Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

Half Guard technique video by Scrambler Fred Greenall

by Matt M ~ posted August 15th, 2016

Check out this cool little half guard video by Fred Greenall from Positive Options Check out more of what Fred does on the Positive Options facebook page.

Give these recovery breathing and stretching drills a try after your next training session.

by William Wayland ~ posted April 7th, 2016

I have posted before about recovery routines before, elements of which can used after both sports training and weight training sessions. I have also spoken before about the need for deep belly breathing post training also. In brief  using deep belly breathing we can re-establish parasympathetic dominance and get out of stressed state training encourages. I find many athletes jump off the mat and straight out the door, investing sometime in ‘coming down’ will help kick start your recovery and reduce training stress. These come via Cal Dietz of university of Minnesota, I’ve been experimenting with them myself and with some of my athletes post training and we’ve really been feeling the benefits. Give one or all of these a try after your next training session.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK Twitter. Facebook

[VIDEO INSTRUCTIONAL] “Sucuri” – Amazing body choke from back control instructional

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 24th, 2015

Tom Barlow is a no gi world champion, a very polite man, and also, an absolute bastard on the mat.

Last time he came to visit us he took great delight in tapping us out with a move of his own devising, the Sucuri or anaconda.

It is not pleasant.

Find out how to make your training partners groan in pain below!


How specific does your grappling jiujitsu MMA strength training need to be?

by William Wayland ~ posted March 9th, 2015

Sick Threads Bro

The issue of specificity in training is one that seems to bother many practitioners, obviously I want to train in a fashion that will improve my sport, be it MMA, BJJ or other combat sports.

Loaded sports type drills (like weighted punching, barbell open guard playing) seem like the obvious solution to the specificity problem, but it is probable that by doing so the athlete will unconsciously develop compensatory movements in his/her technique in adjusting to the new weight or develop poor movement, other risks include injury from doing these types of things. The other swing is towards functional type training that doesn’t really do much to improve the following;

  • Force absorption and production
  • Power production and rapid force development.
  • Injury prevention.

In the video below I go over some of the basics of why we do S&C and how training should be informed by your training age and strength levels.

Although specificity is important when designing a training plan, most programs will include exercises of a general nature (e.g. power clean, squat, deadlift). These exercises may not relate too closely to the movement of any athletic event but they do give balanced development and provide a terrific strength base upon which more specific exercise programming can be built. My golfers squat, my MMA fighters squat when they start out, however when they peak for sport their end game training looks very different.

Further Reading

Is Sports Specific Strength Training a Myth in this post Mike Boyle talks about general specific being guided by what athletes shouldn’t do instead of the “best exercises for x sport” like many others.

If functional training interests you here is an easy guide on how to become one

Using weighted baseball bat doesn’t increase swing speed.

Weighted Golf Club Myth

Original Specificest Strength and Conditioning Video.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK. Facebook

[VIDEO] BJJ Techniques from Japan: Tsuyoshi Tamaki of Carpe Diem BJJ

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 31st, 2014

We’re very pleased to count Tsuyoshi Tamaki as a Scrambler. He’s a great guy with one of the best attitudes in the sport and we are confident it’s only a matter of time before he gets the results he wants on the world stage. He recently took bronze in adult brown belt at the Pan Ams.


Check out Carpe Diem BJJ’s Vimeo page and subscribe for more techniques. (There’s a couple of techniques here too by Tsuyoshi’s team mate, Masahiro Iwasaki, too.)


#20″Omoplata from the spider guard” from CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU on Vimeo.

#19″Triangle from the spider guard” from CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU on Vimeo.

#18″Sweep from the half spider” from CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU on Vimeo.

#10″Getting out of lockdown” from CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU on Vimeo.

#11 “Getting out of knee shield” from CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU on Vimeo.

[VIDEO] No Gi De La Riva moves from the Buschkamp Bros

by Ben ~ posted September 19th, 2013

The Buschkamp brothers demonstrate some tasty looking De La Riva attacks and counters. Watch, try, destroy!





COMPETITION! Scramble Grip Trainers Videos

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted August 20th, 2013

We’re extra proud of our Grip Trainers. We think they are the simplest and most effective way to build good grip strength for BJJ / Jiu Jitsu and grappling.

We have hundreds (possibly thousands actually) of satisfied customers out there, but we want more of you to know about them.

So, we’ve made this little competition.

Using a video service like YouTube or ideally Instagram, we want you to record a short and creative video of you using the grip trainers. Tag it #scramblegrips and let us know about it.

We will pick 3 WINNERS and send out a grab bag in their size full of Scramble gear and accessories.

We made one here at Scramble HQ to get things started (make sure you watch until the end!)



You have until Thursday 5th September to submit your videos.

Scramble TV: Nakamura Daisuke Mixtape and Inverted Guard Pass to Backtake

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted June 4th, 2013

I recently got back from Japan and while there managed to do a lot of cool stuff.

This is the first of many cool things to come.

I spent a few days with Scrambler Daisuke Nakamura. Not only a great guy and a great instructor, but a phenomenal jiu jitsu player.

Enjoy a few minutes of rolling and music followed by a very smooth counter to the inverted guard that ends with you on your opponent’s back.

You also get a pretty good look at the Athlete kimono in action!


Thoughts on Conditioning for Grappling Competition

by William Wayland ~ posted March 4th, 2013

Common mistakes, Misconceptions and Using Technique Under Fatigue

Conditioning is often the poor relation in “STRENGTH and conditioning” it is hard, it mocks you, where as training for strength allows for a resplendent display of your badassery and curious looks from the folks on the eliptical. Where as conditioning belittles you, turns you into a sweaty exasperated mess, its general unpleasantness makes you groan about it to anyone with in earshot. Conditioning is often a victim of the too much, too hard, too soon approach to training, people often “deep-end” themselves and do high intensity work before they have built the capacity to handle this kind of work, general fitness is key. Get fit to train as they say.

General fitness for grappling is what I define as the ability to complete training sessions of a reasonable (RPE 6-8) intensity without fatigue becoming so bad it impedes your ability to complete a practice, cutting rolls or rapid technical training short etc.

Hopefully you have a resting hear rate of below 60bpm, if this isn’t the case then you probably need to work on your general fitness. This can take the form of moderate intensity rolls of a longer duration (you still get to practice sport that way), running, cycling rowing, barbell complexes or HICT. If your general conditioning is of a reasonable level then you look at getting specific in terms of round times and intensity when preparing for a tournament.

Now down to nitty gritty, often our technical coaches while meaning well have little understanding of energy systems or neurological demand of exercise and thus often issues arise in conditioning sessions

Common flaws I see;

  • Too much standing work.
  • Too much focus on concentric muscular action.
  • Not enough active rest.
  • Misuse of plyometrics.
  • Training longer than needed.

Work to rest ratio’s for BJJ are important to replicate, in a 2012 study Del Vecchio et al in a Brazilian study found that effort:pause ratios from other combat sports ranged from 10:1 (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), 2:1 (judo and wrestling), and 1:3/1:4 (taekwondo) and 1:2 and 1:4. A 10:1 ratio is dramatic and I can understand why based on my own observation, as soon as two grapplers make contact there is rarely any let up in activity and the two are actively working with very few breaks in play. While judo for instance there is often a slow down with grip fighting, sudden frenetic activity and pauses in contact to reset fighters and so on.

BJJ has a lot of isometric action, by isometric I mean positions that are held where muscular contraction is maximal but movement is minimal. Such as holding a top side control position with really tight head and arm control, fighting to keep an opponents posture broken or gripping up for passes and sweeps but holding the position. These isometric actions should be replicated because it is exhausting, whereas most conditioning is repeat concentric (explosive action). Often athletes when very fatigued doing this kind of activity will merely go through the motions all that explosive intent is gone, where as an iso-hold at the top of a pull up is hard to fake.

Pull up holds with scramble grip trainer make for a challenging isometric hold

Misuse of plyometrics is a massive problem in fitness right now, there is a certain fitness movement that thinks that box jumps for time are an intelligent training approach (enough to make a dead Russian sports scientists spin in their graves). plyometrics are a neurological bulldozer, short contraction times and short ground contact times are great for improving power output. However fatigue caused by excessive plyometrics destroys explosiveness and kills coordination, basically an accident waiting to happen.

Because of nature training culture in martial arts we often think more is better when it comes to conditioning. Coaches will make athletes do 8 or 10 minute rounds when you may only be a purple belt and require 7 minute rounds. Humans are excellent unconscious pacers and we will spread our selves energetically if we know we have the luxury of time. If your match last 7 minutes then train for 7 minute rounds, but make those 7 minutes as high a quality as possible.

Adding in more conditioning from the floor is also important, hip thrusts, floor presses and the addition of high intensity drilling intersped with formal conditioning work can make a world of difference, being tired on your feet is different to being tired on your back with someone on top of you. The very action of getting up off the floor repeatedly is tiring in itself.

Technique Under Fatigue

This where the introduction of TUF or Technique Under Fatigue training is important. I credit Brendan Chaplins writings for exposing me to this flexible method. My next point only at the sharp end 4 or so weeks before competition should formal conditioning in any start to resemble grappling, this is when we introduce TUF.

Examples of TUF would be;

30 second KB swings

30 seconds Pummeling (pummelling here works as active rest)


30 seconds of Sprawl to Deadlift

30 seconds of mount escapes (mount escapes again working as active rest)


30 Seconds of Hip thrusts or burpees

30 Seconds of Shrimping under top pressure


30 Second pull up hold

30 Second back escapes (the person who just did the hold tries to stop his opponent from escaping)

Complete for a total of whatever your round time is. 3-5 Minutes Rest and Go again.

Sprawl to deadlift combined with pummelling makes for a favourite combination of mine

Bodyweight combinations work well in group settings but we can do more intensive work with small group or one to one settings. While I do like as a precomp method it can be used as general method if need be. Exercise and technical selection requires athlete coach cooperation.

Practising fundamental skills while fatigued allows us to sharpen those skills while under duress, smart coaches can come up with combinations that would be best for their students trying to eliminate weaknesses. The method is also more enjoyable than straight conditioning which is often high volume and does’nt allow for active recovery which generally will occur in game scenario. Advanced and intermediate level grapplers will get more out of this method than novices who may not have motor skills or the general fitness to derive a benefit from this type of training.

All out conditioning for prolonged periods does’nt work otherwise usian bolt would win the 400 and 800 meters it simply violates basic biology. I see this often in conditioning videos as fatigue sets in the quality of effort takes a nosedive, because no one is capable of sustaining high power outputs for prolonged periods of time.

Chaplin describes “the key points for TUF conditioning as this:

  1. Integrate conditioning with technical/skill work
  2. Be specific with the conditioning to suit the skills being trained. This requires collaboration with the coaches.
  3. The conditioning needs to be progressive just like general conditioning. The goal is to build technique in a fatigued state, not obliterate the athletes.”

Thats all for part 1, in part 2 I’m going to discuss periodising and planning your conditioning approach and how to effectively work in an “inseason” between tournaments to maintain conditioning.

This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through.
Who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ


by Clean Dean ~ posted December 28th, 2012

Check out some basic BJJ techniques from Japanese Scrambler Nakamura Daisuke.