Sunday, June 01, 2008

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Caressing the Concrete

Nowadays, most of us train with the aid of some kind of protective gear or another. With regard to grappling - most of us have the luxury of training on mats. This luxury brings with it, some real benefits – but along with those obvious benefits, come a few challenges – the most obvious of which, is the fact that some techniques and training methods evolve around dependency on the mat.
Hitting a good ‘double leg takedown’ for example, requires a ‘penetration step’, folding of the knee to the ground and then the follow-through or ‘finish’. In following mainstream wrestling-based training models for this technique, we come across certain problems when we take the practice out onto a concrete (real world) arena. These problems, are in fact, quite readily solvable – my point though is that they don’t ‘get solved’ unless we ‘need’ to solve them – and so running the technique through a ‘real world’ filter, can be a useful and informative experience.
As far as the example of the double leg is concerned, for those whose curiosity has been aroused – here is something to consider:
As we ‘level change’, ‘step in’ and connect to our opponent for the leg shoot, we need to seriously ‘lean’ into him (like a drunk sliding down a wall – excuse the imagery) as we fold our knee to the ground. This way, we are in full control of how hard our knee ‘hits the deck’. In fact, it makes for a better takedown anyway – because we maintain good ‘stick-ability’, which makes it far less likely the opponent will be able to disengage or sprawl as we complete the shot. This ‘leaning into the opponent’ also saves ‘old knees’ from the extra wear and tear that thumping them into the ground promises.
In fact, this very weekend just past, while teaching over in Perth (Western Australia), I had the whole class leave the mat for a bit and head out onto the concrete to emphasize this very idea. Within minutes, the knee-pounding phase of the low double had been radically modified – and on taking it back onto the mat, everyone experienced a better technical result to boot.
Try this ‘simple fix’ for the ‘off-the-mat low double’ – have that knee caress the concrete – you’ll be happier for it.
Train well,
JBW

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2 Comments

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Good day,

I have just discovered your blog and the truth is that I have liked it a lot. From this moment you already have a link in mine, and I wait for some visit of yours of time in when, with mine you can already recount.

An embrace and until soon
Regards

JORDI

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Hello all,

Had the pleasure of 'caressing the concrete' on the weekend with John and the attendees of the seminar in Perth. It is great to be given such excellent memory 'hooks' to remember important ideas and themes. Thanks you very much John and Troy for the opportunity to attend. Chris

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