Competition philosophy & winning in competitions

Many people speak about how important it is to have your mental side in check to succeed in competition. This is a very vague statement and I’ve always had difficulties grasping it..I have just recently started to somehow get some of the aspects of this…Maybe mostly because I’ve started watching interviews of top competitors.

On his DVD “Path to success” Felipe Costa talks about how he used to first suck at competition before gradually getting better and starting to win at brown & black belt level. He identifies mental modes in his competition career I can somehow understand:

1. Losing the first match at every tournament. The feelings at the tournament are stress and just wanting to get it over it. (And of course wanting to go home and eat burgers). I guess this is common to people in their first tournament.

2. Losing the second match. The feeling is the person wants to win the first match but after he wins, he loses the hunger for more as he did “ok” anyways. You end up with 1-1 record anyways, right?? This is something a have been feeling like too many times..

3. Losing in the finals. You lose momentum, when you’re almost there. You have proved that you are one of the top guys, but you still can’t believe you could win it all

4. Not settling for anything but victory

Not sure if everybody can say being at one of these modes, but I definitely related right away.


Follow Leo Nogueira seminar live this Friday

The current -100,5kg world champion Leo Nogueira is teaching a seminar at BJJ Center in Helsinki. There will be a live broadcast from the seminar this Friday October 21st.

You can view it at:



Fighting germs -Japanese Style

As we all know, sometimes we catch something other than our sparring partner. As I have a fairly dry skin, I am personally fairly vulnerable to bacteria and other potential threats such as fungi.

I decided to take this nuclear bomb approach to germs and on one of my trips purchased this Japanese scary looking bacteria killer. Might actually do me more harm than good but it looks nice and weird..

The product in question is from Isami shop Tokyo:


More familiar products are available for the same purpose such as Athletic body care


I guess the most important thing is to wash your gi.. Keep jiujitsu clean..


X-pass & X-pass 2000

With the risk of not being perceived as trendy..I personally like to use to one leg in the middle as a base for passing and do the fighting posture. The main reason for this is that I can do many passes with very little movement: the x-pass, the knee-slide pass,the smash pass, negative x-pass, leg drag pass and even the "x-pass 2000" (as seen on home-shopping network)

The original x-pass is demonstrated here by Saulo Ribeiro:

The thing is..many times your opponent will cross his ankles behind your knee, making kicking back your leg impossible. Anyways, there still is a way to x-pass I've never seen online or on any dvd, that I picked up from Hawaii. What you can do, is actually excert downward pressure on the knee with your arm and even put your chest on top of it, then  do a knee-slide over your opponents shin and twist to knee on belly. X-pass 2000..This is from Rafael Mendes

I might film this approach some day so people how the exactly leg is released with sliding it over the shin..

And finally my idol...Bruce, the laid-back dog from Oahu


Quitting your day job..

This is deep...

S Graugard quit his office job 6 years ago


Bought a shoyoroll shirt that says ossss as a souvenir...

This is phrase that to my experience at least the japanese say before sparring. Actually it tends to sound more like a loud Usch...Back in 2008, I heard from a few businessmen in Fukuoka that the samurai used to say this as an expression of respect. This was before I heard it used in jiu jitsu.

I can be interpreted as onegaishimasu, which tranlates roughly to please (let's roll!) or obhi shinobu, which is "I'll do my best" or something in that nature. Having studied Japanese, I was always aware of the first meaning but the latter I just heard of lately. Whichever works for me....ossss


Breaking down shoulder pressure

Today I was drilling shoulder pressure and side chokes. The way I originally found out how to apply shoulder pressure were the instructional videos by Trumpet Dan on youtube. He focuses on analyzing Roger Gracie's game and his shoulder pressure. I been told a few additional details to help apply this type of shoulder pressure, most important of which is to pull the guy's head under your shoulder while the fingers are hooking his armpit properly (for the little extra squeeze!)

As I am concentrating on things I drill at the time, I will shortly write something about the Rafael Mendes x-pass that was taught to me my Todd Tanaka of Relson Gracie during my trip to Hawaii this summer. Probably have to do it on video.

A must view by Trumpet Dan (repeat 5 times):


Rolling with Ryan Hall

First post,

As I am constantly writing down details and experiences to improve my jiu jitsu, I figured I might as well do it in the form of a blog.

2 days ago I took a flight from Helsinki to Zurich Switzerland to attend a post-ADCC nogi seminar by Ryan Hall. I think it is vital to get a thorough and well explained instruction on the details of jiu jitsu and Ryan (at least based on his recent DVDs on back mount and deep half guard) seemed like the man who could provide this. Ryan lost his third match in this year's ADCC to Robson Moura with a guard pass, but overall put on a good show.

The seminar did not disappoint and I was really able to walk away with a better understanding of some positions. Everybody has been in seminars where all that is provided is a large set a techniques without sufficient explanation but Ryan's seminar felt more like a private class. He took the time to correct everybody's mistakes and was very willing to discuss the key points individually..The seminar was supposed to be 2 hours, but ended up lasting almost 4 including rolling time.

The whole seminar consisted of working on a passing sequence against sitting up guard that goes like this:
- First disrupt the sitting position by slapping his hand out of the way and putting him on his back by lifting from the heels
- As you raise the legs above the head, you switch the ankle grip, grap the same side bicep with the free arm and push your knee to the ground between his knees keeping the other leg up. (Sort of like the leg drag passing position)
- Adjust the position to 2 bicep control and push his chin with your hairline
- Get cross face with far side underhook and pass to side control with ease or get the cross face with near side underhook and utilise what I call "ankle play" to pass to mount.

The sequence itself was not the key to a good seminar but I got to work on 2 concepts that I feel often make the difference between decent and good jiu jitsu: "Ankle play" and shoulder pressure. There was also a lot of talk on training and competition philosophy which I found useful.

Many really good lightweights I've rolled with seem to have figured out the importance of constant movement and ankle play while on top. It almost feels that I am not able to establish and type of guard because I can't trap a leg to half guard due to ankle play or establish good upper body control needed for butterfly guard etc. Good examples of "ankle play" can be found at least on the passing section of Andre Galvao's "Details, concepts and game plan".


I was introduced to the concept of Roger Gracie shoulder pressure by Trumpet Dan on his youtube videos. The whole idea with this type of pressure is reaching for your opponents armpit and hooking it with 3 fingers and putting pressure and your opponents arteries with your shoulder. It also helps to reach as far as you can and to pull the opponent as much under your shoulder as possible. This type of shoulder pressure can be applied from side control, mount or top half guard.