalized learning process.