I’m still working to become a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu escape artist. This means that in my training, I am spending a lot of time underneath. I’m not fighting too hard to keep guard. I’m not looking to sweep or attack too much either. If I end up on top I usually give away sweeps like they’re the gross pieces of candy that always end up at the bottom of the bag becasue nobody wants to eat them.
My new revelation from this method is this:
Any position is only as strong as the posture that holds it.
My instructor teaches that BJJ is like realestate. The key is location, location, location. So, thinking about that- Who cares how good location is if you just put up poorly built house. In BJJ we want a solid building, not something like what’s pictured above.
One of the distictives of BJJ is the ability to fight from any position. Not only posture from the top, but posture from the bottom.
My posture is the most important aspect of my escapes.
When someone passes my guard and ends up in side control I need to ensure that my posture keeps me safe. After all, you can’t attempt to escape if you’re dead.
My ideal is that before they get an established control I am on my side, chin tucked, bottom arm tight, and in contact with my bottom knee. My top arm tucked across my abdomen.
If they catch me flat I tuck my far arm across my abdomen, as deep as I can get it. If I give up the underhook, they can attack. If they attack, I have to defend. If I’m defending my escapes are delayed and limited.
I block the cross face with my other arm. If they control my head, they control my upper body to a good degree. If I’m too late for that, I block the hip.
I put the near side knee in the opponent’s hip. This blocks the knee-ride and mount. However, I was very lazy on this last class. Got caught a few times giving up mount.
This posture allows me to be safe while underneath side control. Therefore, the opponent has to transition to another position, which opens space for an escape. Or, the opponent has to sit up to try to get the hidden arm. That, obviously opens up a ton of space for escapes.
It’s the same in mount. Posture dictates survival, which dictates the ability to escape. I turn onto my side, block their hips with tight, protected arms. I open up one side of my collar, but completely block the other side. I’m relatively safe with my posture. That makes the oppenent have to take a risk to make something happen.
Basically, in any position, know what your opponent needs to attack, and hide it or protect it. Also, know what transitions your oppoent has available, and prevent the more dangerous ones. I’m happy for someone to transition to north-south, but I’m not happy for them to take knee-ride, mount, or the back.
So, position is only as good as the posture you take while in it.