Skeleton key techniques are esoteric, hidden techniques that hold great power.  They are the Holy Grail of techniques.  These are techniques that work in any situation with 100% success rate.  The Skeleton key Guard Pass, Skeleton Key Sweep, and the Skeleton Key Submission.  Many BJJ practitioners have explored the depths of YouTube to find such hidden gems in the hopes of employing them on their teammates.  They want to set themselves apart from the herd and be the special Jedi of the dojo.  They want the key that gives them victory with ease and they want to be revered for having special knowledge. 

I advise against seeking out Skeleton Key techniques.  Why?  First of all, they don’t exist. They are like Bigfoot.  A myth.  But, people still believe they are out there somewhere waiting to be discovered. Secondly, the need to beat everyone with a single move is egotistical and ignores the beauty and depth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Lastly, trying to find a hack or shortcut is just plain lazy. Continue reading →


This topic has been covered to death. So, here, I will beat a dead horse…
Motivation is a compelling force or inspiration for doing something.  It is a feeling or desire that causes us to take action.  But, in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, motivation can be overrated. 
Motivation feels good.  It gives us drive to excel.  When we feel motivated it is easy to come to class and train. The wind has carried our sails and is pushing us along nicely.  However, this never lasts.  It comes and goes just like the wind.  That is its nature. If we only take action when we are motivated very little will ever get accomplished. 
The true test is when the wind dies down, the sails deflate and we don’t feel motivated.  Without motivation we have to put our oars in the water and row.  This is more difficult and isn’t comfortable. Without the feeling of motivation, training can feel like a grind. 
Do you want to be skilled at Jiu Jitsu?  Then get on the mats and train often, no matter how you are feeling.  Ignore the feel-good instant gratification of the common comforts that call to you, such as the couch, the TV, the video games, or the bar.  Keep the big picture of your self-development in mind always. We refine and grow as human beings by having challenges and obstacles.  Comfort provides no growth or improvement opportunities.  By embracing the grind and putting in the hard work we improve.
Motivation can be a crutch for the weak-willed.
When I feel motivated, I go with it and enjoy it.  When I don’t feel motivated, I train anyway.  Why?  Because I know what it takes to master this art…hard work.  And I enjoy the work.  The effort is the reward.
Sometimes we need to just shut up and train.