Mixed Martial Arts

Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for the BJJ and Submission Wrestler

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Hey guys, here’s my latest. You can check out the book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Product Description:

There is nothing in the world like grappling! It is primal and in its very essence it is what life is all about; the chase, fun, struggle and survival. It teaches you how to cope with trying situations; teaches you to always search for options and that you can triumph even when the odds are against you.

This combat art puts you on the Quixotic hunt for the real you, the champ lurking inside. It wants you to find that inner beast that allows you to rip off your shirt, look your opponent in the eye and utter those immortal fighting words made famous by Kimbo Slice, “Run it!” And that is the spirit, in which this book was written.

“Tapmonster” was written for that grappler who is looking for an extra edge and alternative approaches to grappling.

In my decade of grappling, I have used many ideas to increase my skills. And since my inspiration has come from many sources, I did not hesitate to include ideas from academic research, other sports and from the ordinary man on the street in this book. I also know that the best way to learn is from those who do it the best. That is why Tapmonster is also filled with ideas from the champions of our sport.

Tapmonster covers:

-How to deal with FNGs
-The Pump Fake
-The Hands Off Approach
-Snatching and Tripping
-Ambidextrous Thinking
-Shaquille O’Neal and Grappling
-The Importance of Gimmicks
-Belt Chasing
-Grappling Finance
-How the movie Money Ball can help your grappling
-ADCC and BJJ World Champ, Robert Drysdale’s key to training
-What Felipe Costa (BJJ World Champion) says about getting good
-How to use the flipped classroom in the grappling environment
-How does Tito Ortiz’s thoughts on MMA relate to grappling?
-The Power of Love and Hate in Grappling
-What can Arnold Schwarzenegger do for your grappling game?
-What’s the secret behind BJJ World Champ, JT Torres’s smile?
-What made Eddie Bravo so confident that he would whisper, “Are you ready?” into an opponent’s ear?

And much more, so much more! ;-)

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Fitocracy – Joined the Party

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I joined the party. A few months ago, I read Julie Johansen’s blog and she was raving about Fitocracy and I think her lineage to it is through Slideyfoot. Anyway, I requested an invite and they finally got back to me a couple of weeks ago. As my fire had dwindled waiting for the invite, it took me a couple of days to sign up.

Why did I wait????

Fitocracy is awesome. It takes the ridiculous social cues and reward systems that we respond to (fall for) and link them to exercise. In other words, gains that you may not see for days, months or a year are immediately ascribed to your profile as soon as you log your workouts. Of course I am not talking about fat loss, muscle built or an increase in endurance. I am talking about points, rewards, fist bumps, stuff like that. People can also give you props, follow you and comment on your workouts (it’s a social media network too.)

It may sound silly, but the first night when I signed up, I got up and exercised just because I wanted to post to the board. I also have been motivated to exercise even when I was mentally drained. I have even been doing things like walking around my campus and going up and down flights of stairs (while at work) because I want to see those points build and increase my level. (It’s easier to increase in rank than BJJ. Well, that probably goes for anything…cough, cough!)

But anyway, you get my drift.

I joined the Red Bull Challenge yesterday and it starts tomorrow. It is a three week challenge and they will have scoreboards, leaders, ranks and points will be given out. They will also be giving away free trips to CA and prizes. I didn’t join for the prizes or trip (loser talk), I just want to see what I can do for three weeks and see if I can get on that scoreboard and gain a little rank.

Now to be fair, it isn’t all gravy. One guy, who was a leader in some category a week or so ago, exercise routine seemed highly questionable and if I saw him in the street I would ask him about it, but I never will so I won’t get the chance. However, most people seem to be on the up and up for recording their workouts and ultimately it is for your own personal gain. Other than that, I would say it is one of the best motivational tools out there.

Now if they would just create Dietocracy. :)

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

MUSCLE – The Beginning (Sample) Rated PG -13 for violence, profanity and adult situations

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Hey guys, this is the prequel to my MUSCLE Firm Short Story Series, a quick, fast paced, action adventure comedy. If you like it, pass this link to everyone you think would like it. Thanks!!!

© Copyright 2011 Bakari R. Akil II, Ph.D.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written, dated and signed permission from the author.

Manufactured in the United States of America


To people who love excitement and adventure!

Other books in The MUSCLE Firm Series

MUSCLE – The Case of Cheating Security Guard


11:30 PM

“He’s here,” were the words Muscle heard through his earpiece. As he peered from his encampment behind the bushes, sure enough, the man in question was walking toward the house. His pace was deliberate and he looked intense. This guy was nothing but trouble.

“The nerve of this dude! Balls of steel,” said Bell, who was positioned in the Blue Ford Edge with tinted windows, two houses down. The man they were watching had the look of a person that felt he belonged, and he acted as if he owned the place. But that was far from the truth.

Yes, he once owned the house, six months ago. But now his ex-wife inhabited the home with their two small children and occasionally, her new boyfriend or what some single mothers refer to as a “a friend” or “your uncle.” No matter who was seeing whom now, the client was inside and that is why Muscle and Bell were here.

The man walked past the long row of bushes where Muscle crouched and headed for the huge front window that occupied the center of the house. He knelt down and tried to look through the brown plantation shutters that were meant to keep outsiders from peering in and not suited for the aims of ‘peeping Toms.’

It was time to move!

Bell had already left the car and began heading to the house. Muscle stood up and left his vantage point from behind the bushes.

They approached the kneeling man from the side as he strained to see through the glass. Dressed in black pants, a black hooded sweatshirt and dark boots; something about the way he acted signaled deadly intent.

“John Wilkerson!” shouted Muscle.

Wilkerson tried to jump up, but as he rose, Muscle kicked the back of his leg between his thigh and calf. His head hit the wall as he crashed back to his knees. Wilkerson was quick though. Unfazed, he pushed away from the house and rolled backwards on the ground until he was able to jump to his feet.

“Awesome!” was all Muscle could think as he watched the stalker perform his acrobatics. He snapped back to reality when he saw the absolute look of calm in the guy’s eyes. Wilkerson took a step toward Muscle when, out of nowhere, a loud whistle rang out behind him. He stopped in his tracks and quickly spun to his left so he could keep an eye on Muscle and whoever whistled at him from behind.

It didn’t matter though. Bell was already in the air and had a big smile on his face. He used a body scissor kick to bring Wilkerson down to his back. In an instant, the two…

MUSCLE – The Beginning can be found on Amazon. MUSCLE – The Case of Cheating Security Guard, the next story in The MUSCLE Firm Series is also available.

For my readers at Jiujitsu365, if you like this story, please leave a review at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or iTunes if you purchase it.



Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Times Up – Back to Academia

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Check out my books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling  and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!

The new semester begins next Monday. All week I have been attending college wide, departmental and discipline related meetings and preparing my curriculum for my students. My BJJ lifestyle of the summer has already been affected.

Yes, I am ready to teach and head back to the classroom but I will miss my Summer of BJJ. This time I really stuck to my statements and attended, on average, three classes per week. (I initially tried going five times a week but hurt my back on the fourth day of the first week and decided maybe three times a week would be best.) I learned many things over the summer but I think the most important thing I learned was to stop holding back.

I don’t mean being a ‘douche’ to my fellow grappling buddies when rolling by being over-aggressive. What I mean is that I learned that I need to use my skills and make my opponents actually work to achieve a position or submission and not just give it to them. I had a tendency to be a back and forth player. After I dominated a position for a while I would let my rolling buddy back into the game and let them work. A lot of this would be to my detriment when I faced equal or higher level players. I realized that most, if not all, did not have the same mindset (and no one told me they should) and I always paid for my approach.

After a particularly bad day this summer where I played this game and ‘got’ crushed I decided to bring it, yeah I said bring it, to every class. I started using my A game and stopped working my B and C games because I wasn’t getting any better at them. I decided to work off of my strengths and become well rounded in my weaknesses when the moments presented themselves (as they always do). After about a week of this I had an eye-opening conversation. A white belt who had a little experience under his belt told me that my game had really changed as of late. He told me he was “unable to stop” me and then he said these words,

“where we had almost been equal before.”

I was flabbergasted. He’s a nice guy and meant no harm by his words but to me it was a shot in the gut. I thought when I was rolling with people and I let them work their games or didn’t always submit them that they knew I was doing it on purpose. I didn’t think they thought I was just not really all that tough (not saying he said that). I thought about all the times I had tried to be fair and ended up fighting for my life in a roll because of it. I realized that a lot of people thought I was really putting my all into it so they put their all in it.

My wife had been saying for a couple of years that people don’t know I am going easy on them, but I figured they had to know. I stood corrected.

As a result I stopped playing that game. If I have the tap I take it. If I have the position I keep it. I am not malicious but I am on a mission.

As my epiphany gained strength I realized that upper belts who doggedly pursue submissions are upper belts because they doggedly go after submissions. They maintain positions and they pursue the taps until they get them. They don’t give up positions to make their partners feel better.

My game has improved as a result and I have improved as a grappler. I still have a lot of balancing to do but I believe I am on the right path.

Summer of Jiu-Jitsu – (Now that’s what’s up!)

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Check out my other blog: Psychology of Jiu-Jitsu

From mid-January through through April I was able to attend one class per week (plus two extra during spring break). So I racked up 16 visits in four months. I had a very busy schedule this semester (lecturing, meetings, committees, writing, research, etc.,) but my goal was to maintain a presence and I figured once a week would keep me honest and let people at my new school know that I am serious about BJJ.

The past three weeks I have been attending twice a week and hopefully this week I can up attendance to three or more times a week. I have the next 3 1/2 months off so you know what that means.

The SUMMER of JIU-JITSU has officially begun.

I am really enjoying training at my new academy. The majority of guys and gals that I train with are purple and brown belts. There are also a smattering of Blues and a couple of senior level white belts that swing through every now and then. I also get to roll with a couple of Black Belts periodically.

What does this mean for my game? Well, it feels as if I am having a private session every time I grapple with someone. These guys are immediately able to point out an issue in my game and then give me options (not an option) on how I can correct it. It is funny too that day to day it is difficult to see progression, but I had an epiphany the other day. I remembered when as a blue belt I had an extremely hard time passing other blue belt’s guards. Yet now I am able to regularly pass Purple belt’s guards and sometimes Brown belt’s guards and passing Blue belt’s guard is no longer an issue. I could not have done that a year ago.

The guys at my new academy regularly tool me (that didn’t sound right) but at the same time I know I am improving. It is difficult for me to gauge my progress against White belts because I hold back and let them work their game. With the big belts it’s the opposite (even though I know they let me work my game a little as well).

Anyway, I am looking to put a lot of time in this summer.


Check out my latest book, A Vampire on the Mat at AmazonBarnes & Nobles or Smashwords 


My books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling  and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling

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A lazy mans way of coping with hard-charging grappling environments.

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

With The Lazy Man’s Guide to GrapplingI decided to look at grappling from a humorous point of view. This book is  semi-autobiographical and all too real look at what goes on behind the scenes in the grappling world. I discussed the underbelly of grappling environments that exist but no one ever really talks about.

I started grappling in my 20s and in my 30s I am still going strong, but throughout my experience I have had to deal with many issues that affected my ability and desire to continue grappling. The loss of flexibility, weight gain, aging in general, injuries, humiliation on the mat, 30 minute warm-ups, over aggressive newbies, issues with claustrophobia caused by grappling and sometimes the feeling that I was a victim in a snuff film have all played a role in my level of motivation in my grappling career.

I’ve developed a number of coping strategies and have observed other people’s coping strategies and I share them in this book. It’s a light-hearted take on issues rarely discussed in the grappling community and I felt if someone had to pull up the mats and see what was under them, then it might as well be me. In the book I discussed:

Lazy Man Takedowns

The Truth about Warmups

Magic Funk Taps

Credit Vision

Superhero Taps

Blue Belt Heaven

Injured Grapplers’ Psyche Out Methods

and more.

I had fun writing it and found myself laughing at my own thoughts quite often. So if you are interested in a fun and entertaining read on the art and sport that we all enjoy, check out The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling.

Bakari – aka Jiujitsu365

Oh yeah, I also wrote Grappling for Newbies but I  never officially plugged it on this blog. Check it out too!

What every new BJJ and Submission Grappler should know!

BJJ Car Magnets, Bumper stickers, Etc….

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Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

As most of you know, I have been practicing BJJ since 2004. I have always felt an affinity to the art/sport that I have never fully been able to explain. I am proud of my BJJ training and I like to spread the ‘gospel’ whenever I can. At the same time I am not a particularly flamboyant type of person so I do it in casual ways.

For a few years I have looked for different products that could let me demonstrate my love of BJJ. I’ve traveled the t-shirt, beanie and other accessories route, but I’ve always needed something a little more lasting. Well, earlier this year, I started working with a graphic designer and a printing company and came up with a more permanent solution to representing the BJJ lifestyle. I created a new line of BJJ car magnets and had them professionally designed and manufactured.

For the past few months, I have been keeping them under wraps and enjoying the use of them, but I realized that other people may wish to ‘represent’ their love of BJJ as well. I enjoy seeing them every time I walk up to my car.

I have placed two of the designs on e-bay if anyone is interested. Since I opened a new account I had to use the auction format. Once I sell a few on their site I can offer it at a fixed price.


Bakari (Jiujitsu365)

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Check out my new books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!

Well look who decided to show up!

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I finally returned after a month layoff. That is the longest voluntary lay-off I’ve had since I began in 2004. I can’t explain it well, but I just lost motivation to train. I know people who follow the blog will probably say, “I’d probably lose motivation too if I had been slammed on my face and knocked out.” However, that wasn’t the reason. At least it wasn’t a conscious reason.

Even though I don’t teach during the summer and had ample time available, I found it harder and harder to go to BJJ class. On some occasions I began wrestling with my psyche the night before to cajole and convince myself I needed to go. So I just decided to wait until I returned to work.

When I arrived I stretched a bit and Joe invited me to join his group to work on the technique they were reviewing. The first technique was a side control escape which led to guard and the second was a side control escape which led to a reversal and sweep.

After this we rolled. I first rolled with Art. Art is another guy who trains 5 times a week and each time I roll with him his skill level has just about doubled. He played butterfly guard and has picked up the technique of disrupting your balance (when your on your knees) by using his foot to push your knee from under you. We rolled to a stalemate and traded positions back and forth, but once I was able to mount him by jumping over his butterfly guard from a kneeling position. He topped that by sending me airborne with some sort of bridge.

After that, Carlos (brown belt instructor), had us go through some competition rounds.

I was paired up with a guy who was a former wrestler and coach. He is not that tall (5’6 or 7) but he weighs 216 pounds. I baited him with my Judo stance, which is naturally upright, and when he went for the shot I sprawled and was able to jump on to his back. He was extremely hard to control and when I tried to sink in a rear naked choke I couldn’t because he doesn’t have a neck (that’s visible). I find a lot of the wrestling guys hard to choke this way. He powered his way out of my back control and he ended up in my guard. I was able to reverse him but when I landed on top he was breathing so hard I had to ask him if he was okay. He shook his head no and tapped out.

Finally, I rolled with Josh. I think Josh trains more MMA than BJJ and I also think he has a wrestling background. He is about 6ft, at least 215 and has a body builders build. I adopted my upright stance and Carlos told me I was “too high.” When Josh went for the shot I sprawled and was able to jump on his back. I couldn’t sink in my hooks because he shucked me off. I felt like a Professional Bull Rider on Versus. We both stood up and repeated the same scenario. After that I stayed on my knees and when he stood up I ankled picked him with one hand and pushed him down with the other. From there we went back and forth but he ended up outpointing me. He is very good at transitioning from side control to mount.

I was exhausted but it was an excellent roll and excellent class.

BJPenn.com – Now This is a Website (Blog)!

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Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.


I have to admit I love the BJPenn website. The concept is simple but it is fascinating: Follow BJPenn around doing the most mundane stuff in preparation for his fights and media events. The beauty of it is that his life is crammed with the things we BJJers love and that is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, with a fair amount of MMA.

You get to watch; him run his BJJ academy; see how MMA guys train (like Albert “Always Bad Manners”); fights from what used to be his brother’s promotions; gallons of personalized instruction; training techniques; matches of the day and the list goes on. When I first started visiting the site I was surprised at how much content it provided. It also has the Hawaiian vibe that makes it seem like your taking a mini-vacation in BJJ paradise.

I even thought about what it would be like if I created a website chronicling my life as a professor. You could watch as I read books, perform research, lecture to my classes and try to avoid faculty gossip in the halls. I teach about 75 students a day and deal with a number of staff and faculty so you truly never know what crazy thing they may say or sometimes do. But BJ Penn can seriously say that he is pound for pound one of the best fighters ever and no one would blink.  I could make that claim of being the best pound for pound professor but we all know that’s crap (I am very professional and competent though). I may be in the top 100 if you throw in BJJ, although I may be starting something there too.

Anyway, it’s an awesome website and I figure this is the least I can do since I visit it so much and it’s free. But, I also love King of the Cage so I don’t know if you can trust my judgment.