Wednesday, June 5, 2013


When I teach I often use the power of recognition to reinforce and introduce concepts/techniques in relation to ideas that my students are already familiar with. For example foreplay. Yes, I said it, and you are more than likely rolling around with another half naked sweaty man, but just listen for a minute. At the higher levels of grappling, far more than just technique or conditioning is required. Grapplers require a series (or path of events) to "setup" a sweep, submission or throw. In order to accomplish this you need to keep your opponent in a state of comfort or discomfort. If this theory is a little abstract for you, lets take a look at an art that I hold dear to my heart - Jeet Kune Do.

One of the main principles developed by Bruce Lee for JKD is his concept of the 5 ways of attack. Now it's not necessary for me to detail all of them, but I would say four out of the five are consistently used in high level grappling with great success. I will leave my theories for another post and I will just concentrate on HIA today. HIA stands for hand immobilization attack, it can also encompass leg, arm and foot if needed. Essentially it's called trapping and it's origins are derived from Chinese Gung Fu and more in particular, Wing Chun. Now some of you may snicker, laugh, or even smirk - do as you please, but what most grapplers don't realize is that you do this virtually every time you step on the mat. When you hand fight for grips or control - you are trapping. When you shift offline in guard and knee shield for an omo or triangle - you are again trapping. Do some flow rolls next time your on the mat and pay close attention to how often you trap in five minutes, I assure you that you will be surprised.

So on to the video. Today we have a beautiful setup of the giftwrap from guard that leads right to the mount and eventually the back position for the RNC. Pay special attention to the technique, the LL player on the bottom traps his opponents arm, in a very similar way that he would when going for a triangle. He passes the wrist to this opposite hand and then shifts off to establish giftwrap control. Watch the video, take notes and play with trapping concept, and more importantly foreplay. The five ways of attack setup your opponent and allow you to establish a path to the finish - which in the end, is your opponent slapping the mat.

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