Three Basic Armbars – Pick Your Favourite and Drill It!

This is a throwback video to before the St. Albert location, when Professor Tyson was teaching a class called Elemental Jiu-Jitsu at the North Edmonton location based on his book. The video outlines three basic armbars from the guard with three very different styles. The armbar from the closed guard is one of the most important tools to develop for white belts. Opening and passing the guard takes focus, especially against a strong opponent. By threatening the opponent with submissions from the closed guard, you can split their focus between defending the submissions and passing, making their pass less committed and effective. Also, due to the nature of the submission, opponents will often hunker down in your closed guard to avoid the arm being straightened. This makes it easier to go for sweeps and other submissions.


Deception in BJJ

Unlike most sports (and even many martial arts) there is no “best body type” for BJJ and there is also no best way to play it. Everyone learns similar fundamentals, but especially once you get to purple or even blue belt you will start to personalize your style with the techniques and approach that work for you. One of the more common approaches in Jiu-Jitsu is the approach of deception – with the goal in mind of setting up the opponent to think you’re doing one thing while planning another. This can be a very efficient method, especially when fighting opponents that are bigger, stronger or faster.

However, laying traps and deceiving the opponent requires several different skills, and in my experience there is one skill that is often neglected – the skill of selling the first attack. For example, one common pairing is the triangle choke and the armbar. When you attack with a triangle choke, the opponent is likely to try to posture up, leaving their arm vulnerable to the armbar. However, if that was always the plan then fighters will sometimes slack off on the triangle attack. Since the threat of the triangle isn’t real, they don’t panic and posture up as quickly, so the armbar isn’t there either. Even if you’re thinking a few steps ahead, there’s never a time in jiu-jitsu where it’s a good idea to be sloppy or uncommitted on a technique especially against high level opponents. Check out this video of another combination technique for when opponents stack you in the armbar!

This all may seem overwhelming if you’re a beginner, but advanced techniques in BJJ are often just layered basics. Come in and try BJJ for 30 days free, and you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in just a few classes!

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Start of the School Year

Summer is over and it’s time to get back to school and the regular routine of sports activities. September is the month to try something new. May we suggest trying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)?

BJJ is a great sport for young kids and here’s why.
– Confidence
– Focus
– Discipline
– Making Friends
– Having Fun
– Being Active
The process of BJJ is different from other martial arts. First, you are shown a technique that you haven’t seen before that can look very difficult and complicated. Then step by step we go through the motions of the technique and slowly piece together what it’s supposed to look like. We then work the techniques against increased resistance. This allows us to develop the ability to use the technique and gain a deeper understanding of why the technique is performed the way it is. BJJ is not a monkey-see- monkey-do martial art. It is a challenge that is rewarding, especially in that moment when the technique clicks in. The process of learning BJJ is what develops focus and discipline in every student. With children, we often disguise techniques in skill-building games that encourage physical awareness, paying attention, and building endurance. Once a technique is understood, it is the feeling of accomplishment that builds confidence on the mats and more importantly off the mats. All the while, the kids are having fun and making new friends.

Give us a call and start your 30-day FREE trial. Contact Professor Tyson LaRone at (780) 217-

The Benefits of Curriculum in BJJ

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The Benefits of Curriculum

Professor Tyson LaRone

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is rooted in Matsuo Maeda’s teachings of Judo, which is why in its early development it ended up borrowing many traditions from the Kodokan, including the implementation of structured curriculum at most of its schools. However, as the style became more widespread in Brazil and especially when it was brought overseas, many schools began to reform the techniques that were taught and some decided to do away with curriculum altogether. Plenty of schools are very successful and produce high quality students with or without it, but I personally believe that curriculum can be useful for several reasons:

  1. Guidance – Having a clear expectation of the techniques and knowledge at each belt level provides direction for students, especially those who want to go above and beyond classes and do extra training on their own. If the instructor isn’t around, the curriculum can provide suggestions for what would be most productive to work on.
  2. Well-Roundedness – Rolling is an important part of training, but sometimes a student can develop a particular game that funnels opponents through a certain range of positions and whether they win or lose they rarely end up in certain situations. As a result they can develop holes that aren’t immediately apparent, sometimes even until higher belt levels. If a student is graded based on well-rounded curriculum, it ensures that they’ll have at least a basic answer for attacks and defenses in all major positions.
  3. Consistency – With the basics of jiu-jitsu being taught similarly, it makes it much easier for instructors and students to cross-train at other schools within their affiliation. It also means that using the same frame of reference, instructors can be creative and work together on complex solutions and competition strategies while keeping their foundation solid.

We are now accepting Fall registrations. Call 780-217-0059 for more information about our 30-Day Free Trial or e-mail us at!

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Why Jiu-Jitsu is Great for Kids Self-Defense

Professor Tyson LaRone

When it comes to martial arts for kids, every style and every school will include self-defense as one of the benefits. To an extent, this can be true in that training in a martial art or developing any athletic skill can build confidence which is an important part of self-defense, but when it comes down to the physical techniques themselves Jiu-Jitsu really starts to shine for a few reasons:

  1. The Opponent

As a general rule, would-be attackers (whether they’re other kids or adults) tend to try to choose easy targets. When I’m teaching I call it the Time, Effort, Risk principle. Attackers want to go for someone they won’t think take a lot of time or effort and that the risk for them is low. That means you can safely assume that an attacker will be bigger, stronger, faster and meaner than you are. Jiu-Jitsu Techniques are specially designed to give you the tools you need to deal with such an attacker, where many styles are better suited to a tournament atmosphere where you can assume the opponent will be around your size and experience level.

2. The Mentality

If you’re talking self-defense, you’re talking realism. If you aren’t training realistically, you aren’t training self-defense. It’s that simple. In Jiu-Jitsu, the same techniques used in self-defense can be safely used in competition against full resistance even for very young children, and it’s only against full resistance do you know if you can really trust a technique to save your life if it comes to that.

3. When Not to Fight

It’s an ancient martial arts cliche that knowing when not to fight is just as important as being able to fight. However, there’s a more practical side to it when you look at the techniques a kid is learning. At Arashi-Do we teach our jiu-jitsu students not only how to fight, but also how to maintain our personal space while talking to the aggressor to try to calm them down. This is not something taught in many martial arts schools outside of Jiu-Jitsu. If a child is taught “self-defense” but the training always fast-forwards to the part where they’re already fighting then they may end up needlessly escalating a situation when they feel threatened that otherwise may not even have turned into a fight.

We are now accepting Fall registrations. Call 780-217-0059 for more information about our 30-Day Free Trial or e-mail us at!

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Why Sport Matters for Self-Defense


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Since BJJ was first recognized as a sport in and of itself and not a martial art for use as the grappling component in street self defense or vale tudo competition, there has been a debate raging about the purity of the martial art and whether sport is good for it or not. While it is true that there are many techniques employed in sport jiu-jitsu today that don’t have much carryover when striking is allowed or you’re fighting more than one person, I feel that sport training does have value for the self-defense concerned student, for a few main reasons:

  1. Sport Training Requires Fitness – To be successful in sport jiu-jitsu, it’s obvious that you have to be in good shape. What may not be so obvious however to those who haven’t been in a street fight or trained under someone with a lot of experience in it is that self defense requires you to be in good shape as well. The combination of the fight itself and the extreme stress makes it absolutely exhausting to fight for even a minute or two.
  2. Tournaments Prepare You Mentally – While a tournament can’t compare to the feeling of your life legitimately being in danger, almost everyone still gets nervous when they compete so it gives you a taste of what it’s like to have to handle yourself while dealing with the adrenaline dump which is arguably just as important a self-defense skill as the techniques themselves.
  3. Sport Provides Full Resistance – This is a big one. It’s hard to believe in 2017 with the popularity of the UFC that there are still people walking around thinking they know how to snatch someone’s eye out or stop the heart by hitting a precise pressure point in the armpit or cause paralysis with their minds, but they exist. The reason they believe these things is that their training is largely hypothetical since obviously you wouldn’t want to maim or kill your training partners. They can’t train against full resistance, so ultimately they can “learn” the techniques but have no idea until they’re in a real life self defense situation whether they can do anything at all. Rolling and sport solve this problem for BJJ. Even though we don’t want to maim or kill our training partners either, we can still train almost all of our techniques against full resistance and know they work. The only thing different about most self defense situations is what happens instead of tapping.

For Fb 30 day trial profilethese and other reasons, it’s always good to train both sport and self-defense techniques in BJJ. Come and check out our new St. Albert location for a 30-Day FREE

Great Read for All BJJ Students – 3 Tips for Smoother Sailing on Your Way to Black Belt

A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a long, difficult journey. It can be incredibly joyous and rewarding as well as infuriating at times, and progress is rarely a straight line. In this article Professor Tyson wrote for, he outlines 3 things you can do to make things a little easier on yourself. Check it out!

3 Tips for Smoother Sailing on Your Way to Black Belt