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Slay Giants with “The Dream Killer” Kristian Woodmansee
It's a pretty common story. The smaller BJJ player’s endless quest to slay giants and free him or herself from the treachery of being smashed by the bigger stronger opponents. This is a quest that requires an incredible amount of focus, attention to detail, and the understanding of some of the most important fundamental pillars in all of BJJ. You'll have to recruit leverage as an ally and learn to move your hips better than anyone else on the mat.
Being small is not an excuse to get samshed… forever. Though at first it seems like a detriment, being a smaller grappler can actually have several advantages. The road may be a little longer but along the way you'll become a detail oriented, well rounded, pint sized force to be reckoned with.
Kristain Woodmansee is an Atos black belt and the owner of Logic, a beautiful sprawling jiu-jitsu academy in Philadelphia, PA. He also happens to be one of the more iconic smaller grapplers of BJJ and he's worn it quite well. Woodmansee has earned himself a nice place in BJJ history with his extensive competition experience and success and even a stint in the MMA realm.
Woodmansee also happens to be an incredibly talented instructor, who's highly sought after and revered for his ability to teach. Through his teaching and instructionals he's reached thousands and his voice is probably heard most clearly among the demographic of smaller BJJ players. Being one of the elite rooster weight competitors of his generation, Woodmansee has plenty to offer to this crowd and he continues to churn out content that assists the smaller grappler in recruiting the skills necessary to take on the giants in their midst.
With his instructional series, Favorite Things, Woodmansee delves deep into the art of giant slaying, revealing tactics that have helped him and others to deal with the perils of being a smaller BJJ player. You'll find an entire collection of submissions, transitions, drills, sweeps, back takes and more, paired with phenomenal instruction and guidance from Woodmansee.
Let's take a look at an excerpt from the series. Here, Woodmansee instructs us on a beautiful omoplata transition that's based on one of the most common reactions we all face when trying to implement the submission. The omoplata is one of Woodmansee’s specialties and he’s even released an entire instructional on the topic that specifically covers his omoplata game. Check out this seamless sequence and enjoy a light bulb moment courtesy of Woodmansee!
When an omoplata is applied, one of the most highly utilized defenses is the roll through. We see this happen all the time and in this technique, Woodmansee is anticipating this. Not only is he anticipating the roll, he also knows where his partner will likely be traveling after the roll is complete. With these things in mind, Woodmansee can set a trap that allows him to link his efforts to another submission or continue chasing the omoplata.
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As Woodmansee applies the omoplata, his partner rolls through. Here, he keeps the elbow elevated to control his partners movement and begins to scoot his hips away. As he does this, his partner attempts to come up toward him as if to get on top. As his partner starts to get up, a gap opens up between the elbow and the ribs. This is where Woodmansee can take advantage. As his partner continues to reach, Woodmansee guides his arm under his elbow, almost giving the illusion that he's giving away the top position. Here, Woodmansee can begin to hip escape and lie back into another omoplata.
This particular technique could be turned into a fantastic drilling sequence to help you commit this concept to muscle memory. This is a beautiful shameless transition that you can add to your game instantly to help you deal with one of the most common reactions we face when attempting the omoplata. Woodmansee has anticipated the most common set of reactions here to set this one up and this is probably one of the most important things we can do in our training.
Favorite Things is packed full of great ideas and stellar technique just like this. Woodmansee’s ability to convey information is second to none and you'll enjoy his crafty tricks and tips throughout this entire collection of little guy sorcery.