Ninja Sweeps by Sophia Drysdale

Want to learn how to seamlessly transition from X-Guard sweep to Ankle Lock? Let Gi World Champion, 4x Pan Am Champion and 2x No Gi World Champion, Sophia Drysdale, show you how!!

Interested in more great techniques from Sophia? We will be adding 4 more of her techniques to our Ninja Secrets Vault this week!

The Rocking Boat

Post written by Arlo Gagestein

I recently attended a seminar with Sophia Drysdale, and as usual I walked away with multiple things I could immediately implement to improve my Jiu-Jitsu game. One thing that stood out was a simple analogy of a rocking boat.


When asked about facing a larger opponent, she made it a point to never end up on the bottom. If, depite your best efforts you do, Sophia likens the defense to a rocking boat. When you are on the bottom, it is essential to move constantly like a rocking boat. By constantly shifting position and adjusting your hips, you never allow your opponent to gain a good base or establish control on you. I know this, and have been taught my entire Jiu-Jitsu journey to never be static, always to move, but I still find myself pinned under the tight side control of larger stronger training partners much too often. I’m not a small man, but routinely train with partners 20-60 lbs. heavier than I am. Is it possible that if the opponent is big enough, strong enough, that regardless of my movement I would still eventually be rendered¬†immobile?

A year ago, I had the pleasure of sparring with Sophia. At 200 lbs., I could not control a woman I outweighed by at least 70 lbs. The thing that stood out the most is that she never stopped moving. I could not keep her still. Whether on the offensive or the defensive, it was exhausting trying to keep up with her. Also, looking back at these photos, it seems like I, the much bigger opponent, spent a LOT more time on the defensive! And while I should be a rocking boat on the bottom, it looks like I’m a flat bottomed boat stuck in the sand on the beach!

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I frequently train with incredible athletes of all size and strength, yet none have kept me scrambling like Sophia Drysdale. It amazes and inspires me how she is constantly moving. She was relentlessly in motion, never allowing me to gain my base. The best I could do was hold on for dear life and hope for the best. She is truly a rocking boat.