Saturday, January 16, 2010

Right Tool for the Right Job

Today, we worked on escaping side control. Very convenient since I just had a private on keeping side control!

The important thing Ben tried to get across was that each escape needs to be performed at the proper time. If someone has high side control, don't try to pull an escape designed for getting out of low side control. Know which tools are the right ones for the job. Don't try to use a hammer when what you really need is a screwdriver. Here's a bare bones breakdown of the techniques he went over.

Standard Side Control Escape

Here, your opponent is not able to fully control either your hips or your arms. The goal should be to get your elbow and knee in and create a barrier. Make space. From there, you can either go to butterfly guard or try to get back to full guard or you can swim the outside underarm, bring your legs out so you're on your stomach and pop up to both knees. Drive forward, keeping pressure on the legs and bringing your hips over their knees. Establish side control.

High Side Control Escape

The person who has high side control has a firm grasp on the arms and upper torso, but he's weak in two places. One, the legs and hips are free to move. And, two, his weight is committed over the center line of the person's body and they are easier to sweep. We focused on learning one sweep you can use to take advantage of that. Basically, you do a thumbs down escape. To make it easier, shrink down a little first to clear your head from their elbow. When you're going around, bring the arm you roll over around to block the legs so they can't follow you and take your back. After you roll, drive forward the same way you did for the escape from standard side control.

Low Side Control Escape

From low side control, again, they have half of the body locked up while the other is free to move. Also, they have their weight committed to one area. To escape, trap the inside leg with your leg, trap the arm at the elbow, bridge over your shoulder and roll them. Make sure you keep your inside leg tight during the roll so they can't get their legs around.

The basic ideas I took away from both this class and my private lesson are: All escapes depend on what the other person is doing. They can’t defend all positions at all times. Keep an eye out for where you can move and where they are off balance. Don’t muscle. Be calm and focus on finding a hole and making space or catching a sweep. Conversely, if you are the one applying side control, anticipate where they will try to escape and move accordingly. Don't be stagnant in any position for a long time.

Slowly but surely, I'm starting to see a little evidence of all this focus on side control in grappling. What I really need to do is be able to move between positions better. Not just between different types of side control, but from side control to north south and back to side control, etc. In time, right? :)