How to Sprawl Correctly for Jiu Jitsu
Stop The Takedowns!!
Wrestling is one element of Jiu Jitsu that has gotten more popular recently simple because of its importance. If you are in a competitive match and you are tied or down points against your opponent, there is a big chance you might end up wrestling at the end. This is more common than you think and occurs all the time with high level matches, as was seen with Gordon Ryan and Yuri Simoes in the No-Gi Worlds.
Great Techniques To Improve Your Takedown Game! Click Learn More below!
Typically, when we think of wrestling, our minds wander to penetration shots, arm drags, and other great takedowns and takedown entries. We often forget the importance of wrestling defense and therefore do not train it as much as we should. This is a bad method of practicing wrestling because, as mentioned above, if you are in a tight match and your opponent shoots against you, you need to be able to defend quickly.
One of the most commonly employed tools in wrestling defense is a technique known as the sprawl. We hear the word sprawl all the time and typically think of people flopping against their opponents. This is completely wrong. The is an intricate technique when it comes to sprawling correctly. Your low level sprawl might work against some white belt, but it won’t work well against grapplers skilled at wrestling.
In the following video, Ben Askren, UFC fighter and Olympic level wrestler, demonstrates the fundamentals for an appropriate sprawl:
The most important element to having a good sprawl is timing. The only great way to get good at this is doing tons of repetitions. We need to learn how to understand our opponent’s body language so that as soon as we see them begin their takedown, we prepare ourselves to sprawl. Realistically, you should sprawl after your partner shoots, but while they shoot. Again, this is learned through lots of realistic repetitions and practicing while sparring.
Shots, Sprawls and Singles That Will Beat Anyone Of The Feet! Click Learn More below!
One huge tip a wrestler friend of mind explained to me is that sprawling is not allow the hips to fall on to our opponent. A strong wrestler can posture, re-grab the legs, and finish the takedown in a number of ways. Instead, you need to throw your hip downward with a lot of force. This is done by twisting faster and harder and allows you to force your opponent to faceplant.