Jul 22

Bottom Half Guard Kneebar

By bestfree | Uncategorized

Back in 2002 or 2003, UFC legend and movie star Oleg “The Russian
Bear” Taktarov showed up to my gym! He was filming a role in Bad
Boys 2 and swung by to show some moves. Oleg is a Sambo master
and he showed a whole bunch of really cool leg locks… and the
one move that impressed me the most was this kneebar he would pull
from the bottom halfguard!

I had seen Frank Mir attempt it on Ian Freeman in the UFC
but he didn’t finish it and I had incorrectly written it off as
garbage… until Oleg showed me some little tips that made this
move a high percentage killer! Since then, it has become one of
my top “go to” moves in grappling and MMA. I can force this move
and practically hit it at will, especially the follow-up sweep.
A lot of the guys in my MMA gym in Miami, FL also use it as well.

Check out the video below:

If you like the video, please click on “like” and drop a comment
below the video, it really helps me out. Thanks!

Jul 21

Lift Weights?

By bestfree | Uncategorized

A lot of people ask me if weight training
is good for mixed martial arts… and my answer is yes. Weight
training, if done properly, can be very beneficial for MMA and
UFC style training.

However, there are several things to keep in mind… for one
thing, you should have a workout that is custom tailored for your
fighting style. If you are primarily a striker, you shouldn’t be
loading up too much on the curls – but if you are primarily a
wrestler, then hit the curls hard. 

As a striker, it is important to keep your arms elastic and
flexible (hence a striker should avoid bulky arms) but as a
wrestler, having powerful arms is good for finishing double legs
and other takedowns.

Another thing to keep in mind is a proper warm-up before lifting
weights. If you go the weight gym, you’ll see people just do a
few stretches and then start lifting… and if you look around in
the same gym, you’ll see bulky dudes walking around with their
arms all curled in… you don’t want that. You want long, smooth,
flexible, and strong muscles. You don’t want to leave the gym
with your arms curling in.

To avoid that, a proper warm-up is important. Personally, I
like to do a big shadow boxing routine, break a sweat, and then
stretch out my arms. Once you are warmed up and stretched out –
begin your lifting. Make sure you do each exercise with a light
warm-up set first.

In between sets, instead of just sitting and waiting, stretch
your arms and shadow box. The stretching and shadow boxing
between sets will keep your arms loose and flexible. Try this,
you will notice a big difference.

Then at the end of your workout, burn out with some cardio.
Either do some intense shadow boxing (until you are sweating) or
go for a one mile run. Afterward, do a nice long stretch.
You’ll notice the difference when you get home – and especially
the next day. Your arms will feel loose and flexible – not sore
and curled up.

If you guys see me lifting weights at our Miami MMA gym in Miami, FL
that is why you always see me shadow boxing in between sets 🙂 That
being said, it helps to have an ipod with your favorite music
playing while lifting.

Jul 18

Cradle Choke

By bestfree | Uncategorized

I’m big on incorporating wrestling moves into submission
grappling… and the cradle is a powerful hold for grappling,
MMA, and self defense that is very under utilized. In wrestling,
the cradle is a common hold! We use it all the time at my
MMA gym in Miami, FL.

In the video below, I show a basic cradle setup from the back
and I show a few nice submission setups from the hold, including
the cradle choke! Check it out below:


Check out the video and enjoy!

Jul 17

Heel Hook Escape

By bestfree | Uncategorized

What is the most dangerous submission in submission wrestling?
I’ll give you a hint… it is BANNED from most grappling
competitions and from most gyms! We allow it at my
MMA gym in Miami, FL, but most don’t. This submission is dangerous
because there is a thin threshold between pain and possible
permanent damage – so there isn’t much time to tap…

The submission I’m talking about is the HEEL HOOK!

I have an old video I posted on youtube a while back that
I just added to my website that I would like to share with
you… which are TWO Heel Hook Escapes, with the first one
being my most reliable escape… and the second one being
an escape to a back-take setup! Check it out:


Remember, practice heel hooks with EXTREME care… they are
very dangerous and one hard pull can result in someone needing
surgery… and for that reason, ALL grapplers and martial artists
should be extremely familiar with the proper escapes…
just rolling isn’t a technical escape to the heel hook…
watch the video and pay attention to the little black belt
detail that makes “just rolling” actually a technical escape.

Jul 16

David Y-Choke

By bestfree | Uncategorized

My brother David (Four-Time ADCC Veteran and ADCC Barcelona
2009 Bronze Medalist) just posted up a video on his website
which is pretty unusual and cool… it is also a bit
controversial… even in our MMA gym in Miami, FL

People often see the technique, the Y-Choke, and say, “That’s

From different referees I have talked to, if you don’t squeeze
the wind-pipe, it is supposed to be legal (talk to a referee

Ok, so what am I talking about? 🙂

Here is the link: http://www.DavidAvellan.com/the-y-choke

If you like the video, go ahead and join my brother’s email
list as well. If you like my blog entries, you’ll like his emails,
plus he is uploading lots of new videos, so check him out!

Jul 15

Most Powerful Video

By bestfree | Uncategorized

This is my most powerful video that I
have posted so far. This isn’t a guard pass… it isn’t
a striking combo… and it isn’t a takedown… but all of the
guys at my MMA gym in Miami, FL have watched it and
benefitted from it greatly…

This video is going to take some time to watch… don’t watch
it until you can sit down in a quiet spot and be totally
able to process the message. Here it is:


Grab your favorite beverage, a pen and notepad, and pay good
attention to the video – this video can reap you 1,000 times
better results for you than any of the other videos I have
sent you thus far.

Jul 14

Brain Transplant

By bestfree | Uncategorized

Another powerful technique is
called “Resetting”. Resetting is when you have a certain
ritual that resets your system, much like resetting a computer,
and gives you a fresh burst of energy and focus. For me, my
reset ritual is slapping my face with both hands – for you it
can be anything. Some reset rituals I’ve seen include raising
the rear hand up and touching the forehead with the back of
the hand, biting down on the mouthpiece, punching both fists
together, and oddly enough, I knew one fellow that for some
reason would grab his front teeth as a reset (don’t ask me
why). The point is that ANYTHING can be a reset, it doesn’t
have to be cool – it just has to work.

So how do we make our ritual work into an effective reset?
You first need to decide what is your reset ritual. When you
hit the wall and feel like quitting, you then need to have
enough awareness to execute your reset ritual… which should
bring upon you a sense of awareness. This awareness should
shake off any discouragement you may be feeling at the moment
and bring upon a surge of energy, or as I also call it, shaking
the bear off of your back. When you get fatigued, sometimes
it feels like you got a bear on your back, weighing you down…
the reset should shake him off and get you back light on your
feet with energy.

The biggest program in the beginning with executing a successful
reset is learning to have enough control over your own mind
to have enough awareness to his your reset… a good coach can
help with that. Let your coach know what you have in mind
with the reset exercise and when he notices you are failing,
he needs to yell, “RESET! RESET! RESET!” and that will be your
cue to snap out of it and execute your reset ritual and shake
the bear off of your back! After some help from your coach,
you will develop the ability to do it on your own when you
need the boost – but if you are a competitor, you should always
have a coach in your corner who understands the reset concept
and knows the specific instructions or phrases that you would
like heard to initiate it. For me, my brother knows that when
I’m fading to yell, “YOU GOT TO WANT IT! YOU GOT TO WANT IT!”
and for me, that initiates my reset. I’ve been using that
phrase to initiate my reset since I was competing in high
school and currently in my MMA in gym in Miami, FL
– it is ingrained in my brain. The reset is also a
very important technique for combat and we will revisit this
technique later with more detail.

Jul 11

Elbow Tuck Escape

By bestfree | Uncategorized

After my last entry, I know there must have been a few
people wondering, “But what if he is grabbing around the
head…” so here is one of my most reliable escapes from the
head and arm hold from side control:


There are MANY escapes from that position… and if you try
them and none of them work… then wait for the opportunity
to use this escape! As I mention, at some point they are
going to release the arm, and when they do… BAM, you hit
this move explosively! Check it out! We use this escape very
often at my MMA gym in Miami, FL.

Jul 10

Rock ‘N’ Roll Escape

By bestfree | Uncategorized

I’ve been getting feedback to show position escapes, so today
I’m showing one of my favorite escapes from side control,
which is the Rock N’ Roll Escape! Check it out below:


This video is one of my favorite escapes from the side control
over-under pin. When I’m facing someone with a really strong
pin and can’t free either of my arms or turn to my side, this
technique has proven very reliable for me as a last ditch
technique. I use this all the time at my MMA gym in Miami, FL.

If you like the video, please do me favor and “like” my video
and post a comment on the bottom of the page here:


By liking my video with facebook and/or posting a comment on
my page, it helps promote me and my gym so I’d appreciate the