Posts in Category: Jiu Jitsu

5 important 50/50 techniques to improve your game 

everything you need to know about...


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5050 is a controvertial technique, some love, some hate. As a BJJ competitor and coach, I prefer to leave those emotions out of it and make sure I understand the new techniques, just by having a good understanding of it I can choose whether it applies to my game or not and if I face someone who loves doing it, I know what to expect and how to defend.

By having a good understanding of 5050, when I face someone who is clueless about it (maybe because that person choose to adopt the "I hate, I dont need"posture), it usually means I will play with that person and make 5050 look more like 100% in my favor. If it happens that I face a opponent that is also familiar with it, that normally means the strategie will take place and experience and little details may make the difference towards the winner.


It's a mistake to think 5050 is made for stall, it's not. What happen is that when 2 fighters have similar knowledge about it, it becomes very hard to progress, cause the position allow both sides to use the same principles. 


Well, this is the least I demand my students to know, hope you can benefit from it:

Click on the picture to see the video:

felipe costa

Technique 1 (VIDEO HERE):

First is important to understand what you should look for once you fall on the 5050, by undertanding this, your chances of progressing will increase, so check out this first details on how to behave if you find yourself there:


1 & 2) 

Make sure your left hand control your opponent's knee, that way is not easy for him to step out of this "trap", also start to face the outside, towards the opposite leg that is trap (to your right on this picture)


Squeese your legs together for extra control, face completely to your right, in a way that he have no option to reset. Keeping your foot on his ribs may help preventing him from coming  up.


3, 4, 5 & 6) 

If you did everything correct up to this point, it will be difficult for him to come on top, but if he does, just completely stretch your left leg, parallel to the ground pushing him back, that way your weight will act on his hip will make impossible for him to establish top position.


7, 8 & 9)

Use that motion of putting your opponent butt back on the ground to bring your self back up, make sure to use the movement just like a technique stand up drill. It's important to open your right knee in a angle to get a better base and avoind your opponent turn to his right and take your balance away, just as you did with him.


felipe costa erick raposo


Technique 2 VIDEO HERE:

Some times, your opponent is familiar with the basics too and become harder to stand up first, here is what to do if you are the one a step behind



You were too late, your opponent managed to stand up, possibly because you fail to face the correct way and make your leg heavy on his hips, but you still have a chance.



Reach for his leg that is not trap and make a grip close to his know with the palm of your hand facing up. That grip is important to make it easier to push later on, when he is falling

Use this same grip to help your head to approach that leg, making a movement as if you were going to pass under his legs



Keep that motion, going with your head as if you will pass under his leg towards his back, when you feel he will start to loose balance, streach your right leg foward, following the line of your own body, that will be enough to make you fall



Once he falls, do not follow his motion and come on top, if you do this he will trap you and maybe do the same back to you (I would only go up if I need to score and it's the last few seconds of the fight).

As you let him fall without going up, you will create space for your leg to retreat, take advantage of that moment and hide your foot and show on picture 9. Once you have done this, you will be able to come on top in a position similar to a leg drag and by putting pressure, big chances you will end up on his side control. 


felipe costa erick raposo bjj


Technique 3 VIDEO HERE


Once you are comfortable with the first 2 techniques, you may get enough confidence to let your opponent move a bit more, once you do it, this is another option that turn to be a great short cut to get the back. 
Once you feel your opponent is try to stand up, let he do it and start to enter your left hook on his other leg, the one that is not trapped as if you are going towards the X guard.
Once he stands up, swing your upper body to your left and that same hook will give you the extra  leverage you need to move your head towards his back .
If you can, reach out for his pants, that grip will secure that he can't face you again, once he realize where he is getting him self at.
Right grip on his knee will hold his leg still, so you can stretch your leg in a way it can be brought under his hips towards your leg.
Keep your left grip, but let go your right grip towards his belt
Make sure to keep your legs bend close to your body, using it was a chair/shield, since once your opponent falls back, that will protect you
10&11) Once he falls on your lap, keep your hooks active to control him while you make the transition of your arms to the "sit belt"control and later the hook in the traditional way.
felipe costa jiu jitsu
This is a trick technique, the kind of technique you get everyone once and they ask what you did, of course you teach and never get them again, cause they don't do the same mistake. But it's still fun to know
1&2) if you notice your opponent is closing the leg with the triangle, hold his shin in a way he can no longer unlock
bring you right leg and trap their foot as show
5, 6&7)
Now use your hand to pull their knee towards you at the same time you force your right leg. This will apply pressure on their calf. Remember that calf slicer are only allow for brown and black belts. 
If they dont take, they may at least make space for you to take your leg out, as showed on the second technique
5050 felipe costa


On techique 5, Im showing a common mistake people do and my training partner Erick Raposo will take advantage of it to apply a footlock



My first mistake is to lock the triangle when in the 5050, that leads my opponent open to attach my foot


Even worse would be to attack the foot of his leg that is trap, because since my back is on the ground, the motion to apply pressure is limited, also the fact that his leg is stretch, makes even harder. Of course is not impossible to get it, but the movement is limited, so it's harder.

3) notice that while I'm trying to attack his foot, my left foot is open near his hands

4&5) All he needs to do is lock it in and because I had the triangle close and his pressure in toward the angle that hurts the most, even if we are both attacking each other's foot, he will tap me out first.


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Posted by Felipe Costa Sep 01, 2014 Categories: Academia BJJ Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu Personal Training Program Training in Rio Video BJJ

When did the student became capable of deciding the right moment to change belts?  

Are you ready for your next #JiuJitsu belt?


Is it just my impression or more and more students are thinking they know when they should get the next belt? 

Or maybe it has been always like this, but since there are more practitioners nowadays we hear more about this. All I know is that for one reason or another and since I travel often and have contact with many academies, I'm disgusted with so many stories of student who are pressing or telling other when and why they should jump to the next color, or students who are still (example) blue belt and are already talking about the date they will get the brown belt.

As I have wrote before, when I got my purple, brown and black belt, every time, I was caught by surprise, I always thought I could have wait longer. In fact, when Rodrigo Comprido told me he was going to give me the black belt in 2001 I gave numerous reasons why I wanted to wait and I actually convinced him to only give me in the next year (2002).

I also mentioned before that I stayed from 12 years old until I was 15 as a yellow belt, I was dying to get my orange and green belt, I had friends from school who were getting their belts, but for whatever reason It was never gave to me, I don't know the reason, because I never asked and never brought this subject up to my instructors. You know why? Because the student DOES NOT KNOW WHEN IS TIME TO CHANGE THE BELT! It's not up to him, it's not based on a simple fact (such as rolling well with higher belts) it's a mix of various aspects that only the master knows.

I really HATE to be pressure about this, even if it's in a very subtle way. DON'T DO IT, If I think you are asking about the belt, I will maybe add an extra year for your waiting

.Felipe Costa on changing belts on Jiu Jitsu

If you didn't get the belt you were hoping for after the belt ceremony, don't be upset with your instructor, be angry at yourself for setting such a low standard to your level.  

Don't come after with a puppy face asking what you need to work to get the next belt, cause all I hear is "Why I didn't get the next belt?" You don't really want to know what you need to work, you want to know why I (or your instruction) didn't give you the belt. And the answer for that is because it's HIS decision, not yours. Don't worry about the color, worry about the knowledge and the color will change before you even want (just as it did with me in purple, brown and black belt).

The best thing I heard from a student was: "Felipe, don't worry about giving me a belt, worry about giving me the knowledge"


There is no better mindset and gives the instructor total freedom to help you achieve your best. If you don't think like that, you better start to change your mentality before is too late. 


Felipe Costa

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Posted by Felipe Costa Sep 01, 2014 Categories: Academia BJJ Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu Motivational

My dream is to become a World Champion and live from Jiu-Jitsu 

Im willing to do whatever it takes

"My dream is to become a World Champion and live from Jiu-Jitsu. Im willing to do whatever it takes"

 felipe costa


Every once in a while, someone approaches me with this kind of commentary, looking for my advice or even support. I like to give my honest opinion and make sure the person who is willing to follow that path is aware of the positive and negative points of that choice. 


We have heard many times that you should dream high in order to achieve your goals and that is very true, I have told before the story my father use to tell me of the boy who would be seen everyday trowing rocks to the sky, the other kids would pass and mock him and asking why was he doing that.
His answer,  "I'm trowing rocks on the moon", would make all the kids laugh, but he ignored that.
One day one of his friend asked him why he keep saying that he was trowing rocks on the moon, if he knew that was impossible. 
He said "It may be impossible to trow rocks on the moon, but for sure I'm the kid who can trow rocks the highest on the street"
The message is:


aim low and that is as far as you will get, now aim hight and even if you don't get there, you will at least get as far as you are capable of.


felipe costa

That story my father told me when I was young, helped me a lot to have a right mindset towards things I wanted to accomplish. 

I call tell you another story of this kind, this one is not as childish, I was having a relax talk with my friend Caio Terra, about competition mindset, being nervous or calm before tournaments etc and he told me one thing that reminded me a lot my father's story, he said that when he enters a fight, he enters thinking of the submission, because even if he doesn't get it, at least he should be ahead of his opponent, enough to win by points. While if he would enter with the intention to win just by point of advantage, if he couldn't accomplish that goal that was so "low", would probably mean defeat. 

The mentality of wanting to become champion is correct and essencial to get there, but some times that alone is not enough, my question is, are you ready to face the possibility of not reaching that goal? If you can not "trow your rock on the moon", will you be happy with where you can reach? Will that full fill your life?


Now let's say you did reach your goal. The prestige of being a world champion is quite illusory... Other than a few extra  likes on FB, what else is there? Thinking that this will take you around the  world is not impossible, but not as glamorous as it seen, it's not easy to stay away from family and it's not a vacation, of course it's fun, but it's not the same as travel on vacation. That goes without saying that most people forget very easily what the older champions accomplished when the new generation start to raise.

Like I said, its not impossible, and I hope the ones who have this dream and are willing to pay the price to get there  succeed, if it's a student of mine I will do the possible and impossible to help, BUT, this person needs to think if he/she will be happy in the worse case scenario, which from what I see is not being the champion he/she dreams of and just teach like any person, but having this as main job. 

Just teaching and leading a group is not a bad perspective at all, in reality I can see that for my own future and may be fun... But will you be happy with that option? 

I Love JiuJitsu LOVE LOVE, I followed this step against my family will and no regrets, but today, Bjj is not a hobby anymore, its a profession and there are days where I dont feel like doing it. ( which I think is normal, but want to make sure you know that, even if now you thinks wont happen to you, it will).
Most important of ALL, it will only work if you are doing it for yourself and not because of what people will think. Expect no recognition from others, very often it will not be as you wish, but if you are doing this for your self, because it's your passion, all the hard work will be compensate and you will feel fully accomplished with your results.

Good luck and count on me! 

Felipe Costa ( Black belt BJJ World Champion)

Felipe Costa 

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Posted by Felipe Costa Aug 29, 2014 Categories: BJJ Caio Terra Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu Motivational