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I recently came across a forum post where someone was asking about fighting tips vs. a southpaw. I threw up a reply sharing some of the things that I like do use against leftys:

1) Jab over their lead arm from the outside. You’ll need to step outside of their lead foot a bit as you do so that you can keep your jab technically sound with your elbow in tight. Stepping outside of their lead leg is an important motion to use when you attack a southpaw; it will take you off the line of fire and make it tougher for them to hit you with their lead hook.

2) Follow that jab or multiple jabs (moving forward to close the distance as you do) by stepping in and snatching his front leg up into a single leg takedown position. You can also drive him to the cage with the single leg grip so that you can change off to a cage double leg or even a high crotch on the far leg if he’s defending well.

3) Keep your power side weapons ready to attack as a southpaw will often have trouble defending them. Lead with your straight right hand at long range and fire off your right uppercut or right body shot if he’s a bit closer. You can land a strong long range right hook through his guard or a rear leg knee strike down the middle as well. Keep in mind that he can do these same things to you.

4) Finish your punching combos with a lead hook so that you can spin off (and move) to the side opposite his power side. If you finish with a rear hand cross, he can follow it back with a counter cross that can really hurt you.

5) Evade his jab by slipping your head to your left (outside his jab). Use this to set up combinations that start with your lead hook or lead uppercut.

6) If he likes to box, smash the inside of his lead leg with your rear leg low kick. Be sure to set it up with your jabs. Do the same thing if he likes to move a lot as it will slow him down.

7) Use your lead hand to pick his jab (just turning your hand very little (palm towards him) to block his punch) and immediately smash him with your right cross.


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“What should I eat on competition day?” is a question that many martial artists –and athletes in general– often have.

That’s a great question because it’s a terrible feeling to feel weak or hungry during the hours or minutes leading up to competition time. It’s ultra important to be fully fueled with the right foods so that your confidence will be at it’s highest and you’ll be fully prepped to fight at your best.

Throughout my MMA career I followed a simply nutrition plan for competition day (Thanks Dennis Beitler!) and have always felt mentally clear and incredibly strong come fight time. I want to share it with you to help you bring the best version of yourself to the mats, cage or whatever surface your play you game on. Here ya go!

Competition Day Nutrition Plan

Eat half an avocado in morning and the other half  3 hours out from competition time.

Fluids: Drink only water (3-4 litres maximum) on competition day.

Throughout the day (usually every 2-3 hours) eat anything from the list below:

  • Oatmeal
  • Trail mix with dried fruit and nuts,
  • chicken breast
  • sweet potatoes (no skin)
  • Rice cakes with peanut / almond butter + unsweetened jam

If you’ve cut weight by depleting your carbohydrates for several days, include the following tips to help restore you weight:

  • Put salt on all your meals.
  • For breakfast eat steak and potatoes (filet if possible) with some tomato paste on it. 
  • Eat 1 plain 7” cheesecake (1/4 at a time) , with the last ¼ of it being eaten about four hours out from fight time (practice this one first after a test weight cut/test fight (sparring) to see how you feel). I did it for my fights with Jon Fitch, Koscheck and Nuri Shakir and felt amazing during each bout but the other fighters did laugh at the sight of me chomping on cheesecake that’s for sure :). 

Eat your last meal roughly 3 hours before competition time and then eat rice cakes (with peanut / almond butter + unsweetened jam) when you feel you need to. Start picking at green grapes about an hour before your competition.

It’s fine to eat rice cakes until about 30 minutes out from competition time and you can eat the grapes until 5 minutes before you compete.

I’ve used this system for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions as well. Keep in mind that for BJJ tourneys you’ll usually be weighed-in minutes before you compete so you need to keep track of your weight throughout the day and adjust your eating accordingly to make sure that you don’t weigh-in too heavy.

Well that’s about it. If you try it out be sure to comment here or email me and let me know how it worked for ya!

Train hard, have fun and most importantly have fun!




Categories : BJJ Technique, Reviews
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I’ve had many people ask me to post a video breaking down the “Cross Over” exercise motion with the jump rope. So here it is!

Hope it helps you in your training.

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Here’s a great way to counter the bullfighter guard pass that I used all the time when training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Categories : BJJ Technique, Reviews
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Another technique from the Alliance BJJ training camp. Here World Champ Ian McPherson shows some nice chokes from the turtle position.

Categories : BJJ Technique, Reviews
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Our fifth day here at the Alliance BJJ training camp was a great one!

It really has seemed that everything we’ve learned technique wise has fit perfectly into my game. It’s been a blend of highly effective guard passes and countless sweeps that will without doubt keep opponents guessing as to what’s going on. I’ve kept detailed notes on everything and I think I’ve learned more than fifty new things during this week. A couple of moves that really are game changers that’s for sure. It’s been an amazing time!

That’s really what make the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so much fun; the fact that you can always learn new ways of doing things. The art constantly becomes more efficient and the more you know the quicker you can adjust, tweak and test your techniques to make them work even better.

Today we focused solely on the 1/2 guard. In the morning we drilled some slick sweeps from the inverted 1/2 guard and in the evening our focus was on passing the 1/2 guard and deep half guard positions. As with every other training session this week, we followed the technical practice with many rounds of regular rolling.

At the end of the day our crew -Mark, Mike, Joey and I– headed out to get some sushi with Lucas, his wife Mayara and one of Alliance brown belts/great guy Higor. It was a lot of fun. I grabbed some rice and salmon which was really good even though I struggled with the chopsticks a bit.

Back in the hotel room now, I just uploaded a video of my instructor, Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti showing a great way to establish the hook from the turtle position. Check it out!

Tomorrow Marcelo Garcia will be teaching a seminar here at Alliance BJJ. We were fortunate to have had Marcelo teach for a nearly a month in the past at Joslin’s MMA and he is an awesome teacher. We’re all looking forward to a great seminar! I’ll be sure to post about it soon…

Categories : BJJ Technique, Reviews
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Man this 3 workouts a day schedule is pretty tough!

Right now it’s the end of Day 4 here at the Alliance BJJ World Championship Training camp. My arms are heavy, neck is stiff, big toe is aching and I almost feel too tired to type this out. But it’s been an awesome week of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training that’s for sure.

There are lots of tough guys to roll with, many world champions at various belt levels each with a different style of BJJ game. I’ve been feeling very strong during rolling and am excited to get back to competing on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu circuit. Rolling and working with multiple time Black Belt world champ Lucas Lepri on a daily basis has been awesome and I’ve picked up a ton of new technique and tricks from him during this past week. The guy is a great guy and absolutely holds nothing back. Master Jacare has also shown me a ton of great stuff and has made myself and our team feel right at home here at his Atlanta BJJ school.

We’ve had such a great time that I plan to bring an even larger amount of people from Joslin’s here to Alliance BJJ in the near future for some great training.

Here’s a slick technique for you taught by mutliple time world champ Jon Thomas.

That’s it for now. I’ll post more tomorrow and again on Saturday after the seminar with Marcelo Garcia.



Categories : BJJ Technique, Reviews
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and for the last technique of the hotel series, here”s Dave Hale showing how to throw someone on his ass with a nice catch and sweep counter to the body kick…

Have fun with it!

It”s almost time pokies online for us to head to the venue for our fight tonight. I”ll post again very soon.

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One more day until fight time here in Quebec at the Challenge MMA event!

The weigh-in went very well Today and both Ryan Dickson and his opponent Alex Garcia made weight. We are definitely looking forward to fight time!

Earlier today I filmed a breakdown of one of my favourite fancy MMA techniques, the spinning backfist. It’ll help you surprise your opponent with a devastatingly powerful strike that will seem to come out of nowhere. Have fun with it!

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