Inversion for Jiu Jitsu: How to invert safely

The concept of inverting is often used in sport jiu jitsu as a way to preserve guard, sweep and/or attack an opponent’s leg. While it is a useful movement for competitors is it safe? The safety of the technique is based on two principles: The proper technical skill and having adequate mobility to perform without …

Understanding Concussions for MMA

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that result from acceleration of the head that creates shearing forces on the brain. While an obvious sign of a concussion is being knocked unconscious one does not have to get KOed or hit in the head for a concussion to occur; indirect blows to other areas in the …

The oblique kick and the low side kick: How to maximally stress the knee

The oblique kick and low side kick are two particularly damaging strikes that are used frequently in combat sports. What makes these strike so effective? Both are effective at damaging the ligaments in the knee. The goal of the oblique kick is to hyperextend the knee which can damage multiple knee ligaments. A typical knee …

Biomechanics of the Toe Hold

A toe hold is a leg lock that attacks the ankle. The submission involves torque force combining plantarflexion and inversion motion to the ankle which often results in ligament sprain. With sufficient force ligament rupture and ankle dislocation can occur. This leg lock primarily attacks two joints simultaneously that make up the ankle. 1. Talocrural …

Kneebars Explained

A kneebar works primarily by causing hyperextension of the knee (tibiofemoral joint). The average person will have around 5-10 degrees of extension and any more motion will challenge the soft tissue and ligamentous structures. Secondary mechanism of injury from a kneebar is posterior translation of the tibia on the femur. Structures that limit hyperextension: Ligaments: …

Grappler’s Guide to Knee Reaping

Knee reaping is a very controversial topic in the jiu jitsu community and is illegal in many BJJ tournaments, such as IBJJF. What is knee reaping? Knee reaping is a control position where the attacker’s foot crosses the hip/midline during a leg entanglement. The reason that this position is illegal is it can cause the …

Kinesiology of the Armbar

The armbar, arguably the most iconic technique in grappling, is a submission that involves hyperextension of the elbow joint (humeroulnar joint). While there are two other joints around the elbow region: 1. humeroradial 2. radioulnar joint After years of grappling many martial artists may lose a bit of range, but the average person should have …

Shoulder Injury from falling: AC sprains and grappling

Have you ever hurt your shoulder after being thrown overhead or taken down? In grappling martial arts, your opponent may succeed in taking you to the ground, but what happens when you land improperly on your shoulder? The shoulder complex is made up of several joints: 1️⃣Glenohumeral joint 2️⃣Sternoclavicular joint 3️⃣Acromioclavicular joint 4️⃣Scapulothoracic “joint” All …