Fundamentals

jthomas1600

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This sub forum seems to get no traffic/action which is too bad. It's a good topic and so many arts have at least some grappling as part of their system.

So maybe we can have a discussion on some of the fundamentals. This is somewhat self serving as I'm pretty much a beginner and hoping to learn a few things. Maybe people can come to this thread and just take about some fundamental concepts that when they clicked it made a significant difference in their game.

Like I said. I'm pretty much a beginner. I had taken about a year and a half of bjj about 6 years ago...then nothing...then started again recently. With that little time to begin with and that long of a lay off it was practically like I had never grappled before.

So I went to the first couple class, kept getting pulled into the guard, and kept getting my arms completely tangled/trapped and got swept continually. After a few classes I decided I really need to to find one or two things my instructor was telling me and focus on those. They ended up being "your hands belong on your opponent, not that mat" and "don't let your elbow get pulled past the center line". The first class I went to focusing on those two things...it was like a night and day difference. At least I could maintain my base long enough now to evaluate the situation and attempt some passes. At least I could slow my opponents offensive onslaught down enough to learn from what he was trying to do.

Now I'm trying to pick up one or two fundamentals for maintaining side control. I keep getting pulled back into half guard.
 

Steve

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I can offer a couple of tips for side control... I'll stick to two. :) I'll also stick to concepts over techniques, because you'll do better asking about the specifics when you're at class.

First, control the head. Think shoulder pressure. Your opponent's face should be looking away from you. If he can't turn his head into you, he won't be able to get up on his side. There are a billion ways to do this, but in general, think about turning his head.


Second, block the hip. In general, keep your own hips low. He's going to be trying to get up on his hip and bringing one of his knees (usually his bottom knee) inside to create space and return to guard or half guard. So, the key is to block his hip so that he can't bring his knee in between you and him. You can do this with your own knee, keeping it "pinned" to his hip. Or if he's really squirmy, you can block it with your arm.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. :)
 
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jthomas1600

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You nailed it with the hip control. I'm not blocking it as soon as I get to side control and then when my opponent starts fishing for my leg to get me in half guard I react poorly and start trying to move my leg away from his, push myself away, and fight with his leg instead of just flattening him on the mat and controlling that hip. Thanks for your input.
 

Steve

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It's the opposite of what you think you should do. :) Just imagine your knee is superglued to his hip. If you drop the head side knee back, you'll be heavier, but you're limiting your mobility. In general, control the position with the hip side knee up and the head side leg extended to help you drop your hips. Then, when you've secured position, bring that head side knee up and isolate his arm. You get his arm trapped between your thigh and body and you can do all sorts of fun things.

If you feel like you're losing position, don't be afraid to move to another. You can turn your leg under for a scarf hold, rotate to north/south, or use the opportunity to slide your knee over to mount.
 
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