A New Approach to Top Side
Expansion On A Classic Position....
In early September, I attended a seminar led by Eli Knight as part of his ‘Bladed Grappler’ series. All of the techniques involved the scenario of when an attacker has a knife. The majority of the material covered involved 2-on-1 grips, extended away from their body, from many positions. Without practicing this on the regular, it’s easy to assume that a 2-on-1 grip can have your body turned to different positions that easily exposes your back. Which in most cases can be true, but once you start experimenting and drilling with this, like many other techniques, you learn better ways to execute.
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Since that day, a few teammates and I have been drilling these techniques before and after classes. After only a few sessions, I’ve become fairly comfortable from the top side position with these new grips. For me, the best way to approach a 2-on-1 has been to disable the arm nearest me, by covering with my knee, then switching which knee is used and basing with the other. This puts you in a comfortable and high side control, away from your opponent’s hips with the shoulders pinned down.
In his DVD, Eli mentions that once the first arm is trapped, you react to how the far arm (in his DVD it’s the hand with the weapon) is positioned. If the palm is up, you attack to straighten the arm, then disarm them. If the palm is down, go for a kimura. And if the person isn’t committing to either path, adding a little more pressure mixed with your patience will help persuade them.
In my day to day open mat and positional rolling, I’ve been playing around with this philosophy. In side control, when the palm is up, you can attack with an Americana; when the palm is down, go for the kimura. When the palm is up and the arm happens to be extended, I have found that a straight arm lock is there as well. But it’s not only about the possible submissions. I’ve been experimenting with trapping my partner’s arm under my shin, let them fight for a second until they relax, then finally switching legs and posting up on my outside foot.
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Once you get your balance in this position, it feels like you can stay there for days, or at least until your partner gives you something and you can submit them. If you get the chance, I urge you to try this out. Play around a little and see how it feels. You might even be able to land that armlock that you typically have trouble with.
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