ELECTRIC CHAIR BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has seen many innovations throughout its history, from the revolutionary attacking half guard, to the modern leg attacks from the bjj ashi garami position. With the rise of mainstream Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the induction of more and more black belts within the art, the rate of technical development has become quite substantial. There have been many innovators in the sport like Nino Schembri, Marcelo Garcia, John Danaher, Dean Lister, Xande Ribeiro, and Roberto Correa who all have added their creative insights into many of the defensive, and offensive structures of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques.
What this article covers:
- What Is the Electric Chair Position
- The Origin of the Electric Chair
- Using the Lockdown to Access the Electric Chair
- Submissions from the Electric Chair
- Sweeps from the Lockdown and the Electric Chair
- How to Escape from the Electric Chair
In the modern form of grappling the innovations are coming in waves, as expert black belts like Keenan Cornelius, Lachlan Giles, Gordon Ryan, Craig Jones, and Eddie Bravo have built phenomenal instructional content.
The development of the rubber guard, the twister side control, and the truck position has separated Eddie Bravo from the rest of the pack. The intricate stylings of the rubber guard is a comprehensive system built to help practitioners trap their opponents into sneaky, and brutal submission locks like the bjj omoplata, the triangle, the groin stretch, and the heel hook. The truck position has become a highly functional, and effective way to access positions like the electric chair, where athletes can execute submissions like the calf slicer bjj technique, the vapouriser, and the crotch ripper.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRIC CHAIR POSITION
The electric chair is an attacking position, where practitioners can access a high element of submission attacks. This position involves having an opponent trapped in the bjj lockdown position, as this will help to stretch their opponent out making it easier to secure their opposite leg. With the lockdown secured the practitioner will reach underneath their opponent's opposite leg, and secure a grip around their thigh. This is a great position to upset their opponent's balance, making it extremely easy to execute various submission maneuvers, and sweeping techniques. The electric chair is a highly transitional position that will link the lockdown to the truck position, and onto other positions like the twister, the back control, and the leg entanglement position.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCKDOWN
The lockdown has become one of the pivotal cogs in the succession into positions like the electric chair, the truck, and the stoner control. Understanding how to effectively control an opponent with a lockdown is crucial in trapping their body posture, and distracting them for long enough to access further techniques like the whip up, or the whip down. A good lockdown will help a practitioner extensively in upsetting the balance of their opponent, which can be effective in securing the electric chair position. A tight lockdown is imperative, and this can lead to sweeps when an opponent tries to shut down many of the transitions. Because a lockdown has taken away their ability to post that leg, if they manage to secure the same side arm then it becomes nearly impossible for an opponent to stop the sweep. This is why a lockdown can be so important, and all practitioners should take this position seriously, or they may wind up on the receiving end of an electric chair sweep, or submission.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
The electric chair is a vital part of the iconic 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system. Eddie Bravo was the creator of the rubber guard, the twister side control, and the truck system, where his astounding grappling variations of traditional techniques have become groundbreaking. After Eddie Bravo's fight with Royler Gracie at the ADCC, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community began to take him seriously, as his new and innovative thinking behind grappling began to spread. The widespread notoriety of Eddie Bravo's combative systems have become synonymous with No Gi grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts. Many new age grapplers have adopted these technical principles into their own repertoire, and have even added their own developments like Keenan Cornelius' Gi version called the gubber guard.
The construction of the rubber guard system, and the truck position has seen this exciting electric chair position give athletes a high calibre advantage in their pursuit for tournament gold. Eddie developed this highly functional position, after having success with the lockdown, which is another crucial tool in his attacking half guard system. The electric chair has become one of the core transitional positions to help an athlete achieve a wide range of submission attacks, and sweep maneuvers. Eddie's innovation of the electric chair has helped him develop submission attempts like the heel hook, the twister, the ankle lock, the calf slicer, the banana split, the crotch ripper, and the bjj knee bar.
USING THE LOCKDOWN TO ACCESS THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
The electric chair has become an iconic part of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system. There are many different ways to enter into the electric chair position, with the most notorious being the lockdown. Utilising a lockdown from the half guard position is more than just a defensive measure, as it can be extremely threatening to an opponent. The position involves a practitioner to secure the half guard, as they create a triangle with their legs. From here they will thread their free hook underneath the shin of their opponent, creating an extensive locking mechanism. The lockdown is a great way to extend an opponent's leg, making it hard for them to gain control of their upper body. There are other functions like having the ability to elevate their opponent, or use their shin as a fulcrum to execute calf slicers.
A practitioner that has a good lockdown will be able to use the pressure in their opponent's leg to access other techniques like the whip up, or the whip down. This is a way of using momentum to get out of a grounded position on their back, and onto their side, which can be a more attacking method of half guard technique. Using this concept will enable a practitioner to scoop underneath their opponent's opposite thigh to secure the electric chair position. The lockdown can be extremely beneficial to a practitioner, and using the mechanics of this strong leg position is a great way to enhance a practitioner's ability to attack their opponent.
SUBMISSIONS FROM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
Creating submissions from the electric chair position is relatively easy, as the nature of this position will give a practitioner a huge advantage in the leverage battle. One of the first submission techniques a practitioner learns is the calf slicer, and it pays to bait an opponent by first attacking the crotch ripper, or the banana split. The practitioner already has their opponent in a precarious position, and all they need to do is continue the stretch of their opponent's legs. This submission attempt will force the opponent to try and move fast to avoid the submission, and this is when it is smart to transition into the calf slicer. The practitioner already has their lockdown in place, and because their shin is behind their opponent's knee region, it is easy to simply pull down their foot, using their shin as the fulcrum, and executing the calf slicer. There are other variations of the calf slicer, like the kamikaze calf slicer, which is adding in an extra pressure from their other leg to lockdown the calf slicer mechanism.
The electric chair position is a great entry into the leg entanglement game, as practitioners will find submissions like the toe hold, the bjj ankle lock, and the heel hook. The leverage created from the electric chair will enhance the practitioner's ability to maneuver their opponent's balance, making leg entanglement positions like the ashi garami, the outside ashi, and the inside sankaku easier to achieve. Once the practitioner has secured the electric chair position it can be really easy to use the momentum to force their opponent face down towards the mat. From here the practitioner will let go of the lockdown, shooting their knee up to the inside of their opponent's opposite thigh, and wrapping their other leg around the outside of the leg, securing the ashi garami position. Now the practitioner can choose whether to go for an inside heel hook, an outside heel hook, or a straight foot lock.
Another iconic submission from the electric chair is the twister, although this submission is a spinal crank and may only be legal in certain tournament matches. To execute this submission the practitioner will utilise the whip up to reach the electric chair position, from here they will switch their hips forcing their opponent onto their back. The next step for the practitioner is to let go of the leg, as they roll over their own shoulder, using the momentum to force their opponent over. Now the practitioner will be in the lockdown position, but from the back of their opponent. This is a great position for a practitioner to either take the back control, or grab their opponent's wrist, and feed it behind their own head, as they use both of their hands to connect around their opponent's neck. This will allow the practitioner to apply a bjj neck crank called the twister, by pulling their neck towards them, as they twist their lockdown in the other direction.
The electric chair position has served Eddie Bravo extremely well, and his intricate system of tricks and traps have become extremely popular on a global scale. Many No Gi grapplers, and Mixed Martial Artists use the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system to help neutralise, and submit their opponents. The electric chair is one of the most recognised positions in Eddie Bravo's arsenal, as it can be a transitional dynamo. The amount of submission maneuvers that can be accessed with little resistance is phenomenal, and utilising positions where an opponent may struggle to defend, really is maximising a practitioner's Jiu Jitsu game style.
SWEEPS FROM THE LOCKDOWN AND THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
The electric chair sweep was one of Eddie Bravo's most iconic sweep maneuvers that he utilised in Metamoris 3. The electric chair sweep is executed after a practitioner transitions from the lockdown leg entanglement. Generally speaking the electric chair sweep is usually the secondary sweep attempted from this lockdown position. The primary sweep to utilise is the old school sweep, as both of these sweeps are dependent on the leg positioning of the opponent. From the lockdown, the practitioner will use the whip up to get onto their side, as they initiate a deep under hook on the same side as their lockdown mechanism. From this position the opponent will still be on their knees, as the practitioner will reach underneath grabbing the inside of their foot, as they pull towards their own body, which will offset the balance of their opponent's base. This will allow the practitioner to get onto their knees, as they sweep their opponent onto their back, and look to pass the guard with ease.
To execute the electric chair sweep, the practitioner will use the same set up from the lockdown, as they whip up their opponent and move on to their side. For this sweep to work the opponent will step up onto their far leg instead of kneeling, as this opens up an opportunity for the practitioner. From here they will shoot their arm deep underneath their opponent's thigh, as they look to utilise a roll putting their opponent's hamstring on their shoulder. As the practitioner looks to sweep the opponent, they will use their other hand to frame, which will stop the opponent from grabbing hold of their head during the transition. Now the practitioner can transition into a guard pass by untangling their lockdown, and using the grip under the leg to pass the guard, and take a dominant control position. This sweep has been made extremely famous by Eddie Bravo, and is one of his core bjj building blocks for his sweeping movements.
Another good sweep to execute from the electric chair is a simple transition that will give a practitioner the sweep, or the back take. From the electric chair it is extremely easy, and effective to simply clear a practitioner's head to the outside of their opponent's leg. This will allow two options, as they can use the momentum and let go of the lockdown, circling their legs from underneath, and pushing up to side control. Their secondary option is to climb up to their opponent's back, letting go of the lockdown and securing both of their hooks in their opponent's groins, as they secure the seat belt grip. This can be highly effective, and the practitioner can use the momentum to move straight into a rear naked choke.
HOW TO ESCAPE FROM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
Escaping from the electric chair position can be an extremely hard task if the opponent has a strong control system. Practitioners will need to use preventative measures to counteract an impending electric chair sweep, or submission. This means that once an opponent has secured the lockdown, the practitioner should be effectively trying to escape, and not allow their opponent to whip them up. If the opponent manages to execute the whip up, then it becomes imperative to hide their foot, and not step up, as this will inhibit their opponent's opportunity to execute the old school sweep, or the electric chair position. This becomes an important factor in shutting down an opponent's attack system from the lockdown.
If an opponent does manage to secure the electric chair position then this can become exceedingly dangerous for a practitioner. From this position they need to make sure they can keep a heavy pressure, and a good balance, while not allowing their opponent to stretch out their legs. Another important tip is for the practitioner to try and free their knee from out of their opponent's clutches. The practitioner can do this by sliding their heel back towards their body, and retracting it down their opponent's shoulder. Commonly the opponent will roll back under in an attempt to re-secure the electric chair position, so the practitioner needs to be quick and sprawl their leg, as they try to free themself and back into a control over their opponent's head position. Defending, and escaping from the electric chair position is not impossible, but it can be extremely frustrating, so it definitely pays for a practitioner of the art to put in extensive flexibility training, so they can maximise their elasticity, and inhibit their opponent's offensive attacks.
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