Bas Talks Shop

I get a lot of letters, so I thought it would be good to let you guys in on the answers to some of the questions I am frequently asked!

Hey Bas,

Just want to say mate that I loved your self-defense clips on YouTube. Good stuff. Can I ask about you learning submission/ground fighting? I’m in the same boat, as I’ve few grappling skills and think I should work on them to round out my skills.

How long did it take you to become proficient in grappling? How intensely did you train (how many times a week, etc)? How did your other skills suffer? One of the reasons I’ve not gotten into grappling is I don’t want to forgo my Capoeira and stand up sessions.

After my second loss against Ken Shamrock, I realized that nobody was going to stand with me. Heck, even Maurice Smith took me down! I started to train twice a day only doing submissions. Three times a week, I did the Thai pads, because I knew striking already, so I concentrated on the submissions. It paid off, because I won the next eight fights by submission!

My record of wins is half by submission, half by TKO. The part that I am really proud of is that they are all different submissions and KOs. That‘s what I believe a true MMA fighter should be capable of doing. When an opponent makes a mistake, capitalize on that and take whatever he gives you.

It really has to depend on you, how far do you want to take it? It’s very simple; don’t do something just because somebody tells you. See if you can make a submission better.

Most of the time you can’t, but sometimes you can! Even when you can’t, consciously thinking about a submission will make you better at it. This helped me a LOT!

Some people are strikers and just want to learn defenses for takedowns and submissions.

However, they don’t realize that when they learn to take people down or to submit them, they also understand how to stay out of those submissions, or even to escape them.

Write down things that pop up in your head, and try them out in training. Trust me, that’s what happened to me. My students now prefer to stand up with me than go to the ground.

You do need a good training partner. I had only one in Holland, and he was also new, but he learned fast. That meant that when I put an arm bar on him, within a couple of tries he knew how to stay out of it. So I needed a new set up for that same arm bar. He’d learn to defend that one after a few tries, so I’d come up with another one. This really made me think and create different ways to set up techniques and that made me better. It was good for him as well. Don’t forget to apply that advice to stand up combinations as well.

Remember, it’s not about knowing the technique. Anybody can learn a simple figure four submission in a minute. It’s about setting it up so your opponent doesn’t detect it.

Good luck! Don’t become fixated on complex techniques. If it’s too complicated and you don’t feel it, that technique is just not for you. Not everybody can pull off a gogoplata. Also, try to counter attack right away after an escape. Your opponent is still thinking about you escaping his technique, and he’ll be distracted!

Godspeed and Party on!


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