Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The theme of the month...

...has been HIP.

Recently, I finally got it through my thick skull that I needed to move my hips more to defend against and attack bigger, stronger guys. The more intimidated I was by someone, the more I tried to hold them in my guard, which meant I was limiting my movement and thus killing any small chance I might have had in the beginning. The key there was also staying mobile on one hip or the other, never sitting square towards my opponent or flat on my back.

Last night, I learned something new about hip movement to add to the theme of the month. We've been working a ton of back escapes the last week and last night, we worked a technique to escape when someone has taken your back and flattened you completely out. They've swum both of your arms and are holding your forearms, pressing your body down with their hips.

Not a comfortable position.

Fabio told us that a lot of times people panic when they get in this situation and go wild trying to throw the person off. What usually happens when they do that is that they do not get out and they give up their neck or their arm in the process.

In that situation, your upper body is immobilized. Trying to push yourself up with your arms won't work. It will just expose your neck and arms for submissions. The part of your body that is still free to work is your hips and legs.

Protecting your neck with your hands, turn your hips to the side and use your bottom leg to push their foot up, keeping your hip and thigh glued to the mat. He described the motion as painting the mat with your hip. Make sure you keep your elbows tight during this. If you raise your elbows, you are exposing your arms for an armbar. Also remember to keep protecting your neck the whole time.

From there, you have several options of escape. You can keep pressure with your shoulder, trap their arm (the one they swam and held onto you with in the first place), reach around with the other arm and hold down their collar, turning into them with your hip glued to the mat. Or, when you bring their leg high enough, you can underhook the leg with both of your arms (even if they're still holding onto your arms) and bring the leg up and go underneath and around to their back.

In all of the escapes we worked, the key was hip movement. Once you got the hooks off, a big part of keeping them off was moving your hips in a way that they never came off the mat.

During rolling, I noticed the same principle is true when you're escaping the side control where you are kind of in the fetal position and they're trying to flatten you out or get your neck or get armbar. Escaping that with "the running man" escape, you need to "paint the mat" with your hip to keep them from getting their hooks in and taking your back.

Also, we did a lot of fast paced rolling yesterday. Fabio instructed us to go no-gi--which is rare at our school-- and then told us that, when he called out one minute, we should kick up the speed and move as much as possible. He said not to worry about submissions in the last minute of the roll, but just to move, move, MOVE!! I was exhausted by the end of class, but it was really fun.


SkinnyD said...

The hip theme of the month is a good one. It's making me evaluate my use of hip movement, especially from guard, where I often find myself doing the same thing you describe...panic and hold on for dear life.