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Monitor the Center Line for Control
Control is crucial for submission finishes
Maintaining and controlling the centerl ine is an important first step in establishing control of the battle. Being in tune with where our opponent’s center line can assist us in our attacks as well as our defense. Thankfully in self-defense and Brazilian jiu-jitsu there are little to no rules as to where the battle takes place. Whether it is warfare or a friendly roll working angles to flank our opponent is a crucial element to success. When the center line is acknowledged and then exploited it affords us greater defense against our opponent as well as maximizes our opportunity to attack.
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Here John Danaher demonstrates the management and eventual exploitation of the center line. He describes how and when to shift his head from one side to the other of the center line. Through this he simultaneously cut out his opponent’s escape and maximized the length of the choking arm. By utilizing the knowledge of the center line Danaher limits his opponent’s escapes and will ultimately sink in his choke.
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Neil Melanson illustrates this point here while demonstrating the closed guard. The guard is a position where center line management is essential. From a passing perspective Neil stresses constant readjustment of angles that are created by the guy on the bottom. He then goes on to explain his intention from the bottom. Constantly getting “off line” will help preserve your guard as well as set up your sweeps and submissions.
Whether working the front head lock or closed guard managing and eventually exploiting angles to get you off of the center line will set up the finish. By creating these angles, we force our opponent into action. Often times our opponent will react in a specific manner, by knowing this ahead of time we can create an angle and set the trap.
For more guard savagery from Neil Melanson, check out his Ground Marshal Half Guard series! His approach is highly detailed and brutal at the same time. Just the recipe you need to wreck your opponents! You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!