The Yellow Card

Here is an interesting training strategy that I came up with some time ago. I call it the ‘Yellow Card’. When a student is Yellow-carded, they can no longer go for any submissions during the wrestle; in fact, they need to give their opponent opportunities to win. This has several effects, the first being the obvious: the less-skilled student (of the pair) gets to feel what it’s like to get good position and attack someone who would perhaps more usually, be dominating them. But the real benefit goes to the student who is Yellow-carded; he or she becomes freed up to ‘relax’ and ‘observe’ during the roll; and in doing so, open themselves to working aspects and areas of their game that may otherwise be ignored. There is a lot to be gained by ‘kicking back’ and playing a less aggressive/competitive game whilst grappling; we see things we would not normally see, try things we would not normally try – we explore, discover and spend time in positions that usually we would prefer not to be in. The Yellow Card strategy gives us permission to do just this.


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