Position, Position, Position!

The evenings lesson(s) was a continuation of the basics covered with respect to positional control when you’re in the cross body on your opponent. Tonight with this posting, i scarcely know where to begin…
Ok, to start off it was the Professor’s birthday today and to be fair it felt like the academy was treated to a lot of gifts with respect to the content that was passed on from professor to student(s).
The class started with the normal address from the Professor, explaining about the few available spaces on the forthcoming Royler Gracie Seminar on May 28th, potential graduations for the some of the talented white belts, blues, purples, etc… and a hint of excitement with regards to what he was going to share with us tonight.
The warm up was a nice blend of gentle runs, side stepping, backward running, which then lead into self defence drills namely,
1) A drill to test posture when someone is pushing you.
2) A drill to execute a wrist lock (Can also break fingers), when someone places their hand on your chest.
3) A drill to execute another variation of the wrist lock, if they grab your clothing and make a fist.
4) A drill to execute a further variation which involves performing an arm lock if they grab clothing.
5) A drill to execute an escape when someone grabs you from behind and wraps both your arms behind your back.
Then we went into the lesson, firstly doing a recap of the basic positions of positional side/cross body control. We drilled this a few times with a partner, then the avalanche came!
We explored 5 potential positions with additional details thrown in between to again get us thinking; especially about the mind set of what to expect if you have to control a person who doesn’t know jiu-jitsu and that they maybe carrying a concealed weapon or if they did know some jiu-jitsu. The professor makes it a habit to check knowledge when we are thinking about these different positions, in particular about the connections we make, making sure we are aware about other dangers, being able to disengage from them and of course positioning yourself to prevent them from being comfortable and you being able to strike them!
So the first position was explaining what to do if the person on the bottom attempts to put you back in the guard, via some sort of push towards their legs. This involved a re-adjustment of the leg position on the side of the person at the bottom and us maintaining a grip on the opposite side of them on their shoulder.
The second position explained what to do if they try to attempt an elbow escape, this proved to be quite an ingenious counter. Involving a connection to the leg that’s attempting the elbow escape with the top person, being in a position to control the leg and prevent further elbow escapes whilst maintain close control of there hips.
The third position from the previous position is in response to the bottom person attempting to counter by framing up against you on top. To get around this involved another positional adjustment that moved away from their hips and on to their shoulder. Doing this neutralised their ability to work with the frame and again still made it very difficult for them to move out from underneath you.
The last two positions were briefly touched on with more detail promised in the next lesson, all the previous positions were drilled and questions were asked at different stages, some really good questions which makes the whole learning experience at the academy an absolute joy because it triggers lots of other thoughts and also makes the experience hyper immersive! Most of the questions were around size differences between people.
The penultimate position was one to use if for what ever reason you were late with a position change or transition, or perhaps they were able to get on their side to mount their defence of the situation. This position is a way of making an adjustment so that you end up on the other side of the person on the bottom, with the same basic connections of control. This position required use of the knee and arm connecting with them to make this transition fluid from start to finish.
The final position of the evening is another option of regaining full control, but this variation is especially adept for opponents larger than yourself. The mechanics are essentially the same but more emphasis was on use of the elbow.
At this point, there was a closing discussion from the professor about jiu-jitsu, mindset, the intelligence of it, self-defence aspects, truly mind blowing detail and there was so much more he has to teach us. On that note we closed off the lessons for the evening to make way for sparring.
My thoughts… I had to finish the class and run straight to my note pad to take stock of the evenings information overload, i was helped by one of the other academy sisters and as i write this i just remembered another detail of a potential submission from one of the positions! Definitely one of the best evenings I’ve had at the academy and I know there’s plenty more to come. I managed to get a sparring session with the professor and he proceeded to give a demonstration on me of all the positions we worked on for the evening, plus the customary submissions in between.
On that note, it’s time to “Tap out!”
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