Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Lapel Chronicles

Inspired by a post on Georgette's blog, I'm contemplating taking a chunk of my BJJ education and switching up the methodology a bit. I'm a top down-learner, and while I CAN pick up quite a bit by learning moves in steps, it's really not my optimal approach. But, I believe most people do learn bottom up, so it makes sense to structure group classes this way. 

So yeah...lapels. They seem like a huge mystery to me. Sure, I know bow-and-arrow and baseball chokes and a few others, but the steps, man...the steps. I have the memory of a cotton-ball and anything that has more than four components to set up uses up a lot of my mental following the principles of jiu jitsu, I'm going to start playing with these moves from a purely experimental perspective, trying to internalize exactly what they're being used for. 

I had some success last week rolling with a blue that had just gotten back on the mats after surgery. I managed to tie up an arm after he anticipated my set-up for a choke and he complimented me on it. I admitted I didn't know what to do. He replied "Still, you now have one more limb to use than I do". Later that same class, I learned a mount reversal that revolves around using the lapel to limit body movement. Gonna see where I can go from there. So far I see four primary uses of lapel work...

  • To control/limit the use of an individual body part
  • To gain control an individual body part that can be extended to larger segments of the body
  • To control balance/position of an entire segment of the body
  • As a direct pressure element of a choke

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