Busy, busy, busy.

Whew! I haven’t written in quite a while. My job has been crazy, so I haven’t had much time for a lot of things. But, I was thinking about this blog over this past week and thought I should pop-in and write, especially considering how different everything is now since the last time I wrote.

I was promoted to brown belt earlier this year and am about to start teaching regularly in the academy. Jacob got promoted to purple and has an affinity for leg locks now. The academy is growing, especially with the influx of 7,000 freshmen at Virginia Tech this year. So far, this year has been busy, busy, busy. In one word. It’s been insane. I wanted to compete in some tournaments this past year, but have been unable to. I was planning on going to the IBJJF tournament in northern Virginia, but a business trip that I was notified to a month out ended up being scheduled for that exact weekend.

Anyway, I’m not just writing to talk about myself. I, hopefully, have some concepts and interesting ideas to share, which popped into my mind the other night when I was helping a white belt. He was asking about escaping submissions, and to put it simply, escaping submissions is easy.

Now, when someone’s attacks are very good, that might seem like a ridiculous statement. If you’re a white belt rolling with a black belt, escaping seems practically impossible. But, when looking at the situation objectively, the attacker has to do multiple things right in order to secure a choke or joint lock of some sort. They must only fail at one of the steps required for a submission in order to fail.

This is why I believe most submissions, when someone is teaching them, can be deemed as a high percentage technique or not right off the bat. Does the submission require that you have multiple steps done correctly? If so, the probability of you failing at one of those points is higher.

Case and point, let’s look at the rear naked choke. What do you need for an effective mata leão?  You need your arm under their chin and secured so that they can’t peel it off, and that’s it. You don’t really need back control of any sort to finish it. You don’t need hooks. Your arm around their neck, in the correct orientation, is all you need. It’s a high percentage, effective technique. Now, when compared to the triangle, which I do use and is effective as well, you need several more things. You need one of their arms in, and one out. You need to have their posture broken. You need to have your hips under their neck and you need to be able to touch your foot to your knee so that you can lock up the triangle fully. That’s a lot of steps.

When thinking about it that way, and when you know those steps, escaping becomes much easier. Pick one of those steps and stop it from happening. I posture up as you through your triangle? Well, then I’m getting out. I position myself so that you don’t have your hips under my neck and can’t get your foot to your knee? Then I’m getting out. I fight your hands so that you can’t sink your arm around for a rear naked choke? Then I’m safe.

Thinking of it in those terms, the task for the attacker is much greater than that of the defender. Have a good one!



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