Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Still a Newb

Because I've been focusing on strengthening my escapes from bad positions, I went into class last night intending to ask Ben about side control escapes. Funny enough, that was the focus of the class for the night. Love it when things work out that way.

For some reason, I always forget everything except the basic side control escape. You know, the one where you get your elbow in, hip out and get your knee in and create a barrier and work out from there. I had intended to ask Ben about other side control escapes because that on wasn't getting the job done for me all the time, especially against bigger opponents. Last night, I realized why it wasn't working. I had been doing that basic escape wrong this entire time.

It's not that I haven't been taught how to do it correctly before. I have even drilled it correctly before. Many, many times. For some reason, though, the concept of WHY the move should work had eluded my memory until last night.

When you're doing this escape, you start out in side control, with their knee under your shoulder, their arm under your neck, isolating one arm. Your goal should always be to get that elbow in, if for no other reason than the fact tht your arm is vulnerable to attack while it's isolated like that. But also, you want to get your elbow in to create a block to keep the person from getting any closer. In the same way, you want your other arm across their chest, under their neck, with one thumb in their lapel to create yet another block. You're trying to make space. You want to get to your side, hipping out and bringing your knee up to your elbow to create a barrier.

Here's what I was doing wrong: I was using my arms to try to push the person back and off of me. I weigh 133 lbs. Most of the people I grapple weigh significantly more than that. I'm not going to be able to push them off of me.

What I was supposed to be doing was simply using my arms as a barrier while I hip out and move MY OWN BODY away from them, getting my knee in to create more space. The space comes from me moving my body, and using my arms as a barricade to keep them from following.

As I experienced last night, this works much better. lol.

We worked several side control escapes last night, all of which I've seen before but have not really incorporated into my game. I came away from class feeling a little stupid. I've been doing this for seven months and I still wasn't doing a basic side control escape correctly? I knew that stuff. Why wasn't I remembering it? I guess it just goes to show that I am still a newb and that I have a LOOOOOOOOONG way to go.

I'm ok with that. I'm glad that I am seeing errors so that I can work toward fixing them. I need to pack up my pride and put it back on the shelf, to be used at a later date when I can actually back it up with correct technique!! ;)


Dev said...

By realizing that it's not about you moving the other person, it's about HOLDING them in place while you move around them, you're at a point now where most people don't get to until they're at least a junior blue belt, IMHO. If you can keep that concept fresh in your mind, you're going to skyrocket in your technique.

Liam H Wandi said...

Yep. You've just hit a grappling-break-thru point. Congrats Allie. This concept will show it's head in everything you do from now on. Don't think that you were stupid, but that the veil has now been lifted.

You'll soon be able to escape from bad positions better, take the back better, sweep better, pull off armbars better...etc.

You're awareness just jumped a couple of notches :)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks guys. I hope I can make my feeble brain remember this concept AND be able to apply it in other places as well. I think if I can, it will especially give me a breakthrough in grappling bigger people. I kind of understand the idea, but I don't really know how to implement it with any consistency yet. In time, I hope! :)

Georgette said...

Ditto what Dev and Liam said, for sure. Moving yourself vs. moving the other person is an omnipresent element in a lot of jits (especially for us smaller peeps.) You'll use this a lot.

If this makes you feel any better: last night I realized I've been using the wrong pass against scissor guard for... a year and a half! and it's not like I hadn't seen the right one... it's just that the wrong one was successful maybe 2-3 times out of 10, so I thought I just wasn't good enough at it yet. I kept forcing a square peg into a round hole.