Connecting Positions In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu : The Flow
Learn how to Move From One Position to the Next
Hey Jiu Jitsuieros! (someone should spell check that for us…)
Coach Drew and Coach Tim here to bring you the second to last newsletter of 2014! This year seems to have flown by, so take a second to look back over the whole year and admire all of the progress we’ve made! Don’t go patting yourself on the back just yet (that’s what next month is for :]), we’ve got a lot more training to do to close out the year. Over the last few months (okay, it’s all of the months), we’ve been talking about applying torque, removing slack, and using rotational force from different positions. We have covered staying in mount, maintaining back control, and even part of the stand-up game, but an important concept to consider as you think about your Jiu Jitsu is how all of these concepts can be used to connect positions. Linking positions results in that “flowy” nature of Jiu Jitsu. You might even call it dynamic. Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at how to link positions from the closed guard. Despite it being “old school Jiu Jitsu,” linking attacks from the closed guard is a great place to start to try to get your game to flow. Let’s take a second to think about the role of torque, slack, and rotation when we’re linking attacks from guard.
Start Your Flow:
When you’re attacking from guard with the triangle, you typically start directly in front of your opponent. As you break down your opponent’s posture (e.g., grabbing their head, climbing their collar, etc.) you should be thinking about biding your time until you feel comfortable enough to hip extend to the high guard. Hip extending up to your opponent’s shoulders, will allow you to pull your opponent in effectively with your legs. Getting to the shoulders requires extension, so breaking them down will require flexion- the opposite of extension. Here is where the dynamics come in: Your opponent isn’t just going to let you triangle them, they are going to try to hip extend back into you to fight the flexion of your legs. What do we do when our opponent presses into us? Why, we rotate around them!
Rotate to Avoid Pressure:
Find yourself in an uncomfortable position? Rotation is the perfect way to avoid being pressed away. When our friends on the other side of the red line have a fist or a kick coming at them, they don’t stop it by walking into it, right? (Actually, if you come to Coach Domo’s class on Saturdays you might see Coach Andrew trying to do this… Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well…) No, they rotate away from the attack! When our backs are to the ground we can use the same tactic. Fighting a press from the arms or the hips? Rotate around! Now, we’d be foolish to assume that we can just scurry around to our opponent’s back. So instead, we use our rotation to set up another leg press/hip extension: the omoplata.
Find Your Flow:
As we rotate to avoid our opponent’s extension, we can circle our leg over our opponent’s shoulder to create torque, and further wrench that torque by leg pressing our feet in front of their face and hip extending forwards. To release the torque and reintroduce some slack into the system, our opponent has the option of rolling with the shoulder rotation, or trying to sit back up and again fight our force. To adequately sit back up, our opponent is required to straighten their arm (an artifact of the omaplata), and square up to us to regain posture. As they try to remove the rotation we created by squaring up, themselves following our rotation, we can use this opportunity to recapture their head and shoulders with our hands and legs and restart the triangle attack.
Try What Works:
You can keep going through this sequence until your opponent gives you the sweep or the submission. Remember, though the techniques are a result of the principles we’re applying. Whoever said you should fight fire with fire was wrong; the best way to fight fire, is with water! …Maybe with milk if it’s a grease fire, but fire is definitely not the answer! In the same vein, don’t just push back when your opponent pushes you, go around them and choke them!
If this all sounds pretty easy, GREAT! It means you’ve been paying attention :] Still, feeling out the timing, getting your body used to the movements, and removing all of the slack may take some practice, but remember: when in doubt, taking out the slack will likely solve a majority of your problems.
When you’re rolling this month, try starting to link together some positions. As you transition between techniques, focus on reintroducing only enough slack to allow yourself to move and snatching it right back out when you get to the next position. Happy training this month bots! Let’s end the year strong!
-Coach Drew & Coach T