We arrive to the final installment of our series on fighting techniques. In “complete” martial styles (involving blows, throws and fighting on the ground) and in non-competitive confrontations, a large majority of fights end on the ground, concluded by a KO, submission, or technical victory of some sort. Hence the importance of the four techniques that follow.
1. The vine (calf crusher)
This move starts after both of you fell to the ground and are still fighting. In this scenario, you have the upper hand on your opponent, as he is on his fours (“turtle” defense), with you having control over his back, or kneeling on his side.
Your free leg should be parallel to the ground, like when you rest it on your other knee while sitting in a chair. Why not call this move the “Alpha Body Language Vine”?
This one takes quite a bit of practice, but is well worth it. Note that the bigger the legs of your adversary, the more painful it will be for him, as his muscle groups are larger.
The hematoma created would incapacitate him. It is important to keep the leg in line while you pull, to inflict pain on the muscle and not the articulation. The tension created on the kneecap if twisted, can damage the ligaments of his knee and the whole articulation.
I’ll let the boys of Human Weapon demonstrate (here, they used a rolling movement to conclude):
2. The Hon-Gesa-Gatame shoulder lock
This one is one of the most, if not the most, useful submission I know to make an opponent tap out. Useful because it starts from the Hon-gesa-gatame position. 70% of the time, two fighters in a standing clinch or trying to throw one another will end up in this position.
In a non-competitive scenario, you can push his shoulder down while thrusting up with your hips in one movement. You can punch his shoulder down in last resort. WARNING: this is highly likely to create serious lesions on the elbow and shoulder ligaments.
3.The ankle lock (Achilles tendon compression)
It is one of the pillar techniques of Russian sambo and is probably how 70% of the submission victories occur in the discipline. It is also popular in BJJ and MMA. It is a matter of skills, speed and mental as if you do it, your opponent has exactly the reverse set up to use it on you too.
The submission can be done while you stand (for example after you used the Thai sweep or the inside hook that we saw before, or while you are sitting, facing the opponent.
4. The rear naked choke
Also known as Hadaka-Jime or “mata leão” (the “lion killer,” as it is known in Brazil), it is the easiest, most useful choke and my favourite hands down. Who would not like the move that Hercules most likely used to slay the Nemean lion?
You need to practice this one with care and regularly, while controlling your strength and reading the signs that show that it is working. This choke is dangerous as it reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain.
Always used controlled practice under the supervision of a qualified teacher. Best way to learn: listen to what your partner and “guinea pig” is saying.
(Note: this choke hold can be used while both fighters stand and the same steps can be followed, with slight variations)
To limit his movements, you can execute a “figure of four” or lie on your back or on your side, to prevent him from having any point of contact with the ground.
Your technique needs to be good and the practice must be done on different partners with different morphologies. Even is the choke is there, an opponent with experience and strong neck muscles will not be affected if your technique is not spot-on.
Un apprentissage sans fin
Those four dimensions are the foundation of martial arts but are not limited to those. Techniques and counter-techniques are thousands and variations are endless. But more than anything, it is practice, good guidance and dedication that makes an excellent fighter more than an endless repertoire of techniques.
After all, Bruce Lee was right when he said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
So go on. Put on some sports clothes and go hit the mat. Be serious, humble and attentive. But before anything else, have fun!
Until next time…